This Week 18 - 25 October 2020

 St Benedict'sSt Oswald's
Sunday 18 October
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
Synod Sunday
World Mission Day
10.00 am Mass
(Joan Howl)
12.00 noon Mass
(Monica Weld Richards)
(Sat) 4.30 pm Vigil Mass
(The Parishioners)
The Polish Mass is being celebrated at
St Stephen's at 3.30 pm for the time being
Monday 19 October
Tuesday 20 October
11.00 am Mass
(Canon Francis Cookson)
Wednesday 21 October
11.00 am Mass
(Catherine & Joanna Eason)
Thursday 22 October
St John Paul II

11.00 am Mass
(Teresa & Bill Moss)
7.00 pm Novena to Our Lady
Friday 23 October11.00 am Mass
(Ellen, William & William Hines)
Saturday 24 October
4.30 pm Vigil Mass
(The Parishioners & Gerard Murphy)
Sunday 25 October
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
Parish Feast of Blessed James Bell

10.00 am Mass
(Pat & Nicola Buist)
12.00 noon Mass
(Bert Hinchliffe)
The Polish Mass is being celebrated at
St Stephen's at 3.30 pm for the time being


USEFUL INFORMATION & RESOURCES  (Updated 17 October 2020)


A simple guide to the current restrictions in Warrington:  restrictions-in-warrington

Coronavirus Pandemic

At this time, places of worship have not been asked to close and so we are able to maintain our weekly schedule of services for the time being with all the protocols and safeguards we have in place.  However, should this situation change, I will post details on this website and in the newsletter.

Fr Dave  

God of life,
you have promised to be with us every day,
especially in difficult times like these.
Give us
clarity in our minds,
strength in our work and discernment,
rest as we sleep,
peace in our minds.
Be with those
who need help
more than we do ourselves,
and help us to see what we can offer
from your love.

Adapted from (c) World Council of Churches

QR Codes

If you have downloaded the NHS Covid-19 Test and Trace App, you can now ‘check-in’ when you arrive at church by holding your phone in front of the QR code displayed on the doors of both churches.  There’s also a handout with more details about the app here:  nhs-covid-19-test-and-trace-app



Wednesday & Friday
Mass at 11.00 am

Mass at 10.00 am & 12.00 noon


Tuesday & Thursday
Mass at 11.00 am

Novena to Our Lady at 7.00 pm

4.30 pm Vigil Mass

With the rising numbers of viral infections and few people calling into church for private prayer, we’ll simply open the churches for Mass for the time being.  The churches will be open 30 minutes before Mass and will close about 20 minutes after Mass.



Social distancing means we have to limit the numbers in church to c. 60 at St Benedict’s and c. 90 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, last weekend:  Sat 4.30 pm 40, Sun 10.00 am 47, Sun 12.00 noon 20.

If you are unwell, you should stay at home.  If you are shielding, suffer from poor health or feel unsure about coming to church at the moment, please trust your instincts.



1)  Funerals

Funerals continue to be celebrated at the graveside or crematorium, subject to the conditions laid down by the cemetery or crematorium authorities, for the time being.  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 and Dying

Fr John Schofield and I continue to cover the hospital.  If you are concerned about a loved one, please ask the hospital to page us and we will attend as soon as possible.  Similarly, if you’re worried about a loved one in a care home, please ask the care home to contact us directly.

4)  Baptisms

If you would like your child baptised, we can do this safely in church.  Please contact the Parish Office (01925 630127).  NB. From Monday 28 September, the ‘Rule of Six’ applies to Baptisms, i.e. only six people may attend including the child to be baptised.

Many thanks,
Fr Dave



The present pandemic means that restrictions have been placed around funerals.  This means that you may not 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.



During the summer, Pope Francis used his weekly General Audience to reflect on the global pandemic and the lessons it is teaching us.  His addresses have been collected together and published in an online booklet entitled, ‘To Heal the World’.  You can download it here:  to-heal-the-world




School of Prayer is a 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




Four ways 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 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

29th Week in Ordinary Time

Thursday 22 October 2020 – St John Paul II

If you need cheering up today, these might help…

Some baby owls…


Apologies to Aldi, but this made me smile…


And finally, something I shared with a patient in the hospital this week who was afraid of dying.  It’s a copy of a beautiful painting called ‘First Day in Heaven’ …



Wednesday 21 October 2020


Armchair Retreats with Denis Blackledge SJ

If you’ve not seen the little reflections by Fr Denis, why not try them out?  They’re very good and very encouraging.  Clink on the link below:


Tuesday 20 October 2020


Migrants and Refugees

Given the ongoing rhetoric about asylum seekers crossing the English Channel, this article by Liam Allmark bears repeating.  Liam is the Head of Public Affairs for the Bishops’ Conference, and he wrote this blog post in August for Premier Christianity Magazine.

