During this long drawn out six months of the COVID virus life has been strange for us all and I have become increasingly aware and concerned about the need to reach more of the Parishioners of both St Joseph’s and St Wilfrid’s.
St Joseph’s in particular has parishioners who join us from far and wide, we need to be able to keep everyone up to date with Parish news, events and information. So I have started this blog, but am not quite sure I know what I am doing!!
Please bear with me as I stumble through the process, this is a first for me.
I am hoping to make this an interactive blog space for parishioners to find out all they need or want to know about the two Parishes of St Joseph’s and St Wilfrid’s combined by one Parish Priest.
Each Parish has it’s unique character and serves a different area within the Gateshead area of the North east of England.
St Joseph’s is situated next to the metro interchange, making it easily accessible across the North East as the metro links the central rail and bus depots, it is a popular church for people visiting the area, especially those who have an interest in the Traditional Latin Mass which is said every Sunday at Mid-Day. The nature of the Parish, drawing upon a wide flung congregation means that regulars very quickly recognize each other and unite together to build a community as best they can, often communicating via Facebook, Whats-app and email and relying upon well organised community events being published well in advance!
St Wilfrid’s is a smaller church situated in a residential area, it was threatened with closure a few years ago, but thanks to the strength and determination of the local Catholics it remains not only open, but a vibrant, warm and welcoming community which has seen increased numbers within the congregation over recent years. Many visitors to the Saturday evening Mass comment about the warm welcome they receive from the regular parishioners, it certainly is one of the most welcoming parishes I have ever had the pleasure to attend.
We are proud to say our churches truly are ‘universal’, St Wilfrid’s church is the base for the Polish Community in the area and their Mass, in Polish, on a Sunday, regularly draws large crowds of committed Traditional Catholic Poles.
St Joseph’s is the base for El Shaddai, a charismatic group of Filipinos who meet every Saturday in the church hall and for the local African community who hold a monthly ‘African’ Mass in the church. Our Parish Priest, Canon Michael, is an ardent fan of the traditional Latin Mass and this brings in many like minded people from across the region, interestingly we have a large number of young people from the local Universities who are drawn to this Mass, some travelling each week from Durham, no matter what the weather!!
I am new to this blog lark so please bear with me as I muddle my way through the process, it seems easy and straight forward enough, you just write and publish – well that’s what I thought, but I keep losing my ‘blogs’ or think I have deleted or edited something only to find on my return that the entry isn’t as i intended, or imagined, so sorry and thank you for your patience!!
Patience, it seems we all need an abundance of that right now, trying to stay sane and maintain some degree of normality in our lives when really we feel like tearing our hair out and screaming at the abnormality of it all!!