St Werburgh's Roman Catholic Parish, Chester

Parish Newsletter




Genesis 9, 8-15; Psalm 24; I Peter 3, 18-22; Mark 1, 12-15

9.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Philip McCabe (3rd Anniversary)
10.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Jean Hewson (Birthday Remembrance)
11.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Paul McCormick (L.D., Italy)
12.00 noon: St Werburgh’s: Anne Moore (1st Anniversary)

Monday 22nd February: Chair of St Peter: I Peter 5, 1-4; Psalm 22; Matthew 16, 13-19
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today: John and Vera Clyne

Tuesday 23rd February: St Polycarp: Isaiah 55, 10-11; Psalm 33; Matthew 6, 7-15
1.00 pm: Blacon: Graveside Service for Paul Power, late of Pinetum NH
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today: Lydia Stephens (L.D.)

Wednesday 24th February: Ferial: Jonah 3, 1-10; Psalm 50; Luke 11, 29-32
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today: Billy Walsh (L.D.)

Thursday 25th February: Ferial: Esther 4,17; Psalm 137; Matthew 7, 7-12
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today: John Haslam

Friday 26th February: Ferial: Ezekiel 18, 21-28; Psalm 129; Matthew 5, 20-26
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today: Joan Oliver (L.D., Wrexham)

Saturday 27th February: Ferial: Deuteronomy 26, 16-19; Psalm 118; Matthew 5, 43-48
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today: Margaret Walsh (L.D., Co Tyrone)

Genesis 22, 1-18; Psalm 115; Romans 8, 31-34; Mark 9, 2-10
9.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Albert Norman (Anniversary, 2000)
10.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Fred and Mavis Fazey; Tom and Mary Bolton
11.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Derek Taylor (13th Anniversary)
12.00 noon: St Werburgh’s: Kevin Smyth (1st Anniversary)

Prayer intentions

Your prayers are asked for the following who are sick: James Convey, Pauline and Bill Hackett, Laura Chadwick, Elisabeth, Stuart Clark, Keith Hayes, Sheila Winder, Joe and Ruth O’Kane, Garth Stocking and Kevin Maguire; and for all the sick of the Parish; and for those who have died recently, especially Wilma Roscoe, Miguel Ortega, Betty Finan, Connie Santos, Margaret Nixon, George Mayled, Paul Power, Jacqueline Carlen, Iris Pritchard and Peter Roberts; and for those whose anniversaries occur about this time: William Simmons, Teresa Patterson, Brian Burns, Sally Byrne, Palmino Apollonio, Maureen McCleary, Edward Davies, Mary Margaret Boulton, Denise Williams, May Littler, Elizabeth Byrne, Rose Meehan, Monica Higgins, Annie Dodd, Cyril Baxter, Albert Norman, Delia Roberts, Monica Badrock, Pat Cleaver, Margaret Thornton, Edward Crowther, Annie Furnival, Winifred Bird, Mary Shepherd, James Garner, Brian Shaw, Anthony Le Mottee, Edward Cain, Margaret John, Margaret McCluskey, Joan Crossley, Ann Roberts and Rose Rosney. May They All Rest in Peace.

Parish events

Covid-19: We Await Monday’s Announcements

The Prime Minister is due to announce on Monday the Government’s next phase of the strategy for coming out of Lockdown. We do not anticipate any great changes where Churches and Public Worship are concerned, but there may well be news on the Baptisms/Wedding/Funerals front. Numbers here at Mass last week were up again at 192, the previous weeks being 188, 183, 152, 184 and 179. We continue to monitor the situation week by week, under direction from Bishop Mark. All of the ten Diocesan Churches that closed, either because they were in a Covid-19 hot spot or because the Parish Priest had tested positive, are now preparing to reopen, which is more good news.

Infection Figures for Last Week

  • Halton: 171 per 100,000 (220; 378; 522; 897; 1,148)
  • Wirral: 119 (184; 252; 384; 763; 976)
  • Telford and Wrekin: 187 (245; 305; 373; 588; 550)
  • Warrington: 151 (208; 312; 369; 577; 780)
  • Shropshire: 142 (178; 211; 244; 500; 420)
  • Manchester: 182 (215; 291; 339; 488; 492)
  • Cheshire West: 133 (161; 250; 314; 464; 528)
  • Tameside: 204 (187; 238; 309; 418; 407)
  • Stockport: 172 (202; 251; 274; 416; 503)
  • Trafford: 131 (155; 211; 263; 406; 495)
  • Cheshire East: 121 (150; 197; 212; 368; 388)

Ash Wednesday

Delighted to be able to welcome 133 here on Wednesday to our two Masses. We’ve posted out over 20 Ash Crosses to those who could not be with us in person. If you’d like one, just send us an SAE. In addition, there will be a number of blessed Ash Crosses for people to take this coming Sunday - but it will need to be on a "first come, first served" basis!

