Two of us - Margaret and Marion - moved to the new community in Walker in September 2015. After a few months Anne joined us for part of her sabbatical, and moved in permanently during the summer of 2016. It has been great to be three.
The house is attached to the parish church and is a presbytery belonging to the Hexham and Newcastle Diocese. It's simple but light and airy. The parish itself is small – an average attendance of sixty at Sunday Mass. However the warmth of the welcome we received has been amazing. The people amongst whom we live are delightful, especially our elder parishioners who are very welcoming, and we continue to explore ways of how we can become friends and support them. We are also lucky in that the Catholic parish school is on the same complex, so for certain occasions we have Mass there with all the children.
As a community we run “Vinnie’s Café” on Wednesdays, at the back of the church. Margaret cooks and Anne and Marion help with serving and generally being around for whatever is needed. It's a way of bringing together some of our older parishioners and the families of children in the primary school - we're especially busy during term time! We have also helped with the parish Christmas dinner, and a Christmas party for the children.
Margaret has now started a cake baking class at the request of some of the women. She is also involved with the Capacitar training in Durham and in the two Sacred Heart schools as well as some spiritual direction.
Anne is involved in a Spirituality ministry and has been giving retreat days in the Diocese as well as some individual spiritual direction and sacramental preparation. Her room always looks like Santa’s workshop as she makes her cards to raise money for Traidcraft.
The garden has been a delight this year and one little girl told Anne that she loves going past our garden "because it is so colourful". We all do our bit to bring a bit of colour to this end of Monkchester Road.