Catholic Pic July 2024

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‘I’m very glad that Liverpool is my home’

By the time you read this, the General Election will be over, and we will be settling down to the government we have chosen. hope you voted because, in a democracy, the vote of the people is the bedrock of freedom. Many people even today do not enjoy this freedom and would love to have the opportunity to vote. If for no other reason, that is why it is so precious. We must not get cynical and say that nothing will change. Well, it is true that the same old issues remain, they didn’t disappear on the morning after the election. Whichever party is now in power will need our support to improve our country, even though we may oppose its principles.

Congratulations to St Ambrose Catholic Academy Congratulation

Our future is not simply in our hands or those of the government. Once in a while, God intervenes in an unexpected way. As we prepare for the archdiocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, my thoughts turn towards the apparitions of our Lady in Lourdes in 1858. The emphasis in Lourdes on caring for those less able than us, valuing the dignity of the human person, reaching out to the less fortunate, discovering a spirit of community, and paying attention to the spiritual side of our makeup, are all values which any government should want to foster. Whoever is in power would do well to spend time a little time in Lourdes.

Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool

Monthly prayer intentions


to his worldwide prayer network for the year 2024:


For The Pastoral Care Of The Sick

Let us pray that the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick grant the Lord’s strength to those who receive it and to their loved ones, and that it may become for everyone an ever more visible sign of compassion and hope.

Father’s prayer intentions entrusted

been reflecting on my life as a priest and as a bishop, and I’m glad I was appointed to Liverpool by the Holy Father in 2014 and I’m very glad that Liverpool is my home in 2024 and will be in the future.”

‘I’m very glad that Liverpool is my home’

With his 75th birthday in June, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon has set the wheels in motion for retirement but Liverpool will remain his home.

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon’s 75th birthday on 14 June was a milestone moment in more ways than one. As well as a cause for celebration, for the Archbishop it was also the cue to begin the process of retiring from his position, with the prior submission of his resignation from his position to Pope Francis in Rome.

Yet he will not be saying goodbye to Liverpool. The native Londoner has grown so fond of the city that has been his home for the past decade that he has taken the decision to remain here once retired. ‘I’ve been reflecting on my life as a priest and as a bishop, and I’m glad I was appointed to Liverpool by the Holy Father in 2014 and I’m very glad that Liverpool is my home in 2024 and will be in the future,’ he says.

‘After settled in, got to know the priests and the clergy first and I found them very supportive, very welcoming, very encouraging. And, of course, the people in the archdiocese, both in Liverpool and throughout Lancashire, have been wonderful. They are involved, they are engaged, they are funny, they are friendly; it is a very good place to be a bishop. The people take you into their hearts and that is what has been so very nice.’

Archdiocesan Synod which in many respects is still ongoing as we try to implement the recommendations. They have been the biggest things during my time here, though I have also enjoyed very much visiting parishes and Confirmation ceremonies with teenagers across the archdiocese.’

The Archbishop is also looking forward to Adoremus Liverpool this year, which is set to take place on 21 September 2024.

Happily, it is here in the archdiocese that he will stay, when his time as the ninth Archbishop of Liverpool does officially end. ‘I am very settled in Liverpool and I will be able to help out if needed,’ he reflects. ‘This is my home now and I think that says a lot.’

It is a decade now since Archbishop Malcolm was installed at the Metropolitan Cathedral on 1 May 2014. Prior to that, he had served as Bishop of Nottingham from 2000. ‘I have been doing this level of work since I became provincial of the Dominicans in 1992, and it has been continuous since then,’ he elaborates. ‘I was six months in Oxford as prior of the community there and then I was made a bishop, so it has been relentless. am very happy to do it, but it takes its toll.’

That may be so, but he is grateful for the many blessings his life as a priest has brought since his ordination in June 1982 at St Dominic’s Priory in north London. ‘I have been a priest 42 years this year,’ he reflects. ‘I joined the Dominicans when I was 27 and was ordained at 33 and have had a very diverse and rich ministry over the years. I have done pastoral work and have been parish priest a couple of times, and have worked in education. I have no regrets and a lot to be thankful for. Overall, it has been a happy life and there are no what-ifs.’

As for his life in Liverpool since succeeding Archbishop Patrick Kelly a decade ago, he names the following highlights: ‘The national Eucharistic Congress (Adoremus) in 2018 was a phenomenal event for the archdiocese and following that, we had the

A celebration of Priesthood

Priests from around the archdiocese assembled in Liverpool for a special annual Mass in June.

‘We are living sacraments, not of a dead Christ or a naked Christ, but the risen Christ, Christ in his Church, enclothed with his promises.’ These words came from Archbishop Malcolm McMahon during his homily at the Celebrating Priesthood Mass on 6 June.

