St. John’s Church, Brandon &
St. Catherine’s Church, New Brancepeth
Services have been taking place in St. John’s since
Services are planned to start at St. Catherine’s from
Sunday 13th September.
The Eucharist services will be shorter than normal with no
singing or sermon and as with other Covid 19 problems, this
may be subject to change, especially when the winter flu season
St. John’s: Sundays – 9.45 am Holy Eucharist
Wednesdays – 9.00 am Holy Eucharist
St. Catherine’s Sundays from 13th Sept.
Sunday – 8.45 am Holy Eucharist
Thursday– 9.30 am Holy Eucharist
then 10.00 to 11.00 am Church open for private prayer
Revd. Carl Peters: The Clergy House, Sawmill
Durham, DH7 8NS. Tel: 0191 6803875, email@example.com
Other Contact Telephone Numbers:
St. John’s: David (Churchwarden) – 3789718; Carolyn
St. Catherine’s: Joe (Churchwarden) – 3739927;
Liz - 3731554
at St John’s
22nd July - Trevor Royston Myers
31st July - Beryl Troman
Funerals at Crematorium
19th August - James ‘Jim’ Edward Wanless ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Events will be posted on the Website and communicated by phone
to those not online.
Also Fr. Carl’s Sermons will be posted on the Website
Thursdays (from 17th September) at St. Catherine’s:
Fr. Carl will say Morning Prayer at 8.45 am before the Eucharist.
All are welcome to join him.
Zoom Holy Eucharist on Sunday, 6th September at 11.45 am.
Also it may be held for special occasions; contact Fr. Carl
Harvest Festival: This will be held on Sunday 27th September
Holy Eucharist at both St. Catherine’s and St. John’s.
Our collections will be given to Farm Africa (see article)
and any gifts of non-perishable food taken to the Foodbank.
Prayer for Our Churches: Tuesday, 15th September, 09.30 -
Also Tuesday. 20th October, 09.30 - 10.15 am. At present these
will be held on Zoom; for an invitation contact Bill Offler
(DH7 Churches Together Secretary,) firstname.lastname@example.org
PCC and Annual Parochial Church Meeting:
The next PCC meeting will be on Wednesday, 23rd September
at 6.30 pm in St. John’s.
The main item will be the Diocesan ‘Guided Pledge’
proposal to replace the current Share.
The postponed APCM be held at a date in October.
Carl’s Sermon for 26th July; Matt 13:31-33, 44-52
Lockdown as a consequence of Covid19 might have felt like
a long time for a lot of people. At its strictest whilst many
of us might have reminded ourselves that we were comfortable,
well fed and sheltered (sadly some are not) we nonetheless
may have felt loneliness, frustration and boredom. We may
have felt a sadness at the loss of life as it was before.
There is still an element of that now and for those who have
lost their jobs or are living under that threat, life definitely
is not as it was before. Sadly for those who have lost loved
ones from the pandemic or are perhaps recovering from having
the virus badly, life most certainly won’t feel like
it was before. It’s been a hard time for those who had
to close their businesses; shops, hairdressers, sandwich bars/café’s
for the workers maybe and pubs. I felt very sad passing such
places, maybe on daily exercise or driving back from doing
a funeral at the crem on a very quiet road when lock down
was at its height. Their patience must be wearing thin!
But patience is something we do have to have in such times.
Hard as it might be. What’s helped a lot of us during
this difficult time is just seeing signs of better things
to come; being able to drive a bit further for a walk at a
beauty spot maybe, or eventually seeing family or a friend
you hadn’t seen for months. Step by step. For a lot
of us it’s been great to be back in church again, albeit
not quite as it was before. Waiting for our church buildings
to unlock has certainly required patience.
In our gospel reading from Matthew today we see exciting signs
of better things to come. Not the coming out of lockdown,
but rather the coming of God’s Kingdom. Jesus is making
the point in the parables that God’s Kingdom has small
beginnings, but it has begun. For those who want to part of
that kingdom in all its fullness, they just have to wait and
As we hear: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard
seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest
of all the seeds, but when it has grown, it is the greatest
of all the shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of
the air come and make their nests in its branches.’
In truth it might not actually be the greatest of all shrubs,
but I believe the mustard plant can grow up to eight to ten
feet. And to think it started as a small seed! Similarly we
hear Jesus say:
‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took
and mixed with three measures of flour until all of it was
The leaven or yeast is worked into the dough to make it rise
but it has small beginnings. Indeed Paul says in his first letter
to the Corinthians. ‘Do you not know that a little leaven
ferments the whole lump of dough?’
In both these parables patience is required. Especially in the
first one. There are small beginnings and the end product doesn’t
happen straight away. Certainly the farmer who planted the mustard
seed and the birds that eventually nested in its branches had
to wait. Encouraged no doubt by the signs that sprung from a
once hidden seed. Such parables are encouragement for those
who are looking out for the coming of God’s kingdom. That
kingdom has already begun Jesus is saying. It might be a bit
hidden at the moment, but just watch it grow! Indeed one day
it will grow so big that people from all nations will nest in
Jesus wants us to know that the kingdom of heaven is worth more
than anything our world can offer and it’s worth sacrificing
what we have for the very sake of it, as the parable of the
treasure hidden in the field shows us. As does the parable of
the merchant who is searching for fine pearls:
‘on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold
all he had and bought it.’
We might think sometimes that we don’t see enough of God
in our world. ‘Where are you God? Can’t you make
a bit more of a difference? Show your face a bit?’ But
if we have patience and open our eyes a bit, we might just see
those signs of growth. Those signs of better things to come.
