St. John’s is a Parish Church; this means that we have a duty to try to serve everyone living in the local area who seeks the services of the Church, and that we aim as a Church to know and be known in our local community.
Though we are an independent parish church, we have a special link with our neighbouring parish St Margaret’s with whom we share our Rector; (in formal terms, St John’s and St Margaret’s are a ‘United Benefice’). We join in worship with St Margaret’s on certain special occasions.
We a parish in the Church of England. The Church of England is made up of 42 dioceses, each under the oversight of a Bishop. We are in the Diocese of Durham, and the Bishop of Durham is our Bishop. For this reason, we have a duty to engage not just with our local community, but with a much wider area stretching from the Tyne to the Tees and from the dales to the coast. In common with other Church of England parishes, we give financial support for ministry across this region, and we benefit from sharing in faith with others from across the area.
In many ways, though, our most immediate relationship is with Durham City: with its various churches and other institutions, with its resident, student and visitor populations. As well as belonging to Durham Churches Together (an umbrella group for churches of all denominations and traditions) we have a particular partnership with King’s Church Durham: together, we oversee LOL (‘Living Out Love’), which co-ordinates weekday Church provision for young people aged 11-18. Nearby Durham Cathedral, as well as being the ‘mother church’ of the Diocese, is also our parish Patron.