Sri Lanka bombings

The Clitheroe Mosque Community has sent a card of Peace and Support to the parish following the dreadful bombings in Sri Lanka, assuring us of their prayers for all who have been affected.  The chair of the Parish Forum, Peter Donnelly, has sent a card thanking the Mosque for their prayers and I rang and spoke with Imam Ashraf.

Fr John

Advent Contemplations


Jesuits and the Diocese of Westminster’s Marriage and Family Life Team have joined forces to produce a series of imaginative contemplations to help families journey alongside the Holy Family in prayer this Advent.

The series with an introduction, is available to listen to or download from the

Jesuits’ spirituality website Pathways to God

Each contemplation focuses on a person or group from the Nativity story—Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the Magi—who will all be very familiar to children.  Each session will have its own suggested storyline and you are invited to imagine and reflect along with it.


Letter from the Queen to the Ladies Group


St Michael and St John ’s Ladies Group run a Tea Dance on the third Wednesday of every month. On the occasion of the Queen’s 90th birthday, 20th April, 2016, we held a special celebration – the hall was decorated with red, white and blue bunting, flags were on each table and everyone came dressed in red, white and blue.
A celebratory cake was made by one of our members, we had a glass of wine and a toast to her majesty.
Photographs were taken of this memorable occasion and sent to the Queen – including poster, cake, committee and dancers.
We have received a letter from the Queen, see below, together with some photographs of the day.


To: Everyone at St. Michael and St. John’s Ladies Group
The Queen wishes me to write and thank you for the letter which you
have sent on the occasion of Her Majesty’s ninetieth birthday.
The Queen greatly appreciated your kind words and Her Majesty was
interested to hear a little about St. Michael and St. John’s Ladies Group.
The Queen was also touched to know of the tea dance which you held
in honour of her special day and hopes you all had an enjoyable time.
Her Majesty hopes you will understand that, because of the enormous
number of letters, cards and messages she has received in the last few
months, it has not been possible to reply to you until now and I am to thank
you, once again, for your thought for The Queen at this time.





Sr Eileen Pollard – Funeral

SISTER EILEEN POLLARD died early on Thursday morning.  Her funeral is being held on Friday 23rd September at 2pm in the Chapel at the Convent of Notre Dame, Lancaster Lane, Parbold. WN8 7HT followed by burial in the grounds.  The chapel is only small and they have asked us to give them some idea of how many parishioners from Clitheroe will be attending.  Please let Janet know by Monday 19th if you will be going.

2nd Sunday of Easter – 3rd April 2016

Dear Parishioners,

First a word of gratitude to all, too many to mention by name, who worked so hard to prepare the Church for Holy Week and all who participated in the ceremonies.  Attendances were really good and it was great to welcome so many parishioners from St Hubert’s.

As you are aware Bishop John has asked each parish to consider how we can best undertake the mission of the Church in Salfoed Diocese in these changing times.  This means identifying our resources and how we might best reorganise ourselves.
In February, the Bishop met over two day meetings with almost all of the priests in the diocese to begin this reflection.  He stressed that, at this point, we are concerned with determining and agreeing “what” we must do in order to face the present and future needs of the diocese.  The “how” we do it will be for a later stage of discussion over the coming summer months.
Now he invites parishes to meet individually, not so much to get into the details of parish amalgamations or church closures, though they will touch on that briefly towards the end of the meeting.  Those detailed discussions will be for a later date.  This meeting is about us, as a parish, accepting that there is a need for change and being open to being part of that change.
Why change?  Back in 2000 we had 191 parishes, containing 206 churches and served by 210 priests.  Now we have 150 parishes, containing 185 churches and served by 155 priests.  Of the 155 priests currently serving our parishes, 124 are diocesan priests but only 106 of those diocesan priests are under the age of 75.  In the next five years, that number will drop to 93 (assuming that they all are able to continue in parish ministry until retirement at 75 and that the present 8 seminarians get ordained).
Change and adaptation is not an option.
More important is Pope Francis’ challenge that “the call to review and renew our parishes has  not yet managed to make them environments of living communion and participation and to make them completely mission orientated.”
So as a parish we shall meet on Wednesday evening in Clitheroe to respond to the challenge of both Pope and Bishop and consider what a modern missionary parish in North Lancashire should look like and be about in the 21st Century.
I urge our three communities based on Dunsop Bridge, Clitheroe and Sabden to COME, answer the call at 7.30pm in the Clitheroe Parish Hall, this Wednesday.

Fr John


Traffik Jam Concert A Resounding Success

The Parish Hall was full to capacity at the Traffik Jam concert at the Parish Centre on 31st October.  The event raised £2,222.50 for the Medaille Trust.  You may have noticed that the figure keeps going up.  It isn’t too late to add to it.  The Medaille Trust is a charity that provides safe houses for people rescued from human trafficking.  Starting with the Garage Band who played English and Irish music with a fine blend of lyrical ballads, comedy and banter, the concert moved onto Nyima Murry’s haunting folk/blues and some of her own compositions.  The evening finished with the hall echoing to the sounds of over two hundred voices singing popular songs along with Clitheroe Ukulele Orchestra.  It was an evening of fun in aid of a serious issue, the music ranging from light hearted sing alongs to the searing reality of human trafficking.  Nyima Murry sang a trafficking song specially composed for the occasion.

Speaking at the concert Anthony Brown said that the Medaille Trust has 6 safe houses, 3 for sex victims and 3 for men plus a family unit and an Albanian Unit.  Government figures for referrals of potential victims of trafficking  for 2013 in the UK were 1746, of which approximately two thirds were female and two thirds were sexual exploitation.  Nearly one third were minors.  These figures are known cases and represent the tip of an iceberg.  Locally, we are working with the Police via parishioner Detective Chief Inspector Sion Hall.  In East Lancashire there has only been one prosecution in recent years but there is no room for complacency.  The trafficking industry is massive world wide and growing and the Police need the public’s eyes and ears.

A large number of people and organisations have been very generous with their support and particular mention should be made of Sign Design, Burnley for their large outdoor posters and Jenny Press for their large free advert.   Donations and raffle prizes have been many but notably from the Lancaster Foundation, Manchester Football Museum, Ultraframe, Carter Leisure, Sitting Pretty, Byrnes Wine Shop, Townsend Records, Booths and Sainsburys.  Thanks to generous raffle prizes the raffle alone made £354 and sponsorship and donations amounted to £663.50.




Lent 2014

Two suggestions to make this Lent a time of spiritual growth. As you probably know Pope Francis has written an important letter to the church called Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel, that provides a roadmap for this papacy. Lent offers an opportunity to reflect on this document.

Beginning a week on Wednesday, 12th March at 7.30pm and for the following five Wednesdays in the hall, there is a presentation of the letter’s major themes with a short video and discussion, organised by Elsie and led by Fr Frankie. Do make an effort to attend at least some of these sessions.

A Lenten Journey of Prayer, Walk with me, that daily provides a short quotation from Pope Francis’ letter a Scripture quotation, reflection and a prayer is available at the back, it costs £1.

This year the Deanery is introducing Lenten Station Masses. Full details on notice board. Do try and attend at least the nearest Mass at St Mary’s Langho. The first of this year’s Lent talks will be on Saturday 15th March in our Parish Hall. ‘The church at the crossroads’ with Dr Robert Pierce, a Christian GP who examines the health of the church from a personal perspective. The talk commences at 11am and concludes at 12noon. Coffee will be served from 10.30am.


Deanery Stations Mass Programme

Clitheroe churches in parnership lenten programme

Stations in lent

There will be stations at St Mary’s  each Tuesday in lent at 7.30. Please join us.