St Werburgh's Roman Catholic Parish, Chester

Parish Newsletter




Micah 5, 1-4; Psalm 79; Hebrews 10, 5-10; Luke 1, 39-44

9.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Alex Barnes
10.45 am: St Werburgh’s: Deceased Members of the Cummins and Noone families
6.00 pm: St Werburgh’s: Cath Haslam

Monday 27th December: St John, Evangelist: I John 1, 1-4; Psalm 96; John 20, 2-8
10.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Intentions of Emma and Tim

Tuesday 28th December: The Holy Innocents: I John 1,5 – 2,2; Psalm 123; Matthew 2, 13-18
10.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Michael Gallagher (L.D., Co Roscommon)

Wednesday 29th December: St Thomas Becket: Colossians 1, 24-29; Psalm 22; Luke 22, 24-30
10.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Malcolm Crowther (1st Anniv) and Margaret Haslam (Birthday Rem)

Thursday 30th December: Sixth Day of Christmas: I John 2, 12-17; Psalm 95; Luke 2, 36-40
10.00 am: St Werburgh’s: The Old Nuisance (12th Anniversary)

Friday 31st December: Seventh Day of Christmas: I John 2, 18-21; Psalm 95; John 1, 1-18
10.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Tony Mayers, Kathleen Mayers and Neil Longridge

Saturday 1st January: Mary, Mother of God: Numbers 6, 22-27; Ps 66; Gal 4, 4-7; Luke 2, 16-21
10.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Gregory Phillips
6.00 pm: St Werburgh’s: New Year’s Intentions (Bro)

Ecclesiasticus 24, 1-12; Psalm 147; Ephesians 1, 3-18; John 1, 1-18
Saturday 6.00 pm: St Werburgh’s: New Year’s Intentions (Bro)
9.00 am: St Werburgh’s: Malcolm Crowther (1st Anniversary)
10.45 am: St Werburgh’s: Austin Tighe (1st Anniversary)
6.00 pm: St Werburgh’s: Barbara Hetherington (née Deponeo), L.D. Brisbane, Australia

Prayer intentions

Your prayers are asked for the following who are sick: Duncan Steele, Brian Boardman Jnr, John McMahon, James Convey, Bill Hackett, Laura Chadwick, Elisabeth, Stuart Clark, Keith Hayes, Ruth O’Kane, Garth Stocking and Kevin Maguire and for all the sick of the Parish; and for those who have died recently, especially Brian McNicholas, Calogera Safina, Mary Miller and Joyce Garner; and for those whose anniversaries occur about this time: Stanley Korn, Anne Weston, Kevin Ford, Tony Larkin, Theresa Sellers, Patrick Vallely, Florence Ratchford, Joan Hudson, Harry Graham, Mary Hughes, June Stoddart, Meg Ormsby-Knox, Margaret Davis, Pat Lloyd, Lilian Coathupe, Johanna Sheedy, Helen Woodworth, Brenda Blackwell, John Winder, Magda Kenworthy, Carol Pollard, Josephine Page, Margaret Doman, Agnes Cartwright, Mary Walsh, May Hogan, William Costello, Evelyn Weston, David Mooney, Michael Murphy, Ann Carruthers, Ralph Sherwin, Bernard Healey, Zygmunt Dowicz, Eileen Witter, Geoffrey Hargreaves, Helen Cadden, Robin Francis, John Moore, George Tomlins, Ronald Heveran, Peter Chesterman and Anne Teague. May They All Rest in Peace.

Parish events

Christmas Bookings: How Many Turned Up?

These are the numbers for our seven Christmas Masses this year:

Friday 24th, Christmas Eve

  • 4.30 pm: Children’s Christmas Eve Mass I: 136
  • 6.00 pm: Children’s Christmas Eve Mass II: 112
  • 8.30 pm: Vigil Mass of Christmas: 146
  • 11.30 pm: Carols and Midnight Mass: 144

Saturday 25th, Christmas Day

  • 9.00 am: Dawn Mass of Christmas: 126
  • 10.00 am: Day Mass of Christmas: 128
  • 11.00 am: Day Mass of Christmas: 148

Total: 940

An amazing total, and so good to see each and every one of you. Earlier in the week, most of the Masses were fully booked, all 160 places taken. So, some evidence of people changing their mind. Many thanks to those of you who let us know in time to allocate their tickets to others, and those who cancelled through the official website, which meant their tickets were automatically put back in the pot. For those of you who let us know too late to do anything about it, or who didn’t let us know at all... !!!!!