This was the annual coming together of priests from across the archdiocese – a significant date on the calendar for the clergy, as their biggest gathering of the year aside from the Chrism Mass at Easter when they renew their commitment to priestly service.

The Mass took place at the Saint Margaret Clitherow Centre and brought together a total of 80 priests. Archbishop Malcolm McMahon was the main celebrant, together with Bishop Tom Neylon and Canon Aidan Prescott, the vicars general. Also present were Bishop Tom Williams – the auxiliary Bishop Emeritus – and Bishop John Rawsthorne, the Bishop Emeritus of Hallam, now working in Widnes as curate at St Wilfrid’s, Widnes.

Following the Mass was a lunch, with the priests enjoying the opportunity to share this moment of fellowship – and, moreover, to celebrate this year’s jubilarians, who each received a papal blessing.

The Celebrating Priesthood Mass is organised each year by Monsignor Philip Gregory, the episcopal vicar for clergy from St Joseph’s, Wrightington. Underlining the significance of the event, he said: ‘Sometimes in the priesthood, you can feel isolated, but coming together within this fraternity, you could see we are all sharing similar experiences and it gives you confidence.

‘The Mass was very uplifting and for the priests, it is certainly good for morale. It is such a lovely day where we could be together as a fraternity.”

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon meeting Pope Francis again in 2023
The Archbishop on his birthday last year
Archbishop McMahon receiving the Pallium from Pope Francis in Rome on 29 June 2014
“The Mass was very uplifting and for the priests, it is certainly good for morale. It is such a lovely day where we could be together as a fraternity.”

There was significance too in the sight of Archbishop Malcolm delivering the homily. Typically this would be delivered by a guest speaker but with the Archbishop due to retire soon, it was felt only right that he should be the one to preach. Mgr Gregory explained: ‘With it being possibly his last time I asked if he would preach, and the Archbishop was great. He has always been very supportive of his clergy.’

The timing of the Mass on the Feast of St Norbert was fitting too: he was a bishop who was devoted to the Eucharist and lived in community with his brother priests.

The music during the Mass included ‘O God You Search Me’ and ‘Come Adore this Wondrous Presence’, with Father Ged Callacher playing the organ. Meanwhile, the archdiocesan finance director, Mrs Gill Boggan, played harp during both the preparation of gifts and Holy Communion.

As for the subsequent honouring of jubilarians from across the archdiocese, the biggest milestone was that of Mgr Richard Atherton, who, 70 years after his ordination, marked his platinum anniversary. The priests present sang ‘Ad Multos Annos’ – ‘Many Happy Years’!

The other jubilarians who were celebrated on the day were Fr Martin Caddel, Fr Phillip Swanson, and Fr Francis Marsden (40 years), and Canon John Gorman and Fr David Potter (25 years). Another silver jubilarian not present was Fr Brian Dougherty, who had been ordained for local ministry on the Isle of Man.

The community of priests also recognised the anniversaries of two non-diocesan priests in Fr Nicholas Postlethwaite (60 years), a Passionist priest who has worked in the archdiocese for many years, and Fr Raymond Anyanwu CSSp (25 years), a Spiritan priest based at St Joseph’s, Penketh.

On a liturgical note Canon Philip Gillespie

On the 11th of this month, the Church keeps the Feast of Saint Benedict, abbot and co-patron of Europe.

Benedict was born in the central Italian mountain town of Norcia (Nursia) around 480 AD and spent some time in Rome as a student. However, finding the Roman life too much for him, he went firstly to Subiaco and then to Monte Cassino, where he put the final words to his Rule of Life which he wrote for those who, like him, wanted to live a life of work and prayer.

There was a radio programme on the BBC called The Listening Project which had as its strapline “It’s surprising what you hear when you listen”. There is a sense in which the project which people call synodality could be presented at its roots as a project of respectful listening – listening, as St Benedict puts it in the prologue to his Rule of Life, with “the ears of the heart”. When in 1964 Pope Paul VI declared Benedict to be a patron saint for all of Europe, he reflected on him in the following

Sunday thoughts

During my time in Peru in the 1980s lived in both the Andes mountains and on the desert coast.

The coastal shanty-town dwellers migrated from the mountains. The contrast between these two lifestyles couldn’t be more different. As one priest from Boston explained, it was a distance of 1,000 years: a calm, predictable, medieval, rural existence exchanged for the noise and bustle of modern, if primitive, urban squalor.

Those who leave their mountain ancestral homes tell the same story: they miss their animals. They rose at sunrise and took their animals to graze and stayed with them, then brought them home at dusk and went to bed themselves. Living alongside animals for generations, they then feel less than human in sterile desert conurbations.

We never had a dog when I was growing up. The first thing did after ordination was to get one. And with a few gaps, I’ve had dogs for most of my 50 years as a priest. There’s something healthy about a dog’s routine that rubs off on me. We co-exist and depend on each other.

