This Week 13 - 20 September 2020

 St Benedict'sSt Oswald's (opening in September)
Sunday 13 September
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
Education Day
10.00 am Mass (The Parishioners)
12.00 noon Mass (Andy Banks)
The Polish Mass is being celebrated at
St Stephen's at 3.30 pm for the time being
Monday 14 September
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Church is closed today
Tuesday 15 September
Our Lady of Sorrows
Church is closed today11.00 am Mass (John Myerscough)
Wednesday 16 September
St Cornelius & St Cyprian
Church is open 10.30 am - 12.30 pm
11.00 am Mass (Private Intention LISC)
Thursday 17 SeptemberChurch is open 10.30 am - 12.30 pm
11.00 am Mass (Dom Bernard Wassall OSB)
7.00 pm Novena to Our Lady
Friday 18 September
Church is open 10.30 am - 12.30 pm
11.00 am Mass (Teresa Littlewood)
Saturday 19 September
12.00 noon First Communion Mass (Ticket only)
2.00 pm First Communion Mass (Ticket only)
Sunday 20 September
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
Home Mission Day

10.00 am Mass (The Parishioners)
12.00 noon Mass (Deacon Tony)
2.00 pm Blessing of Animals
The Polish Mass is being celebrated at
St Stephen's at 3.30 pm for the time being


USEFUL INFORMATION & RESOURCES  (Updated 12 September 2020)


Are the Churches closing again?

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement in response to the increase in the number of Covid-19 infections, I have received a number of phone calls asking if the church will still be open for Mass, if the First Communion Masses are still on,  and so on.  The answer is ‘YES’.

The new restrictions announced today do not affect places of worship at the moment because our churches are risk assessed to be ‘Covid-secure’ environments.  In other words, our churches have complied with the Government’s guidance on managing the risk of Covid-19.

Churches, like St Benedict’s and St Oswald’s, have only been allowed to reopen because they have demonstrated that all reasonable steps are being taken to manage the risk of people gathering together during the current pandemic.

It is true that this situation could change.  It is very difficult to predict how the pandemic will unfold.  However, for now, our churches will remain open at the new temporary times, public Masses will continue, as will the First Communion Masses, Weddings and Baptisms.  For the time being, funerals will continue to be celebrated at the crematorium or graveside.

Fr Dave  

Face Coverings or Masks

Debunking a few myths about wearing face coverings or masks:



Wednesday to Friday
Mass at 11.00 am

Mass at 10.00 am & 12.00 noon

St Benedict’s Church is open for private prayer  
Wednesday to Friday, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm


Mass at 11.00 am

Novena to Our Lady at 7.00 pm



Because of social distancing, we have to limit the numbers in church to c. 60 at St Benedict’s and c. 80 at St Oswald’s, so you are encouraged to attend weekday Mass, if possible, as an alternative to Sunday Mass.  Please remember – the Sunday obligation remains suspended.  To give you an idea of numbers attending Mass, I am recording the numbers for each Mass in the Newsletter.

If you are coming to Mass and haven’t been since before the lockdown, please read the leaflet below so that you know what to expect:


If you are unwell, you should stay at home.  If you are vulnerable or feel unsure about coming to church at the moment, please trust your instincts.  All the resources we’ve been using during the lockdown – online Masses, prayer sheets, etc – will continue for the time being.  We are still in an emergency situation and this is not a return to normal. 



1)  Funerals

For now, funerals will continue to be celebrated at the graveside or crematorium, subject to the conditions laid down by the cemetery or crematorium authorities.  A Memorial Mass or Service can be celebrated in church at a later date.

2)  Sacrament of Reconciliation

Individual confession can be celebrated on request (as long as hygiene and social distancing requirements are observed).

3)  Care of the Sick

Please contact Fr Dave if you are concerned about a loved one at home, in hospital, or in a care home.

4)  Baptisms

If you would like your child baptised, we can do this safely in church with a maximum of 30 people.  Please contact the Parish Office (01925 630127).

Many thanks,
Fr Dave



The present pandemic means that restrictions have been placed around funerals.  This means that many people won’t be able to attend the funeral of a relative or friend.  The links below offer some suggestions for a little time of prayer for use at home – perhaps at the time of the funeral.






Remember Me

The ‘Remember Me’ project is an online memorial book for victims of Covid-19.  It is accompanied by a beautiful video of a special anthem sung by the choristers of St Paul’s Cathedral in London, recorded Zoom-style in their individual gardens and homes.




School of Prayer is a new series from the Archdiocese which seeks to enable people to explore different ways of praying.

Session 1 – An Introduction to Prayer (click on the link below):


Session 2 – An Introduction to Lectio Divina


Session 3 – An Introduction to Imaginative Contemplation


Session 4 – An Introduction to Centring Prayer




There are four ways you can continue to support the parish financially at this time:

1) You could put your weekly offering aside and then bring it to church when you next visit.

2) You could set up a standing order.  You can download a form here:  standing-order-mandate-249

3) You can now make one-off and regular donations to the Parish online at this address:

4) Text giving is also available for both one-off and regular donations.  Details can be found here:    text-giving




#YouAreNotAlone is the Government’s campaign to reassure victims of domestic abuse that there is help for them during the current crisis:

If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police.  If you call 999 from a mobile and cannot speak, press 55 and this will connect you to the police.

