The Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 19th July 2020. Cycle A


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 Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 19th 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 When our television news tells us about all sorts of horrors that are taking place in our world it can seem that evil has the upper hand. It must have seemed like that on Good Friday afternoon. But the power of the cross and resurrection triumphed in the end. Jesus tells us it will be the same in our days.

WORDS FOR WORSHIP Let us pray for the Church, that in the midst of the injustices of the world it may be a strong voice for the rights of the oppressed and may be a clarion of hope to those whose lives are threatened by inequality and discrimination. We pray to the Lord: Lord, hear our prayer. Let us pray for our world, that peace may become a reality in those places torn apart by violence and war, and democracy may rule in those countries whose people are denied their rightful say in the way they are governed. We pray to… Let us pray for those who have left the country of their birth to seek a better life elsewhere, that they may receive a welcome in their new home and their skills may be recognised and put to the service of their new-found nation. We pray to…

Wirral Foodbank: needs your help and support more than ever, Full details of how to donate to Wirral Foodbank can be found at htpps/ 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: IT’S NOT FAIR? The parables of Jesus in today’s gospel teach us three important points about our world and God’s plan. Firstly, we often ask ourselves, just like the people in Jesus’ day, why is it that there is so much evil in the world. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do we constantly hear of awful things happening while God seems to do nothing about it? Jesus tells us that God is not powerless to act. He chooses not to intervene in our world continually, yet he will not allow himself to be ultimately frustrated. For this reason God has given us free will and is a God who allows us our freedom without pulling our strings like mere puppets every time we make a decision. But, the parable says, God is biding his time. Secondly, we find from Jesus that God is incredibly patient and forgiving. If he were to call a snap final judgement tomorrow then we would certainly find ourselves on the losing side. We are not perfect and yet God is forgiving. He lets us have all the time we need, a lifetime in fact, to grow into his love. And he puts up with our faults and failings without rushing to judgement. Every day is a day of grace given to us by God so that we may learn to cooperate with his plan and come to greater holiness. Thirdly, and this is quite disturbing, God is no fool. The parable shows us that when all is said and done God’s justice will triumph. What we are doing now, as individuals and society, will affect our eternity. In the parable the weeds and darnel are gathered up and burnt. We will not be burnt literally, but God is giving us the choice of opting for or against him, for his word or against it, for his Son or against him. And when our days are over God will continue to respect our freedom. He will not simply override our lifetime’s decisions in some sort of benevolent way. For he has more respect than to treat us as automatons. Words of comfort, words of warning. Both from the mouth of Jesus. And his final words are clear: if you have any ears, then listen to what I am saying.
Sixteenth Sunday 19th 5.00pm
11.00am Des Capper RIP
St John’s Parish
St Luke’s Parish
Monday 20th
Tuesday 21st 9.15am Bill Taggart RIP
Wednesday 22nd
Thursday 23rd 2.00pm

7.00pm Funeral Service-
Philip Pemberton
Ints Mona Heaney
Friday 24th
Saturday 25th
Seventeenth Sunday 26th 5.00pm
11.00am Bob Purfield RIP
John McIntosh Birthday Rem
St Luke’s Parish

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.
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 ( Confessiona’sl in all our Churches are currently out of use as they do not meet the social distancing requirements).
In Memorium- Please pray for the repose of the soul of Philip Pemberton who died in Derwent Lodge Nursing Home recently. May he Rest in Peace. Funeral Service here at St John’s on Thursday at 2pm.
Stewarding ; Thank you to the stewards who have stewarded the prayer times and Masses 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.

What an unusual end to a School Year ! Our Parish Schools closed on Friday at the end of the school year. In the unusual circumstances we find ourselves in, sadly there was no End of Year Production or Leavers Mass / End of Year Mass at St John’s Schools. But Fr Bernard took the opportunity to greet Year 6 on Friday and wish them well in their new High Schools. Fr Bernard wants to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all the staff in St John’s Schools and to express his thanks to the Governing Bodies of both schools for their unfailing commitment in what have been extraordinary circumstances in recent months. We pray that September will bring a new start to our schools in every sense of that word……have a Good and Safe Summer everyone!

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 this 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 this weekend.

Money Matters Many thanks to those parishioners who have been so faithful in their financial support of our parish during the 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 when you enter the church for Holy Mass.

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