A Personal Statement from Father Bernard Forshaw

Dear Parishioners,

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives must change. This includes the ways in which we publicly express our faith. It is very clear that  following official advice and in order to keep each other safe, save lives and support the NHS, at this time ,we must not gather for public acts of worship in our churches. This began on  Friday 20th March 2020, until further notice.

St John’s and all our local churches will remain open.  They are not closing. They will be a focal point of prayer, where you will find solace and strength. In visiting our churches at this time, we will observe with great care the practices of hygiene and the guidance on social distancing.

I will continue to celebrate Mass, here at St John’s for all your intentions, Sunday by Sunday and day by day, sadly without a public congregation.

Knowing that the Mass is being celebrated; joining in spiritually in that celebration; watching the live-streaming of the Mass; following its prayers at home; making an act of spiritual communion: this is how we share in the Sacrifice of Christ in these days. These are the ways in which we will sanctify Sunday, and indeed every day.

I want everyone to understand that in these emergency circumstances, and for as long as they last, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is removed. This is, without doubt, the teaching of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2181). This pandemic is the ‘serious reason’ why this obligation does not apply at this time.

I personally will open St John’s Church:

  • from 4.30pm- 5.30pm each Saturday,
  • 9.00am -10.00am every Sunday and
  • at 9.00am each week day for private prayer ( eg-lighting a candle, etc )

for the foreseeable future.

I also want you to know that I am always contactable by email stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com  and tel 0151 645 3314 / 0151 645 3996. No one should feel isolated or alone. Arrangements are being made re- Wirral Food Bank which I will let you know about in the next few days.

You can continue your Offertory Contributions, if you so wish, either by    continuing /completing  a Standing Order or by posting your Offertory Envelopes through the Presbytery letterbox (your new supply of Offertory Envelopes will be delivered to your door in the next few days).

Please continue to pray for our parish and schools… and don’t forget to pray for me!

Every Blessing

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: stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com Websites: http://www.stjohnevang.co.uk http://www.lpa24.org

The Third Sunday in Lent 15th March, 2020. Cycle A

WORD FOR TODAY What do you really want out of life? What would make your life so complete that you would feel that you were lacking nothing? Jesus tells the Samaritan woman that he has it on tap. And it can be yours too. What is it?

WORDS FOR WORSHIP Let us pray for those who are preparing to be baptised or received into the Church at Easter, that during this Lent they may feel the presence of God, experience the consolation of faith and enjoy the support of their parish community. Spare your people, Lord: Hear and grant our prayer! Let us pray for those who are seeking meaning in their lives but find it hard to encounter God, for those who have given up hope through a sense of betrayal and those who once worshipped with us in this church but who no longer practise their faith, that their thirst may be quenched by the water of life offered by Jesus. Spare your people… Let us pray for those of our parish in need, for the sick, for those who have died recently, for those who exercise any ministry on behalf of us all and those who are in any kind of trouble Spare your people… Let us pray for those who have little or no water, for those in countries where there is drought, for lands that have poor sanitary and social infrastructures and for ourselves that we may use wisely the precious gift of water. Spare your people…
D
Wirral Foodbank: Thank you to all those who contribute to the Foodbank, helping to support people in crisis in our Local Community. The total raised this week is on the Notice Board at the back of Church along with details of the Foodbank and the services it offers. Please keep your donations coming- Items urgently needed- sugar, custard, tinned potatoes, deodorant, and washing up liquid, toiletries. Once again if you have any spare plastic bags or even an idea on how they are able to distribute food/goods without the need for plastic bags, it will be gratefully received.
Please take a look at the Notice Boards at the back of Church for details of other Local Events over the next few weeks, and don’t forget to buy a Catholic paper and to take a look at the Card Rack.
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.