Keeping a dog is expensive. But so is gym membership. look at dogs as my personal trainers. They are the

way: “Messenger of peace, moulder of union, teacher of civilisation, and above all herald of the religion of Christ and founder of monastic life in the West.”

Peace, unity and civility

The gifts of peace, of unity and of civility are virtues which any nation should seek to foster, and which will fruitfully begin with each one of us in our everyday living.

Benedict advises his monks, and also speaks to us, with the message to place the love of Christ at the foundation of everything you do, having Him as the goal and purpose of your living. In short: prefer nothing to the love of Christ. Is this pie in the sky? Unattainable idealism? Or a vision where peace, unity and civility can thrive because they are firmly founded?

As GK Chesterton wrote: “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and therefore not tried.”

St Benedict, pray for us.

reason I get up in the morning and I walk them last thing at night, and several times in between. I do my best thinking when walking the dog.

Last January my rescue dog Lottie was put to sleep at the age of 14. Lottie was placid and irreplaceable. I put on weight without the discipline of walking her. am now in the process of adopting another. Scamp, a seven-year-old Bedlington terrier, has just had his first sleepover – part of the gradual introduction process that the Manx SPCA require (I think it’s easier to adopt a child than a dog!).

Non-dog owners might imagine that dogs are hyperactive. Doggie programmes on the TV usually involve problem dogs and how to control them. They only see them when they call at a dog owner’s house – when dogs are excited by visitors – or when they meet them out walking when they are running and playing and chasing balls. In truth, dogs spend 90% of their time sleeping or half-sleeping with one eye open.

I miss Lottie. But as Pope Francis said to a young boy who lost his dog in 2014: ‘One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.’

Look with eyes that see and you will find God

One of my favourite places is Beadnell in Northumberland. It is the wildest of places out on the headland and it always speaks to me of the wild, unfettered presence of God. Whenever I am there, I find myself swept up into the mystery of presence.

Tony Jones, an American theologian says that ‘the God of wild places honours place’. think understand what that means because if I think of Beadnell or Iona or the west shore in Llandudno, I know there are experiences of God that I have had in those places that have been planted within the fibre of my being. Just by thinking about them, I can be transported into the mystery first encountered.

I have sat at Beadnell and sung aloud to the God have found, so real is the experience. I know every rock that the water pours over, and even those rocks scream at me of the presence of God. While it is a place of wildness, it is a place of solace too because of the presence of God.

When think of Iona, I’m reminded of the day I sat staring at some water and recognised that the risen Jesus is still the wounded Jesus. That has affected my life so powerfully. The west shore of the holiday town Llandudno, meanwhile, is wild and wonderful and transports me into the mystery of God every time feel that place. Jones also talks of the God of wild places giving us companions, meaning creation and all it contains. We are never alone. We are given the gift of creation in which we can find the presence of God. We depend on that creation and that creation depends on us. The challenge is to reverence all that you see and experience: creation, trees, grass, animals, wind, rain, thunder, lightning, sunshine and other human beings.

The more we reverence the created order, the more we discover the wild, free God who is present in the very stuff around us. I am minded of the words of Saint Bonaventure that have spoken, and written, of before that everything is charged with the footsteps of Christ. Look with eyes that see and you will find God.

There is, of course, a huge challenge in this because if creation is the dwelling place of God, then we as believers must do all we can to preserve the wonder that is all around us. We must be as ‘green’ as we can be. AW Tozer, the American author and pastor, once said: ‘God dwells in His creation and is everywhere indivisibly present in all His works. He is transcendent above all His works even while He is immanent within them.’ God is among us. Let’s choose to see the presence of God.

“Go on praying”: the second Archdiocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes

As our Lourdes pilgrims set off for the annual pilgrimage to the “City of the Apparitions”, what advice given to their predecessors of a century ago might still apply today?

For the second Liverpool Archdiocesan pilgrimage in 1924, an official handbook was issued, and a copy survives in the Archdiocesan Archives. About 1500 people made it a much larger pilgrimage than the previous year. Nearly 50 priests went with the pilgrimage, and many other generous folk gladly gave their services to assist the sick, who numbered about 150. There were 9 doctors, led by Dr Michael Halton as Senior Medical Officer. Sister Mary Carr was Matron in charge of 27 nursing sisters. The organisers asked them all “to observe a true pilgrim spirit by practising patience and charity and by being constant in prayer.”

