The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 12th July 2020. Cycle A

09/07/2020

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 Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 12th July 2020. Cycle A

Celia Daly thanks you all for your prayers and good wishes. She has now fully recovered from the illness she had earlier in the year and looks forward to seeing everyone again in the coming weeks.

During ‘Lockdown’ : Father Bernard has presided at a number of Funeral Services for our parishioners at Landican / Bebington / Plymyard. Memorial Masses for many of these will be celebrated in church in the coming weeks.

WORD FOR TODAY God promises to guide our lives with his word. Do we make it our concern to study the word of God? Is it central to our lives? Or is it just something we hear for a few moments each week in church?

WORDS FOR WORSHIP We have been nourished on the word of God, sown in our readings today. Let us now pray that we may be united in that word as we are called to his supper: Lord, I am not worthy…

Wirral Foodbank: needs your help and support more than ever, Full details of how to donate to Wirral Foodbank can be found at htpps/wirralfoodbank.org.uk/give-help. People who need emergency food and support at this time can contact the Wirral Emergency Food Hub on 0151 666 5050. For the time being please do not bring any food donations to Church .

The Parish Newsletter & The Wednesday Word, which is a helpful reflection on next Sunday’s readings, are presently available as you leave Church(via the front side door). Please take a copy for yourself and anyone from your street or neighbourhood who would appreciate receiving information about St John’s Parish at this time.

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: SPREAD THE WORD We all know the parable of the sower. A farmer sows seed on his land; it falls into four different types of soil and it produces anything from no crops at all to a field full of harvest. Usually we say that God is the sower, the seed is the word of God and we are the various types of soil. But why should we bother to read or listen to the word of God? How can it help? Isn’t it just a collection of old books with limited value in the third millennium? And surely if we’re looking for advice on how to live life today then there are plenty of modern books in the library or the bookshops? We put a premium on the bible not because it contains words about God but because it contains the words of God. In fact, it contains the word, the message of God. And scripture is the place that God has chosen to reveal himself. Using human beings as the writers of the bible’s books God inspires them with the Holy Spirit. So Christians believe that the bible is not simply religious opinion or outlook; it is what has been revealed through close faith in God and it comes from a people living cheek by jowl with God. So scripture is not simply one source about God among many others; it is the privileged place from which God chooses to speak to us. To be ignorant of scripture is to be ignorant of God. And why should we bother to sow the word? The call that God makes to us through his word is compelling. We freely choose to accept it but then we are impelled to tell others about it because it is the most important ingredient in our daily lives. God’s call infuses everything we do and cannot be kept as a sideline to be looked at like a stamp collection or played with like a model train set. It is the dynamo of our existence, what gives us hope and provides us with direction to our lives. If Christians don’t read and study the word of God then they atrophy, they wither. If Christians don’t use every means to propagate the seed of the word then they fail to comply with the conditions of God’s call to go out and teach all nations. Today’s parable asks us to be both an assiduous farmer and good soil. Without these nothing will grow. Least of all us.

Fifteenth Sunday 12th 9.30am
Fr Bernard Ints
Monday 13th
Tuesday 14th 9.15am Ints Chris & Ann Dougherty
Wednesday 15th
Thursday 16th 7.00pm Gerry Topping RIP
Friday 17th
Saturday 18th 5.00pm Des Capper RIP
Sixteenth Sunday 19th 9.30am St John’s Parish

Dear Parishioners,
Welcome home! Welcome back to St John’s Church, it’s wonderful to be gathered together again for the public celebration of Mass in our beautiful Church! Albeit faithfully following current Government Covid 19 guidelines.

The maximum number St John’s Church can hold safely with all the social distancing measures is 70 persons but in order to reach this maximum the Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales are directing that for our weekend Masses we follow HM Government ‘ 1 metre plus’ approach meaning that members of the congregation must wear a face covering ( on weekdays when there are less people attending Mass we shall keep the 2 metre approach which means face coverings are not mandatory). Should you not have a face covering we do have a limited number of disposable face masks in a container in the Church porch but please do bring your own with you if you can. Obviously our capacity number will go up slightly if members of the same household attend together as they can sit together. Otherwise you will only be permitted to sit on the seats marked with a blue and white poster.

Sunday Masses will be somewhat different to what we have experienced before lockdown, as at this present time, we are unable to have singing, social distancing will need to apply in the sanctuary and particularly with the distribution of Holy Communion but I will explain this to you at each Mass. For the time being only I will distribute Holy Communion. Please bear with us in seeing what is best and follow instructions carefully and with charity towards each other too. Remember this situation is only temporary.
A complexity to reopening our churches is how to manage those who wish to attend Mass given the maximum number allowed, how might we manage numbers of people, and ought it to be on a first come, first served basis, or ought people ‘book’ a place. None of the possibilities present an easy solution. I think we must proceed, to begin with, with a simple invitation to come to Mass at the times advertised and that if we reach capacity (ie over 70) we must, I am sorry to say, say that no more than 70 can enter the Church. Weather permitting Mass can be heard from the courtyard in front of the Church. Or there is a later Mass at St Anne’s on Saturday’s at 6.30pm and Sunday’s at 11.15am. The Sunday obligation was lifted at the beginning of lockdown and that still remains the case. I ask for your patience in all this. I appreciate it might cause some disappointment or frustration. Please bear with me. As time goes on I am sure some other solutions will emerge.

It goes without saying that if you have any Covid 19 symptoms or if you become unwell in other ways please do not come to Church at this present time.

Thank you for all your prayers and support in recent times. It’s very much appreciated.

Sacrament of Reconciliation / Confession : I will be available for those who wish to celebrate this sacrament next Saturday from 10.15-11.00am in the courtyard in front of the Church ( Confessional in all our Churches are currently out of use as they do not meet the social distancing requirements).
Stewarding ; Thank you to the stewards who have stewarded the prayer times in recent weeks. We are hoping that all of them will continue these duties at the weekend Mass of their choice (on a rota basis) for the foreseeable future. Additional stewards are very much needed please have a word with Fr Bernard but do bear in mind that HM Government advice states that stewards must be under 70 and must have no underlying health conditions.
Mass Intentions If you would like a Mass celebrated for a particular intention or for a person living / dead, please write the intention on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope with a donation in the presbytery letter box.

Live streaming continues at Shrewsbury Cathedral and at Walsingham. Please see relevant websites for details. I am currently looking into the possibility of live streaming from St Anne’s which I hope will begin in the next few weeks.

St John’s SVP held a socially distanced meeting recently. They have been doing great work, keeping in touch by email and phone, with our housebound and vulnerable parishioners.

St Luke’s at St John’s
Given current Government restrictions regarding Places of Worship, St Luke’s Parish is unable to celebrate Mass in their usual settings so as an interim measure from next Sunday 19th July and every Sunday for the foreseeable future Fr Paschal will celebrate an 11am Mass in St John’s Church. Although principally for St Luke’s Parishioners in these times of restricted numbers this Mass will be a welcome addition to St John’s usual weekend schedule (Sat 5.00pm and Sun 9.30am)We look forward to welcoming Fr Paschal and his parishioners to St John’s from next weekend.

Money Matters Many thanks to those parishioners who have been so faithful in their financial support of our parish during these weeks of Lockdown…. using their Offertory Envelopes, pushing donations through the Presbytery letterbox and by Standing Order…. your generosity is very much needed & appreciated. A basket is now placed on the table at the back of church for your Offertory donations to St John’s Parish and School when you enter the church for Holy Mass.

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