Indeed, what better place to look than in the gospels with the
ministry of Jesus. His teaching, his healing, his delivering
of people from their old life to a new life. This is an encouragement
to us, that in Jesus’s intervention in the world, the
kingdom of heaven has truly begun.
So may our hearts be filled with excitement as we search
for that kingdom above all kingdoms. A kingdom that brings new
life and brings us better things than we had before.
Even the things we thought were really good and yearned for
again. So much so, we might not feel so sad at the loss of life
as it was before. Because this one will be better.
If we look really deep, we might even discover the seed of heaven
hidden in our very own hearts and then just feel it grow from
there. Patiently and excitedly. Step by step.
Our Harvest Collections will be given to Farm Africa
The communities we serve are currently facing an unprecedented
level of disruption and uncertainty.
The twin crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the desert locust
invasion pose severe threats to livelihoods and food security
across eastern Africa.
The rural communities we work with need our support more than
ever. We stand ready to maintain the momentum of our work
driving agricultural and environmental change and improving
lives wherever safely possible.
Curfews, restrictions, and social distancing requirements
made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic are restricting our
ability to reach communities and deliver training. However,
we continue to operate wherever possible, helping farmers
to overcome the additional struggles they are facing in accessing
labour, inputs and markets.
Meanwhile, new locust swarms have started to re-emerge in
the greater Horn of Africa region, particularly in Kenya and
southern Ethiopia. These new swarms are coinciding with the
beginning of the long rains and the planting season, posing
an even greater threat to food security than earlier this
year, when crops were already mature.
Crises such as these highlight how valuable our work is to
build the resilience of vulnerable communities.
that Farm Africa does to help those living in rural areas
increase their yields, incomes and savings, and protect their
natural resources, means that they will be better able to
absorb and adapt to the shocks brought by the pandemic and
the locust invasion.
During this period, your donations are more valuable than
ever for the people we work with. Please donate today
John’s Hall Meadowfield
St. John’s Hall is slowly opening to the public.
Some fitness classes are starting again
but places have to book so no drop in’s for now.
The hall has hand sanitisers in a number of places.
Masks must be worn when entering and can only be removed once
exercise class starts.
Monday: Pilates from 12.15 pm.
Please message Paul Wilson 07804541181
Tuesdays: Dianne Ross Dance Academy from 8.15 pm.
Please contact Dianne Ross 0191 3863421
Wednesdays: 9.30 am Over 55 Fitness with
Paul 07804 4541181
10.45 am Dance Fit with Trudy 0778 7419022
5.30 pm Pilates with Paul 07804541181
Thursday: Beginner Dance Class and Improvers .
Please contact Dianne Ross
Returning in September: Hartbeeps on Tuesday morning, contact
Abby on 07534 018440
Martial Arts at 7 pm, please contact Alistair 07984 154340
Swing Fit on Thursdays morning,
please contact Jo Lee at email@example.com
The guiding groups hope to return but are waiting for guidance.
The age concern luncheon club and the history Club
will be the last to return due to the age group
and amount of people who attend.
There will be no table top sales or birthday parties
for the time being due to numbers.
For updates please see
Facebook page stjohnshallmeadowfield
or contact Lesley Baxter: 07846542035.
Prayer Suggestion if we feel strange in our masked, sanitised,
registered, socially distanced time of worship!
As I wear this mask Lord Jesus,
I pray for those who are sick in hospital or at home.
As I sit socially distanced, I pray for those who must remain
isolated and others who live in fear.
I offer my sanitised hands for the children and young people
returning to school.
May they grow in body mind and Spirit and know your loving
hands on their lives.
As I register my name I say thank you for all unknown to me
but known by name to you, Lord God, who serve you in helping
one another through disasters of every kind.
In Jesus’ name,
of the future?
Please pray about the future plans for our churches
as we re-open our churches for worship
as we come out of lockdown
Remember also future working with St Paul’s, Waterhouses
as well as St. Luke’s along with St. John’s Neville’s
Cross, St. Brandon’s Brancepeth and St. Edmund’s
• Children and students as they return to schools in
We are not able to re-start ‘Open the Book’ at
New Brancepeth Primary yet.
• The Toddler club which had been held in St. John’s
• Peter Pathikrit who has been on placement with us
for the last eight weeks.
Pray for Peter as goes forward in September to a selection
• The PCC meeting on 23rd Sept., especially any finance
• Fr. Carl as he leads us into the future.
Pledge – Giving to the Diocese, a proposal
(Oh no! not more about money!) Actually giving money is an
important part of being a Christian – ‘God loves
a cheerful giver’
This is an outline so everyone knows about it and can pray.
There are four main reasons for a change from the present
method whereby parishes offer an amount:
1. 2020 Diocesan budget has a deficit of £750,000 before
Covid-19, now expected to be £1 - £2 million.
2. Falling levels of total pledge - the graph illustrates
3. PCC’s do not have any guidelines to base their pledge
4. Current system lacks equity.
The proposed system aims to be halfway between the present
system where pledges are set by parishes with little reference
to the Diocesan need and the old system (before 2011) where
the share was determined centrally and acted rather like a
The main features are:
• Parishes decide the pledge with a reference point
provided by the Diocese.
• The reference point will be calculated from the total
required from pledges.
• It will be calculated using four elements: the parish
clergy (or fraction if shared); the congregation size and
parish poulation; the financial resources of the parish, income
and reserves; the deprivation index (how poor or rich the
local population is). The details are fairly complex!
• The reference point will be limited to 65% maximum
of parish income.
The proposal will be put to Diocesan Synod on 7th September,
and if approved figures will be sent out mid-September.
Please pray for the diocesan finances
and also those of our own churches