St Werburgh's Roman Catholic Parish, Chester

Parish Newsletter




Ezekiel 17, 22-24; Psalm 91; II Corinthians 5, 6-10; Mark 4, 26-34

9.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Peter Brennan (Anniversary)
10.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Gerald Delaney (Anniversary)
11.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Sheila Holland RIP
12.00 noon: St Werburgh’s: Gladwen Nicholson (1st Anniversary)

Monday 14th June: Ferial: II Corinthians 6, 1-10; Psalm 97; Matthew 5, 38-42
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today: Thanksgiving

Tuesday 15th June: Ferial: II Corinthians 8, 1-9; Psalm 145; Matthew 5, 43-48
10.40 am: Blacon: Funeral Service for James Anthony Graham, late of Hinderton Mount NH
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today: Interview Intentions (GS)

Wednesday 16th June: Ferial: II Corinthians 9, 6-11; Psalm 111; Matthew 6, 1-18
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today: Ken Jones (27th Anniversary)

Thursday 17th June: Ferial: II Corinthians 11, 1-11; Psalm 110; Matthew 6, 7-15
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today: Intentions of Frances Dixon (Wetherby)

Friday 18th June: Ferial: II Corinthians 11, 18-30; Psalm 33; Matthew 6, 19-23
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today: Brian Boardman (Anniversary)

Saturday 19th June: Ferial: II Corinthians 12, 1-10; Psalm 33; Matthew 6, 24-34
Fr Paul’s Private Mass Intention today: Canon Bernard Lordan 52nd Ordination Anniversary

Job 3, 1-11; Psalm 106; II Corinthians 5, 14-17; Mark 4, 35-41
9.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Pat and Gerry Cummins (55th Wedding Anniversary Remembrance)
10.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Intentions of Paula Scott’s Family
11.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Maureen Ann Birukowska (5th Anniversary)
12.00 noon: St Werburgh’s: John Egan Birthday Intentions (72)

Parish events

Pressure at Masses on Sundays

Total last Sunday was 308. Bearing in mind that our social distanced capacity is approximately 80, over four Masses that would give a grand total of 320. So, 308 is getting very close? Last Sunday, it was 87 at 9.00 am, 86 at 10.00 am, 70 at 11.00 am and 65 at 12.00 noon. All of us are devoutly hoping - praying? - that restrictions will soon be lifted. Meanwhile, the message is a clear one: if you want to be sure of a place at Sunday Mass, please don’t come at the last minute!

Step Four of Easing Restrictions

Tomorrow, Monday 14th, we are expecting an announcement of the fourth stage of easing restrictions, to come into effect the following Monday, 21st June. This may or may not happen, of course, but we will bring you up to date with any changes both here on the Newsletter and on the Daily Blog. Could you resist it??

Confirmation in 2022

This year, it is the turn of St Columba’s and St Theresa’s to organise Chester-wide Confirmation, and Bishop Mark has allocated Wednesday 23rd February for coming to Chester. Any youngster who is at present in High School is eligible (Illegible?) to apply. Watch this space for details. St Werburgh’s, St Clare’s and St Francis organise the Sacrament in the alternate year, and we will be looking to December 2022 for our visit from the Bishop.

Primary School and High School

We all hope everyone - teachers, pupils, everyone - has enjoyed a good Half Term in this lovely weather. For the next Half Term, up to the Summer Break, I am planning to go into each school on a weekly basis, spending a morning or afternoon in each. It’s the least I can do to support the excellent work they are doing in these very difficult circumstances.

World Day of Prayer: Friday 25th June

This very popular annual event is coming again soon. It used to be called the Women’s World Day of Prayer and then someone abolished women. Not to worry, come along anyway: Christ Church Newtown (where my kid brother Graham is the Vicar). Just by the Fire Station and Salvation Army in Newtown. Friday 25th June at 10.30 am. Good to see you all there! We’ve hosted this service more than once here at the Werbies, as it goes round the churches of Chester each year. If you’ve never been to Christ Church, it’s one of the most interesting churches in Chester, its old school now the Little Theatre.

Photo of the Week: Blessed Sacrament Altar

Interesting archive photo from 1986 - the year I went off to Seminary - of the beautiful Blessed Sacrament Altar here in church, to the left of the main Altar and by the door into the Sacristy. You’ll notice that the Sacred Heart Statue was placed above this altar then; now, it is at the back of church, under the organ loft. Which do you prefer?

New White Altar Cloth from Stanbrook

The beautiful new cloth woven for us by the Sisters of Stanbrook goes away today, to be replaced by the green of Ordinary Time. We’ll see it again for the Assumption on 15th August.

First Holy Communions: Saturday 12th June

Delighted we were able to hold our long-postponed FHC Mass yesterday. Please keep these youngsters of our Parish Group in your prayers: Charlotte Benson, Emily Connolly, Sofia Esposito, Christian Jones, Leo King, Esmée Latham, Joseph Penson, Marta Polanczyk, Olivia Rooney and Mia Spiteri.

Carla Lockhart MP’s Parliamentary Motion

Many of us have been disturbed by the introduction of a "Home Abortion" service by the Government during these lockdown days, for women who cannot access the usual services. This is the opening paragraph from the Government website: "During the COVID-19 pandemic the UK government put in place a temporary approval in England, enabling women and girls to take both pills for early medical abortion (EMA) up to 10 weeks (9 weeks and 6 days) gestation in their own homes, following a telephone or e-consultation with a clinician, without the need to first attend a hospital or clinic. This measure has been put in place during the pandemic to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and ensure continued access to abortion services. It is time limited for 2 years, or until the pandemic is over - whichever is earliest." Carla Lockhart MP has introduced a Parliamentary Motion calling on the Government now to end this practice. Many have opposed it, some on ethical grounds, some for safety reasons. Right to Life UK has launched a simple tool which makes it easy for anyone to contact their MP to ask them to support Carla’s motion:

Message from Caritas Diocese of Shrewsbury

Caritas would like to express their sincere gratitude for the generous donation of £420.68 which has been sent to them over the past 6 months from St Werburgh's box holders. 2020 was a challenging year for everyone and Caritas really appreciate the support that parishioners have given them, which will enable them to continue their work with children, families and communities in the most challenging situations across the diocese. Until box collections can resume as before, please consider other ways of getting your donations to Caritas, e.g. by setting up a Standing Order. Forms can be obtained by contacting Dominique Gresty at, or use this email address for any query you may have. Thank you.

SS Peter and Paul - Holyday of Obligation

Just a reminder that for this Holyday, on Tuesday 29th June, we will have two Masses here in church at 10.00 and 11.00 am. See you all there!

Poor Clares Fundraising: Appeal Closes Tomorrow

Last chance to support their appeal for help in refurbishing the Monastery down in Nottingham. We’ll close this appeal tomorrow, 14th June, so please make sure any last-minute contributions reach me before then.