Gift Aid Envelope Users: IMPORTANT

We plan to deliver Envelope Boxes to your home. So, if you’ve moved in the last few years or are unsure if we hold your current address, please let Denise our Gift Aid Organiser know as soon as possible. Email:; (01244 345676). Thank you for your ongoing support during these difficult times.

Want to Get on Zoom?

Need a hand? Let us know and we’ll try to help.

Bishop Mark’s Pastoral Letter for Today

My dear brothers and sisters, On this First Sunday of Lent, the story resonates for us, of a family enduring a great trial that engulfed the world they had known. The Book of Genesis recounts how Noah and his family emerged from 'a state of lockdown' with renewed hope in God's saving purpose. The rainbow set against the clouds became a sign of hope for them, as it has become a sign of hope in this health crisis, whether painted by children, posted in windows or projected on public buildings. The rainbow has happily recovered its original meaning as a sign of the promise of the Lord: "When ... the bow appears in the clouds, I will recall the Covenant between myself and you and every living creature". Despite all human sinfulness, and the disasters resulting from sin, God’s purpose is always to save and bring us to new life. This is our personal experience every time we make a sincere confession and know the grace of the Holy Spirit sent for the forgiveness of sins. Almost twelve months have passed since I wrote at the start of a pandemic that has impacted every one of our lives. As this Lent begins, we remember in prayer all who have died and more than a hundred thousand families who today mourn the loss of loved ones. We can draw lasting lessons from the suffering of this time and its quiet heroism. Many of these lessons echo the call of Lent to greater prayer, self-denial and generosity. Today, I wish to highlight lessons learnt from the way our parishes rose to challenges, reminiscent of the brave beginnings of this Shrewsbury Diocese. As in those pioneering days, the continued celebration of the Mass - the priority of the Eucharist - has become the focus of so many strenuous and unprecedented efforts. It has also been the aspiration of many who have remained prayerfully at home, often using the internet to stay connected, while anticipating the day of the great return to Holy Mass. As we face the challenges of emerging from the devastation of a pandemic, let us be ready to re-build the life of the Church on this same foundation of the Eucharist. The Book of Genesis tells how the priority for Noah’s family, having barely set foot on dry ground, was to build an altar for the Lord. In the same way, our union with Christ in the Mass, in the Sacraments and in daily prayer, must be our own enduring priority. At the Cathedral, the works to renew the Altar have coincided with this time and will stand as a memorial to these days of renewed Eucharistic faith and love. The very restrictions imposed by the pandemic have helped us treasure our churches as places of prayer, silence and personal encounter with Christ. In so many ways we have been led to recognise anew, as the Catechism reminds us that "In His Eucharistic presence He remains mysteriously in our midst as the One who loved us and gave Himself for us". It is Jesus Himself who awaits us in the Sacrament of His love. I hope we will continue to make generous efforts in 2021, to keep church doors open wherever this is possible; and ensuring we give of our best in everything connected with the Mass and the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at the heart of every one our communities. If Eucharistic love pervades our parishes, then we can be sure nothing will be lacking in our sense of mission. At the start of my letter, I said we are setting out to re-build on the foundation of the Eucharist. Saint John Paul II put this simply when he said, the Eucharist builds the Church. He recalled the teaching the Second Vatican Council which declared, "As often as the Sacrifice of the Cross ... is celebrated on the altar, the work of redemption is carried out ... and at the same time ... the unity of the faithful, who form one body in Christ, is expressed and brought about". May this be so for us in 2021, as we gather in ever growing numbers to fulfil Christ’s command "Do this in memory of me". May Saint Joseph, to whom we have entrusted this year of recovery, pray for us and accompany us as we grow in Eucharistic love,
+ Mark Bishop of Shrewsbury

This Week’s Photo of the Week: Canon Turnbull

Mass in the Primary School - recognise anyone?