FAITH IN FOCUS: WHAT DO YOU GET? For most of us Lent is coming round again and we may think that we’ve heard it all before. But for a small group of people throughout the world it’s something that they will never forget. They are catechumens and candidates. Catechumens are men and women who will be baptised at Easter and candidates are those who are already baptised but will be received into the Church at Easter. For the next three weeks they are going through an intense period that concludes many months or even years of preparation. Each Sunday of Lent the Church tries to give them (and us) one principal image to latch on to in order to express something of the significance of becoming a fully fledged Christian. What do you get when you believe in Jesus? Today we’re told that we get WATER. But it’s not just any old water. Jesus promises the Samaritan women water of life. In other words, if you drink this water it will satisfy all your longings and yearnings. Following Jesus is not like some hobby, something that you can do part-time, something that you can take or leave. It’s all-consuming because it alters the whole meaning of your life. It quenches that thirst of emptiness which can easily take hold of us. What Christ offers is something that satisfies deep down. Next week we’ll see that we get LIGHT. Jesus will cure a man who was born blind. It will transform his whole being. Not only will he see things, but he’ll see everything in a new light, in a completely different way, because he knows the source of this new-found sight. The gospel sheds light for us on the decisions and choices of our lives. Unlike those who have not received this light of faith we see things differently. In two week’s time we’ll discover that we get LIFE. When Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead his life takes on a new meaning. He will never wake up the same ever again. The life that Jesus offers us has an effect on how we enjoy God’s creation here on earth but it carries with it an extra bonus: the knowledge that we are intended for a life of happiness that never ends. So if you think you’ve heard it all before, listen with the ears of a catechumen and rediscover what’s really on offer for those who are prepared to give their lives to God.

Third Sunday of Lent 15th 5.00pm
9.30am
3.00pm
7.30pm Josie Murray Anniv RIP
St John’s Parish
Stations of the Cross
Prayer Meeting
Monday 16th 9.15am Service of Word + Communion
Tuesday 17th 9.15am Dr Robert Johnson RIP
Wednesday 18th 9.15am Elizabeth Brooks RIP
Thursday 19th 7.30am Cicily Alexander Anniv
Friday 20th 9.15am Hugh Gourley RIP
Saturday 21st 9.30am Colin Lee RIP
Fourth Sunday of Lent 22nd 5.00pm
9.30am
3.00pm
7.30pm Grandsons 4th Anniv RIP
For All Mothers
Stations of the Cross
Prayer Meeting
Confessions Each Saturday 10.30am-11.30am
Morning Prayer 15 min before daily Masses

Lent 2020
Masses and Services at St John’s
Each Thursday in Lent Mass will be at 7.30am
Each Saturday in Lent Mass at 10am followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Confessions until 11.30am . Next Saturday Mass will be at 9.30am due to the Liturgy day at SJP. Each Sunday in Lent Stations of the Cross at 3.00pm in church this week led by the Altar Servers.
On the Wednesday’s of Lent Bebington Churches Together will be holding in various venues a short Service / Prayer time beginning at 11.00am followed by a soup lunch. This week here at St John’s.

Deanery Lenten Station Masses have been arranged for each Tuesday in Lent at 7pm. This week’s Mass is at St Joseph’s Birkenhead.

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.
Sick Visits: If you know of anyone in the parish who is in need of Holy Communion /a visit please let us know stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com
or Tel 0151 645 3314
Money Matters: Last Weekend’s Offertory Collection was £525.58p. Thank you for your continued generosity. Attention all Gift Aid Donors- The parish will soon begin the process of claiming back Gift Aid Tax Refunds on donations made in the year 2019-2020. If you have moved house in the last year or your circumstances have changed and you no longer pay income tax ( or if for any reason you do not wish to remain in the Gift Aid Scheme) please contact Steve Bell- 0151 644-7512. Note- if you are a tax payer and not in the Gift Aid Scheme, why not join and help the parish to benefit from some of your Income Tax? If you do not pay but your wife or husband is a tax payer, why not get them to join?
Cafod Family Fast Day Envelopes can be returned in the offertory bags at any time up until the end of March.
Readers and all Ministers: A meeting will be held on Saturday 28th March at 10.30am in Church. Please make every effort to attend as we prepare for our Holy Week and Easter Services. Thank you.
Year of the Word- Diocesan Spring Talks
Everyone most welcome.
Thanks to those who attended last week’s talk.
Talk 4- Fr Michael Coughlan on Why Four Versions of the Gospel, Wednesday 1st April beginning at 7pm at Our Lady’s Parish Centre, Enfield Rd, Ellesmere Port CH65 8BY.

To all the Parishioners who have supported the Traidcraft Stall over the past 12 months, the Stall has raised £1,005 in sales (with gift aid another £250). A Big Thank You from, Eileen & Steve Bell”.

The Year of the Word: Proclaiming the Word through Music at St John Plessington Catholic College, Old Chester Road, Bebington, Wirral, CH63 7LF, this Saturday 21st March 10am-3.00pm. A message from Stella McGann…This day is the first Music Day to be set up by the Diocesan Liturgy Commission which was re-formed just over 18 months ago. As the Liturgy Commission member for Music, I am writing to you to ask you to support the event which will offer opportunities for sharing ideas, exploring and singing new music and reflecting on how we, as parish musicians, under the headings of how, what and when, can play an active role in this The Year of The Word. I am particularly pleased that composer and liturgist Martin Foster has been able to include us in his busy schedule of national events at which he is speaking during this very special year. Please register ASAP with anthony.timothy@dioceseofshrewsbury.org A £5 fee, payable on the day, will go towards the running costs. Please bring your own packed lunch; tea and coffee will be provided. Bring a group from your parish and pay only £25 for 6!

