The Nativity of St John the Baptist, Sunday, 24th June 2018. Cycle B


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.

ARE YOU A CATHOLIC TEACHER BUT NOT TEACHING IN A CATHOLIC SCHOOL? YOUR DIOCESE NEEDS YOU!!! We are holding an informal session on Saturday 30th June at

St Hugh’s Parish Hall, 314 Manchester Road, West Timperley, Altrincham,

WA14 5NB from 10 am – 12 pm, with Mass available at 12.15 pm. If you would like to attend or want further information about returning to Catholic education please e-mail Sue Jenkinson on


Diocesan Vacancies: Senior Trusts & Foundations’ Officer to play a key role in the development and implementation of the Diocesan fundraising activities and those of Caritas Diocese of Shrewsbury in order to secure funding for parishes, programme work, project work (and organisational core costs) by assisting with the preparation of funding bid applications.

Diocesan Health & Safety Officer The post holder will act as the key contact for all health & safety matters throughout the Diocese and will co-ordinate health and safety compliance in all Diocesan Departments and Parishes, trading subsidiaries and associated organisations; supporting, training and assisting in developing risk assessments, policies and procedures required to deliver and promote a first class safety culture.  This post is suitable for those holding NEBOSH diploma and Chartered Member of MIOSH

For more information please visit our website  or send CV to


The Carmelite Monastery will be celebrating 100 years foundation in Birkenhead. Bishop Mark Davies will be celebrating Holy Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on 16th July at 7.00pm, followed by a buffet. Everyone is warmly invited.


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.


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: 


The Nativity of St John the Baptist, Sunday, 24th June 2018. Cycle B


Today the Church celebrates the great feast of the Birth of the one who was “Precursor”, “Friend of the Bridegroom”, “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,” John the Baptizer. The first reading, the second of the four “Servant of the Lord” songs of the prophet Isaiah 49:1-6 identifies so well the role of the Baptist. He was truly the Servant made ready and fit for the preaching of God’s word. John was identified with the people of Israel and his vocation as ultimately not only the restoration of Israel, but also the conversion of the world. John was the sharp-edged sword who pointed out the true light to the nations, the one whose salvation would reach to the ends of the earth.

St. Paul, in the reading from the Acts of the Apostles [13:22-26] spoke of this John who heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel; and as John was completing his course, he would say, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.’ There is no Gospel that begins the story of Jesus’ public ministry without first telling the reader about the life and mission of John the Baptist. John’s preceding Jesus was clearly fixed in the Christian tradition, so much, that in two of the three Gospels that begin their story before the public ministry with Jesus’ first appearance on earth, John the Baptist is brought forth to precede the appearance as well. His role in salvation history and in announcing the coming of the Messiah is beautifully described in the Advent preface of the Roman liturgy: “John the Baptist was his herald and made him known when at last he came.” John the Baptist’s image is often portrayed in the finger pointing to the one who was coming: Jesus Christ. If we are to take on John’s role of preparing the way in today’s world, our lives also will become the pointing fingers of living witnesses who demonstrate that Jesus can be found and that he is near. John gave the people of his time an experience of forgiveness and salvation, knowing full well that he himself was not the Messiah, the one who could save. Do we allow others to have experiences of God, of forgiveness and of salvation? John the Baptist came to teach us that there is a way out of the darkness and sadness of the world and of the human condition, and that way is Jesus himself. The Messiah comes to save us from the powers of darkness and death, and to put us back on the path of peace and reconciliation so that we might find our way back to God. We have to listen to the voice of the one calling in the wilderness, even when it confesses: I am not he. You cannot choose not to listen to this voice, ‘because it is only the voice of a man.’ And, likewise, you cannot lay aside the message of the Church, because the Church is ‘not worthy to untie the shoelaces of its Lord who goes on before it.



Nativity of John the Baptist 24th 5.00pm



Edgar Candlish RIP

Ints Mulraney Family

Prayer Meeting

Monday 25th 9.15am No Mass or Service  
Tuesday 26th 9.15am Fr Philip Atkinson 25th Annv

St John’s Yr1 Infants in Church

Wednesday 27th 7.00pm Ints Pamela Murray  
Thursday 28th 7.30am John McIntosh RIP  
Friday 29th 7.30am


Pat Fennell RIP

St John’s Parishioners

Saturday 30th      
Thirteenth Sunday in Ord Time Cycle B 1st 5.00pm




Ted Armstrong Annv RIP

Phil & Gerry Topping 60th Wedding Anniversary Ints

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  

Friday is the Feast of the Apostles Ss Peter and Paul, a Holy day. Masses at St John’s at 7.30am and 7.00pm.


Money Matters: Thank you for last weekend’s Offertory collection which amounted to £526.46p


Inside this bulletin please find a copy of Bishop Mark’s Pastoral Letter,”In Thanksgiving for the Diocesan-wide initiative Our Mission Together”.


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.


Traidcraft Stall goods will be on sale this weekend, Saturday

23rd/24th June. Please take time to have a browse.


Children’s Liturgy: Additional helpers are urgently needed if this important Sunday ministry/activity is to continue in our parish. In this Pentecost week especially pray about this and if you feel called to help, please have a word with Jackie Mitchell or

Fr Bernard. The more helpers there are the less of a commitment there is. Ideally, we would like to create a 3 week, possibly 4 week, rota.