National Domestic Violence Helpline:
0808 2000 247 or

Practical Booklet on Domestic Abuse




The COVID19 outbreak has had an impact on everyone.  It’s important to take care of our minds as well as our bodies and get further support if we need it.  Public Health England and The Mental Health Foundation have produced some useful information:



Contacts for support:

New 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Line
People of all ages, including children and young people, living in Warrington who are experiencing a mental health crisis can access support through a new, 24/7, mental health crisis line:  0800 051 1508  (This is a FREE number)

Those living with Dementia and their Carers

The Archdiocese has provided links to resources which may be helpful for those living with dementia and their carers:






Parenting during the present crisis:


For those who are divorced and separated:

Messy Church for Children:

Books for Parents and Children to read together:






On Tuesday 1 May 2018, the three parishes of St Benedict’s, St Mary’s and St Oswald’s merged into the new Parish of Blessed James Bell. The new parish incorporates three Churches (St Benedict’s, St Mary’s Shrine & St Oswald’s), two Catholic Primary Schools (St Benedict’s & St Oswald’s), two Parish Centres (St Benedict’s & St Oswald’s) and one Parish Office (based at St Benedict’s).

Mass of Inauguration of the New Parish of Blessed James Bell


Clergy from the Pastoral Area enter with Archbishop Malcolm


The Archbishop welcomes everyone and leads us in prayer:



Presentation of Canonical Decree merging the three parishes into one new parish:

new-parish-1   _new-parish-2

Renewing our Baptism as we set out as a new community:


Presentation of new Parish Registers and Seal:


Some of our altar servers with the Archbishop:


With many thanks to Kevin Holt for the superb photographs.


Fr Dave's Blog

24th Week in Ordinary Time

Thursday 17 September 2020


Blessing of Animals

A reminder that the annual Blessing of Animals will take place at St Benedict’s this Sunday, 20 September, at 2.00 pm.  Please spread the word.  It’s a great opportunity to thank our beloved pets for their company during the lockdown, to pray for those animals who suffer in our world, and to remember our dear pets who have died.  All are welcome.

Please ensure your pet is safe, i.e. on a lead or in a carrier.  If your pet has died or is unable to come to the service, do bring a photo of them or a card with their name on.

(Click on image below for poster)


Wednesday 16 September 2020

A thought for the day…



Tuesday 15 September 2020 – Our Lady of Sorrows

My first appointment as a priest was to a parish called ‘Our Lady of Compassion’.  It’s a fairly unusual title in the UK but it comes from today’s feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.  A more common parish title in the UK is ‘Our Lady of Pity’.  The feast recalls the sorrows that pierced Mary’s heart during her life, particularly standing at the foot of the Cross and receiving the dead body of her Son into her arms depicted in Michaelangelo’s ‘Pieta’ in St Peter’s Basilica, Rome:


At Mass this morning, I shared this extract from an essay by Jennifer Hubbard, mother of two, one of whom, Catherine Violet (age 6), was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting:

“Comfort is a grace revealed as a mother cups her baby’s cheek and dries the tears. It is a grace found as one sits vigil beside a loved one’s bed, scared and exhausted, but still offering an assuring smile. Beside each person quietly comforting another, Mary is there. Mary encourages, strengthens, and intercedes because she understands. She knows from whom her strength and comfort is found.

She had seen her Son flogged, scourged, spit on, his clothing cast for lots. My soul aches for the pain Mary endured. With the life she bore splayed on a cross, we are told she stands at the foot of it. She stands and does not turn her eyes and Jesus provides (Jn 19:26). Mary lives the final instruction we hear her offer, ‘Do whatever he tells you’ (Jn 2:5). She lives Jesus’ command, and teaches us to love and trust in his ways. She inspires me to walk in a similar courage. My heart yearns to be the gentle mother to which she calls me.

The day Catherine died, his eyes told me everything. They longed for comfort, his heart searching for any assurance. I looked at my brave one and prayed the words would come. I locked eyes and pleaded that what I was about to say would penetrate the deepest part of his soul. I mustered all the strength to stand as Mary stood and quietly told him: She is in heaven. She is safe. She is home. As we cried, my hand cupped his cheek and I knew Mary was with me.”



Monday 14 September 2020 – The Exaltation of the Cross

Need a little cheering up? …

Let’s see how sports commentator, Andrew Cotter, and his two dogs are getting on.

Olive & Mabel – looking for love


24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) – 13 September 2020


Sunday Mass 

If you are coming to one of the Sunday Masses at St Benedict’s today and haven’t been since before the lockdown in March, please read this leaflet first so that you know what to expect:


Please remember – you do not have to come to church today.  The Sunday obligation remains suspended.

If you are unwell in any way, vulnerable or continuing to shield, it is important to stay at home for now.  If you don’t feel ready to come back to church or feel it is too soon, please trust your instincts.  The ways we’ve been trying to pray together during the lockdown will continue to be available.  So:


1)  You can join in Mass online 

There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:


Mass will be livestreamed from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral at 11.00 am on YouTube:


Fr John McLaughlin continues to upload Mass from St Stephen’s:


Fr Peter continues to livestream Mass from St John Henry Newman:


There are plenty of Masses livestreamed throughout the day at the following websites: and


2)  You can join in by praying at home – on your own or with other members of your household.  The following resources may be helpful:


Mass Sheet we will be using this weekend:    mass-sheet-sunday-24a

Bidding Prayers:    bidding-prayers-sunday-24a

Sunday Plus:    sunday-plus-sun-24a



3)  For Children:


You might like to use the following sheet:

Children’s Activity Sheet:    look-sun-24a



CAFOD continue to host a virtual Children’s Liturgy of the Word on Sundays at 10.00 am:


4)  Blessing of Animals

The annual Blessing of Animals will take place at St Benedict’s next Sunday, 20 September, at 2.00 pm.  Please spread the word.  It’s a great opportunity to thank our beloved pets for their company during the lockdown, to pray for those animals who suffer in our world, and to remember our dear pets who have died.

(Click on image below for poster)


5)  And finally, a little humour…



God bless you,
Fr Dave

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