15th March 2020 – Third Sunday of Lent

Coronavirus update – guidance from Salford Diocese

  • Cease the use of shared hymn books etc
  • Collect a newsletter and service sheet as you enter church and take both of these home with you
  • The collection plate will not be passed around—please put your offering in the basket provided as you leave church
  • If you have cold or flu symptoms please refrain from coming to church
  • Suspend distribution of Communion under both kinds. The host to be given on the hand only
  • Suspension of the Sign of Peace
  • Holy Water stoops to be removed
  • Eucharistic Ministers to sanitize their hands before distributing communion—please do this in the sacristy before Mass
  • Tea and Coffee will still be served after Mass—it is up to the discretion of individual whether they partake

    Hope in the Future


  • Our next meeting will be in the Presbytery on Thursday 19 March at 7.30 when we will discuss ‘Living the Sunday Eucharist.’ The meetings last approximately one hour and there is much thoughtful discussion which will help our reflections in Lent.Discussion and reflection will be based on the following questions
    • How do we prepare to listen to God’s Word each Sunday?
    • Do we ever look at the Scripture readings in the week before Mass?
    • What aids help us listen attentively? Are ‘missalettes’ a distraction?
    • Is there a real atmosphere of listening in the Liturgy of the Word there a real atmosphere of listening in the Liturgy of the Word?
    • How effective is the Homily in “nurturing Christian life”?
    • Is the Creed a powerful proclamation of faith or just words to be recited?
    • Do we have enough readers to give variety in voices?
    • Would introductions to the readings help our understanding?
    • Do we have cantors to sing the Psalm? If not, how can we make the Psalm a reflective prayer?
    • Are our microphones and amplification system effective? Is there a working loop system?
    • How could our celebration of the Liturgy of the Word give us a better awareness of the presence of Jesus?
    • Who writes the intercessions? Are they prayerful and universal?

    Michael Hargreaves will be leading the session and we hope that you will find time to think about the questions before the 19th.

    Refreshments will be served at the start of the session!



7th July 2019 – 14th Sunday in Ordinary time (Weld Day)


Saturday, June 22 saw the first Hope in the Future Deanery walk from Stonyhurst along the Tolkien Trail.  Starting with a prayer at the statue of Our Lady, 46 people from 11 St John Southworth Deanery parishes skirted the college grounds and through the fields to the Hodder.   We regrouped frequently to learn about the features of our surroundings and their Tolkien links.  We picnicked just past where the Hodder joins the Ribble and then on to where the Calder joins the Ribble.  A few weeks ago, an osprey was spotted fishing near here.  Like us it needed a lunch break on its journey north to the Lake District.  We had to be content with a heron, a truly magnificent bird none the less.

But it wasn’t the summer sun, the verdant green foliage, the ox eye daisies, the blackbirds, that made the day. It was the people, many of them newcomers to us but of same faith and mind.  It was good to circulate and share experiences of our parishes and hear what others were doing for Hope in the Future.  It became clear that our Parish is ahead of most and perhaps all others in our Deanery.  This will surprise some as it may seem that little has changed.  Hope in the Future is a five-year programme of which the Outreach component comprises:

  • Communicating well through newsletters, websites and social media
  • Serving the particular needs of the local community
  • Creating social outreach groups open to all
  • Linking with Caritas, CAFOD, SVP and similar organisations
  • Caring for the local environment
  • Inviting participation in activities such as parish missions or Alpha courses
  • Reaching out to parishioners who do not regularly attend church
  • Participating in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue and action

None of this is new.  These are the pillars of Catholic Social Teaching.  The only change is about balance.  As Donal Harrington says:  [There is] “a tendency to see spirituality as a private affair between ‘me and God’, with no reference to or need for community. Perhaps this reflects a more widespread tendency to ‘privatise’ that characterises capitalist culture. As times push on and the world becomes insular and populist, we too are pushed along with it.  Hope in the Future encapsulates the mission to address this, to become less inward and more outward looking.”

Anthony Brown


2nd June 2019 – 7th Sunday of Easter

Dear Parishioners,

Diocesan training courses and events in support of Hope in the Future

 Catechist Training

David Wells will present three workshops for catechists for would-be catechists in June. These will be suitable for those involved in Baptismal, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation preparation, as also RCIA. David Wells is an excellent teacher so the course will soon be booked out. Please contact me ASAP if you are interested.

Choose one venue – it’s the same course at all three.

St. Michael’s, Ribble Drive, Whitefield on Saturday 22nd June 10am-12noon
Our Lady and the English Martyrs Parish Centre, Davyhulme Rd, Urmston, Sunday 23rd June 2pm – 4pm
St. John Southworth, Vaughan Street, Nelson, Thursday 4th July 7-9pm

North West Scripture Festival 2019

Saturday 29th June at Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton, 9.30am to 3.30 pm.
The theme of this year’s festival will be Peter and Paul: Chosen and Sent.

Prayer and worship; Scripture reflections; Small group conversation; Creative plenary sessions. Tea and coffee provided; please bring a packed lunch. Suggested donation of £10 per person. To book your place please contact formation@rcaol.co.uk or ring 0151 522 1040.

 An Afternoon/Evening with Sherry Weddell for Clergy and Laity

Thursday 20th June 2019, 5:30pm – 9:00pm, St Bernadette’s Parish Centre, Whitefiled, M45 7SX
5:30pm – Holy Hour / Confessions
6:30pm – Tea/Coffee
7:00pm – Talk – Forming Intentional Disciples
8:30pm – Q&A and discussions
9:00pm -Departures
Suggested donation of £5:00 payable on the door. Register online – www.dioceseofsalford.org.uk/parishes/events/ or by emailing john.griffin@dioceseofsalford.org.uk or calling 0161 817 2214.

Fr John