Alan Kurdi would be around eight years old today if he had not drowned during the early hours of 2 September 2015.  For a short time, images of his body on a Turkish beach changed how we talked about refugees.  Not as a political problem to be solved, but as human beings who deserve protection.

Compare that to the response this summer as desperate women, men and children risk their lives crossing the English Channel.  Amid the clamour of politicians talking about law enforcement or sending the navy to stop boats, the words ‘person’ or ‘human’ are conspicuous by their absence.

Meanwhile parts of the British press have taken to broadcasting live footage and running commentary as people struggle towards safety in overcrowded dinghies, like they are contestants in a dystopian reality TV show.

This spectacle could not be more at odds with our fundamental Christian belief that everyone is made in the image of God. Perhaps now more than ever, we have an imperative to ensure the person does not get lost in the politics.

There are many reasons why a small number of people driven from their homes by war, poverty or persecution are currently trying to reach the UK from mainland Europe.  Some have family here.  Others have been mistreated by the authorities and are scared to remain where they are.  Several know basic English, so have better life chances this side of the Channel.  Essentially, they are making the kind of decisions any of us would in their circumstances.

The journeys of refugees have always been complicated.  Jewish people fleeing the Nazis arrived through lots of different routes, often crossing multiple borders and sometimes moving onwards after a short time in the UK.  My own family escaped Myanmar’s military dictatorship, via Thailand, to settle in London because, as part of the Anglo-Indian community, they already spoke English and had connections here.

The debates currently raging about where people should claim asylum and whether they could stay in other supposedly safe countries are far more nuanced than they first appear.  They are also a distraction from what should be our fundamental starting point: protecting human life.

At this stage our government faces a decision.  By prioritising more resources for search and rescue efforts we may help to avert the tragedy of Alan Kurdi’s death being repeated on the South coast of England.  On the contrary, turning back unsafe boats in order to enforce draconian immigration controls will only put more people at risk.  From a Christian perspective the choice is clear.

At the same time, there is an urgent need for more safe and legal routes to the UK, so that people do not have to undertake dangerous journeys in the first place. This is essential for saving lives, but also integral to our understanding of one global family, in which we all must take responsibility for those who are most vulnerable.

Of the world’s eighty million displaced people, only a tiny fraction seek sanctuary in the UK.  The vast majority are accommodated by the world’s poorest countries and many of our European neighbours play a much bigger role than us.  Extending opportunities for resettlement and family reunification causes championed by so many of our churches, is surely now a more urgent moral duty than at any time in our recent history.

This is also a critical moment to confront questions of justice and peace, particularly concerning the UK’s complicity in displacing people from their homes.  Last year hundreds of Christians protested outside London’s Excel Centre, where our government was running Europe’s largest arms fair and hosting regimes responsible for some of the world’s most prolific human rights abuses.

Many of those being refused sanctuary are fleeing precisely because our own country has fuelled conflicts and repression across the globe.  As Christians we are called to both care for our neighbour and welcome the stranger, twin obligations that should shape our response to this hypocrisy.

Around two thousand years before Alan Kurdi and his family set out on in search of safety, Jesus and his family began their own flight as refugees.  And when his death reminded the world that every refugee is a human being, Christians were among those at the forefront of demanding that our governments act with humanity and compassion.

Today, as more desperate families risk their lives trying to reach the UK’s shores, let’s raise our voices once again.

Reproduced from


Monday 19 October 2020



29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) – 18 October 2020



Three years ago, we began a journey to an Archdiocesan Synod.  The Synod was due to take place this weekend, but it’s had to be pushed back to next June.  Today, all the proposals you put forward for discussion at the Synod are being published on the Synod website:

Today is also World Mission Day when we pray especially for all those who work alongside communities across the world that are poor or in need, regardless of their background or belief.

Sunday Mass

If you are coming to Mass today and haven’t been since before the lockdown in March, please read this leaflet first so that you know what to expect:  cautious-reopening-of-our-churches-what-to-expect-print


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 Peter continues to livestream Mass from St John Henry Newman:


Fr John Schofield is uploading Mass on YouTube:


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-29a

Bidding Prayers:    bidding-prayers-sunday-29a

Sunday Plus:    sunday-plus-sunday-29a

Message from the Archbishop:  synod-sunday-2020-pastoral-letter



3)  For Children:


You might like to use the following sheet:

Children’s Activity Sheet:    look-sunday-29a



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


4)  And finally, a little humour…



God bless you,
Fr Dave

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