St John the Evangelist

Email stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com



0151 645 3314

Reg. Charity 234025

Fr. Frank Rice

Rev Philip White

3rd. Sunday of year 23rd.January 2011


We all have our own prejudices. Some of us wouldn’t touch a German white wine if it were on prescription. Others would always go for a week’s bed and breakfast at Mrs Higginbottom’s boarding house in Eastbourne rather than a luxury holiday abroad in the sun. A new fashion design business would have an uphill struggle if it opened in Scunthorpe and a gourmet restaurant would have to prove itself to survive in West Bromwich. (Apologies to anyone who lives in these towns!)

The same was true in Jesus’s day. Of all the chic places to be found, the land of Zebulun and Naphtali, in northern Palestine, was not exactly at the top of the list. It had been attacked by the Assyrians and many people had been deported. So it’s with a sense of irony that Matthew remembers Isaiah’s prophecy about how God would make these places great. And now the eyes of the world look to Zebulun and Naphtali as the place from which God’s promised Messiah has come.

We have to fight against letting our prejudices get the better of us. For our God is a God of surprises. Just when we think we have got it all sewn up and we know what to expect, God pops up in the most unusual of circumstances and makes a nonsense of our best predictions. The pages of religious history are littered with the underdog proving victorious.

That’s because God doesn’t march to the same beat as we do. God is bigger than we can ever imagine and he chooses to work things out in his own way and not in ours. It’s only our puny expectations that prevent us from doing great things. We have learned not to expect much, even of God. And although God tells us to pray for the Holy Spirit in our lives so that we will accomplish wonders and marvels, we sometimes need some convincing.

As this year of Matthew’s gospel unfolds we will be invited to set no limits on what God can do in our lives, to expect the unhoped for, to await more than we could ever dream of. Alternatively we could put our faith on hold and try another week at Mrs Higginbottom’s. There are no surprises there.


The Lord Humbledthe land of Zebulon and Naphtali, but in days to come

He will confer glory on them. (Isaiah 8:23)



As Jesus begins his preaching mission the scriptures point to him as the Light of the world. To follow Jesus in our daily lives means to be called from despair to hope, from sadness to joy, and from darkness into light.

Ever since we crawled out of that primordial slime, that’s been our unifying cry, “More light”: sunlight, torchlight, candlelight. Neon, incandescent lights that banish the darkness from our caves to illuminate our roads and the insides of refrigerators.Big floods for the night games at Soldier’s Field. Little tiny flashlights for those books we read under the covers when we’re supposed to be asleep. Light is more than watts and foot-candles. Light is metaphor. Light is knowledge. Light is life. Light is light.(Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider)

While we are being strengthened in Christ Jesus and beginning to move forward in steadfast watchfulness, he at first appears in our intellect like a torch which, carried in the hand of the intellect, guides us along the tracks of the mind. Then he appears like a full moon, circling the heart’s firmament. Finally, he appears to us like the sun, radiating justice, clearly revealing himself in the full light of spiritual vision.(St Hesychios)


I think there needs to be a change of consciousness with the news…to try to seek a higher ground. Why can’t it be more representative of the way the world really is? Or is news designed just to bring bad news? I think we don’t know what the bombardment of crime and violence does to our minds. I think we’re in denial about it. (Oprah Winfrey)


A Vatican press release informs us that the new translation of the Missal is expected to be in use by September of this year. Each diocese will be sent resources to help us deal with the changes and to approach them in a positive and sensitive manner. If you wish for further details, log on to www.catholicchurch.org.uk/Catholic-Church/Media-Centre




3rd. Sunday

of year

23rd. 5.30



Rev Bill Burtoft


United Service Lwr. Beb. Methodist

Monday 24th. 9.15


Andrew Moore

Requiem Phyllis Campbell



25th. 9.15 November List
Wednesday 26th. 9.15 Vincent Sarson
Thursday 26th. 7.15. Deceased Parishioners
Friday 27th. 9.15 Deceased Parishioners
4th.Sunday of year 28th. 5.30



Bill Mitchell


Prayer Meeting

Please pray for our sick and those who care for them

Fred Archbold, 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 , Christopher & Raymond McNally , Mark Harrison, Genevieve Foster& Aileen McGuigan.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 £728 57p

120 Club Winner No 86 K Markey £20

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Anthony Kennedy who died suddenly on Sunday 9th January after arriving for morning Mass in his parish church. He is Rosemary Sanderson’s brother and the family are in deep shock at the unexpected death. Please pray for them too as they try to come to terms with such great sadness. Please remember all the friends and relatives of those who have recently died.



There is to be a meeting for ALL readers (and anyone who would like to be considered for the ministry of reader in our parish) on Monday 31st January from 7.30 until 9.30. It is most important that every reader attends.

John Bell from the Iona community will be in the region at the end of February and will hold a workshop at the URC in Heswall at 2pm on Sunday 27th. Entitled: ‘At odds with the culture of consumerism’. If you are a radio 4 devotee you will have heard John many times giving his thought for the day. Cost is £5 including refreshments (soup, bread and cake). Please see one of the posters for further details.

The Port sunlight Players are presenting a new musical based on the life and music of Glen miller. Performance dates at the Gladstone Theatre are 14th to 19th March with all performances starting at 7.30pm. Tickets £10 and they are on sale now. See poster for details.

News from Irenaeus (www.irenaeus.co.uk) Come and See 2011 will feature Sr. Helen Prejean as the keynote speaker- her story was told in the film ‘Dead man Walking’ and the music and prayer will be led by Boyce and Stanley. Many other well known contributors will be taking part. The conference is not until September 17th/18th and is held in Southport. Please see poster for details.

Scripture weekends 2011 led by Fr Chris Thomas will be held in Formby at St Joseph’s Prayer Centre. There are 2 dates in July, one in September and one in November. See poster for details.

Pax Christi Icon: The Pax Christi Icon will be in our diocese until the start of Lent.  The icon was written by the Orthodox monks of the Monastery of St John in the Desert, near Jerusalem and was a gift to Pax Christi, the international peace movement, at the start of the new millennium.  It represents Christ, the source of reconciliation, the source of liberation and peace.  Depicting stories from the Bible, and saints of both Eastern and Western traditions, linked by the theme of reconciliation, it symbolises the vital connections between the Eastern and Western traditions in the Peace of Christ. We hope to have the icon here over the weekend of 5th/6th February and we will plan a assembly around it.

Church opening….  A big thank-you goes to all our volunteers who have opened up the Church to the community.  We will certainly continue this service later in the year (probably after Easter in the warmer weather and lighter days).  However for the time being it has been decided to suspend Church opening in view of the cost of heating and the relatively low numbers taking advantage of the facility.