The finger-wagging instructions told pilgrims to arrive early at the train station for departure on Friday 4 July, and not to forget their tickets and passport. One of the doctors provided advice, which was not strictly medical, but should still apply to pilgrims today: bring as little luggage as possible, but include a pillow and slippers for the overnight journey, and protect yourself from strong sunshine. The Lourdes climate can be variable, being near the mountains of the Pyrenees, and heavy rainfall can occur: “Therefore bring a light but serviceable mackintosh or raincoat.” Practical clothing will be best: “There will be a good deal of kneeling to be done, some of it on the ground.” Foreigners don’t do things as we do in England, so water for instance should always be approached with suspicion: “In general the water supplied at hotels is drinkable, but it is safer to mix it with a little wine.” On the other hand, “Beware of drinking too much wine, especially on the journey, as this frequently upsets the stomach.” It was worth bearing in mind, too, that “Soap must be brought as hotels in France do not supply it.” The doctor thought it worth pointing out that “the food in France is different from that to which you are accustomed in England”, and care should be taken with it (a stop was made in London on the way to the embarkation port of Newhaven, so that 1500 “cartons of English catering” could be brought on to the train).

Masses, processions, visits to the Grotto and the Rosary Church as well as other local sites, all followed a pattern that would be familiar to today’s pilgrims. The weather was perfect: sunshine, cooling breezes, and not a drop of rain. The second pilgrimage was deemed “a historic success”, not just on account of the numbers involved. “Our main purpose”, said Archbishop Keating before setting off to lead the pilgrimage, “is not to see miracles, but to demonstrate our faith, and loyalty, and enthusiastic devotion” to Mary, Mother of God. It seems there were miracles, though;

nine or ten of the sick pilgrims were said to be cured, though only May Murphy of Kirkdale is named. Perhaps learning from Jack Traynor’s experience the previous year, the organisers didn’t give them full publicity, preferring to wait and see how effective and permanent the cures were. “A very imposing list of cases could have been published, but it would not have been in harmony with the Lourdes spirit”, it was reported.

Two events in 1924 cemented the relationship of the archdiocese to Lourdes: a death and an honour. The death of Miss Evelyn McIvor of Barrow in Furness was not unexpected: she was so unwell she had in fact been advised not to travel. “Go on praying” were her final words. She was buried in Lourdes cemetery, in a part that was subsequently bought for potential further use by the Liverpool pilgrimage. The principal organiser of the pilgrimage was Dean John Oldham, Parish Priest of St Alban’s in Liverpool. He had been organising smaller pilgrimages since 1899, and as a mark of respect and appreciation Bishop Schoepfer appointed him an Honorary Chaplain of Our Lady of Lourdes, the first English priest to be so honoured.

On their return, pilgrims were asked not to keep their memories to themselves, “but to make known the wonders of Lourdes to as wide a circle as possible.” There was even a film, made by John L Ramsden of the Parkstone Film Company, who accompanied the pilgrimage. The trip had been organised by the Catholic Truth Society, and among their activities was the presentation of lantern lectures and cinema films dealing with Catholic subjects. Accordingly, the film was shown at various venues around the Archdiocese later in the year. I’d love to know if a copy of it survives somewhere.


News diary

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Voices of Merseyside Unite for UNICEF at St Mary’s, St Helens

Choirs from around Merseyside were in good voice as they descended on St Mary’s Lowe House church, St Helens on Wednesday 29 May for the Merseyside Choirs Festival 2024.

Each choir performed 4 songs at the packed church to raise hundreds of pounds for UNICEF. The choirs involved were: Celebration Choir, New Street Singers, Pilkington Choir, St Helens Ladies Choir, Liverpool Community Choir, Grand National Chorus and Connected Voices Choir.

Setting a festival mood, the evening began with Lowe House resident organist Anthony Brookes playing the Christie theatre organ, thrilling the crowd with an extended medley of popular tunes old and new. Then every choir sang their heart out and it was a wonderful evening. “We wish to say a big thank you to Father Michael and parishioners of Lowe House Church for their welcome and hospitality,” said the organisers.

Next year the festival will be held in May at the Metropolitan Cathedral in aid of Alzheimer’s UK. If any choirs are interested in joining in, please contact us on 07366 024975.

The next organ concert of popular music will be performed by Kevin Grunill at St Mary’s Lowe House on Sunday 20 October 2024 at 3.00pm. Tickets £10.00 at the door.

Student Concert for Mary’s Meals at St. Philip Neri Church

On Saturday 8 June, the Student Chaplaincy at St Philip Neri held a benefit concert in aid of Mary’s Meals, a charity dedicated to providing meals to children worldwide.

The idea for the concert was borne after a representative from Mary’s Meals visited the chaplaincy. During this visit, she spoke to the chaplaincy about the charity’s mission to provide nourishing meals through schools to children in need in several countries. The concert was then arranged entirely by the chaplaincy community, under the leadership of Ms Resila Muganda. The repertoire featured classical and contemporary music, with notes of poetry performed by current and past students from the chaplaincy community. Members of the chaplaincy and community members from surrounding parishes attended the concert.

The day was concluded with tea and refreshments including scones, freshly baked by the students! Over £330 was raised, which will be sent to Mary’s Meals.

