St Wulstan’s, Alston

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Weather permitting, we are very pleased to welcome Bishop Paul Swarbrick to celebrate Mass at Alston and to meet the community afterwards over refreshments. The Bishop’s visit falls nicely on St. Wulstan’s Feast Day. Below is the text from the tablet marking the dedication, over 65 years ago:


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To the Glory of God

This Church

Founded by Thomas Edward Bishop of Lancaster

Was dedicated on 20 September 1953

Under the patronage of St Wulstan

In Memory of Thomas Wulstan OSB

First Bishop of Lancaster

who raised his eyes to the eternal hills


St. Wulstan’s hosts the Service in Alston for Christian Unity, led by the Methodist Community, today, Sunday 20th January at 3pm. All are welcome.

News from St Catherine's Catholic Primary School

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Congratulations to our KS2 swimmers who represented St. Catherine’s at the swimming gala on Thursday, Mrs Proudfoot was very proud. Congratulations also to Chloe Kelly for her winning entry to the Cumbria Children’s Book Week Art Competition. A presentation was made from the Library Service at Friday’s assembly to celebrate this County wide success.

It is wonderful to see our pupils succeeding across all aspects of the curriculum.

Angela Hill, Headteacher

2019 Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity

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Last Friday was the start of the week of prayer for Christian Unity.

At Alston, St Wulstan’s is hosting a Service for Christian Unity at 3pm on Sunday 20th January in which all the Churches will participate.

In Penrith, all services start at 12.30pm and drinks are provided after prayers at 1 p.m:

Monday 21st Salvation Army

Tuesday 22nd United Reformed Church

Wednesday 23rd St Andrew’s

Thursday 24th Penrith Methodist Church

Friday 25th Christ Church

Confirmation 2019

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This begins next week on Tuesday 29 January with the first session for candidates in the Haydock Centre 6.30-7.30pm. Over 12 young parishioners have asked to prepare for the sacrament. We are particularly grateful to the adults who are accompanying them on this important stage in their faith journey. Confirmation will be celebrated by Bishop Paul in St. Catherine’s on Tuesday 11 June 2019 at 6pm.

Please keep the candidates and catechists in your prayers.

Parish Records

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For many years St Catherine's rectory has housed the archives of our church and school. Consisting of record books, correspondence etc., these archives go back to the earliest days of our community, in the days of Rev. George Leo Haydock (d. 1849). These records have been used by researchers and by visitors enquiring into family history. It has now become clear, however, that from the point of view of security and conservation storing these materials in the rectory is no longer a satisfactory arrangement. Therefore, it has been decided, with the approval of the diocesan authorities, to transfer this archive to the Cumbria Archive Service, Petteril Bank, Carlisle, where they will receive professional curation and be available for historical research. Record material of recent date is exempt from the transfer. The parish retains ultimate ownership of all the material in question. Queries concerning these arrangements can be directed to Lorna Mullett, Michael Mullett or Peter Roebuck.

My thanks to our parish historians for all their knowledge, care and interest with the above. Fr. John

Courses at Boarbank Hall, Grange over Sands

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Among the courses on offer this year is a weekend (21-23/24 June) ‘Discovering John Bradburne’. The son of an Anglican vicar at Skirwith in our parish, John was a Franciscan tertiary also a poet, musician, and mystic. He ended his life caring for lepers in Zimbabwe and is believed by many to be a saint. Topics for the talks will include: John Bradburne’s life; the poetry of nature and prayer; the magic of bees. For this and other courses at Boarbank click here or see the flyers in the narthex.

Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes

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Our diocesan pilgrimage takes place 26 July-2 August 2019: Flights from Manchester airport. Brochures, booking forms and a poster are in the narthex as well as copies of the Lourdes Journal.

Lourdes Youth Section: Travel to Lourdes by coach with other young people from our diocese, 25 July-3 August. Open to ages Year 10+, 4 star hotel £585. For more information, to book online or download the poster or booking form, see here.

Monze - fundraising for the Neo-Natal Unit

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Sr. Juunza sent the following New Year message:

Dear friends, Greetings from Monze - Zambia. Today, on the Feast of the Holy Family, I remembered you, the Parishioners of St. Catherine's Parish, in a special way in prayer because at some point this year you provided a family for me. I walked round the streets of Penrith with great confidence because I was anchored in a caring family. Thank you very much for having given me such a sense of belonging.

I wish you a fruitful 2019. With gratitude Sr. Juunza (RSHS)

Fire Escape Doorway

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A Fire Risk Assessment has been carried out of the Church and Presbytery. This identified the need for a fire escape doorway at the South end of the church. A new door is planned in the South-West wall of the transept between the Lady altar and the stained glass window. The doorway will have an oak door with dressed stone cill and lintels.

Confirmation has been received from the Diocesan Property Office that the Property Office and Finance Committee have voted unanimously to approve our application to install the fire exit door from Our Lady’s Chapel to the rear car park. It is planned to start work in the new year when further details of the programme will be provided. Alan Catterson

The Guild of St Stephen - Altar Servers

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Our thanks and congratulations to the 13 altar servers enrolled into the Guild at both Masses last Sunday. We also have a good number of servers recently started and we look forward to their enrolment in due course.

On 19th October St Catherine’s Parish received its Diploma of Affiliation to the Archconfraternity of St Stephen signed by Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

On Sunday 30th December our longer serving Altar Servers were enrolled into the guild. Other Altar Servers who are new and still in training will be enrolled when at least six months serving has been completed.

The three aims of the guild are:

  1. To encourage, positively and practically, the highest standards of serving at the Church’s Liturgy.

  2. To provide Altar Servers with greater understanding of what they are doing.

  3. To unite Altar Servers of different parishes and diocese for mutual support.

St Stephen, Deacon and Martyr, Patron of Altar Servers: Pray for us

Servers Albs - As we approach Christmas it would be good to have the Altar Servers’ Albs nice and clean. Are there a couple of the parents who could take on this task please? Contact David or Mervyn.