This Week 24 - 31 May 2020

 St Benedict'sSt Oswald'sSt Mary's
(Latin Mass)
Sunday 24 May
7th Sunday of Easter (A)
World Communications Day
Our churches are closed for the time being due to the spread of the Coronavirus

You can watch Mass online or pray in your own way. Links and resources below.

Intention: The Parishioners
St Bede the Venerable
MassIntention: Private
St Philip Neri
Funeral Service for Baby Joseph John Ortega
Intention: Mark (very sick)
Feast of St Augustine of Canterbury
Funeral Service for Joseph John Gannon
Intention: Bert Hinchliffe
ThursdayMassIntention: Maureen Holt

MassIntention: Bishop Vincent Malone
MassIntention: Baby Joseph Gormley-Hudson
Sunday 31 May
Pentecost Sunday

MassIntention: The Parishioners





Preparing for Pentecost


During these days between the Solemnity of the Ascension and the Feast of Pentecost in ten days time, we’re invited to join in praying with Christians across the world for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives, in the Church and throughout the world.  You can join in the Novena here:




Prayer for a household in lockdown

God of the indoors,
who knew the confines of domestic space
at a time of little comfort,
help us in this time of confinement,
help us to see it as an act of love, in solidarity
with those who care for us and put their own lives
on the line for the sake of others.

Help us to ‘make room’ for each other, even if room is scarce,
help us to find reserves of patience we never knew we had,
to take offence less easily, to find in our hearts
an easy apology when we’re petulant.
Help us to be attentive, careful, and thoughtful.
may we draw deeply from the well
of our most loving times.

Raymond Friel


Strong in the Face of Tribulation


The Dicastery for Communication of the Holy See has made available a downloadable book entitled “Strong in the Face of Tribulation”, containing prayers, supplications and the Pope’s homilies as “a sure support in time of trial”.  You can download the publication here:



Praying for a Deceased Loved One

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 give some suggestions for a little time of prayer for use at home – perhaps at the time of the funeral.







Parish Finances

A few parishioners have asked what they should do with their weekly offertory envelopes.  May I suggest putting your weekly offering aside each week and then bringing it to church once we’re open again?

Alternatively, you could set up a standing order.  You can download a form here:  standing-order-mandate-249

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

Text giving is now also available for the Parish for both one-off and regular donations.  I’ll post details about this shortly.


Domestic Abuse


#YouAreNotAlone is the Government’s domestic abuse 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 cannont speak, press 55 and this will connect you to the police.

National Domestic Violence Helpline:
0808 2000 247 or


Mental Health & Wellbeing

The coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak is having an impact on everyone’s daily lives.  During this time, you may feel bored, frustrated or lonely. You may also feel low, worried, anxious, or be concerned about your health or that of those close to you. Everyone reacts differently to events, and changes in the way we think, feel and behave vary between different people and over time. It’s important that you take care of your mind as well as your body and get further support if you 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 now access support through a new, 24/7, mental health crisis line:  01925 275309


How to talk to Children & Teenagers about Coronavirus

An excellent user friendly resource to help parents and carers guide their children through what is happening:

For children and teenagers:



Those living with Dementia and their Carers


This time of isolation and social distancing can be especially hard for people living with dementia and their carers.  The Archdiocese has provided links to resources which may be helpful:




Family Life


Parenting during the lockdown:


For those who are divorced and separated:

Messy Church for Children:

Books for Parents and Children to read together:





Mass for the Sick, NHS Staff & Care Workers


In order to show a spiritual solidarity with all those affected by the pandemic, one of the Bishops is celebrating Mass each Thursday at 7.00 pm which is live-streamed here:


Novena for those in Self-Isolation

During the recent extraordinary ‘Urbi et Orbi’ blessing, Pope Francis meditated on the calming of the storm from St Mark’s Gospel during the prayer service over which he presided on the steps of St Peter’s Basilica.  The above website contains the full text of the Pope’s meditation.  It’s well worth reading.


Retreat from Walsingham


Mgr John Armitage led a retreat from 19th to 26th April live streamed from Walsingham.  The videos and retreat notes can be found here:



“In light of the Prime Minister’s statement this evening that all places of worship are to close, I am requiring that all churches and chaplaincies in the archdiocese remain closed, with immediate effect, until further notice.”  Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP, 23 March 2020

Therefore, the churches in our parish – St Benedict’s, St Oswald’s together with St Mary’s Shrine – will be closed until further notice.  The Parish Office and Parish Centres will also be closed.  However, you can still contact me by phone (01925) 630127 or email   Fr Dave



While our churches are closed during the current pandemic:

1)  Mass  

Priests have been asked to continue to celebrate Sunday and weekday Mass, but without the presence of a Deacon or a congregation.  I will do this and the intentions for each Mass will be posted on this website and listed on the newsletter.  I encourage you to join me spiritually in these celebrations by either using the materials on the parish website, joining in Mass online, or praying in your own way.

Please note:  in these emergency circumstances, and for as long as they last, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is removed.

2)  Struggling during the Lockdown?

If you are struggling during the lockdown – struggling to put food on the table or to make ends meet, lonely, worried about your mental health or whatever – do please contact me on 01925 630127 or and I will do everything I can to source assistance for you.

3)  Baptisms

Except in case of necessity, Baptisms are deferred until such time that public health advice is that congregations can gather safely.

