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

17th February 2019 – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners,

The second extract from Pope Francis’ letter Gaudete Exsultate (Rejoice and be Glad)

The Holy Spirit bestows holiness in abundance among God’s holy and faithful people… I contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God’s people: in parents who raise their children with immense love, men and women who work hard to support their families, the sick, elderly religious who never lose their smile. In their daily perseverance I see the holiness of the Church militant. Very often it is a holiness found in our next-door neighbours, those who, living in our midst, reflect God’s presence.

Holiness is the most attractive face of the Church. But even outside the Catholic Church and in very different contexts, the Holy Spirit raises up “signs of his presence which help Christ’s followers”. St John Paul II reminded us that “the witness to Christ borne even to the shedding of blood has become a common inheritance of Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans and Protestants”. He stated that the martyrs (particularly of the last century) are “a heritage which speaks more powerfully than all the causes of division”.

Points to ponder or discuss: Where in my neighbourhood do I see signs of holiness?


As you are aware, three years ago it was decided to delay the age at which children receive the sacrament of Confirmation. After consultation and discussion, the Bishop has decided that Confirmation will be offered to Year 8 pupils, but that the preparation for this will begin in year 6 (after the dreaded SATS) and continue on through year 7 until Easter/Pentecost of Year 8. So, our present Year 6 pupils will be invited to begin their preparation in June this year with a view to receiving the sacrament in 2021. The proposed scheme is quite imaginative, involving community based activities and it certainly will not be restricted to the desk or classroom. Full details are to be published in the near future.

I mention all this now so that we may begin to enlist volunteers to help run the scheme. Please consider this and do not fear – training will be provided. So, if you are interested to learn more then watch this space or have a word with me.

Fr John