Travelling light - pilgrims at a French railway station, probably Lourdes, 1920s
A French bookmark illustrating one of the apparitions to St Bernadette,

A Celebration of Faith: May Processions in our Archdiocese

May is a month of devotion to Our Lady, marked by joyful processions and prayers. This year, our archdiocese saw several beautiful May Processions, highlighting the deep-rooted traditions and vibrant faith of our community.

St Patrick’s Church, Wigan

On Friday, 24 May, St Patrick’s Church in Wigan held its annual May Procession and Crowning Service. The route from St Patrick’s Primary School to the church was lined with parishioners eager to witness this cherished event. Clergy, parishioners, and children processed into the church, carrying Walking Day Banners and specially created artwork representing various titles of Our Lady. The centrepiece was a statue of Our Lady, carried on a bier adorned with traditional May flowers. During Mass, Parish Priest Fr Ian O’Shea encouraged the children to always turn to Our Lady in prayer. He was assisted by Father Hugh Donleavy and Deacon Anil Lukose. The service included the Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s statue, Marian hymns, devotions, and the Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The celebrations concluded with Benediction for the children. Layla, the parish’s 2024 May Queen, wore a beautiful blue train previously worn by the 1957 queen and longtime parishioner Christine Campbell.

Eucharistic Procession in Warrington

In Warrington, the clergy from the shrine of St Mary’s FFSP organized a solemn Eucharistic procession. Parishioners from St Mary’s, St Benedict’s, and St Oswald’s participated, led by Father Matthew Goddard, the Rector at St Mary’s, and Father Dave Heywood from St Oswald’s. This event further exemplified the unity and devotion within our community.

Missionaries of Charity, Liverpool

On Saturday 25 May, the Missionaries of Charity organized a May Procession in Liverpool City Centre. Starting at St Peter’s Square at 2:00 PM, the procession moved through Seel Street, Berry Street, Bold Street, Church Street, and Whitechapel, concluding at the Shrine on Queens Square. A special invitation was extended to children making their First Holy Communion in May 2024, adding an extra layer of significance to the event.

A Spirited Celebration: The Two Cathedrals Pentecost Celebration

Pentecost, the feast that commemorates the early Christians taking their message to the streets, was celebrated with great enthusiasm and unity in Liverpool this year. Marking 100 years of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, the 2024 Two Cathedrals Pentecost Service was a vibrant, family-friendly event that brought together both the Catholic and Anglican communities.

The festivities began at 3:00 PM at the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, where Monsignor John Devine OBE celebrated Mass. The Metropolitan Cathedral Choirs performed beautifully during Mass. After the Mass, attendees embarked on a pilgrimage walk down Hope Street. This walk is a tradition inspired by Pope John Paul II’s visit to Liverpool in 1982, which has since become a significant annual event. Characters from the last 100 years of Liverpool’s history were placed along the route, offering a living history lesson and a sense of continuity and tradition.

Upon reaching Liverpool Cathedral, the musical celebration continued with the cathedral choir singing once more, as well as live music from a band playing popular tunes, adding a contemporary touch to the traditional event. Giant games like Snakes and Ladders were set up, providing entertainment for all ages and fostering a sense of community and fun. This year’s theme, “Building God’s Church Together,” was embodied in every aspect of the event.

Attendees were also invited to bring a picnic to eat in the sunshine, or enjoy a meal at the Welsford Bistro. The event was a true reflection of ecumenical unity, with people from across Merseyside gathering to celebrate.

Quarant’Ore at St Wilfrid’s Widnes

Awe and Wonder was how Fr Mark Moran, Parish Priest of St Wilfrid’s parish in Widnes described the feeling from parishioners during the recent Quarant’Ore period of reflection and prayer.

“Quarant’Ore was a wonderful opportunity for parishioners to come to church and sit and pray before the Blessed Sacrament,” said Fr Mark. “Hundreds of parishioners visited the church over the three-day period, either for silent prayer or to join in various services such as the Divine Mercy Chaplet or reciting the Holy Rosary and the Litany of the Scared Heart” added Fr Mark. Quarant’Ore closed each night with the celebration of Mass by candlelight. “Parishioners found the Mass by candlelight a wonderful, peaceful and prayerful way to end each evening,” said Fr Mark. “Importantly in these troubled times, as there is so much to pray for both on an individual level and a national and international level.”

The Archdiocese of Liverpool recently hosted a training day for priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters, in partnership with Santa Marta Group, called Love the Stranger.

Key speakers included Kevin Hyland of the Santa Marta group, archdiocesan social action coordinator Pablo Guidi, and Dcn Kevin Duffy of the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

This included some examples closer to home, emphasising the point that human trafficking and modern slavery are closer to us than we think.

