This Week 29 March - 5 April 2020

 St Benedict'sSt Oswald'sSt Mary's
(Latin Mass)
Sunday 29 March
5th Sunday of Lent (A)
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.


Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse
Sunday 5 April
Palm Sunday (A)




Lenten Calendar – Week 5

A line from the Scriptures at Mass for each day of the week:

SUN            The Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you.
MON          The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
TUE             O Lord, listen to my prayer and let my cry for help reach you.
WED           To you glory and praise for evermore.
THU            The Lord remembers his covenant forever.
FRI               In my anguish I called to the Lord, and he heard my voice.
SAT             The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.



Ooops!  Further to my original post, I’ve just realised the clocks go forward, not back!  Sorry!


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:

UPDATE – 24 March 2020

A message from Cardinal Nichols:

UPDATE – 23 March 2020

Closure of Places of Worship

“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

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 will also be closed.  However, you can still contact me by phone (01925) 630127 or email

Fr Dave



As you may have heard, the Catholic Church in England & Wales has now suspended all public acts of worship in our churches until further notice.  This decision has been made in response to the Coronavirus pandemic and will be reviewed regularly.  During this time:

1)  Visiting Church

St Benedict’s and St Oswald’s will be open for Private Prayer.  Opening times will be listed on the front page of the newsletter and the parish website.  If you visit church, it is important to observe the practices of hygiene we have implemented as well as the guidance on social distancing.

2)  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 listed on the front page of the newsletter.  I encourage you to join me spiritually in these celebrations by either using the materials on the parish website, or watching Mass on the internet, 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.

3)  Baptisms

Except in case of necessity, Baptisms will be deferred until such time that the 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 to be postponed until a time that allows for families and friends to gather safely in our churches.

6)  Marriage

Weddings will be 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 legal 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 can only be given to the sick in danger of death.

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 can be celebrated at a later date when congregations are allowed to gather.

9)  Holy Week & Easter

Decisions are yet to be made about the Holy Week and Easter ceremonies.

10)  News & Information

The weekly Newsletter will continue to be published on the parish website and copies will be available in church.  The Parish Website will be updated each day and will be the main source of news and spiritual resources.

11)  Parish Groups

All parish groups and meetings are suspended until further notice.

12)  Buddy System

I am incredibly grateful to those parishioners who have offered to be a ‘Buddy’ to a fellow parishioner who may be lonely, sick or homebound – providing phone support, visiting (if safe to do so), picking up medication or doing some shopping.  While I don’t expect this support will be needed immediately, I think it will become necessary in the coming weeks.

If you are lonely and feeling isolated, please call the Parish Office (630127) and we will put you in touch with a fellow parishioner you can talk to on the phone or meet up with (if safe to do so). If you could offer to be a Buddy to a fellow parishioner, please call the Parish Office (630127) and we will explain the system and put you in touch with a parishioner who may need a little support.

Finally, you can contact me as usual at St Benedict’s on (01925) 630127 or by email  Similarly, you can contact Celia in the Parish Office on (01925) 630127 or by email

These are unprecedented times and somewhat unsettling, but we’ll get through them.  In one of the readings at Mass this week, Moses compared our God with the other gods people worshipped.  He asked:  “What great nation is there that has its gods so near as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him?”  Our God is close to us, he always hears us and will never leave us.  Let us put our trust in him.

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

Fifth Week of Lent

Wednesday 1 April 2020

A message from the Archbishop to Key Workers, Teachers and the NHS:

Tuesday 31 March 2020

Some photo’s today.

With our churches closed and the country in lockdown, we’re having to find new ways of keeping Sunday holy.  Some parishioners are joining in Mass online, others are gathering together in their homes to pray.  Here are a few pictures of some children in the parish getting ready to celebrate a time of prayer together:




Meanwhile, in a parish I used to serve, a Deputy Headteacher is delivering meals:


Go for it, Lesley!

I hope these photo’s encourage you in this strange time.  We may see a lot of negativity on the news – people being selfish or angry, critical of others, and so on, but there’s also a lot of goodness going on every minute of every day that doesn’t make the headlines.  Let all that goodness encourage you and inspire you.

Monday 30 March 2020

Here’s an interesting website…

A guide to isolation and social distancing from those who know

Some online resources offered to help people live through the coronavirus pandemic. Their special quality is that they don’t come from theories; they all come from those with experience of social distancing or isolation, people who have lived this reality either intentionally like monks and nuns or against their will like hostages or the housebound. This is a new and difficult journey for most people, but experienced guides give us hope along the way.



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 online.  There are lots of websites that are livestreaming Mass:

From Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral (livestream on Facebook at 9.00 am, repeated on YouTube at 11.00 am)

From St Stephen’s, Orford:

From other churches in the UK and Ireland:

2)  You can join in by praying at home – on your own or with other members of your household.  Below are some resources kindly provided by Redemptorist Publications and the Archdiocese:

Mass sheet:  mass-sheet-lent-5a
Children’s sheet:  look29mar2020  and  ichthus-29-mar-2020
Sunday Plus:  sp-29-mar-2020
Prayer Service:  5th-sunday-of-lent-web
Fr Dave’s Prayers:  bidding-prayers-for-sunday

3)  For Children:

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

4)  Rededication of England to Mary


On the Feast of Corpus Christi 1381, King Richard II dedicated England to Mary in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey in thanksgiving for his kingdom being saved at the time of the Peasants’ Revolt.  England received the title ‘Mary’s Dowry’, meaning that England was ‘set aside’ as a gift – a dowry – for Our Lady under her guidance and protection.

This weekend, England will be rededicated to Mary in Cathedrals, Parishes and Catholic institutions throughout the country.  We’re invited to join in the prayers of rededication which you’ll find by clicking on the link below.


5)  Catholic Pictorial

You can read April’s edition of the Catholic Pictorial here:

6)  National Call to Prayer

As much of the world faces the unprecedented challenge of the Coronavirus pandemic, Churches Together in England (CTE) is encouraging Christians across the nation to continue uniting in prayer, praying in their homes at 7.00 pm each Sunday evening.  Following the overwhelming response which the National Call to Prayer received on Mothering Sunday, CTE has prepared a candle poster for those who would like to place a permanent symbol in their front windows of Christ’s light shining in the darkness. Visit This poster has been made available due to our awareness of the potential fire risk posed by lighting live candles, particularly on windowsills. We are keen to avoid adding any pressure to our emergency service personnel, particularly at this difficult time.

With my prayers,
Fr Dave

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