Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, 14th January, 2018. 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: 


Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, 14th January, 2018. Cycle B



Can a leopard change its spots? Not if it’s a leopard; but it can if it’s a person. This is the fundamental message of grace. We see it time and time again when people’s lives are touched by God. It is not so much that they themselves do the changing as that God is able to transform them by grace.

Jesus indicates this in the case of Peter in today’s gospel. Your name is Simon, he tells him. But you will become Cephas (Peter) which means Rock. Peter’s friends would have found this nickname quite amusing for they knew Simon Peter well. They knew that if there was one thing that he wasn’t, it was steady as a rock. In fact, he was really quite the opposite: he was volatile, unpredictable and unreliable. So Rock was hardly the best way to describe him. But what Jesus was doing in changing Peter’s name was pointing to the fact that grace is able to transform, to modify what we are and do. It doesn’t damage our personalities; it builds on our nature and allows the best to be brought out of us while leaving us basically the same person that we were to begin with.

So, from being the up-and-down fisherman that he was, Peter would gradually be transformed into a leader, into a fervent teacher and preacher, into the Bishop of Rome and into such a sturdy advocate of faith that he gave his life for Christ. In a certain sense we can say that each one of us spends our whole lives changing our names. Every day is a call from God to respond to grace and to hone those qualities within us that God has planted for the good of the Church and the world. At birth we were each given a name. At baptism we began a journey whose destination bears a completely different title: our name in Christ. God does not intend you to have the same name as me; the graces given to you are for a different purpose than mine, since you are unique to God’s plan. We can change and we do change our spots. Jesus called Simon to become Peter. What name is he calling you to become?


The Bishops of England and Wales invite us to make today a day of prayer for world peace, using the theme proposed by Pope Francis; Migrants and Refugees- Seekers of Peace. Sadly, we are so used to images of those driven from their homelands by warfare or famine that we risk being desensitised both to their pain and to their aspirations. Yet these are our brothers and sisters; they seek what we all seek- food and shelter, a safe home and hope for the future. Let us ask Christ for the grace to recognise him in the refugee and the stranger and to remove the barriers in our hearts which make us view others as a threat and a danger, rather than as fellow seekers after peace.



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.

. 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. May your generosity continue throughout 2018.



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.






Second Sunday in Ord time 14th 5.00pm



Our Parish Family

Daniel Farley Anniv

Prayer Meeting

Monday 15th 9.15am Stephen Flattery RIP
Tuesday 16th 9.15am Kennedy Families RIP
Wednesday 17th 9.15am Fidelma Franklin RIP
Thursday 18th 9.15am Barry Woodhouse RIP
Friday 19th 9.15am Parents/Rel/Friends

Mc Allister Family

Saturday 20th 10.00am11.00am Father J McCaffrey ODC

Churches Together Service

Third Sunday in Ord time 21st 5.00pm



Jack McCormick RIP

Elizabeth Brooks RIP

Prayer Meeting

Children’s liturgy will start again this Sunday 14th January. A

meeting for all present children’s liturgy helpers will be held in

the church hall after mass to discuss/plan for 2018. Anybody

interested in getting involved would be welcome to come and

meet the team then.

Confessions Saturday 4.15-4.45pm
Morning Prayer 15 minutes before daily masses


Baptisms and Weddings 2018. Please contact us as soon as possible.


First Forgiveness for the children of St John’s School will be celebrated on Thursday 15th February at 6.30pm in Church. First Communion Masses Saturday 5th May and Saturday 12th May at 10.30am.


Lately Dead: Please pray for the repose of the soul of Vincent Barry whose Funeral Mass is at St John’s on Monday 22nd Jan at 9.30am.

Deacon Norman Carew Funeral Mass at St Joseph’s Seacombe Tuesday 16th Jan at 12 noon.

Canon Harry Stratton Vigil Mass St Paul’s Poynton Sunday 21st Jan at 6.30pm. Funeral Mass Monday 22nd Jan at Our Lady’s Stockport at 11am.

May they and all the faithful departed rest in peace.


Money Matters: Last week’s offertory= £600.32p Thank you for your great generosity to our parish.


White Flower Appeal: the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) will be holding its annual appeal with retiring collection this weekend at both Masses.


New Ferry Re-generation update meeting tomorrow (Monday) 5.30pm at St Mark’s Church Hall on New Chester Road. All welcome.


St John’s Parish Pastoral Team. First meeting of 2018 is this Wednesday 17th January at 7.30pm in the presbytery. Any thoughts/suggestions for the team to consider, please place in the suggestion box at the back of Church or hand to Wilf Humphrey or Fr Bernard.

Christian Unity Week:  The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally observed from 18th-25th January. Churches Together in Bebington have arranged the following prayer venues with Coffee/Tea at 10.30am ready for the Prayer Service to start at 11.00am.                                          Thurs 18th Higher Bebington URC Fri   19th St Luke’s, 76 Church Road Sat 20th St John’s (Coffee & Tea at the back of Church. Service at the front of the Church) Sun  21st Lower Bebington Methodist at 6.30pm Mon 22nd St Andrew’s Tues    23rd Jirah Wed  24th Christchurch Higher Bebington Thu   25th Christ Church Port Sunlight.

The themes of the daily material raises some of the contemporary issues addressed by the Churches of the Caribbean. Information and prayers can be found on the Churches Together website There is a Churches Together in Cheshire United Service at Chester Cathedral next Sunday 21st Jan at 3.30pm. Preacher the Archbishop of York Archbishop John Sentamu.

At Easter a newly formed HCPT group will be taking a small group of vulnerable and disadvantaged children on pilgrimage to Lourdes. Overall they need to raise £10,000 and as part of the fundraising effort they are arranging an Irish Dance Afternoon Tea at St Anne’s Parish Centre next Sunday 21st January from 12-4pm. Tickets at £8 are now on sale for this fun afternoon of Ceili dancing, Irish Bingo, raffle and traditional Irish dancing with afternoon tea. For tickets and further information please contact Erin McCulloch on 07473311235 or by email Your support for this event would be greatly appreciated.


We’re hoping to start a brand new female Cell Group called “Grace” initially meeting every Tuesday through Lent starting on 13th February. We will be studying the Book of Esther while loving, encouraging and supporting each other in our faith. If you are interested/would like to know more please contact Claire Griffiths on 07985 312703


Shrewsbury Catholic Charismatic Renewal Weekend 16-18th March 2018, at Savio House, Bollington, Nr Macclesfield. Speakers Archie and Cathy Cameron.

Theme “Reality of God’s Dream for You”.

For further information contact Ann Murray.

0151 645 5514 email Please see poster on the notice board at the back of Church. The venue has been moved due to the closure of Pantasaph Retreat Centre.


Tea & Coffee after Sunday 9.30am Mass every week in the Parish Centre. Why not stay a while and meet up with friends old and new.


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