St John the Evangelist

Email stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com



0151 645 3314

Reg. Charity 234025

Fr Frank Rice

Rev Philip White

1st Sunday of Advent 2010 November 2010


Cinemas used to show films continuously. You went in at any time and began to watch wherever the film was up to. You stayed when it was over and then watched it again up to the point where you originally started to view. “This is where we came in” was a phrase often heard as people got up in the middle of a film and left.

There’s a danger that we can do the same thing with the Church’s calendar and liturgy. We can think of it as a series of historic events that we simply commemorate on a twelve-monthly cycle. And so once more we’re back at the beginning, singing our Advent hymns and songs again.

But liturgy is not about the past unless that past links us to the present and readies us for our future destiny. Liturgy actuates the presence of Christ. In other words, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Church’s worship makes Christ present here and now and makes his demands and challenges something that we have to respond to by a conscious decision to follow him or not. Liturgy is not history-gazing but history-making. And the history it makes is ours.

Although Jesus’s words were originally addressed to a first century audience, when they are proclaimed at today’s Eucharist they are aimed at us. For in the liturgy God continues to speak through the words of scripture, and when Jesus warns us to stay awake and ready for the coming of the Son of Man, he means now.

Advent offers us the chance to join the cycle again, but as if we have only just come in. There is nothing to re-enact, only commitment to undertake. Rather than watching the film once more, where we know what the ending is, we open ourselves to the newness of God’s daily call and we ratify our commitment to seek him in whatever circumstances his challenge will come to us during Advent and the coming year.

So celebrating Advent is not trawling through history. It’s yearning for our saviour’s coming among us so much that we want to be ready to greet him. Our prayers and music are just the outward expression of inner longing: Come, Lord Jesus, come!


They will hammer their swords into ploughshares, their spears into sickles. Nation will not lift sword against nation, and there will be no more training for war. (Isaiah 2:4)



At the start of the Church’s New Year we prepare to meet our saviour. This is not simply a re-enactment of some 2000 year-old drama, but an invitation to renew ourselves in mind and heart as we seek afresh to find God in the ups and downs of our daily lives.


On Saturday 11th December, Churches Together Christmas family will hold a torchlight procession at 4.30pm. This will start from the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight and will be over in time for Saturday evening Mass.

Whilst some of the participants will be wearing Biblical costume (adults and children) many will not be dressing up.

Please see the poster at the back of the church for ideas for costumes etc as well as some ‘props’ available to borrow and you can buy torches, haloes or wings from the pound shop. Why not spread YOUR wings and join in the fun? Here is a carol singing opportunity for you.


The white candle in the Advent wreath is a souvenir given to the parish from the Papal visit to Hyde Park. It will be carried in procession on Christmas Eve. Please have a look at it.


1st Sunday of Advent 28th 5.30



Deceased R & F Bell Family


Prayer meeting

Mon 29th 9.15 Peter Mc Lean

30th 9.15 Deceased R & F Sarson Family
Wed 1st. 9.15. November List
Thurs 2nd 7.15.


November List

Advent Scriptures with Philip

Fri 3rd 9.15 Colin Smith RIP
2ndof Advent 27th. 5.30



Anastasia  Sweatman (anniv)


Prayer Meeting

Please pray for our sick and those who care for them

Jane Jackson, William Halpen, Philomena Moore, Margaret Randles, Michael Collins, Teresa McLean, Joan Lee, Ann Ferguson, Denis Welch, Josie Cohen, Peter Williamson, Kathy Smith, Marjorie Hoey, Mrs H McCormack, Esther Roche, Fay Challoner, Sheila Stockley, Joan & Charles Reynolds, Mollie Dowling, Kath Holland, Sheila Clayson, Mary Bryden, Owen & Josie Toohey,  Betty Kennedy,  Helen Worth, Christopher Hadfield, Ivan Gregory, Kath Bassett , Pat Ronan, Christopher & Raymond McNally , Mark Harrison & Genevieve Foster. Those in the parish who do not wish their illness to be made public but who also need our prayers

Money Matters-Thank you

Sunday Offering £743 61p

Boiler £3 32p

120 Club Winner No 15 G Owens   £20

Bernard Dillon would like to thank all those who supported the book sale at Mayer Hall last Sunday. He raised £675 for Parkinson’s UK. He intends to have about four such sales each year so look out for the next.


A parish Christmas party is proposed for 12th December after morning mass from 11am until 2pm.  Everyone is welcome. Bring a plate & own drinks and we will supply tea and coffee

The Pilgrim Troupe presentation here last week was quite well supported and visitors from other local Christian churches were very impressed. If you missed out this time, then the Troupe are to give four presentations for Advent in several different locations on the Wirral and Chester so you might be able to catch up with them there. Parts of the presentation are very funny though of course the message is a weighty one. The first of these is at St Joseph’s Upton (Fr Roger’s parish) on Friday 3rd December at 7.30pm See poster for details.

Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.… (Pope Benedict)

The supreme trick of Old Scratch is to have us so busy decorating, preparing food, practising music and cleaning in preparation for the feast of Christmas that we actually miss the coming of Christ. Hurt feelings, anger, impatience, injured egos—the list of clouds that busyness creates to blind us to the birth can be long, but it is familiar to us all. (Edward Hays)

You will be given a piece of paper this weekend to write your suggestions about how you think first Communions should be celebrated in the parish. There are lots of grumbles and I need to discuss your suggestions with Mr. Sharp as we plan for the future.

Tuesday 30th. Ann Gemmell

Vic Gemmell

Thursday 2nd. Bernard McGuigan

Eleanor McGuigan

Saturday 4th. W Humphrey

D Humphrey


The four weeks of Advent mark the start of the Church’s liturgical year. In this season there are two principal themes that we celebrate, both epitomised by the term “advent” which means coming.

The first coming took place 2000 years ago when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, so Advent is a time of preparation for Christmas and the Nativity of the Lord.

But there is second coming that we look forward to, when Christ will come at the end of time.

St Bernard reminds us of a third coming of Jesus that takes place every day when we meet him in the faces of those we come into contact with, and in the word of God and the sacraments.

During the season of Advent we remember the long years of waiting by the people of Israel for the Messiah, the messages of hope in the prophets, and how Mary and Joseph were faithful to God’s plan. Advent is not a penitential season, as Lent is. Advent is a time of joyful preparation and expectation. The Gloria is omitted on Sundays in Advent not as a sign of repentance, but to create a longing that will inspire people to sing it more joyfully on Christmas.

As each week of Advent goes by we light our candles on the Advent wreath, one each week until finally we are ready to celebrate Christ’s birth. The colours of purple and royal blue dominate in Advent, signs of the royal colours of the returning king. And as Christmas draws near, all our songs and prayers reflect the great longing of Christians to be reunited with our king as we proclaim: Come, Lord Jesus, come! These ideas were just some of those discussed last Thursday-

The scripture discussions facilitated by Philip got underway last Thursday and I have had very positive feedback. The next session will be on Thursday 2nd at 7pm with a break for tea and biscuits. There are no exams to pass but any contributions you make will be listened to. You will be most welcome to join us in the warmth of the side chapel.


Ten of our young people were confirmed last Thursday by Bishop Mark. It was a great day for them and I hope you will keep them in your prayers as they enter a new phase in their spiritual lives. I felt very proud of them and of their Catechists.