20th October 2019 – 29th Sunday in Ordinary time

Fr. John’s Retirement

As you know, an evening celebration is planned, to thank Fr. John for his time with us as Parish Priest and to wish him a very happy retirement. This will take place on Saturday November 9th  when Fr. John will celebrate the 5pm Mass; because this is an exceptional occasion, there will be music at this Mass. The Mass will be followed by a buffet supper and presentation in the Assembly Rooms. Everybody is invited.

After all Masses this weekend and next weekend, envelopes will be handed out to all who would like to contribute to Fr. John’s presentation. These can be returned to Janet at the presbytery, given to Peter Donnelly, Pat Whitwell or Anne Cook or put in the collection. This will be the first time a collection has been made for Fr. John and we hope to give him a generous “Thank You”

Numbers will be needed for the buffet so free tickets will be available for anyone who wishes to come. Numbers will be limited for health and safety reasons, so please only take a ticket if you can attend.

A Spiritual Bouquet will also be given to him so please fill in the lists at the back of church with your prayer offerings.

Finally, there is another list requesting desserts for the buffet supper.

During the past eleven years Fr John has worked tirelessly for us all, this will be a small way of showing  him our appreciation.

Goodbye from Father John…

I leave the parish this Sunday afternoon and Canon Paul Brindle will take up residence on Tuesday.  I’m confident that you will make him feel really welcome in the Parish of Our Lady of the valley.  He faces a challenge in transferring from a parish with one primary school and Church to our somewhat scattered three communities, churches and schools with a total Sunday congregation of around 440, whereas his present Sunday congregation is 900!

Thank you all for the help, cooperation, generosity, tolerance and forgiveness that you have extended to me over these past exciting eleven years in one of the best (and certainly among the most progressive and active) parishes of our diocese. Though I leave this Sunday, I shall be back next weekend to introduce Fr Paul to our three communities and churches.

Please pray for me, as I shall for you.  Fr John


6th October 2019 – 27th Sunday in Ordinary time

During this month, Pope Francis has called the whole Church to reflect upon our response to Jesus Christ’s command to ‘go and make disciples of all the peoples’ by calling for October to be an ‘Extraordinary Month of Mission,’ celebrated throughout the world. Please make this a wonderful moment of prayer, joy and solidarity with Catholics across the globe by joining with Pope Francis and paying this prayer with him every day of October.

God our Father,
when your Son Jesus Christ rose from the dead,
he commissioned his followers
to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’.

Through our Baptism you send us out
to continue this mission among all peoples.

Empower us by the gifts of the Holy Spirit
to be courageous and enthusiastic
in bearing witness to the Gospel,
so that the mission entrusted to us,
which is still far from completion,
may bring life and light to the world.

May all peoples experience the saving love
and generous mercy of Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

29th September 2019 – 26th Sunday in Ordinary time

Dear Parishioners,

September has once again been designated as an awareness month for the St. Vincent de Paul Society and you will have noticed posters on the church pillars showing aspects of our work. Each year we give parishioners information about our work and how we allocate our funds which you kindly donate through the quarterly collections.

At present we have 25 active members who meet weekly on Tuesday evenings at 7pm. The purpose of these meetings is to pray together and to plan our work.

The Society gives its members the opportunity to address the two great commandments, love of God and love of neighbour. It enables us, with all our weaknesses and struggles to serve those most in need and in serving, to grow and become spiritually enriched. In this ever changing world, with poverty increasing in a multitude of different guises, the demands and opportunities for service are many and varied. Membership is a vocation, a calling to serve Christ in his poor.

Since last March, members have put in 3960 hours visiting people in hospital, in residential homes and in their own homes. They have transported people to medical appointments, Sunday Mass and Masses of healing and have supported 20+ families both financially and practically. Our total income for the financial year was £5649 and we would like to thank again all who have contributed for your great generosity. A report on how this money has been distributed will be given out after Mass. We have also used funds from a legacy to send five families on a short holiday this summer; something which they would have been unable to do.