4)  Sacrament of Reconciliation

Individual confession may be celebrated on request (as long as hygiene and social distancing requirements are observed), but Services of Reconciliation are not permitted until further notice.

5)  First Reconciliation & First Communion

These celebrations are postponed until such time that families and friends can gather safely in our churches.

6)  Marriage

Weddings are deferred until such time that people can gather in numbers safely. However, if this is not possible and only in the most pressing of circumstances, then those present will be restricted to the celebrant, bride and groom and immediate family, and the Registrar.

7)  Care of the Sick

While we are not able to visit parishioners who are self-isolating until the isolation period ends, we can offer phone support. For now, Communion and the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick can only be given to those who are critically ill or in danger of death.  Please contact Fr Dave if you are concerned about a loved one at home, in hospital or in a care home.

8)  Funerals

Funerals can take place at the graveside or crematorium, subject to the conditions laid down by the cemetery or crematorium authorities. Numbers are to be kept to a minimum and should only involve the participation of the family. A Memorial Mass or Service can be celebrated at a later date when congregations are allowed to gather.

9)  News & Information

The weekly Newsletter will continue to be published on the Parish Website.  The Parish Website will be updated each day and will be the main source of news and spiritual resources.

10)  Buddy System

If you are lonely and feeling isolated, please contact me on 01925 630127 or and I will put you in touch with a fellow parishioner you can talk to on the phone.

11)  Want to Volunteer?

Warrington Council have set up a great support scheme for those who don’t have family to support them.  If you’re interested in volunteering, you can find more information at:

12)  Warrington Hospital & Care Homes

Fr John Schofield and I are covering the hospital for the time being.  Due to the pandemic, we are only attending in person those who are critically ill or in danger of death.  In these situations, the hospital will page us, or relatives can ask the hospital to page us.  For those patients who are not in danger of death, we can offer to support them and pray with them over the phone.  This avoids the risk of spreading infection between the wards.  Fr John and I are also happy to visit local Care Homes if loved ones are critically ill or in danger of death.

God bless you.
Fr Dave



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

7th Week of Easter

7th Wednesday of Easter – 27 May 2020


The Lord’s Prayer
A reflection on the prayer Jesus taught us written by Raymond Friel:

Our Father
Not a frightening God
But the loving father of all humanity

Who art in heaven
Not far away but very close
Heaven is where we find the presence of God

Hallowed be thy name
We place your name above all other names
We praise you, we honour you, we thank you

Thy kingdom come
May the world look like the kind of place
God wants it to be, just and compassionate

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
We all want different things
But it’s what you want for us and the whole world that matters

Give us this day our daily bread
Give everybody what they need to live, physically and spiritually,
Give us the grace to help them

And forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
If we don’t forgive other people
We won’t be able to feel forgiven

And lead us not into temptation
Protect us from the glamorous path
The world sets before us

But deliver us from evil
Spare us from the terrible things human beings are capable of and help us to stand against evil in our world when we can

Let all this be so.


7th Tuesday of Easter – 26 May 2020

Alive Publishing have produced a little brochure of prayers and thoughts which may be helpful.  Click on the images below:




7th Monday of Easter – 25 May 2020


Missing You
A  prayer for grandparents and grandchildren missing each other


I am missing their tiny hands in mine,
I miss their wrinkles and their smile.

I am missing their visits and our weekly walks,
I miss their voice and our face to face talks.

I am missing hearing all about their day,
I miss them showing me the way.

I am missing hugs and kisses,
I miss sharing fun and wishes.

I am missing tucking them in on sleepovers,
I miss story time snuggled under the covers.

I am missing joining our hands in prayer ,
I miss just having them there.

I am missing seeing them grow,
I miss them sharing all the things they know.

I am missing the rites of passage that have passed,
I miss them being with us at Mass.

I am missing the grandchildren’s ring on the door bell,
I miss granny and grandad and hope they are well.

I am missing their presence day and night,
I miss my grandparents, my guiding light.

Please bless my grandchildren, and keep them safe and sound,
Pease mind granny and grandad until we can have them around.

By Brenda Drumm


7th Sunday of Easter (A) – 24 May 2020


World Communications Day

Today is World Communications Day when we pray especially for all those who work in the media.  You might spare a prayer for a good friend of mine – Peter Heneghan.  Peter is the Archdiocesan Press Officer and a great support to the parishes and priests of the diocese.

Before the pandemic, Pope Francis wrote a letter for today entitled, “That you may tell your children and grandchildren”.  You can read it here:



Although we can’t celebrate the Eucharist together this weekend, there are still ways we can pray together on this, the Lord’s Day.


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 is uploading Mass from St Stephen’s:


Fr Peter now uploads 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:


Celebrating Sunday at Home:    celebrating-sunday-at-home-easter-7a

Fr Dave’s Prayers:    bidding-prayers-easter-7a

Sunday Plus:    sunday-plus-24-may-2020


3)  For Children:


Collective Worship for Children:    collective-worship-for-children-24-may

Children’s Activity Sheet:    look-24-may-2020


CAFOD are hosting a virtual Children’s Liturgy of the Word on Sundays at 10.00 am:


4)  Isolated but not alone!

‘The Tablet’ Catholic magazine has lots of links to online resources to help us during the pandemic.  The page is updated regularly:


5)  And finally, a little humour…




With my prayers,

Fr Dave

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