Enormous Thanks to our Stewards!

As ever, our stewards played a blinder, here for more than one Mass, checking people in, on hand to deal with enquiries, and then seeing everyone safely up to Holy Communion and back again. If there were medals to be given... You are all stars.

CAFOD Afghanistan Emergency Appeal

CAFOD is combining efforts with the DEC to launch the Afghanistan Crisis Appeal. In Afghanistan, 8 million people are on the brink of famine because of drought, collapsing economy, food shortages, conflict, and COVID. CAFOD is supporting sister Caritas agencies to reach communities most in need with food, clean water, and fuel. Let’s do all that we can to save lives. You can donate on the CAFOD website: and please pray for the people of Afghanistan.

Bishops’ Conference Christmas Advice

  • 1. Not feeling well? STOP AT HOME!
  • 2. Masks now Mandatory in Church
  • 3. Use the Hand Sanitiser
  • 4. Make sure buildings are well ventilated
  • 5. Get jabbed!

St Werburgh’s Christmas Mass Times Cards

Many thanks to everyone who helped distribute our cards, far and wide, this year. Thank you!

Emergency Lights Installation in Church

Almost finished - just one to fix, which they’ll do after the holidays. Have you all seen the new lights outside the front door? Quite a difference!

Fr Vincent O’Toole CSSp

We were saddened to hear news of the death of Fr Vincent, one of the great retired Spiritans living here in Hoole. May he rest in peace. His funeral on Thursday was a joyous occasion, a Gospel Chorus of Spiritans from Africa providing the music.

Crib Collection - Diocesan Children’s Society

To support the work of the old Children’s Society now part of Caritas. Thanks, everyone!

The Repository: Closed till End of January

Reopening on Sunday 30th January with a SALE of donated and pre-loved items. Thank you for your valued support during this extraordinary year. Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year. Paula & Bernice. (May be contacted during next six weeks at Mrs Peabody’s Guest House, South Shore, Blackpool. But it’s not all a holiday, as they do the washing up on Christmas Day and Boxing Day).

Christmas Volunteer Rota

Many thanks to all our Readers, Counters, Collectors, the usual army of willing wolunteers (get that alliteration!) without which this Parish simply wouldn’t function. Wonderful Werbie Willing Wolunteers? [You can go too far at times, I hope you realise, you old bore. Ed]

Ideal Christmas Gift: Tanglewood Acoustic Guitar

For sale by a parishioner. Can be inspected at rear of church. Excellent condition and would be £800 new. Sealed offers to FP (your name, your contact details and your bid) by 20th December. Money to be donated to church funds. So... When the sealed bids were opened, the winning bid was £300, with the next highest £250. Delighted such a fine instrument has found a good home, and that Parish Funds are now £300 better off. Thanks, everyone!

New Diocesan 2022 Year Books and Ordos

Now arrived. On the Newsstand at the back of church, £5 each.

Autumn Mass Count 2021

  • 25/26 September: 369; 2/3 October: 372
  • 9/10 October: 380; 16/17 October: 399
  • 23/24 October: 414; 30/31 October: 383
  • 6/7 November: 413; 13/14 November: 397
  • 20/21 November: 383; 27/28 October: 343
  • 4/5 December: 400; 11/12 December: 327
  • 18/19 December: 359; Christmas: 940

Day by Day and Sacred Heart Messengers

New editions of our popular little monthly magazines now also on the Newsstand: January’s Day by Day (£1) and Sacred Heart Messenger for January (£1.50).

Forthcoming Sundays and Feast Days

  • Sunday 2nd January: Second Sunday after Christmas
  • Thursday 6th January: Holyday of the Epiphany
  • Sunday 9th January: The Baptism of the Lord (The official end of Christmastide)

Photo of the Week: Fra Angelico’s Annunciation

One of the most famous paintings in the world, it’s a fresco on the wall of the northern corridor of the Upper Floor in the Convento di San Marco in Florence. Painted 1440-45, it was part of a commission to decorate the whole convent by Cosimo de’Medici. Written at the bottom of the painting are these words: "Virginis intacte Cum Veneris Ante Figuram Pretereundo Cave Ne Sileatur Ave". Which, translated from the German, means: "When you come before the image of the Eternal Virgin, take care that you do not omit to say a ‘Hail Mary’." Many thanks to Bunty and Bernard from Balmoral for sending it in after a recent trip to Florence. Not that I’m jealous in any way, of course... I mean, would I? Moi?