Second Sunday of Advent – 10 December 2017

St Augustine’s RC High School Garden of Peace

The Young Enterprise Group at St Augustine’s is raising funds to develop a ‘Garden of Peace’, which will be located at the main entrance and will commemorate the centenary of the end of World War I in 2018.  It will be a spectacular visual experience for visitors to the school and will provide a space where people can reflect, think creatively and develop their spiritual awareness.

St Augustine’s would like to offer you a unique and special opportunity to purchase a paving stone which will be laid on our ‘pathway to peace’ in the garden.  Each paving stone will be professionally engraved with your name, family name or an inspirational quote. You may wish to purchase an individual stone for each family member, one stone depicting your family name, for example, ‘The Smith Family’ or stones with quotes about peace engraved on them. The quotes will require larger paving stones.

We welcome corporate sponsors and our School Chaplaincy Group have decided that it would be fitting for sponsors’ names to be part of a wonderful piece of artwork that has been designed by pupils.

Further information about the project and online purchase information can be found on the school website  This is a community project and the school would be grateful of any skills, sponsorship or general support that you would like to offer. If you would like to help or make suggestions about the project, please contact the school via email or by telephone through the main office 01254 823362.

If you are in contact with any members of the school community personally, through social media or in any other way; please tell them about the project.  When St Augustine’s celebrated 50 years of outstanding Catholic education they were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and commitment of the school community, both past and present.

St Hubert’s Bingo & Social Night

On Monday the parish held its annual Bingo & Social Night, which included the drawing of our Christmas Raffle.  Thank you to everyone for their support, donation of prizes, supporting the event and assisting in its running. Special thanks to our first time caller Kevin Johnson who did a great job, especially coping with the smoking speaker unit and shouting the numbers for the last 3 games out.  Congratulations to all the winners, (see poster) and thanks to everyone who bought and sold tickets, special thanks to Arnold Marsden who co-ordinated the sales of a record 1000 tickets to our parish friends in Clitheroe.  The event was a great success with a total income of  £2,910,  profit after expenses £1,972.60.  Fantastic achievement and thank you once again.  Still one unclaimed raffle prize—Bottle of Sherry number 0581 HW

First Sunday of Advent – 3 December 2017

Spring Happening

At our recent Our Lady of the Valley Parish forum it was proposed and agreed to have a ‘Spring Happening’. This will be a celebration to include all our Parish, friends and local communities; playgroups, primary and high schools, parish groups, local community groups and parishioners. With games to play, stalls, crafts, demonstrations, refreshments and lots more. Let’s have fun for all the family at this Spring Happening. This event is open for one and all.

So save the date, Sunday 20th May 2018 at St. Michael and St. John’s Secret Garden and Assembly Hall.  It is important that everyone contributes, no matter how big or small your ideas are valued. We will be delighted to see you at the ‘Spring Happening’ planning meetings which have been arranged for Monday 4th December at 11am and 7.30 pm at St. Michael and St. John’s Presbytery, Clitheroe. This should enable us all to have a greater understanding of each other needs for this celebration and to join together with our local communities.

If you are unable to attend, but would like to contribute, do not hesitate to contact one of the below.

Jane Brown, 01200 441949

Susan Fellows, 07887690402

Ann Harkin, 07823400278

From the Bishop

Do you support Catholic schools and the right of Catholics to send their children to them? Then we need you to make your voice heard. The Government is making a critical decision on whether to overturn the admissions cap which prevents Catholic schools from allowing all Catholic pupils to attend. They have acknowledged that this policy discriminates against Catholics and promised to abandon it, but there are signs that they are going to abandon this pledge. We all need to tell them not to u-turn on their promise to Catholics.

Go to:

or search for ‘Catholic Education’ in your search engine to write to the Government and urge them to drop their policy which bans new Catholic schools from accepting more than a 50% Catholic intake. Thank you for your cooperation.

Christ the King – 26th November 2017

A new Interfaith Initiative

Whilst visiting the New Neighbours Refugee and Asylum Seeker project in Burnley we learned that another new family had arrived in Clitheroe, from Syria. They were desperate to learn English. Currently the only English classes for men and women are in Blackburn and Burnley. As Refugees and Asylum Seekers only get £5.00 a day to live on and the bus fare is more than £4.00 each way it is impossible to attend an English class.

Recently, Clitheroe Christians in Partnership, the Mosque and friends, met to discuss coordinating the refugee response in our area. We began by sharing our belief that the Refugee crisis is a humanitarian problem and so reaffirmed our wish to work together.

As a result of this meeting we are to begin an exciting new initiative in Clitheroe. We are setting up an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class and Refugee and Asylum Seeker drop in.

The United Reformed Church have kindly offered a room, heated and insured. Teaching requires a lot of resources which needs funding. Astonishingly, this weekend, we had had an anonymous donation, from a lady in the Hodder valley, to cover the cost of teaching materials. The Ark Project, Blackburn despite being extremely busy, have generously offered to advise on Safeguarding and legal requirements.

We would like to invite interested parishioners or retired teachers who hold a DBS (Disclosure and barring) certificate to help staff the project. It is important to have stability in the staffing arrangement, so we would require a commitment, once a week, from January 2018 until July 2018 in the first instance.  This would cover the first two terms. There are a variety of roles including 1:1 teaching support for each student, child care support for children during the adult English class and help with tea, coffee and friendship.

We have wondered what the project should be called and would welcome suggestions. We also hoped to have a nurse as part of the team.  Unbelievably we met a paediatric nurse who is due to retire in December. She explained that she hoped to work on a Refugee project and as health is a key issue in this area of work we were delighted to welcome her on board.

