St Werburgh's Roman Catholic Parish, Chester

Parish Newsletter




Zechariah 9, 9-10; Psalm 144; Romans 8, 9-13; Matthew 11, 25-30

Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today (Morning): Sheila Lawley (Anniversary)
Evening: Margaret Sproston (Birthday Remembrance)

Monday 6th July: Ferial: Hosea 2, 16-22; Psalm 144; Matthew 9, 18-26
12.40 pm: Blacon: Funeral Service for John Haslam, late of Finchett Drive
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today: Isabel and Tobes - 1st Wedding Anniversary

Tuesday 7th July: Ferial: Hosea 8, 4-13; Psalm 113; Matthew 9, 32-38
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today: Marian Curtis - 90th Birthday Thanksgiving

Wednesday 8th July: Ferial: Hosea 10, 1-12; Psalm 104; Matthew 10, 1-7
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today: Bridie McDermot (L.D., Co Derry)

Thursday 9th July: Ferial: Hosea 11, 1-9; Psalm 79; Matthew 10, 7-15
10.40 am: Blacon: Funeral Service for George Tabberner, late of Keristal Avenue
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today: Tina Johnson (L.D., Ellesmere Port)

Friday 10th July: Ferial: Hosea 14, 2-10; Psalm 50; Matthew 10, 16-23
2.40 pm: Blacon: Funeral Service for Maureen Byrne
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today: Pauline O’Sullivan (L.D., Coventry)

Saturday 11th July: St Benedict: Proverbs 2, 1-9; Psalm 33; Matthew 19, 27-29
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today: Nora Rathbone (L.D.)

Isaiah 55, 10-11; Psalm 64; Romans 8, 18-23; Matthew 13, 1-23
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today (Morning): Paul Lawton (15th Anniversary)
Evening: Minnie and Horace Taylor

Prayer intentions

Your prayers are asked for the following who are sick: Nathalie Gresty, Ann Murphy, Pauline Hackett, Kerry Woodbury, Laura Chadwick, Elisabeth, Stuart Clark, Keith Hayes, Sheila Winder, Joe and Ruth O’Kane, Henri Diacono, Garth Stocking and Kevin Maguire; and for all the sick of the Parish; and for those who have died recently, especially Maureen Byrne, John Haslam, Derrick Powis, George Tabberner, Sheila Evans, Eileen Peover and Dorothy McCormick; and for those whose anniversaries occur about this time: Mary Bailey, Sheila Lawley, David Green, Callum Taylor-Bowden, John Littler, Helen Cole, Tony Antrobus, Peter Collins, Helena Thomas, Norah Harrison, Mary Fergus, John O’Donnell, Vincent Johnston, Derek Houghton, Everett Huxley, Nuala McDonough, Chris Whittaker, Elizabeth Dixon, John Minihan, Julia Day, Molly Jones, Patrick McHale, Christina Ashley, Josephine Moore, Anne Edwards, Joan Webster, Erika Josefowicz, John Partington, Sarah Collins, Thomas Ward, John Pinnington, Janet Elkes, John Elwell, Derek Fairhurst, Irene McInery, Harry Cornes, Win Dennan, Matthew Robinson and Fred Colley. May They All Rest in the Peace and Light of the Risen Lord Jesus.

Parish events

We Are Open Again for Prayer ... and soon for Mass!

Today, Saturday 4th July, is officially when Churches can be open again for Services. Bishop Mark tells us that some of our Diocesan Churches are hoping to be open tomorrow for Mass. St Werburgh’s will be a little after that, as we are one of the busiest churches in the Diocese and welcome an average of 650 to Mass every weekend. It’s easier for smaller churches to re-open, as they will be dealing with smaller numbers. Our Taskforce has had one excellent meeting last Monday and will meet again every Monday until this lockdown is fully over. Our task is to balance the maximum number we can safely accommodate, preserving Social Distancing, with the time it takes to clean the church between Masses. Plus, the need to have Stewards on duty at all times. We have twelve and may well need more. Anyone else wolunteering? Bishop Mark has advised the "more, shorter Masses” approach, and that’s what we’ll be seeking to implement. As soon as we have a definite date for Reopening for Mass, rest assured, you will be the first to hear. Meanwhile...

Great to welcome so many of again you on Wednesday evening for Private Prayer, and to see that our systems worked well. Two times each week: Wednesday Evenings 6.00-7.30 pm, and Sunday Mornings 11.00-12.30.

Just a Reminder of the Guidelines:

  1. Please queue along the pavement towards the hotel, at 2 metres (six feet) distance from others.
  2. You may not bring any bags, other than a handbag, nor umbrellas into the church. They must be left in the porch.
  3. On entry to the church please take a single squirt of the hand gel provided.
  4. You are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering during your visit.
  5. Move as quickly as you can to a chair, as directed by a steward.
  6. Sit (or kneel if you wish) for the time you are in church.
  7. Do not move the chair from its marked spot, to maintain correct distancing.
  8. Please avoid unnecessarily touching anything other than your chair.
  9. Unfortunately, none of the rest of the church is accessible.
  10. Please depart the church as quickly as you can when the bell rings to signal the slot is over, again as directed by a steward, and keeping six feet apart.
  11. Use hand gel again as you leave the church.
  12. If you want to chat, at a safe distance, to anyone else, please do so outside the church.


Bishop Mark’s Message of 28th June

We are about to embark on the next, decisive stage of our re-emergence from the state of national lockdown with the public celebration of Mass and the availability, at set times, of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. All is due to begin from Saturday 4th July however, I wish to stress that every parish must feel free to go safely and surely at its own pace. The reports which you have shared with me of the joy that has marked the re-opening of church doors, came about thanks to all the hard work involved in the detailed preparation of some 60 of our churches to open for private prayer. I am very much aware of the pressure which the demands of COVID safety have brought. However, nothing can take away the joy of being able to assist many to return, in the weeks ahead, to Confession, Mass and Holy Communion. Amid the pressure of the many details of our compliance with standards of safety may we keep in sight the goal and great joy to be shared.


On the website home page, under "Documents”.


The faithful continue to be dispensed in this national emergency from the obligation to attend Holy Mass on Sundays and Holy Days. We have not yet returned to a state of "normality” and there are parishioners who may remain shielded/isolated for many medical reasons. For this reason, I would want to encourage the livestreaming of Mass to be continued wherever possible and the encouragement of prayer in the home and acts of spiritual communion for those unable to attend Mass.


Guidance for the Celebration of Mass and Guidance for the Celebration of Confession. Our Parish Taskforce has been through them carefully and will apply each and every instruction to the local situation of St Werburgh’s. Bishop Mark doesn’t want us to be rushed, and above all wants us to be SAFE.


I told you on the Blog that Bishop Mark had given permission for two of our couples who wish to have "Mini-Weddings” here, one in July, one in August, for them to go ahead. The couples are delighted! This was his general statement yesterday:

I would wish to clarify that is now possible to proceed with weddings from 4th July onwards wherever it has been possible for you to complete the preparations. The Government’s announcement was specific in indicating that no more than 30 people should be present. I know the safe capacity of many churches will be greater than this and I will seek further clarification. Until then I think it is wise for us to follow the direction given for all couples marrying in the weeks ahead.

Photo of the Week: Bologna

The Sanctuary of the Church of the Madonna of San Luca, sited on top of a forested hill, some 300 metres above the level of the city plain. Sent in by Diana, Duchess of Riga. She’s only sent it in to torment me as my own visit there in August is looking less and less likely! Just look at those blue skies...