Reacting after the event, Pablo Guidi said:

“I am very excited about the partnership that we have seen today between the Santa Marta and the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

The day began with a session looking at Asylum and Refugee issues, led by Pablo and Dcn Kevin. In the afternoon, Kevin Hyland gave a presentation on his work with the Santa Marta group, which consists of police chiefs and bishops from around the world. The group, which is endorsed by Pope Francis, aims to eradicate human trafficking and modern slavery.

“There are over 40 million people, mainly women and children, trafficked and kept in slavery – and parishes can work together to help combat this, even if it is in a small way.”

Meanwhile, Kevin Hyland added: “I think what saw today was something we’re seeing the reality of in our church and the wider world, and it does bring in action.

Whilst we may be just at the beginning of a process, I’m confident the process is going to continue. What saw today was very real.”

The church was bedecked by flowers and candles paid for by donations from parishioners which added to the sense of tranquillity and peace. Fr Thomas Clarke, Assistant Priest, added “As we are about to embark on the substantial work of restoring St Bede’s church it was a wonderful opportunity to have a time of prayer before The Blessed Sacrament to ask for guidance and wisdom during the months ahead.”

The celebration concluded with a Mass celebrated by Fr Thomas Clarke, Fr Mark Moran, Bishop John Rawsthorne and Fr Bill Murphy before a packed church. Fr Mark concluded “I think the numbers of parishioners that attended the three days are testament to the faith of the people of Widnes and the need for prayer for so many reasons in the world today.”

Image credit: Kevin Holt

A Tapestry of Faith: St Joseph’s Celebrates Cultural Diversity on Pentecost Sunday

On a beautifully sunny Pentecost Sunday, St Joseph’s, Penketh, hosted a celebration of all the different cultures within the parish.

Even before Mass began, there were flags outside showing off the culture and diversity of the parish.

The procession was then led in by an Indian band, with Fr Raymond Anyanwu, parish priest, and the altar servers coming in behind. Fr Raymond explained in his homily; “It doesn’t matter where we all come from. We are all part of the one body of Christ.”

After the homily, it was time for the bidding prayers, and it was a truly unique experience, as several people came up and said a prayer in their mother tongue.

There were prayers said in English, Scottish (Gaelic), Irish (Gaelic), Filipino, Indian, Hindi and Ukrainian among others. During Communion, Fr Raymond also invited all those present at Mass to say the Our Father in their native language. He also invited the children who had recently made their First Holy Communion onto the altar.

After Mass, the band once again led the procession out and performed in the Church yard as people gathered and enjoyed the music. Everybody was then invited to St Joseph’s Parish Centre, which is on the same site, to continue the celebration.

The centre was draped in all different flags, and there was a big buffet celebrating some of the different foods from the countries represented. After the event, Fr Raymond said: “It was a truly joyous occasion. From the beautiful weather we had, to celebrating our heritage in all the different ways we did.

“It was also a chance for us to celebrate Pentecost, and allow the Holy Spirit to light up inside us.”

Sculpture of Saint Maughold unveiled in Co-Cathedral

Archbishop of Liverpool,

OP, visited the Isle of Man on 26 May to dedicate a sculpture of Saint Maughold in the recently designated Cathedral Church of Saint Mary of the Isle.

Tradition relates how Maughold was set adrift by Saint Patrick in an open boat or coracle with neither sail nor oars saying ‘wherever you land will be your place of mission’. Maughold eventually became the first bishop of the Island and is venerated as our patron saint.

sculpture by

Archbishop Malcolm also unveiled a plaque commemorating the elevation of the church of Saint Mary of the Isle, Douglas to cathedral status by Pope Francis. The event was attended by co-Cathedral Dean Monsignor John Devine, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP, artist Shane Lucas, and his wife, Mrs. Charlotte Lucas.

Obituary - In Memory of

Henry Francis Terence Roose

Henry Francis Terence Roose was born in Liverpool on 7th March 1929, the son of Ernest and Lucy Roose, and the younger brother of his sister Val.

He received his early education at St Michaels Catholic Primary School and St Francis Xavier’s Catholic College, Liverpool before entering St Mary’s College, Twickenham, London, where he studied Theology and Religious Studies from 1946-48, earning a Certificate in Education.

After serving in the British Army within the Royal Army Education Corps., (RAEC) from 1948-50, he began his teaching career in Liverpool as Deputy Headmaster at St Austins’ Catholic Primary School, Grassendale. In 1962, his marriage to dear wife Frances took place and subsequently, he was appointed Headmaster at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. R.C. Primary, Dingle (1962), St Cyril’s R.C. Primary, Netherley (1970), Our Lady Star of the Sea R.C. Primary, Seaforth (1979) and Great Crosby R.C. Primary, Crosby (1980-90). His final post in education, before retirement, was as Sefton Council Advisor for Primary Education.

