24th March 2019 – 3rd Sunday of Lent

Dear Parishioners,
A copy of the letter below is being sent through our schools by the Bishop, inviting our Year 6 parishioners to an important meeting to launch the new Confirmation programme. If you know the parents of a Year 6 pupil not attending a Catholic school, please encourage them to contact me for a copy.

Fr John

‘Dear Parishioner,

Your journey in Faith is a precious and wonderful gift which began at your Baptism. On that day you were welcomed into the Church, becoming a follower of Jesus Christ.
This journey continued with your sacramental programme which led to you receiving Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to continue this journey.
The first disciples knew they needed the accompaniment of Jesus Christ to proclaim the gospel and to be truly missionary disciples. In his goodness, God gave them the Gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in order to do this. Today we can still receive this Gift through the Sacrament of Confirmation.

I am personally inviting you to prepare to receive this gift along with your friends which will begin with a gathering on
Saturday 15th June 2019, 10.00pm – 2.00pm at the Victoria Hall, 37 Knowsley St, Bolton, BL1 2AS.

At this gathering, like the first disciples, we will learn that our Faith in Jesus Christ is something to be shared not just in our words but through our actions.
I hope you will take this opportunity to grow in your Faith and I look forward to journeying with you as you prepare to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.

In order to book your place for the initial gathering in June, can I please ask your parent/carer to return the enclosed form to your teacher?

Following this, more information will be sent to your parent/carer. If they or you have any questions, please ask them to email the Department for Formation at:


With my best wishes,

+John Arnold, Bishop of Salford’




RIBBLE VALLEY FOODBANK is currently very short of long-life fruit juice, sponge puddings, kitchen rolls and sugar and would be very grateful for supplies.  Thank you all for your support and generosity.  info@ribblevalley.foodbank.org.uk or telephone Jane Chitnis 07849 543341

Thank You – Caritas

Mark Wiggin and the team at Caritas Diocese of Salford send their sincere thanks for the £692.89 raised at this year’s Caritas Sunday at Our Lady of the Valley.  We are humbled by the support behind our mission to help those in need in our communities.  Please be assured that the funds raised will be put to great use across the Diocese as we respond to local people in need.  If you require any more information please check our website www.caritassalford.org.uk

3rd March 2019 – 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners,

Lent begins this Wednesday and Pope Francis has asked: ‘Don’t let this season of grace pass in vain.’ So, what have you decided to do during Lent this year?
Here are a few suggestions:

  • Buy (£1) the ‘Walk with me’ booklet which will help you pray and reflect for a few minutes on each day of Lent.
  • Join the Stations for the Cross in Clitheroe at 7.30pm on Fridays and in Sabden at 7.30pm on Tuesdays
  • Spend a little time each day reading the Bible in the quiet of your home
  • Attend weekday morning Mass (details weekly in the newsletter)
  • Come to Exposition on Saturday mornings between 11am and 11.45
  • Pay a visit to the church which is open during daylight hours.
  • Encourage someone who has been away from mass to return to practice and if possible accompany them to church.
  • Recite the Rosary at home or join the weekday recitation in church at 9.30am.
  • Is there someone you know in need of help or friendship or maybe an elderly relative you haven’t visited for a while?
  • Make up a longstanding quarrel
  • For one hour, help to clean the church on Monday mornings at 9.30
  • Give up a favourite treat like sweets, drink, watching too much TV or cigarettes.
  • Keep ‘Family Fast day’ on Friday
  • Every Friday give up eating meat for your spiritual good and that of the planet!
  • Make a clean sweep. How long is it since you made use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession)? Confession is available every Saturday in Clitheroe from 11—11.45 and during the Stations of the cross on Fridays
  • Attend the series of Lenten talks on Saturday mornings at 11am (Coffee from 10.30)
  • Reflect on Bishop John’s pastoral letter. What might you do to help safeguard the environment, to save planet Earth?

Wishing you a fruitful Lent,

Fr John

24th February 2019 – 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Please could you help? …….

There is a family of asylum seekers living in Clitheroe, comprising Mum, Dad, and two little boys aged 6 and 4.  They are Kurdish Iraqis, who fled Mosul in December 2015 to escape significant persecution.   They endured an often life-threatening journey, eventually arriving in England in July 2016, when they applied for asylum.  Their application failed, but they were granted leave to appeal.  Their Legal Aid solicitor missed the deadline to submit their appeal, and they are now living in dread of removal back to Iraq – a country where ISIS still operates, which has been devastated by fighting, and which is overrun with refugees and displaced persons.  They have no family there to whom they could return, and no home, and no access to healthcare (Mum suffers from epilepsy and depression).  They have brought up their little boys to speak English, and the boys have no memories of Iraq, and are happily settled here with many friends at school and nursery.  Mum and Dad are working hard to improve their English, which is good enough now that they can volunteer in a charity shop and at the local primary school, and make the best contribution that they can to the place that is giving them refuge.

We have been working with this family to try to get them leave to remain, but next steps require strong legal representation, and this must be paid for.  A very experienced solicitor has been found through Caritas, who is willing to take on the case.   The initial interview costs £200, with overall fees amounting to anything up to £2,000, depending on how long the case runs.

This is a very genuine and deserving family.  Please would you consider making a donation towards their legal fees?   The Home Office has very recently decided that they no longer have the right of appeal, and so we need to act very quickly to instruct their new solicitor and to request a judicial review.  Funds are therefore needed immediately!

Should circumstances change such that the money cannot be used, if you give your name and contact details and the amount of your donation, we will return it to you, or, with your permission, we would pass it on to the annual Clitheroe Refugee Day appeal, which our parish hosts to give refugees in our Diocese a day out in the country.

Thank you,  Tom Clay + Carol Hartley