Four months on .......

I came to the parish in March to face with you the worst weather for a while with the ‘beast from the East’! Now I have enjoyed with you the lovely summer sunshine of recent days! Many thanks for your great welcome and for your strong, ongoing, support in our parish life together. I have a couple of outpatient appointments re my voice over the summer, the first next week, so your continued prayers are much appreciated. When Fr. Jerome and I spoke last February, prior to his retirement, it seemed wise that we had a period of transition, for all concerned, before he returned to concelebrate Mass as he would be living in the town. We decided together that July onwards would be a good point for him to return and join us for Mass whenever he wished. I saw him recently and thanked him for his patience! He has, of course, been of great assistance with the recent parish pilgrimage to Lourdes and with Sr. Juunza’s visit from Monze. He has also been helping out in other parishes and has had some holidays and he looks extremely well. Moving forwards, please put in your diary the first visit of Bishop Paul to our parish on Friday 12 October when he will celebrate Mass at 10.30am for parishioners and the school. This is the start of our annual Solemn Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. We look forward to welcoming our new Bishop and let’s keep him always in our prayers. Fr. John

News from St Catherine's Primary School


We have had a wonderful week of performances this week. Well done to our Y5 and Y6 pupils for their World Cup inspired end of year production; the two performances were incredible! Congratulations to our Class 2 for your assembly on Friday, such confidence and enthusiasm; it was a lovely way to end the week.

Next Thursday, we will be celebrating our Y6 Leavers Mass at 9.15am , please join our celebrations if you can.

Angela Hill, Headteacher

Talk on the Holy Eucharist


In preparation for this year’s Solemn Exposition of the Blessed sacrament (12-14 October) there will be a talk on Thursday 4 October at 7.30pm in the Haydock Centre. The speaker will be Canon John Watson STL, chaplain at Boarbank Hall and previously parish priest in Carlisle. The title of the talk is ‘The Holy Eucharist and the tradition of Quarant’ore.’ Please make a note of the date.

Solemn Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (Quarant’Ore or 40 Hours)


Our annual weekend of Solemn Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (Quarant’Ore or 40 Hours) is 12th-14th October 2018. We will start on Friday 12th October with a Mass in St. Catherine’s Church at 10.30am for the Parish and school at which Bishop Paul Swarbrick will kindly preside. There will be set times for watching after the Mass and on the Saturday and Sunday. More details to follow.


On behalf of the Religious Sisters of the Holy Spirit, and indeed on my own behalf, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the life, faith and joys shared with you in this Parish, in Alston, and in your individual homes.

During my seven weeks of staying in St Catherine's Parish, I experienced a lot of generosity and genuine hospitality from all of you. I would like to spell out some of the events that will remain outstanding to me:

  • The joyful laughter while having coffee in the Haydock Centre
  • The successful barbecue from which you raised £1,035 for Monze Mission Hospital
  • The hospitality in your homes, where you kept the doors open for me to stay either for days or meals.
  • The sense of belonging that your school provides to the pupils is so evident in the way the children are relaxed and happy in school.

Sincere gratitude to the former Parish Priest, Fr. Jerome Ainsworth who invited me to the Parish, and to his successor Fr. John Winstanley, who warmly welcomed me and has carried on with the 'Helpers of the Holy Spirit Sisters'.

Ndalumba Kapati!!!!!! May the Spirit of God remain present with you always.

Farewell, until we meet again Sr. Juunza C. Mwangani (RSHS)

Lourdes Pilgrimage ... Welcome back!

Our parish Lourdes pilgrims are now back home after their week at Our Lady’s Shrine in Lourdes. We look forward to hearing all about their week and are grateful for their prayers. Petitions from parishioners were taken to the Grotto and a candle lit for the intentions of all parishioners at St. Catherine’s and St. Wulstan’s. Our thanks again to Michelle for leading the group and to Fr. Jerome their chaplain.

Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham 2018


The dates have changed to 2-5 October. The pilgrimage will be led by Bishop Paul Swarbrick. Cost is £280 full board for 3 nights based on people sharing. There will be a pick up point in Penrith. Closing date for bookings is Monday 25 June

. On booking, a non-refundable deposit of £80 is required (cheques made payable to the Office of the New Evangelisation).

See poster in narthex for more details or contact Paul Briers Pilgrimage Organiser 01946 834834, 07773848819 or

Fire Escape Doorway


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. A planning application has been submitted for the work. Once approved, we need approval from the Diocese to proceed with the work. A plan showing the proposed doorway details is on display on the notice-board at the back of Church. You can view full details on the Eden Council Planning website under planning application ref 18/0241. For any more information, contact Martin Oakley.