All Saints Catholic Church Lanchester Durham  
And Parish Profile  


Brief Description of the Parish

All Saints parish was founded in 1901 from St Michael's, Esh. The present church was opened in 1926.

The Parish serves the two communities of Lanchester (population 4381) and Burnhope (population 1355)

Lanchester community was originally rural and farming, Burnhope was a mining community. Both communities are becoming more and more commuting centres for those working e.g. in Durham, Newcastle, Sunderland and Derwentside. The balance of the community is being altered by political decisions to expand the expensive housing provision and totally ignore social and economic housing.

All Saints is on the edge of the Derwentside Deanery. Were it not for St. Bede's Catholic School and Sixth Form College being in the parish it would relate more naturally to Esh and Langley Park.

The parish has a flourishing Primary School on the same campus as the church, parish centre and presbytery (110 pupils ) Last year we had 13 baptisms, 4 marriages and 9 funerals. The average weekend Mass attendance was 263.

The Main Strength of the Parish
The main strength of our parish is that it is a welcoming community of Faith in Jesus Christ, Hope in His Church and Love of His people. The following comes from a letter written by a parishioner as part of the Consultation: "I feel that one of the strong points of the parish of Lanchester is the way in which non-catholics are attracted to attend, participate and contribute. I have discussed this with many non-catholics, who, whether, like myself, were introduced to the church by the school or as others by marriage. In these conversations there is always the common thread which centes on the way in which the church welcomes people from other faiths and denominations and those, perhaps like me, who are confused. The major themes of morality, compassion and forgiveness which transcend denomination are also greatly attractive.

Priorities for Development

1. Ways must be found to keep the young people involved in the church. St Bede's must be seen as a major resource. This is very much our top priority.

2. Establish a coordinated approach to adult education and training , which is communicated to the whole parish and is part of an ongoing, embedded and evaluated process, supporting the worship, mission and service of the parish community.

3. Enrich the Liturgy on Saturday / Sunday and develop prayer and worship outside of Mass.


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