Coronavirus- we must be mindful of the situation which is constantly evolving around us with regards to the Coronavirus outbreak. Consequently we have made the decision to suspend receiving from the Chalice, we ask you to receive the Host directly onto your hands only, and not to physically make the sign of peace during Masses until further notice. At weekend Masses the Offertory Collection will be taken as you leave Church rather than at the usual time. Hand sanitizer is provided in the entrance area for use but it is also recommended that you use soap and water to wash hands before coming to church. It is hoped that by maintaining high levels of hygiene we should be able to protect ourselves and subsequently the most vulnerable in our community. As you will appreciate this situation is evolving rapidly and other practises we use in Church may have to alter. Thank you for your understanding and support at this difficult time. Please also take the time to read Bishop Mark’s Pastoral Letter on this subject which is enclosed in this Newsletter.

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: stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com Websites: http://www.stjohnevang.co.uk http://www.lpa24.org

The Second Sunday in Lent 8th March, 2020. Cycle A

WORD FOR TODAY We all need mountain-top experiences from time to time. They let us see the wider horizon of life and remind us that there is more to existence than meets the eye. When did you last let God transfigure the humdrum of your life?

WORDS FOR WORSHIP May God the Father reveal his glory to you as you strive to listen to the voice of his Son. Amen. May Christ the Lord open your ears to hear the message of eternal life. Amen. May the Spirit inspire you to see the presence of God in all the surroundings and events of your lives. Amen. And may almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
eDdD
Wirral Foodbank: Thank you to all those who contribute to the Foodbank, helping to support people in crisis in our Local Community. The total raised this week is on the Notice Board at the back of Church along with details of the Foodbank and the services it offers. Please keep your donations coming- Items urgently needed- sugar, custard, tinned potatoes, deodorant, and washing up liquid, toiletries. Once again if you have any spare plastic bags or even an idea on how they are able to distribute food/goods without the need for plastic bags, it will be gratefully received.

Please take a look at the Notice Boards at the back of Church for details of other Local Events over the next few weeks, and don’t forget to buy a Catholic paper and to take a look at the Card Rack.

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.

FAITH IN FOCUS: MOUNTAIN VIEWS We’re not told in today’s gospel what the name of the mountain was that the Transfiguration took place on. Tradition says it was Mount Tabor, but it doesn’t really matter. In fact, whenever a mountain features in the bible we can be pretty sure that God is about to appear in some form or other and tell us something significant. That’s what happened to Moses on Mount Sinai and to Elijah on Mount Carmel. Mountains are a sort of scriptural code for an appearance of God. In our run-up to Easter we can be forgiven for thinking that mountains don’t matter. But we all need them. Mountain moments are those in which we seem to catch something of God’s presence amid the humdrum of our daily routines. Out of the blue we see something or hear something that makes us realise that there is more to life than meets the eye. Mountains are what bring us our spiritual experiences. It could be something natural like a sunset; it could be the birth of a child, the success of a friend, the embrace of two lovers. Whatever it is, it takes our spirit beyond our bodies and lets us have a glimpse of something that is greater than the merely human. Because primitive peoples thought that God lived in the sky they went up mountains to be closer to him. But we have lots of mountain experiences down here on the ground. These moments of breakthrough sustain us through all the days when God’s presence can seem a bit more distant from us, when like the people of Exodus we wonder whether God is with us or not. They act as a booster to our faith. Today we see Peter, James and John. They have been given some bad news that Jesus is destined to be put to death and they are feeling low. Yet the Transfiguration is a flash of God’s glory visible in Jesus. The Transfiguration is a defining moment for them. From being fearful they are strengthened. As we journey through Lent on our way to Easter God will offer us our own moments of Transfiguration. He’ll let us see his glory and, just as on the mountain top, he’ll tell us “This is my Son. Listen to what he’s got to say.” So, wherever we bump into our own mountains, we need to keep our eyes and ears open.

