Fourth Sunday of Advent. 23rd December, 2018. Cycle C


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 of Advent. 23rd December, 2018. Cycle C


The scriptures are strangely silent during Advent about Mary right until the last moment. And then she takes centre stage. Suddenly we are faced with a whole barrage of emotions and attitudes that surround Mary and act as a challenge to us.
Mary was a woman of faith. She had no idea how it could be possible for her to be having a baby. Yet she believed that God could do anything and bring good out of it. What sort of faith do I have and how does Mary challenge me in this?
Her life was clearly about to be thrown into turmoil. An unmarried mother, no one knows who the father is, having to flee as refugees, to watch as her son was stalked and eventually condemned…and yet she willingly surrendered her life to the will of God. Do I hand over my life to God’s will or do I get upset when I can’t control everything by myself? How much am I prepared to hand myself over into the hands of God?
Mary was immersed in God’s word and her natural response was to praise and bless God. In fact, Mary uses the words of scripture in order to praise God for the impending births of John the Baptist and Jesus. Do I really know God’s word or am I limited to a few bible stories that I hear in church? Do I listen to the voice of God speaking to me in daily events? Am I naturally a person of praise and blessing?
Mary had every reason to boast, to put herself in the limelight and to consider herself of importance. But she didn’t. She was clear about her need for God and her dependence on him. Do I really need God or can I get on quite well with only a nodding acquaintance?
It was being the type of person she was that made Mary fit to bear the Son of God. Because of her faith, attentiveness to God’s word, openness, submission to God’s will …And what about me? Will I give birth to Christ this Christmas?

A Christmas Prayer
On this day bring back to mind
God’s love and mercy for mankind
On this day may you recall
a tiny babe in a manger lay
On this day remember when
Christ died and rose again
On this day thank the Lord in heaven above
for his sacrificial gift of love
On this day may you be blessed
with quiet peace and holy rest
Misty Lensk

Are you a Catholic Teacher in a Non- Catholic School? The Diocese wants to recruit as many Catholic teachers to its schools as possible and is holding an informal session to help people make that transition on Tuesday
15th January at Ellesmere Port Catholic High School from 6.00pm-7.30pm. If you would like to attend or want further information about returning to Catholic education please email sue.jenkinson@dioceseofshrewsbury

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.

Fourth Sunday
Of Advent
Cycle C 23rd 5.00pm
7.30pm Arthur Brockway RIP
St John ‘s Parishioners
Prayer Meeting

Christmas Eve
Vigil Mass of Christmas 24th 9.15am
7.30pm No Mass or Service
Crib Service
St John’s Parishioners
The Nativity of the Lord 25th 9.30am For the Poor and Needy
Feast of
St Stephen 26th 10.00am The Guild of St Stephen
Feast of St John the Evangelist 27th 10.00am Ints of St John’s SVP

Friday 28th No Mass or Service
Saturday 29th
Feast of the
Holy Family 30th 5.00pm
7.30pm Rels/Fnds McGree Fam
For All Our Families
Prayer Meeting
Confessions Christmas Eve 9.30-10.15am Next Saturday 10.30-11.15am
Morning Prayer 15 minutes before daily Masses


Money Matters: Last weekend’s Offertory collection amounted to £597.01p.
The Collection at Christmas Masses is for the support of the Parish Clergy.

Your offerings at the Crib during the Christmas Season support the work of Caritas Diocese of Shrewsbury (formerly the Catholic Children’s Society) who offer much care and support to refugees and needy families and individuals around the Diocese… see Caritas’s Autumn newsletter on the table at the back of Church.

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-28th 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 29th/30th Dec: Feast of the Holy Family
Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and
Sun 9.30am
Tues 1st Jan 2018 Feast of Mary the Mother of God
Mass at 12 Noon.
Sat/Sun 5th/6th Jan: Feast of the Epiphany
Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and Sun 9.30am.

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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE FROM THE FOOD BANK. The last Christmas pick up of food from St John’s WAS on Sunday 16th December. AFTER THAT DATE, PLEASE DO NOT BRING ANY FOOD DONATIONS UNTIL AFTER CHRISTMAS WHEN collections will then resume in the new year.
Thank you for your very kind donation of 106.57 kg of food, a fantastic amount. 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 fish and/or meat, tinned fruit, tinned custard, pasta sauce, long grain rice, instant mash, deodorant, washing powder tablets

Mass Intentions: If you would like to have a Mass said for your intentions or someone else’s intentions or for your deceased relatives and friends etc during Advent or Christmas season, please fill in one of the Mass Offertory envelopes at the back of Church, place a donation in it and hand it to
Fr Bernard nor put it through the presbytery letterbox.

Memorial Books and Plaques: In January we will be updating the Memorial Books and now we have a new supplier giving you the opportunity to remember your loved ones by buying a small plaque to be fixed to a chair or bench in Church. Appropriate Forms for both will be available next weekend and over the Christmas period. When completed these forms should be returned in the accompanying envelopes through the presbytery letterbox

THE BIG CARD will be on the table at the back of church. 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.

Fr Bernard thanks you for your prayers & ongoing support throughout the year. He particularly thanks all those who do so much for/in St John’s Parish and schools in so many different ways. Fr Bernard also thanks you for your Christmas cards, gifts and good wishes and prays that this Christmas will be a grace-filled time and that 2019 will bring good health and happiness to all.


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