St Joseph's Birtley

Catholic Parish of St Joseph's Birtley, Birtley Lane, Birtley DH3 1LJ

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Benedict Partnership

We are part of the Benedict Partnership.

Our Member Churches are:

Our Blessed Lady Immaculate, Washington
Our Lady Queen of Peace, Penshaw
St Bede, Sacriston
St Cuthbert, Chester-le-Street
St Bede, Washington
St John Boste, Washington

A Catholic Parish

As a Catholic Parish we are dedicated to:

• Worshipping God and celebrating Sacraments

• Growing in knowledge of our Catholic faith and sharing it with others

• Supporting each other and anyone in need


We extend a warm welcome to parishioners and visitors to our parish website.

If you are visiting our church or are new to the parish, you a very welcome.

Click here for Map

Priests and Deacons

Father Jim O'Keefe
0191 4163805

Father Martin Wheaton
0191 4102923

Fr Uchenna Odenigbo
0191 416 3583

Fr Vincent Waiga
0191 416 3583

Deacon Peter Lavery
0191 4102530
Mob: 07305 059297

For a Synodal Church

Synodal Church

Pope Francis has invited the church across the world to consider what it means to be church. This will be a two year process that began in October and will end with the Holy Father gathering together with the Bishops and other representatives from church in 2023.

The first part of the process is to gather people to share their thoughts about where we are today as church and to explore the visions and dreams of where we want to go as church.

Within our own Diocese we are encouraged to come together to consider where we are today as we emerge from the pandemic and share our thoughts and hopes for the future.

Opportunities to Hear Mass

Changes in our Churches from Ash Wednesday

From Ash Wednesday the requirement to book a place for Mass on Saturday evenings and Sundays will cease.
We have removed the requirement to use every other bench. However, we need to respect people who remain nervous of the current situation, therefore we will offer a A4 sheet to use if space is wanted between individuals and other people.

Stewards will be available to welcome and guide as necessary.
Sanitizer – we encourage the continued use of sanitizer on entering and leaving our Churches. Please make use of this facility.
Sacristans can once again prepare all vessels for mass and arrange their clearance afterwards.
We strongly recommend the continued wearing of face coverings in our Churches.
Eucharistic Ministers are available once again to assist with Holy Communion.
We will offer a safe Sign of Peace during Mass.
Altar Servers can once again serve at Mass, using best safeguarding practices.

Altar Servers

Altar Servers

After two years when they were not allowed to serve on the altar we are delighted to welcome back some of our young altar servers. After some refresher training they will be ready to return to serving in time to enhance the Holy Week and Easter liturgies.

If there are other former servers who wish to come back please contact Deacon Peter or John Sexton.

We will begin training new servers after Easter.

Church Services TV

Although there is a TV in the name, it is still necessary to have an internet connection to receive any Church Services TV streamed programme.

However, the 6pm daily evening reflection will continue to use Facebook to allow the use of the chat function to request prayers, etc.

Standing Order for Offertory Donations

You can set up a Standing Order for your Offertory Donations to the parish by using this Standing Order Form. You can also use the form to Gift Aid your donations which can boost your donations by 25p for every pound you donate.

Reporting of Sick and those Recently Dead

Contact Forms

There are now two contact forms to report sick and those recently dead which will allow us to easily collect information and make it known through the website and/or the newsletter about those who need our prayers as a community at this time.

Use the Sick Form to report sick and the RIP Form to report those who have recently died.

Valuable Resources


CAFOD Live Simply Award

St Joseph's Parish Birtley gains CAFOD Live Simply Award

Read more..

CAFOD Family Fast Day
Friday 1st October

Read more..


COP 26 is The United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Read more..

Pope Francis Thought for the Day

Pope Francis delivered a message on BBC Radio 4 Thought for the Day.
Read the full text..

SVP Bridge Over Troubled Waters Appeal

In December, the SVP launched an appeal for items for the SVP Blackfriars Support Centre. The response to the appeal was fantastic giving much support for the homeless and needy in Newcastle.
Read more..


Northern Cross


The sale of Northern Cross at the back of Church has not been possible since March. At the same time parishes have worked hard at remote communication with parishoners via bulletins posted out, hand delivered or emailed. We would like to utilise parish communication networks to publicise our plan to safeguard the future of the paper.

The attached appeal letter sets out the plan which is based on a subscription model for both a digital and paper version.