Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, 17th September, 2017. Cycle A


St John the Evangelist

128 Bebington Road, New Ferry, CH62 5BJ

Diocese of Shrewsbury   (reg. charity 234025)


Parish Priest:           Fr Bernard Forshaw          Deacon: Revd Michael Daly   Phone:             0151 645 3314

Email: Websites:    


Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, 17th September, 2017. Cycle A



Today’s gospel teaches us one of the most important lessons of our faith. Jesus makes no bones about it: if we want to be forgiven then we must first forgive others. “I can never forgive him/her” cannot be part of the Christian’s vocabulary.

Forgiveness is so central to Christianity that it is the reason why we baptise. We believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins, says our Creed. And the principal reason we follow Christ is so that we might experience the forgiveness of God and be set free to lead the lives that God intended us to enjoy. The Church is the community of God’s forgiven.

If we refuse to forgive then we create victims. The first victim is us. When we withhold forgiveness we take refuge in self-pity. We see ourselves as the one who is hurt and injured and we end up wading in bitterness, anger and resentment. How could anyone do this to me of all people? Me? We allow ourselves to dwell on the memory of hurt and injury and this begins to affect the way we view life, for anger and resentment only eat away at the heart. Lack of forgiveness is a heavy burden to carry.

And the second victim we create is the person we refuse to forgive. We keep them chained up with the guilt of what they have done and we prevent them from moving on in their relationship with us. To receive forgiveness is a joyful thing that brings peace of mind, and if we hold back on forgiving someone then we are not playing our part in helping them to move on.

Sometimes people forgive in such a way that they humiliate the other person. They are so high-handed that they make the person crawl before they are forgiven. They forgive with their lips but not with their hearts. Yet forgiveness is not something that we possess off our own bat. Forgiveness belongs to God, the same God who has forgiven each of us and who demands that we do the same in return.

Living in a place of unforgiveness is a life-depriving and dreadful experience. “And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother and sister from your heart.”


Forgive your neighbour the hurt he does you,and when you pray, your sins will be forgiven. (Ecclesiasticus 28: 2)




Join us on Saturday 23rd September for Birkenhead Operatic Society Trust’s ‘Highlights from the Musicals’ in aid of Wirral Hospice St John’s. The performance will be held at at St Stephen’s C of E Church, Prenton and will start at 7.30pm and finish late. Tickets are £10 pp and available from our Fundraising Office, please call Corinne on 0151 343 0778 to book your tickets.


Day of Renewal

At St. Joseph’s Parish Centre, Greenbank Rd, Birkenhead CH42 7JY on Saturday October 7th from 10am-4pm.

“Mission at the heart of the Christian faith”

Speaker Fr. Chris Thomas.

Bring packed lunch. Tea / coffee provided.

More information contact Maggie McMahon- 07895869209


Pantasaph Retreat

29th Sep-1st Oct 2017 .

Cost £105 (full board + conference)

Booking to Catherine Mossey.

Phone- 07759918200


Come and See Conference 2017, 14th-15th October is being held at Christ the King High School, Stamford Road, Southport PR8 4EX,     Timothy Radcliffe OP will be the keynote speaker with workshops by leaders including Fiona Castle, Dermott Donnelly, David and Mary Matthews and Pat Kennedy.  For booking forms and further information, contact Jenny on 0151 949 1199 or email     See Poster on Notice Board at the back of church.



Please take a copy of the Wednesday Word. It is a helpful reflection on next Sunday’s readings and do not forget to take a look at the Church Notice Boards giving details of other events and happenings locally and further afield.

If you have a notice for the bulletin please email it to the parish email address or put it through the presbytery letter

box by 12 noon on Thursdays. This will help Louise, Ann & I greatly.

Many thanks.


Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ord Time Cycle A 17th 5.00pm



Jack McCormick

Ints of Brokenshire Family

Prayer Meeting

Monday 18th 9.15am Helen Westerside
Tuesday 19th 9.15am Service of Word and Communion
Wednesday 20th 9.15am In Thanksgiving-S Andrews
Thursday 21st 9.15am Service of Word and Communion
Friday 22nd 9.15am Jack McGree Anniv RIP
Saturday 23rd    
Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ord Time Cycle A 24th 5.00pm



Tina Bower RIP

Theresa McLean

Prayer Meeting

Children’s Liturgy as usual this Sunday morning at 9.30am Mass in the Day/Side Chapel
Confessions Saturday 4.15pm-4.45pm
Morning Prayer 15 minutes before daily masses


Money Matters: Offertory £546.84p.   Many thanks.


