First Sunday in Advent, 3rd December, 2017, Cycle B


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: 


First Sunday in Advent, 3rd December, 2017, Cycle B


As we begin our Advent season today, in preparation for the coming of Christ, Isaiah makes an urgent plea to God. He uses the same catch-phrase as the TV programme “The Price is Right” by saying to God “Come on down, tear the heavens open”.

Whenever we celebrate Advent we are involved on three levels: past, present and future. And at each level we make that same plea: Come on down!

We look to the past, to history. We recall that the Jewish people were waiting for a Messiah who would lead them to political and religious freedom. In this setting we see Mary and Joseph and we witness the birth of Jesus in the stable at Bethlehem.

We look to the present, to today. Jesus has not stopped coming to us in our day to day lives. He comes and speaks to us in the word of God, in the sacraments we celebrate, in the faces of those who bear God’s impression both in need and in joy.

We also look to the future. Christ will come again in glory when the plan of God is finally fulfilled. This coming will usher in the end of the world and all will be revealed for what it truly is.

So Advent is wake-up time. It’s the four-week season when we look for the ways in which Jesus comes to visit us. It’s easy to get caught up in an Advent that is just a pale religious reflection of the world’s commercial season. It’s easy to get stuck simply on the level of the past and start getting nostalgic and gooey about the trappings of Christmas, getting no further than the crib, the angels and the star. Yet if we are to celebrate the liturgy of Advent then we have to engage on all three levels.

Yes, we do remember the past events of Bethlehem. But our Advent and Christmas celebrations are imbued with the need to be alert and awake to the Christ who challenges us daily in our interaction with others, the same Christ who will come again to judge us on the way we responded to his invitation to love.

And we know that we are really capturing the spirit of the season if, like Isaiah, we can say and mean it when we ask God to “Come on down!”

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….



And yet, Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, you the potter, we are the work of your hand.

(Isaiah 64:8)


Cafod: World Gift Catalogue is available at the back of Church. If you are looking for something a bit different as a Christmas present this year then please take a look and see the life-changing gifts on offer.



Please give generously (as you usually do) to the Foodbank during the run up to Christmas. The need is as great as ever. Please check the notice board at the back of Church for most needed items. Thank you very much for your generous giving to the Foodbank throughout 2017



Missio (APF/Mill Hill) 2018 calendars are now available on the table at the back of Church. Please take one. Your APF/Red Missio Boxes should be emptied this month and their contents brought to Church/the Presbytery by 30th November please.


Traidcraft Stall will be available at the back of church on Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th December. Please take time to browse and see if you can pick up any gifts and cards for Christmas.

Christmas Flower Collection over the weekend Saturday/Sunday 16th and 17th December.


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. Many thanks.



First Sunday

in Advent

Cycle B

3rd 5.00pm




Rels/Frnds McGree Fam

Marie Rooney Annv RIP

Holy Hour

Prayer Meeting

Monday 4th 9.15am John Blakeway RIP
Tuesday 5th 9.15am Intentions of Sr Pat Kenny
Wednesday 6th 9.15am Kate Kennedy Annv. RIP
Thursday 7th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Feast of Immaculate Conception 8th 9.15am Ints Fr Frank Rice

Annv of Ordination

Saturday 9th    
Second Sunday in Advent

Cycle B

10th 5.00pm




John Ward RIP


Holy Hour

Prayer Meeting

Children’s Liturgy as usual this Sunday morning at 9.30am Mass in the Day Chapel. More helpers are urgently needed for this ministry. Please see Jacqui or Fr Bernard for details
Confessions From next Saturday 4.15-4.45pm
Morning Prayer 15 minutes before daily masses

The Rosary will be prayed after the 9.15am Mass on Friday – The Feast of the Immaculate Conception – for Parish intentions and for the intentions of the New Ferry Community. Please join us if you can.


Lately Dead: Your prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Fr Peter Phillips’ mother, Mary, who died very peacefully on 28th November. There will be a Vigil Mass at Nazareth House at 5pm on Wednesday 13th December with her Funeral Mass at 12 noon at Holy Angels, Hale Barns on Thursday 14th December. May she rest in peace.


At 9.30am Mass on this First Sunday of Advent we welcome the children from Year 3 from St John’s School who are being enrolled as Candidates for the Sacraments of First Forgiveness and First Holy Communion. Please keep them and their families in your prayers.

On the Sundays of Advent, starting today, in the day chapel, between 3-4 pm, there will be an opportunity to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament to reflect and contemplate on the true meaning of Christmas.



At 9.15am Mass on Tuesday we will welcome the children from Years 3 & 4 from St John’s School for an Advent Mass. Tea/Coffee /Biscuits after Mass. All welcome.


Money Matters: Offertory £626.71p

Special Collection for Clergy Education Fund £303.64p. Thank you for your continued generosity.



Tea and Coffee in the Parish Centre Sunday after 9.30am Mass.



First Holy Communion. If there are any children attending Non Catholic schools who are in Year 3 or above and so eligible to make their First Holy Communion in this school year please contact

us on tel no 0151 645 3114 asap.



An LPA Advent Day of Recollection will be held on Tuesday 5th December at Wistaston Retreat Centre, Crewe from 10am-4pm. If you would like to attend this day please contact Mary Tyrell on 645 7322 asap. Cost of the day is £17 with soup and scone lunch.

Mayor’s Traditional Christmas Tea Dance: The Mayor of Wirral’s Christmas Tea Dance will be held at Wallasey Town Hall on Wednesday 6th December 1.30pm-4pm. Music by Swingmasters. Refreshments are available. All proceeds to IncuBabies and the Merseyside Autistic Children’s Society. Tickets are £5 available and from the Mayor’s Office. Tel No 0151 691 8527.

THE BIG CARD will be at the back of church from next Saturday 1st December. Please write your Christmas message at a suggested minimum donation of £1. All proceeds will go towards the work of The Ark. Please support this very good cause and thank you for your support over the years.


Advent at St John’s

Beginning this Sunday – Holy Hour in Church 3-4pm

School Advent Mass in Church

On Tuesday 5th December Year 3 & 4 at 9.15am focusing on the characters of Advent.

LPA24 Advent Reconciliation Service with individual confession will be held at St John’s on Wednesday 20th December 7pm. All welcome.Fr Bernard will be in Church each Saturday during Advent from 11am-12 noon … opportunity for Confession, for prayer, for a chat.


A Musical Celebration of Christmas …. fabulous evening of festive music performed by the soloists and chorus of the Birkenhead Operatic Society in St Anne’s Church on Wednesday 13th December at 7.30pm Mulled wine and mince pies from 7pm. Tickets £8 on sale after weekend Masses or from St Anne’s Parish Office

Tel 645 3996


The next meeting for Catechists will be an opportunity for 

Sharing Best Practice. Miss Caroline Farey (Maryvale Institute & The School of the Annunciation) will listen to your exchanges, and offer practical advice for the situations you are facing. Venue: Our Lady’s, Ellesmere Port; Saturday,

13th January 2018, (9:30) 10:00-11:50. See poster with relevant information. Enquiries: Barbara Davies (07730 526821); Registration: Helen Jones (


Sing Me Merseyside Choir 

Carols at 2pm on 8th December at United Reformed Church, Higher Bebington Road. Free entrance, refreshments and raffle. ALL WELCOME


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