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Wednesday 24th of July 2024

Location: home/groups


(1) Worswick Welcome

Friday 9:00am to 12:00pm in the parish room

The charitable cooperation between St. Cuthbert's Care and St. Andrew's parish in Worswick Street, Newcastle, Worswick Welcome is a weekly free-lunch invitation to the city's poor and marginalised. It was late in 2010 that the diocesan care organisation suggested to Fr. Michael Corbett that his city centre church was ideally placed to help those struggling to get by, mostly men with problems, who often did not know where their next meal was coming from.

The idea was to open the parish room to all-comers from 10:00am to 2:00pm every Friday and offer them a hot meal with soup, sandwiches, toasties, sweets and fruit donated by people of the parish. Around the corner the St. Cuthbert's Care 5p bus would be parked, offering garments at that token price. The visitors would receive a friendly ear for their problems as well as something to eat.

Fr. Michael said it took just a few weeks from the ideas being broached to hosting the first free lunch. “About 8 turned up the first time,” he recalled. “There were 20 the next week and in no time at all we were catering regularly for 40 guests every Friday. Cooks, servers, cleaners and washers up came from the ranks of both St. Cuthbert's Care and St. Andrew's parish and the Friday menu was refreshed by regular generous donations, often left anonymously at the back of the church.

Lottery money (£4,314) was used to refurbish the parish room and provide new chairs, tables and secure storage areas. Fr. Corbett said “We are deeply grateful for donations which will help hugely in our efforts for Newcastle's under-privileged”. The “Worswick Welcome” has proved an unusually good fit for St. Andrew's in light of its many established charities: A children's cancer hospital in Malawi, Street Children in Colombia, Disabled Street Children in India, and Tertiary Education in Paraguay. Now, we have our own outreach to the vulnerable on the parish's very doorstep.

Workers on the project believe it more than fulfils the parish website motto from Micah 6:8 - "This is what Yahweh asks of you, only this: To act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God". Said Fr. Michael, “Talking to a homeless man in the Royal Victoria Infirmary some weeks ago, I asked where he slept at night. ‘Under the bridges’ he replied. Then I asked him where he got his food. He mentioned one or two places, and then he said, ‘The best toasties and the best food are at that place opposite the old bus station in Newcastle.' He had no idea who I was.”

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(2) Prayer Group

Mondays, 2:00pm to 3:30pm in the parish room

Our prayer group was formed in 1975 by Fr. Sean Conaty after he experienced ‘charismatic renewal’, while working in Chile. This changed his life so dramatically that on his return to Longbenton in the North East of England, he set about forming his own prayer group. The name chosen was the ‘Anawin’, which means ‘the poor ones, the remnant’. It is taken from the Old Testament “for we saw ourselves as a journeying people led by God's Spirit”. Over the 36 years, our group has seen many twists and turns, the latest being led to St. Andrew's church 3 years ago.

As we are a charismatic group, we exercise during our weekly meetings, the gifts mentioned by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. Our meetings always begin with praising God. Our hymns are lively, we clap, we raise our arms, we sing in English and also with the gift of tongues, mentioned by Jesus in Mark 16: 17-18, as one of the signs associated with believers. After a time of praising we listen in silence to allow God to speak to the group through scripture, prophesy and pictures. These are then written down and prayed about during the week. We get words of encouragement, correction and direction and this is what leads us on our journey.

We have a team of 4 prayer group leaders and people are encouraged in their own gifts to build up the group. We have a healing ministry. Each person has a spiritual friend of their own choosing in the group, to go to for advice and just to unload themselves in confidence.

We have social events, we go to each others homes, we go on retreat, and this is just to be there for each other. We meet on Mondays from 2:00pm until 3:30pm in St. Andrew's parish room (Worswick Street). If you are around town, come up and say ‘hello’, have a cup of tea with us, or better still, come and join us for the afternoon. Ann Holmes. ‘The Anawin’

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(3) Intercessory Prayer Group

Tuesdays, 1:30pm to 3:15pm approx

It is based on the words “Here I am Lord, it is I Lord. I have heard you calling in the night. I will go if you lead me, I will hold your people in my heart”.

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The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

--Reinhold Niebuhr