He is remembered as a dedicated and inspirational headteacher, who brought about significant changes, that enriched the lives of pupils, parents and staff members within schools in the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

He enjoyed a long retirement at home in Aigburth, before passing away in hospital on 23rd April 2024, after a short illness. He was 95 years old.

May he rest in peace.

Mass and Blessing of the Sick & Infirm at St Joseph’s, Penketh

The annual Mass and Blessing of the Sick and Infirm was celebrated at St. Joseph’s, Penketh, on 15 May.

The Mass and subsequent celebrations were hosted by the Legion of Mary, which has been practising in the parish for 52 years. It proved to be a very uplifting and spiritual experience, with a wonderful atmosphere. The chosen hymns were specifically inspired by the month of May, dedicated to Our Lady, and were of a reflective and healing nature, creating a special ambience of peace and consolation. Fr. Raymond Anyanwu’s rendition of ‘The Love of my Lord is the Essence…’ whilst the members of the choir harmonised was indeed unique and very special. Invites were distributed to the various care homes in the area and posters were distributed encouraging family members to accompany their loved ones. Other parishes in the deanery were also invited via emails and with posters for display. For all those who attended, it proved to be a very uplifting, heartwarming, and spiritual occasion. Much support was generously given by considerate and helpful members of the parish, aiding the organisation and presentation of the Mass and allowing proceedings to flow smoothly.

Organist Anne Preston played beautifully both in church and in the club afterwards, where under her direction, members of the Phoenix choir and some members from the Pantomime group put their hearts and souls into their performances whilst the audience, when not singing and clapping, enjoyed a tasty and varied buffet prepared by members of the Legion of Mary. Parishioners commented that they hoped that this tradition would continue to be practised in the parish, and that “new members are always welcome to join us”.

Jottings of a Lourdes Pilgrim

The month of July has arrived, which means for around 1,000+ Liverpool folk, the annual Pilgrimage to Lourdes is only a couple of weeks away. Lourdes can have a different meaning for each pilgrim. Apart from it being a place of mental and spiritual healing for those who visit, it is a place where random acts of kindness are happening minute by minute.

A couple of years ago on my first day, after finishing “setting up shop” I popped into a café for a much-needed coffee and croissant. I was quickly joined at the table by a couple of girls from Galway who were part of the HCPT team from the Diocese of Tuam. We had a good chat and they left for the bus to take them back to Hosanna House. I gathered my bits together and asked for my bill, to be told it was already paid. I looked up and the two girls were just getting on their coach, waving and smiling.

The following day, one of the young folks on coach seven gave me a badge in the shape of a star and said they had voted me “Star of the Day”. am not sure what performance I had given to be bestowed the honour, but I still wear the star on my Lourdes lanyard.

These are very much random acts of kindness that hope I reciprocate each day of the pilgrimage and through my life. The more we give in life, the more we receive. We might work hard in Lourdes and have little time to ourselves, but we know the graces we receive in return.

I look forward to meeting up with old friends and making new ones in Lourdes this year. For those of you who can’t come on the pilgrimage, we carry your petitions with us and remember you at our Masses and in our prayers.

Bon Voyage

the Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon
local artist Shane Lucas depicts Saint Maughold coming ashore at Maughold Head.
Cathedral Dean Monsignor John Devine, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP, Major Shane Lucas with Mrs Charlotte Lucas.

Pastoral ponderings

By the time this article is published, I will have completed my first year in Allen Hall Seminary, Chelsea, and will be on placement back in the archdiocese. It has been an incredible experience of living in London and of continuing my formation to the priesthood.

When began studying at Allen Hall in September alongside my diocesan brother Rhys J, I was somewhat apprehensive of the new environment in the capital and also a new community. However, am pleased to say that now am part of a wonderful seminary community of brothers all discerning the Lord’s call in our lives. There have been challenges, as there always are when living in community, yet in general, it has been a truly enjoyable and enriching year in various ways.

This year has had many highlights. We have welcomed many guests at Allen Hall such as the Nuncio, we have celebrated many occasions such as the Feast of the English Martyrs, and we have interacted with other seminaries, such as playing Oscott at football (which ended in a frustrating draw!). However, as I look back there have been two main highlights that I can identify throughout my first year.

The first is the wonderful experience have had in my pastoral placement. On Sundays, travelled to a parish in South Ruislip, where shadowed the parish priest and assisted with serving Mass. It has been a deeply rewarding and enriching chance to engage with the community and interact with the parishioners. Simply chatting with and meeting many different people was a brilliant reminder of the pastoral element of priestly ministry and the duties I will have if, God willing, am ordained. However the other, more significant, highlight of the year has been my continued growth in my relationship with the Lord. As seminarians and hopefully future priests, it is especially important that we are deeply rooted in a personal, firm relationship with Christ. The beautiful reality of our faith is that we have a Father who genuinely desires for us all to seek, know, and love him. Throughout this year, I have developed a deep appreciation of this gentle call to know the Lord.

