Fifth Sunday of Easter, 29th April, 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: 


Fifth Sunday of Easter, 29th April, 2018. Cycle B




Jesus has just told his disciples that he is to undergo suffering and death and that he will be taken from them. He encourages them not to get downcast and says that he will remain with them. Then he says, “Come, let us go”. It’s time to carry on.

If we were one of the disciples our natural inclination would be to panic. What are we going to do without him? How will disciples be able to challenge the political and religious authorities with the message of Christ if he is nowhere to be found? How will we be able to bring his message to the world? So Jesus teaches them about the vine and the branches.

We cannot be effective Christians if we rely only on our human effort. Our strengths may be outstanding but they’re not even close to the mark when it comes to communicating to the world who God is and what God wants for us. That’s why part of Jesus’ reassurance to them was about sending a helper, the Holy Spirit. It is only in the power of the Holy Spirit that our lives can witness to God’s power and presence. Anything else is mere altruism, pure natural philanthropy.

It is our union with Christ that allows us to share in his continued mission on earth. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit if it is not attached to the trunk of the tree, so to we have to be united in Christ through the Holy Spirit. This is the way that Christ remains with us here on earth even though he has ascended to heaven. And, of course, we have to remember that we are not intended to be the vine, just the branches. It’s the vine that gives us the sap to produce fruit on our branches.

God is very close to us, closer than we could ever imagine. Our work will bear fruit if we realise our dependence on God and allow God to work through us. This naturally involves knowing God, talking to God and listening to what God has in mind for us. All of this takes place if we let the Holy Spirit into our lives. When did you last have a word with him?


This year marks the 160th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady to Bernadette in Lourdes. The Diocesan Pilgrimage will take place from 26th July-3rd August overland and

27th July-2nd August by air.  Brochures and booking forms can be downloaded from the Pilgrimage Website or from the Pilgrimage Office: St Alban’s, 30 Mill Lane, Wallasey, CH44 5UD.  This year flight seats are limited so early booking is recommended.




God does not count on us to solve all the problems of the world single-handed. He does not expect us to be the vine, just the branches. The more closely united to Christ we are the more effective we will be as his instruments. Do we see all we do in this world as being played off our own bat, or do we sense the presence of God at our side? Are we trying to be the vine or do we realise that we are the branches?


St John’s has been donating/collecting for Merseyaid UK to send clothing and household goods to Lebanon and for refugees coming to our area. Anything you want to donate will be put to good use. We now have an official collecting box (pictured here) provided by Roberts Recycling which will be placed at the back of church and emptied weekly. As Christians we are called to look after those less fortunate than ourselves. Thank you for your generous and continued support.



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 for the ITEMS1 URGENTLY NEEDED: Tinned custard, sugar (small if possible), washing up liquid, tea, tinned spaghetti, small cereal, sponge puddings


Please take a copy of the Wednesday Word. It is a helpful reflection on next Sunday’s readings.



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.






Sunday of Easter

Cycle B

29th 5.00pm



Ints Steve & Mary Bulmer

Elizabeth Dunne Annv RIP

Prayer Meeting

Monday 30th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion  
Tuesday 1st 9.15am Service of Word & Communion  
Wednesday 2nd 9.15am Service of Word & Communion  
Thursday 3rd 7.30am Harry Duggan RIP  
Friday 4th 9.15am Ints Ted Welch  
Saturday 5th 10.30am First Communion Mass  
Sixth Sunday of Easter

Cycle B

6th 5.00pm



Rosemary Butcher RIP

St John’s Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Children’s liturgy on Sunday at the 9.30am Mass  
Confessions Saturday 4.15-4.45pm  
Morning Prayer 15 minutes before daily Masses  

Prayers for the Sick: Please keep our Sick and Housebound parishioners in your prayers and if anyone is in need of Holy Communion or a visit, please do let us know.