We would like you to let us know if you are aware of anyone who needs help or support. Our work is confidential and all members are DBS checked.

Please consider joining us to help put the words of Jesus into practise. “I was hungry and you gave me food, thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me.” All you need is to be able to offer time and love.


For more information please contact Peter on 01200 441081 or speak to any SVP member.

Thank you for all your help and support.


SVP Conference Members

22nd September 2019 – 25th Sunday in Ordinary time

Advice from Pope Francis

The family is a big training gym for the mutual giving and forgiveness without which no love can last for long. Without giving of oneself and without forgiving one another, love does not last; it does not endure.  In the prayer that he himself has taught us—the Our Father—Jesus has us ask the Father, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  And in the end he comments: “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive  others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Mt 6: 14-15).  One cannot live without forgiveness—or at least, one cannot live well, especially in the family.  Every day we do wrong to one another.  We have to take stock of these mistakes, due to our frailty and our selfishness.  But what is asked of us is to heal right away the wounds that we cause, to repair immediately the threads that we break in the family.  If we wait too long it becomes too difficult.  And there is a simple secret for healing wounds and dispelling accusations.  It is this: do not let the day end without apologizing, without making peace between husband and wife, between parents and children, between brothers and sisters, between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law!  If we learn to apologise right away and to forgive one another, then wounds heal, marriage becomes stronger, and the family becomes an ever more solid house, one that withstands the impacts of our wrongdoings large and small.  And this is why there is no need to make a big speech.  A caress is enough.  One caress and everything is over; it is time to move on.  But never end the day at war!


15th September 2019 – 24th Sunday in Ordinary time

Dear Parishioners,

As was discussed at the Parish Forum and at Mass in Dunsop Bridge,

the Saturday evening 6.30pm Mass in St Hubert’s will not be celebrated during the five winter months from the first weekend after All Saints in November, until the first weekend of April.

The Thursday 9.15am Mass will continue the year round and Mass will also be celebrated in St Hubert’s on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday.

Today is Home Mission Sunday,
a day on which we remember all engaging in sharing our faith, especially those working for the Home Mission Office that helps parishes engage in the vital mission of Evangelisation. This weekend, they ask for our prayers and our financial support through the second collection. Our prayers help them to be attentive to the Holy Spirit who directs their work, and our donations to the second collection will enable them to help parishes share the joy of the Gospel throughout England and Wales.  For more information visit www.homemission.org.uk

What can I personally do to help share our faith

  • Welcome Catholics in your local community who are not active in their faith to join you one Sunday for Mass
  • Welcome families with children starting school.
  • Invite family members or friends who haven’t been to church for a while to make a visit, particularly during difficult periods in their lives, especially when facing a bereavement.
  • On Sundays when children are attending First Communion preparation invite their parents to Coffee in the Hall and help them feel welcome.

    Fr John



8th September 2019 – 23rd Sunday in Ordinary time

Making Life Simpler – Bookings for the Assembly Hall

The Old School Rooms and Assembly Hall has become a hugely popular venue in the Ribble Valley and provides excellent commercial opportunities for the Parish.  However, it remains at the core of Parish life, offering a valuable facility for Parish Groups (spiritual and social alike).  Amidst an increasingly busy diary, we need to ensure that:

Parish Groups can be confident that their bookings are confirmed and there are no last-minute alternations or cancellations.

There is clear notification and agreement when “external” events will impact Parish meetings such as Sunday morning tea/coffee.

How will this work?

At the request of the Parish Forum, a new booking system is being introduced and John Spencer has agreed to be the “link” for Parish Groups who wish to make bookings. The Club diary is now available to John on-line so that he can spot potential areas of conflict and to pre-book all Parish events.