URGENT APPEAL: At present there are only 2 ladies doing the Altar Flowers and we URGENTLY need help to cover holidays and/or to start a rota. As you can see no experience is necessary, just a love of helping to make the church look nice and welcoming for everyone. Please contact either Kath Clements on 334 8272 or

Fr Bernard on 645 3314.


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: Your prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Rita Oakley whose Funeral arrangements are yet to be finalised and Patrick Clancy Funeral Mass here at St John’s on Wednesday 11th July at 10am. The Funeral Mass for Jeanette Wagg is at 10am this Monday, 25th June at St Anne’s. May they and all the faithful departed rest in peace.

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Novena continues here at St Johns up to and including 27th June. The programme is as follows:


Sunday 24th June After 9.30am Mass
Monday 25th June 7pm
Tuesday 26th June 7pm

27th June

7pm with Mass

Next Parish Social/Quiz Night with Raffle for Parish Funds, Friday 29th June after 7pm Mass (Feast of Sts Peter and Paul) in the Liberal Club next door to the Church.



There are still a few places available for the National Eucharistic Congress on

7th-9th September in Liverpool but tickets are going fast. If you wish to be involved please see

Fr Bernard after Mass today.

Invitation to Diocesan Holy Hour TODAY Sunday 24th June 2018, Diocesan Holy Hour: In preparation for the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress in September, Bishop Mark invites you to join him in St Anthony’s Church, Wythenshawe THIS Sunday, 24th June at 3pm for a time of prayer and adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Delegates for the Eucharistic Congress in September will be commissioned at the end of the hour.  If you cannot attend and wish to join online ‘virtually’, the Holy Hour will be live-streamed from 3pm at .


The Bereavement Group will be holding their annual Memorial service on Thursday, 12th July at 7.30pm. Invitations have been sent to bereaved families. We invite you to come along and support those members of our parish family who are coming to terms with the loss of their loved ones. The service will include scripture readings, poetry and hymns, followed by light refreshments and a time of fellowship.

All welcome.



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



Parish Day Out to Southport on Wednesday 25th July. Leave from outside Church at 10am prompt return by 5pm. Bookings for this day/names for seats on coach will be taken from next weekend.



A Pastoral Letter

In Thanksgiving for the Diocesan-wide Initiative ‘Our Mission Together’

To be read at Mass in all Churches and Chapels of the Diocese on

Sunday 24th June 2018

the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist


My dear brothers and sisters,

The Gospel today tells how people throughout the hill country of Judea treasured the news of the birth of John the Baptist and wondered, “What will this child turn out to be?” (Lk 1:66). Like them we might wonder about the future, for it is not given us to see precisely how the mission of the Church will develop in the decades to come. I think of the first Bishop of Shrewsbury who could see few human prospects for this fledgling Diocese. Yet he was able to look forward in the same faith and confidence with which the mission of John the Baptist began, that the hand of the Lord would be with us (cf Lk 1:66).

Today, I write to give thanks for the Diocesan-wide initiative Our Mission Together which has shown our shared commitment to the future mission of our Shrewsbury Diocese. A series of priorities have found strong resonance among clergy and lay people. Together we have committed ourselves to support: new vocations to the Priesthood and the unprecedented number of priests moving into retirement; the development of our youth mission and our social mission to the poorest; the renewal of catechesis in our parishes; and the vocation of Christian Marriage. Added to all this, we have seen a large number of local, parish initiatives making possible what might have seemed impossible.

This Sunday, we can say Our Mission Together has proved to be a historic achievement for this Shrewsbury Diocese. It has been a bold initiative that has occasioned renewed prayer for mission and generous, sacrificial giving of millions of pounds in material support of these priorities. Most happily, as I was told the other day, it has turned the thoughts and conversations of many towards our continuing mission.


/ Continued


I wish to thank all who have shared in this achievement: by your dedicated prayer; in giving of your time and energies (especially the more than 220 volunteers!); by the generous pledging of monies; or by simply taking time to consider this opportunity. I wish to thank the clergy who have worked with dedication for this initiative and have been generous donors themselves. I wish to acknowledge the professionalism of those working for our Diocese, and the charitable fundraisers who have supported us, together with the laity and clergy who served on the Campaign Advisory Committee. I have been heartened by meetings which have focused upon our mission and our future.

I ask your prayer for the Stewardship Committee, comprising both lay people and clergy, now tasked with ensuring that all funds effectively serve the goals for which they were given. I also ask your prayers for the increasing number of young men coming forward in both discernment and training for the Priesthood and the men preparing for the Permanent Diaconate. I ask your continued prayer: for the Youth Mission Team in its increasing work across the large geographical area of the Diocese, with the development of many new projects for young people; for Caritas Diocese of Shrewsbury as the arm of our social mission in the service of the poorest; and for our dedicated welfare officer already helping to serve the needs of our retired clergy. The next two areas of development are the support and formation of parish catechists and support of the vocation of marriage. I ask your prayers for all these intentions. I ask you to remember, too, the wide range of local mission projects and new initiatives now taking shape in the parishes.

So much has happened – and will continue to happen – in what is truly our mission together. It is not given us to see precisely how all of its effects and fruitfulness will be realised. Yet, in seeking to be faithful today to our mission, we have the same assurance that marked the birth of Saint John Baptist: that the hand of the Lord will be with us! In this confidence let us ask Our Lady, the Help of Christians, together with all the Saints of our Shrewsbury Diocese, to pray for us.

United with you in this prayer and in this mission,

+ Mark

Bishop of Shrewsbury

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