Lately Dead: Please pray for the repose of the soul of Maria Illidge whose Funeral Mass will be celebrated at

St John’s on Friday 11th May at 9.30am and

Stephen Scully whose Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St John’s on Friday 18th May at 12 noon. May they and all the faithful departed rest in peace.


First Communion: Our First Communion children and their families will be attending the 9.30am Mass today as they make their final preparations for this great sacrament. This year’s First Communion Masses will be celebrated over two weekends. The first being held next Saturday 5th May at 10.30am and the second being on the following Saturday 12th May again at 10.30am. Parishioners and friends are welcome at either or both of these Masses. Please keep all the children, their parents, families and our school in your prayers over the next few weeks.

Readers & Eucharistic Ministers: In the next few weeks we are hoping to commission some additional Eucharistic Ministers and Readers. If you would like to be involved in these important ministries please have a word with Wilf Humphrey or Fr Bernard.


Money Matters: £669.97p

Thank you for your continued generosity.


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.


“Rosary on the Coast initiative”…. Today Sunday

29th April at 3pm. Endorsed by Pope Francis and many Bishops, the aim is for the Rosary to be prayed around the entire coast of the British Isles. We will implore Our Lady to arouse a renewal of the Catholic Faith in our land. If you wish to take part, there are two local locations…. near Morrison’s in New Brighton (which will be led by Bishop Mark) and at Eastham Ferry.


Denis McBride and Damien Wells will be speakers at a Day of Discipleship being held at

St Anselm’s College next Saturday

5th May, 11.00am until 2.30pm Tea and Coffee provided but please bring your own packed lunch. The event is free but registration is essential. To register please email

Chris Malone


Wirral Knights of St Columba invite all St John’s parishioners to participate in their Annual Day of Recollection on Thursday 3rd May at Bridgettine Sisters in Holywell. Coach leaves from St Anne’s at 9.20am returning around 5pm. The day will include two talks, Mass, a time of Exposition and the opportunity for Confession. Total Cost (including cooked lunch) £15. To book please contact Bernard McGuigan Tel 645 7929 or Tony Patton Tel 645 9934 asap as places are limited this year.


55+ Group: Pre Royal Wedding Celebration on Tuesday 8th May from 2pm-4.30pm in St Anne’s Parish Centre. Buffet and Entertainment. Cost £2.50. Wedding attire optional


The Person of Jesus Module for the Catholic Certificate of Religious Studies: CCRS: The next module,  The Person of Jesus, led by Fr Tony McGrath for the Catholic Certificate of Religious Studies second module is on Saturday 19th May.  Registration forms and details are on the website at .

A non-certificate option is also available (no essays!) Particularly aimed at teachers, catechists and those who wish to learn more about our Catholic Faith.


“Fruitful Discipleship: Living the Mission of Jesus in the Church and the World”. A chance to hear Mrs Sherry Weddell, international author on Saturday 12th May 2018 at St Ambrose College, Hale Barns WA15 0HE (9.30/10am-3.30pm, please bring packed lunch). Sherry has a wealth of experience helping people deepen their personal relationship with God and living out its implications in mission; she is a speaker who will both inspire and encourage. Everyone welcome. All enquiries: Barbara Davies 0773052682. Details and Registration: or Helen Jones 0151 652 9855

The Legion of Mary will be holding a Public Rosary for Peace in St Werburgh’s Square, Birkenhead on Saturday 12th May at 2pm. All are welcome to join us.

Vocations Weekend for Young Women (20s and 30s) will be held at Liverpool 25-27th May 2018. Theme: “Discerning God’s Call in My Life”. The weekend is organized by the sisters Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ). For details contact Sr Lynne FCJ at or visit the website


St Bede’s LPA will be hosting an evening of preparation for Pentecost on Thursday 7th May at 7pm at St Joseph’s, Birkenhead. Music groups and choirs from across the area will lead us in a time of prayer as we invite the Holy Spirit to renew us. See poster at back of church for details.


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