We do need more volunteers. For information ring Tom Clay on 07962 136749 or email:

Tom and Kathryn Clay


CAFOD – Christmas

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – 19th November 2017

Update on Safeguarding

Safeguarding is much more than completing lots of forms,  but rather about promoting the well being of children and vulnerable adults in our Parish.  We have to ensure that parents and carers can be confident that our volunteers have been “cleared” and also that we are all aware of “Best Practice”.

There have been several developments since the last update:

Alpha Cards   These wallet size cards contain a short summary of what to do if a problem is suspected. They will be distributed in the next few days.

Diocesan Support  The Safeguarding Office in Salford have a heavy workload in processing clearance applications as well as dealing with cases.  The Bishop has recognised this and an additional person has been recruited to the team so that the application process should speed up

Incident Report Forms   The Incident Report Forms are designed to capture any issues such as falls, faints or “near misses” to ensure that we can alter our processes or make repairs where necessary.

Web Site    We shall soon be unveiling the Safeguarding page on the Parish website which will give access to local information as well as Newsletters from Salford Diocese.

Help Needed  Bridget has now moved from the Parish and I’m sure that we’d all like to thank her for her hard work.

It’s important that we have two Safeguarding Reps to ensure that one of us is always available – especially with so much ground to cover over the three Churches.  I’d be really grateful if someone could volunteer to be a new Rep.  There is the odd flurry of activity on admin side, but mainly it’s about being available if someone has a question or a concern.  No direct  experience is necessary – just a willingness to ensure that we are keeping each other “safe”.

If you have any further concerns (or wish to volunteer!!), please contact me on

Foodbank – Christmas meals

Volunteers would be greatly appreciated to help the Ribble Valley Foodbank to collect Christmas food at Clitheroe Tesco from 9am-6pm Thursday 30th November, Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd December.  Each collection period lasts for 90 minutes.  The food donated on this occasion ensures that our clients can enjoy special Christmas meals over the festive period. To confirm your availability ring 07849 534431 or email  Thank you very much.

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – 12th November 2017


In June, Pope Francis instituted an annual World Day of The Poor, the first being on November 19th.

In announcing it, he said: “It is my wish that, in the week preceding the World Day of the Poor, …. Christian communities will make every effort to create moments of encounter and friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance”. He continues: “This Sunday, if there are poor people where we live who seek protection and assistance, let us draw close to them: it will be a favourable moment to encounter the God we seek.  Following the teaching of Scripture, let us welcome them as honoured guests at our table; they can be teachers who help us live the faith more consistently.”

As a centre piece for the Diocese’s World Day of the Poor, Caritas Salford will be launching the ‘ Refugee Dine With Me’ initiative across the Diocese on Wed 15th November at 6pm at Guardian Angels parish centre in Bury. This was successfully piloted by OLOTV parishioners last year, and Caritas hopes that people who took part in the pilot will come along and share their experiences.

In the preface to the Toolkit, Bishop John Arnold says: “I am very pleased to introduce the launch of this new initiative: ‘Refugee Dine with Me’. It is a very simple but effective way of welcoming people into our parishes who have left their homes and families to seek refuge and safety amongst us. When people sit together to share a meal, especially people from different cultures and life experiences, there is an opportunity to share more than just food. They create what Pope Francis has called a ‘culture of encounter.’ In accepting to share a meal together both host and guest are opening themselves to a very human encounter that breaks down barriers and builds new friendships. ‘Refugee Dine with Me’ creates such an opportunity that also leads us to a deepened understanding of human dignity and to a greater empathy for those who have journeyed to our shores seeking sanctuary. My hope is that you will take up this initiative as a part of the life of a missionary parish.”

If Parishioners want to participate in the initiative, please contact Tom or Kathryn Clay on 07962136749 or email

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time – 5th November 2017

Dear Parishioners,

You may remember that in a recent Pastoral Letter the Bishop announced the launch of a pastoral programme in the Diocese, called “Hope in the Future”.

Bishop John comments: The first part of the programme will help us acknowledge and celebrate all that parishioners, groups and communities are doing in the parish and what they are achieving. It is important for everyone to realise that the work they are already doing has value and that their contribution counts.”

The project should be lay-led but initially he has asked each parish priest to form a small team that can drive the initiative forward. Thereafter, I should step back and allow the team to carry the project forward.

As you are aware a team has been working with me on a similar project over the past three years, as we have, among other issues, studied Pope Francis two encyclicals, so I have asked them to continue with this project. The group have adopted the name ‘Missionary Steering Team’ (aka MST group) and the members consist of Alison Rowley, Peter Donnelly, Janet Hall, Michael Smith, Ann Cooke, Neil Wallace, Nichola Dixon, Damian Buggy and Teresa Mercer. “The team members have divided into three groups. Each group will be responsible for one of the following sessions within the communities of Dunsop, Sabden and Clitheroe (hence, each community will have an opportunity to attend all three sessions in their local area)

The first three sessions are:

  • Rebuild My Church (reflections on St Francis’ call to mission before the Crucifix of San Damiano; (pictured on the front of the newsletter)
  • Recognising and celebrating our gifts;
  • Using our gifts in the service of others.

These meetings will begin after the New Year.

The newest Parish group, formed in response to my call for volunteers to begin implementing Pope Francis’ vision spelled out in Laudato Si, met on Thursday in the Presbytery. They decided to explore the possibility of us becoming a “Live Simply” parish. Mark Wiggin was elected Chair and Anthony Brown Secretary. To find out more or to join the group please come to the next meeting at 7.30pm on Thursday 30th November in the Presbytery.

Fr John

Parish Centre

As you walk past the Parish Centre you will notice new name boards.  The Old Club is now called the Old Schoolrooms, and the Hall: The Assembly Hall. St Michael & St John’s also appears on each.  The website is   This hopefully will dispel the belief that the Parish Centre is only really for Catholics, and the new names will attract more custom.