Fourth Sunday in Advent, 24th December, 2017, Cycle B


THE CHRISTMAS CANDLELord, I light this candle at Christmas for myself and those who are dear to me. May its flame be a reminder of the way you light up my days and warm my heart. May its fire burn away my pride, my selfishness, and all that keeps me from you. As I celebrate the birth of your Son, who came into the family of Nazareth, I pray to you for my own family and friends, both living and dead. Keep them in your loveand let them feel your powerful presence. I leave this candle now as a token of the service I want to give you. May it continue to burn in all my thoughts, words and deeds today and for ever. Amen.


Thank you to everyone for their kindness. Please continue to give generously to the Foodbank. The need is as great as ever. Please check the notice board at the back of Church for most needed items. Once again, 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 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.



A Prayer for Refugees

Almighty and merciful God, whose son became a refugee, and had no place to call his own;

Look with mercy on those who today are fleeing from danger, homeless and hungry.

Bless those who work to bring them relief; inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts; and guide the nations of the world towards that day when all will rejoice in your kingdom of justice and peace. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, Amen.



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:


Fourth Sunday in Advent, 24th December, 2017, Cycle B



Mary could have had a comfortable life. She seems to have been an ordinary girl and could have hoped for a good husband, a few children and a reasonably normal and happy existence in Nazareth.

Then the angel appeared on the scene. She was asked to be the mother of a child, given the boy’s name and told that she didn’t need a husband because the Holy Spirit would be taking care of things. Who on earth would agree to this? Yet she did. Let what you have said be done to me.

Then it all started: the difficulties of the birth in a cold stable while going to Jerusalem to register for the census, the scandal of not being married, the strange goings on with the star, the wise men and the angels, the prophecy by Simeon that she would end up heart-broken, the trouble when Jesus started preaching, his arrest and execution. She could have stayed in her comfort zone and just said no. But then she would never have become the mother of God and never experienced the challenge of the adventure of her life. It turned out that, far from being a comfort to Mary, God set out to discomfort her. Advent faith means being prepared to come out of our comfort zones. It means agreeing like Mary to give birth to Jesus. Each of us is called to take steps that will cause us discomfort and trouble. It would be easier if we treated religion as a hobby. We could attend church from time to time and just enjoy the music. Or we could throw ourselves fully into the uncomfortable business of standing up for Jesus in all the circumstances of our lives. We can be couch-Christians or Cross-Christians. But only the latter will lead us to the adventure which is God.

Advent asks us to reflect on how much we are prepared to be disturbed in our profession of faith. Do we want to watch as others do the work of bringing the Good News to our world or do we want to be on the front line? Are we comfortable in the waiting room or do we want to give birth? Do we simply want to carry the plaster statue of the baby in the crib or are we prepared to take on his flesh and bones with all that this entails?

Fourth Sunday

in Advent

Cycle B

First Mass of Christmas







Ints Bob Purfield (90)

Rels/Frnds Fullerton Fam

Crib Service


Nativity of the Lord




Poor, Sick & Needy

Feast of

St Stephen



St John’s Altar Servers

Feast of

St John the Evangelist







Service of the Word & Communion




Ted Welch (ill)





Feast of the Holy Family

Cycle B





Vic Gemmell RIP

Ints Poor Clares Hawarden

Prayer Meeting

Today (the 4th Sunday in Advent) is a Day of Special

Prayer for Expectant Mothers. There is no Children’s

Liturgy at 9.30am Mass today but this afternoon there is a

Crib Service which, please note, is at the earlier time of

3.00pm. More helpers are urgently needed for Children’s

Liturgy. If you would be willing to offer some help with this

important ministry in 2018, please let us know.


Saturday 4.15-4.45pm

Morning Prayer

15 minutes before daily masses


Money Matters: Offertory: £ 623.50p

Flowers: £320.16p

APF Red Boxes: £115.81p

Thank you for your continued generosity.

The Collection on Christmas Day is for the support of our Parish Clergy


Your donations at the crib during the Christmas Season are for Caritas Shrewsbury (formerly known as the Catholic Children’s Society) who offer care and support to refugees (a refuges centre has opened recently in Wythenshawe) and to needy families and individuals on the Wirral and throughout the Diocese. As you always are, please be generous to the Crib Offerings this year…. the needs are great!



Christmas Services at St John’s

Christmas Eve

Crib Service for Children at 3.00pm in Church,  

Mass of the Nativity begins at 7.30pm

Christmas Day

Mass 9.30am 

Christmas Week Mass Times

26th-29th will be at 10am

Feast of St Stephen: 26th December.

Mass at 10am will be offered for our Altar Servers.

Feast of St John the Evangelist: Patron Saint of our Parish. Mass will be held at

Sat/Sun 30th/31st Dec: Feast of the Holy Family

Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and

Sun 9.30am

Mon 1st Jan 2018 Feast of Mary the Mother of God

Mass at 10.00am

Sat/Sun 6th/7th Jan: Feast of the Epiphany

Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and Sun 9.30am.


Our Parish Altar Servers, members of the Guild of St Stephen, renew their promises at 10.00am Mass on Tuesday morning, the Feast of St Stephen. Parishioners are invited to this Mass to pray for and to show their encouragement for our young people as they carry out this important ministry in the life of the Church.


On Wednesday the Church celebrates the Feast of St John the Evangelist which means that here at St John’s we celebrate our Parish Feast. Please try to come to the 10am Mass on Wednesday. There will be tea/coffee and mince pies in the presbytery after Mass.



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




THE BIG CARD is at the back of church. LAST CHANCE THIS WEEKEND to 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.


Churches Together Christmas Day Lunch to be held at Christ Church Community Centre, Higher Bebington. If you know anyone locally who is alone and who would welcome extra company on Christmas Day please contact Jill 334 6077 or the office 608 4429. Transport can be arranged. See poster on notice board for full details.


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 (



Fr Bernard thanks you for your ongoing support to our Parish. He especially thanks all those who do so much for/in our Parish and schools in a rich variety of ways.

On a personal level he thanks you for the Christmas cards, gifts and good wishes all of which are read and much appreciated.  

Fr Bernard prays that this Christmas will be a grace-filled time for everyone and that 2018 will bring renewed life to the New Ferry Community, peace to our troubled world and good health and happiness to all


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