Church Groups

Children’s Liturgy

Children’s Liturgy is held across our family of parishes at the weekend masses during term time. In each of our parishes there is a quiet room set aside where a team of leaders using a range of activities work with the children to enable them to engage and understand the Gospel at their level. The children are invited by Fr David to gather at the front of church after the first hymn and return for the offertory procession.

Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Choir

The choir, together with our very patient organist, supports the worship of the community at Newhouse. We sing at Mass every week except the first Sunday of the month. We also join with other singers from around the West Durham Cluster on high days and holy days, as well as with friends from other local Christian communities.

If you are interested in joining the choir, pop up to the choir loft after Sunday Mass or contact the parish office.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to be able to read music to join the choir?
A: No – most of us don’t.

Q: Do I need to sing like Luciano Pavarotti or Kiri te Kanawa to join the choir?
A: Have you heard us? No! Remember that the psalms tell us to “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord”. They don’t say anything about being in tune.

Q: Do you have auditions?
A: No. Far too scary.

Q: Do you practise?
A: Yes, we do. We practice for about 20 minutes before Mass each Sunday, and on the 1st Tuesday of each month from 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm. We also have ad hoc extra practices for events such as Christmas and Easter.

Q: Do you get any holidays?
A: Yes – we normally take the Summer school holidays off.

Q: I can’t sing, but I do play a musical instrument. Can I help?
A: Yes! We would love to have some instrumentalists too. Do get in touch.

St Michael’s Singing Group

A small enthusiastic group lead the singing during mass at St Michaels. All are welcome to join.

St Joseph’s – Ushaw Moor – Resident Organist

St Joseph’s has an organist during weekend mass.

Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Justice and Peace Group

The J&P Group was originally founded in 1982 following an appeal from Sister Electa who was working in Peru when the area was devastated by floods.  It continued, with diminishing membership, until a couple years ago. The group has recently reformed with a membership comprising representatives from each of the churches in our family of parishes.

Rosary Group

The group usually meets fortnightly in the Parish Centre and is open to the parish, the family of parishes and beyond. Meetings are advertised on the parish newsletter.

Journey In Faith

Very often primary school children come home from school and ask questions their parents are not always able to answer.  ‘What happens when we die?’,  ‘What does baptism mean?’ ,  ‘What happened on Good Friday?’,  ‘Who made God?’.  At first parents might try to find answers by googling.  Then they realise they might have questions of their own, and not all questions have a simple answer. Some questions are more about meaning and purpose in our lives. If a few people come together they can give tremendous support, encouragement and confidence to one another. We can feel liberated in being able to ask questions we had previously thought were ‘silly questions’ when, actually, there is no such thing as a ‘silly question’.  These little groups for people who are not Catholic may have parents of primary school children but, to be honest, many of us have questions of one sort or another. Whether or not people are thinking about becoming Catholic our little groups offer an opportunity for each of us to develop the spiritual side of our own lives. They can give us a chance to think about and to deepen our own faith. Sometimes these groups can be called ‘A Journey in Faith’, ‘Asking Questions’, ‘Finding out about the Catholic Church’ or any number of things.  The title probably doesn’t matter too much!  If you would like more information, please feel free to contact us by phoning our Parish Office on 0191 373 0219 or email us at

Lourdes Group

The Lourdes group has been in existence for several years now. Its purpose is to give financial support to young people between the ages of 16 and 25 who wish  to help  sick people on the  Lourdes Pilgrimage. This consists of  collecting sick people in their wheelchairs from hospital or hotel and accompany them to Mass, processions, visits to the Grotto or help with buying souvenir gifts for their families at home.

Although it can be hard work, it is  a great experience for young people as they receive a lot of personal  satisfaction from giving of themselves  to the needs of sick people. Equally the sick pilgrims are eternally grateful to the young people for their help and have a great experience of gratitude and  appreciation. Most years five or six young people go to Lourdes to help with the sick.

We are very fortunate in that the members of Brandon and Byshottles Council give us a generous donation towards expenses and this means a lot to the young people and their parents in terms of financial helps and  support.

Fr. Michael McCoy from Sunderland, Tel 0191 548 6839 is the Co-ordinator for the Youth Section and should be contacted by the young person who wishes to go as a helper of the pilgrimage. The young people travel by coach to Lourdes and leave the day before the Group Pilgrimage flies out.

If young people require financial support they should contact the Parish Office on 0191 373 0219 or email us at