St Werburgh's Roman Catholic Parish, Chester

It has been another busy and rewarding year for St Werburgh’s SVP, underpinned once again by the fantastic support received from our friends and fellow parishioners. Your generosity is exemplified in providing financial support, especially through second collections and in the practical assistance that we receive from so many of you in the events that we organise.

As we write this report, we are in the middle of the first phase of Covid-19 and its unsettling impact on our local community, our country and the world at large.

Social visiting to the sick, lonely and housebound is one of the primary activities of the SVP and it is with great regret that this activity and our annual calendar of events have been put on hold until further notice. As a consequence, our current SVP activities are limited to keeping in close contact with those that we help in the local community by whatever means we can: be that a regular phone call or help with sourcing food and medication as required.

As attendance at Mass is prohibited and there is no obvious indication of when things will return to normal, we are unable to share with you our usual printed Annual Report so we have decided to use this page on the Parish website to share the financial details of our activities in the last year and to open the window on our team and the key roles they each play.

A brief summary of our income and expenditure for the last 12 months:

Our team and the roles they play:

Stephen Perry, Conference President

Stephen leads the St Werburgh’s team and acts as Secretary to the Chester and Ellesmere Port SVP District which comprises six SVP groups from various local Parishes. He also sits on the SVP District Committee which runs the Holiday Home at Talacre.

Fran Waldie, Secretary

Fran plays a key role taking Minutes at our regular meetings and keeping a record and reporting on our wide range of support to the community. She also organises our summer lunch, arranges the transport requirements for all of our events and keeps us in line with our responsibilities on data protection.

Richard Williams, Treasurer

Richard keeps our financial records and reports in order and ensures we meet our regulatory obligations. Often with the support of his wife Lyn, he helps out at our organised events, serving our guests and supplying transport when required.

Marco Abbiati

Marco maintains our close relationship with the Catholic High School which includes at least two ‘Teas’ organised by the school each year and enjoyed by our friends in the community. Under the guidance of the school staff he directs the support we provide to students and families in need. He’s a great supporter of all of our social events, joining in the singing and dancing whenever he can.

Mikhael Ahmed

Mikhael fills a key role as one of our regular visitors to HMP Berwyn, attending Mass there on a Saturday morning with other members of the SVP community, and helping out at their on-site Catholic Chaplaincy.

Eleanor Elwell

Eleanor is not able to support the team as fully as she used to, but she still comes to our organised events when she can.

Bernard Gorman

Bernard provides musical support at our social events, playing the guitar and making sure that we all join in the hymns and our favourite songs. He also helps out with various transport needs.

Margaret Hodson

Margaret organises our Reconciliation Services in Advent and Lent, keeps in contact with our ‘Twinned’ Conference in India, sends out Birthday cards to our friends in the community and helps out at our regular events serving our guests and providing transport when needed.

Paul Marshall

Paul devotes his time to visiting the lonely and aged at home and in our local Care Homes. He is also a great supporter of all of our organised events and a regular provider of transport support.

Lego Moody

Lego takes the lead in our monthly schedule of visits to local Care Homes, supported by Paul, Madeleine and Veronica. She’s also a great support at all of our organised events; baking cakes, making cheese, cheese and ham and cheese and tomato sandwiches and providing transport.

Madeleine Morrin

Madeleine maintains our excellent contact with the staff at St Werburgh’s and St Columba’s Primary School, in organising our events at the school such as our Masses held in the Spring and Autumn and our Celebration Lunch in January. She liaises with Trish Ebrell who leads the school ‘Mini Vinnies’ and with other staff in the support of children and families in need.

John O’Sullivan

John takes the leading role in our relationship with HMP Berwyn and also visits HMP Manchester Strangeways and the female prison at Styal. His support of our publicity activities is invaluable, helping us with web page content and producing our various pamphlets and promotional material.

Anne Patey

Anne is our ‘Father Christmas’, making all of the purchases and wrapping them up into the wonderful gift parcels that we donate to local families in need at Christmas. She supports others in the provision of refreshments at SVP events and assists with the organisation of the Summer Outing/Lunch, as well as helping with transport to our organised events.

Veronica Rogers

Veronica maintains our relationship with many of her contacts in local sheltered accommodation and regularly visits the Care Homes, supporting Lego and Paul.

We have also welcomed a new member to our team this year.

Teresa Carolota Nunez Cueta

Teresa is already very active in the local community. She has been with John to visit HMP Berwyn and is very involved with Chester’s Little Theatre.

And finally we cannot forget...

Pauline and Bill Hackett

Pauline acted as the Conference President for more years than anyone can remember. Her work for the SVP and the parish was outstanding and earned her the Bene Merenti medal from the Pope in 2017. Throughout her work she was tirelessly supported by her husband Bill. Sadly, she is now being cared for in one of the homes she regularly visited in her SVP role, where she is convalescing from a broken ankle.

Finally, we cannot end without offering our sincere thanks to Fr Paul and Fr Neil for their essential support and to others on the parish who regularly go out of their way to help and assist our events, especially Syd and Denise Jones.

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