Thanks to all those who attended the Coffee Morning last week and to all those who organised it. A fantastic sum of £268.20p was raised for Parish funds. Well done.


News from our Schools

Father Bernard will be celebrating Masses in St John Plessington College on Tuesday and on Thursday afternoon will celebrate a “Welcome Mass” for year 3 children at St John’s Junior School. After which we will publish the dates of the 2017/2018 First Forgiveness and First Communion Programme.

Open Mornings at SJP – Wednesday 20th September and Wednesday 27th September both at 9am.


The Diocese is looking to recruit a full time and permanent Deputy Director of Schools see poster on the noticeboard and the Shrewsbury Diocesan website for further details.

Scouts/Cubs/Beavers are conducting a “Car wash and Cake sale” in the Church car park/Parish Centre during Masses this weekend  .Cars will be washed (per usual) at owners authority during Mass           and tea/coffee and cakes will be on sale afterwards .

The Sacrament of Confirmation for our Local Pastoral Area will be celebrated           at Christ the King Bromborough on Friday 24th November at 7pm . All baptised Catholics in Year 9 or above at High School are now eligible to receive this important Sacrament of the Church. If you have any questions about Confirmation please see Deacon Mike or Fr Bernard after Mass or phone or email the parish as soon as possible as this year’s preparation program is now underway.


“Getting behind the figures”
You are invited to a presentation on the profile of people using Wirral Foodbank by Dr Rachel Loopstra of Oxford University on Thursday 21st Sept 7:30pm at Birkenhead Town Hall. Refreshments will be served. Based on data collected from people using Wirral Foodbank and other Trussell Trust Foodbanks in the North West, this presentation will explore their socio-demographic and employment characteristics, as well as their financial security and household food insecurity. Data will be compared to that collected from other foodbanks across Britain, enabling identification of common and unique risk factors for Wirral and the NW in comparison

“Family Fun night” & Bingo for St John’s Parish to be held in the Liberal Club next to the Church on Friday 29th September. Doors open 7.30pm for an 8pm start. Fun  for all the family young and old alike. Please note the date and try to support this fund raising event.

Carmelite Monastery Grovenor Place Birkenhead Annual Benediction in honour of Saint Therese of Lisieux with the veneration of her relic. Sunday 1st October at 3pm. Father Sean Riley is this years presider and preacher. All are most welcome .


Inter-Diocesan Fuel Management Limited is a Catholic organisation currently recruiting an Administrator. The Company purchases gas, electricity, fuel oil and biomass for the majority of Catholic Dioceses in England and Wales. The role is working with others in the department processing invoices, collecting data and general administration duties.This is a full time post: 35 hours Monday to Friday based at the Curial Office, Birkenhead. Salary: £16k to17k dependant on experience. Closing date 29thSeptemberCVto     For further details please visit the website  

Catholic University Chaplaincy. A reminder for all students starting at university this year to look out for their Catholic Chaplaincy. Most of our Universities and Higher Education Institutions have a dedicated Catholic Chaplain based in the university of local parish. The Catholic Chaplaincy is a place for you to explore your faith as a young adult, to meet other young adults with similar interests from a great range of backgrounds, and to get involved in activities and social outreach. Everyone is welcome.


Church Interior Redecoration: Please note that the Church is scheduled for internal redecoration this Autumn. It is anticipated the work will start in the next week or two and will last for 4-6 weeks. During that period weekend Masses will be celebrated in the Parish Centre and any Funeral Masses/ Services etc will be transferred to St Anne’s. Week day Masses/ Services will be unaffected and will continue to be celebrated in the Day Chapel.


Having a Mass said:  If you would like a Mass celebrated at St John’s for the living or the dead….for family, friends, fellow parishioners etc please let Fr Bernard know and in plenty of time if you have a specific date in mind. The Piety Stall at the back of Church is now well stocked with Mass cards. It’s a good Catholic practice to make an offering to the Church when asking for a Mass to be celebrated. Mass offering envelopes for this purpose are now available at the back of Church and from the sacristy.

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