Second Sunday of Lent 8th 5.00pm
9.30am
3.00pm
7.30pm Margaret Ellis Birthday Ints
Ints Doug Unwin
Stations of the Cross
Prayer Meeting
Monday 9th 9.15am Service of Word + Communion
Tuesday 10th 9.15am Anne Armstrong RIP
Wednesday 11th 9.15am Gerda McArdle RIP
Thursday 12th 7.30am Margaret Marks RIP
Friday 13th 12.00
noon Funeral Mass
William McGowan
Saturday 14th 10.00am Ints SVP
Third Sunday of Lent 15th 5.00pm
9.30am
3.00pm
7.30pm Josie Murray Anniv RIP
St John’s Parish + School
Stations of the Cross
Prayer Meeting
Confessions Each Saturday 10.30am-11.30am
Morning Prayer 15 min before daily Masses

Lent 2020
Masses and Services at St John’s
Each Thursday in Lent Mass will be at 7.30am
Several Friday’s in Lent Mass at 11.30am followed by soup lunch in the Parish Centre .
Each Saturday in Lent Mass at 10am followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Confessions until 11.30am . Each Sunday in Lent Stations of the Cross at 3.00pm in church this week led by the Grace Group and next week by the Altar Servers.
On the Wednesday’s of Lent Bebington Churches Together will be holding in various venues a short Service / Prayer time beginning at 11.00am followed by a soup lunch. This week at the URC Church in Higher Bebington .

Deanery Lenten Station Masses have been arranged for each Tuesday in Lent at 7pm. This week’s Mass is at St Anne’s in Rock Ferry.

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.

Sick Visits: If you know of anyone in the parish who is in need of Holy Communion /a visit please let us know stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com
or Tel 0151 645 3314

Lately Dead; Please pray for the repose of the soul of William McGowan whose Funeral Mass is here at St John’s this Friday 13th March at 12 noon. May he and all the faithful departed rest in peace.
Money Matters: Last Weekend’s Offertory Collection was £604.52p. Thank you for your continued generosity. Attention all Gift Aid Donors- The parish will soon begin the process of claiming back Gift Aid Tax Refunds on donations made in the year 2019-2020. If you have moved house in the last year or your circumstances have changed and you no longer pay income tax ( or if for any reason you do not wish to remain in the Gift Aid Scheme) please contact Steve Bell- 0151 644-7512. Note- if you are a tax payer and not in the Gift Aid Scheme, why not join and help the parish to benefit from some of your Income Tax? If you do not pay but your wife or husband is a tax payer, why not get them to join?
St John’s Junior School children from Y5+6 will be joining us at Church to celebrate Mass on Tuesday at 9.15am. They will be thinking about their Lenten journey and all are welcome to join us. There will be a meeting in school for Y3 parents on Thursday afternoon to talk about the First Holy Communion programme.
SVP Festival Meeting for Conferences in the Birkenhead and East Wirral Area next Saturday here at St John’s beginning with Mass in Church at 10am. All SVP Members are asked to attend.
Readers and all Ministers: A meeting will be held on Saturday 28th March at 10.30am in Church. Please make every effort to attend as we prepare for our Holy Week and Easter Services. Thank you.
Year of the Word- Diocesan Spring Talks
Everyone most welcome.
Thanks to those who attended last week’s talk.
Talk 4- Fr Michael Coughlan on Why Four Versions of the Gospel, Wednesday 1st April beginning at 7pm at Our Lady’s Parish Centre, Enfield Rd, Ellesmere Port CH65 8BY.

To all the Parishioners who have supported the Traidcraft Stall over the past 12 months, the Stall has raised £1,005 in sales (with gift aid another £250). A Big Thank You from, Eileen & Steve Bell”.

The Year of the Word: Proclaiming the Word through Music at St John Plessington Catholic College, Old Chester Road, Bebington, Wirral, CH63 7LF. Saturday 21st March 10am-3.00pm. A message from Stella McGann…This day is the first Music Day to be set up by the Diocesan Liturgy Commission which was re-formed just over 18 months ago. As the Liturgy Commission member for Music, I am writing to you to ask you to support the event which will offer opportunities for sharing ideas, exploring and singing new music and reflecting on how we, as parish musicians, under the headings of how, what and when, can play an active role in this The Year of The Word. I am particularly pleased that composer and liturgist Martin Foster has been able to include us in his busy schedule of national events at which he is speaking during this very special year. Please register ASAP with anthony.timothy@dioceseofshrewsbury.org A £5 fee, payable on the day, will go towards the running costs. Please bring your own packed lunch; tea and coffee will be provided. Bring a group from your parish and pay only £25 for 6!

Can you help? An ex pupil from St John’s Junior school who attended from 1963-1970 would like to organise a 50th Anniversary re-union with fellow ex-pupils. He would love to hear from you if you are one of these or if you know any of these people. You can contact him – Derek Bassett on 07421827848 or email derek.a.bassett@gmail.com