This is a complex task as the Club already has bookings for 2019/20 which will impact Sunday mornings:

5th October (Saturday) – Music Festival

January/February – Major renovations, no events possible.

11th to 17th May – Beer Festival

What do Groups need to do?

Some events, such as Sunday tea/coffee and Wednesday evenings are “standing entries” in the diary, but it is essential that as soon as dates are planned, bookings are made through lunesdalebmw@gmail.com.  John can then advise if there are clashes or limitations.

What about private events?

Weddings, birthdays and other “private” events should be booked directly with Kevin to secure the preferred date.

The most important message for Parish and private events is:

Don’t wait – book today!



1st September 2019 – 22nd Sunday in Ordinary time

Monday 26th August 2019

Prize                             Ticket No.                      Winners Details
1st £100 CASH                 674                           Helen Lofthouse
2nd £75 CASH                  777                           Mike B
3rd £50 CASH                  818                           Peter Sutcliffe
4th WHISKY                     839                          Pat Kimberley
5th GIN                               79                            Eastwood
6th CHOCOLATES          283                          Denis Brennan
7th RED WINE                583                           Silcock
8th WHITE WINE          731                            David
9th  CHOCOLATES        1018                          Alban Marsden
10th PORT                       361                            Audley
11th WHITE WINE        266                           F Nelson
12th BISCUITS               246                           Flatley
13th FIZZ                         959                           Williams
14th SQUASH                 663                           Neil Wallace
15th SQUASH                 90                             Eastwood

25th August 2019 – 21st Sunday in Ordinary time


Globally we are producing approximately 300 million tonnes of plastic each year, and around half of that is classed as single-use plastic. Much of it finishes up in the oceans with devastating effect on marine life.  As Catholics we sometimes forget that we are stewards not only of what we possess but of our whole planet, yet we deflect responsibility onto government, business or other people.  The Laudato Si’ (Live Simply) Group, linked with the Parish CAFOD group, aims to provide educational and practical opportunities for the Parish, and its linked schools, to care for the environment.

There are now three Clitheroe based initiatives that can help us to recycle plastic or avoid its use. Ocean Clear, at Unit 2 Wellgate Court, Wellgate, (between Brioche and Your Style) sell eco-friendly products and also recycle a range of things including: crisp packets, Pringles tubes and other wrappers as well packaging for health and Beauty products. Seal Metal at 6 Albion Court Waterloo Road, (near Tesco) take a very wide range of materials including plastics and electrical and electronic goods, metals, glass, paper, cardboard and polystyrene. They also offer a pocket money scheme for children to encourage environmental awareness.  Little Green Footprints on Clitheroe Market  provide a Refill Station for many environmentally friendly plant-based Household and Bathroom products.

One of  the biggest uses of plastic is bottles filled with water that has has been clearly demonstrated to be no better than tap water.  There are now over 20,000 Refill Stations in the UK and the Refill website app enables you to find one on your journey.

These are all good, and you can find out more about them on the Laudato Si’ (Live Simply) webpage http://www.olotv.org.uk/parish-groups/laudato-si but in the longer term we must aim to avoid non-recyclable plastic altogether and be prepared to pay a little more to buy produce without packaging.

God is in everything and God IS everything.  God gave us oil and he gave us the ability to transform it into plastic with its countless noble uses.  But thrown away it kills our living planet.  We turn God’s gift into waste and throw it back in his face.

Let us remember a recent bidding prayer: Let us pray that each of us will use wisely the things of this world, turning away from greed, over-consumption and waste.


18th August 2019 – 20th Sunday in Ordinary time

‘What has the Cross given to those who have gazed upon it and to those who have touched it?

What has the Cross left in each one of us?

The Cross gives us a treasure that no one else can give: the certainty of the faithful love which God has for us.

A love so great that it enters into our sin and forgives it, that enters into our suffering and gives us the strength to bear it.

It is a love which enters into death to conquer it and to save us.

 -Pope Francis