It is fitting therefore that, in June, we have also been able to reflect on the Sacred Heart, which invites us all to drawn nearer to the Lord and his gentle, loving mercy.

Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, Pray for Us

Becoming the church God is calling us to be

In our Pastoral Plan, Archbishop Malcolm outlines our mission of ‘Becoming the Church God is calling us to be, empowered by the Spirit of the risen Lord.’

Over the last few years, with this in mind, many of us have supported our local parishes in a variety of ways and ministries. I know how much joy these ministries can bring, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the time and care that you have devoted to the ministries you are involved in and to let you know about a new opportunity for formation and training in our archdiocese in Catholic Pastoral Leadership.

Liverpool Hope University has partnered with several Catholic dioceses across England and Wales to help people like you gain fresh perspectives on Scripture and Church teaching. You will look at real-world issues in the light of our tradition and consider the best ways of exploring Christian faith and life with others.

You will take 4 modules over 2 years:

● The Word of God

● The Synodal Church

● Dimensions of Christian Life

● The Church’s Mission in the World

You can follow the course online, meaning you will be able to do most of the work at a time to suit yourself - with occasional synchronous Zoom sessions.

There are two ways you can take this course. All students will review the material presented online and do some assessed work to complete the course (total cost £1900). Or you can take this course as a postgraduate certificate (60 credits) at extra cost and with additional work (total cost £2400). Funding may be available from the Archdiocese of Liverpool so that we can bring these acquired skills and knowledge into our ministries and find new ways and opportunities to help others explore their faith.

In our Pastoral Plan, we were asked to be ‘bold and creative’ and some exciting changes have already been made.

In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis discusses that ‘Pastoral ministry in a missionary key seeks to abandon the complacent attitude that says: “We have always done it this way”.’ If you’d like to help us to become the ‘Church God is calling us to be’, please email training@ and we will invite you to a Zoom information session, 7.00-8.30pm on Monday 22 July.”

Thursday 4 July

St Margaret Clitherow Centre, Liverpool Catholic Social Action Conference

10:00AM - 3:30PM

This partnership event between Housing Justice, Together Liverpool, and the Archdiocese of Liverpool brings together policymakers, workers and volunteers involved in social action, to interlink themes, make partnerships, and advocate for change. The keynote speakers will focus on Homes, Housing and Land, with workshops on asylum, cost of living and environmental issues.

St Margaret Clitherow Centre, Liverpool

Sunday 7 July

Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool French Choral and Organ Music


The choirs of Liverpool Cathedral & Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral join together to sing Vierne’s Messe Solennelle, with organ solos played by Professor Ian Tracey. Messe Solennelle

– Louis Vierne (1870–1937) Grand Jeu (Premier livre d’orgue) – Pierre du Mage (1674–1751) Lamento (Douze pièces Op 5) – Joseph Bonnet (1884–1944) Litanies

– Jehan Alain (1911–1940) Communion (Triptyque) Op 58 No 2 – Louis Vierne Improvisation sur le ‘Te Deum’ – Charles Tournemire (1870–1939) transcribed by Maurice Duruflé (1902–1986).

Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool Lourdes Pilgrimage Departure Mass 5pm

The Lourdes Pilgrimage Departure Mass will be taking place on Sunday 7 July at 5pm. This will take place at the cathedral, and the main celebrant will be Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP. Please join us and wish our pilgrims a safe journey!

Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool

Monday 8 July

The Irenaeus Project, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD Craft Workshop 1:00PM - 3:00PM

The Irenaeus Project will be putting on a Craft Workshop. You must book in order to secure your place. To do so, contact or phone 0151 949 1199

Friday 12 July

St Paul, West Derby, 10 Spring Grove, West Derby, L12 8SL Summer Concert with The Mersey Wave Choir

7.30PM - 9.30PM

Musical Director: Jason Ellis. Accompanist: Andrew Wileman. Free entry, donations are welcome. Refreshments are available.

Saturday 13 July

Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood 12 noon

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon will ordain to the Order of the Sacred Priesthood Rev Mr James Finnegan, Rev Mr Martin Fyles, Rev Mr Peter Ross, and Rev Mr Lister Tonge.

Website at

Sunday 14 July

St Margaret Mary’s Church, Liverpool, L14 0JG Mass of Thanksgiving 10.00am

Father Peter Ross will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at St Margaret Mary’s Church, Liverpool at 10.00am.

St Francis Xavier Church, Liverpool, L3 8DR Mass of Thanksgiving 10.15am

Father Lister Tonge will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at St Francis Xavier Church, Liverpool at 10.15am.

St Joseph’s Church, Southport, PR8 2AY Mass of Thanksgiving 12noon

Father Martin Fyles will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at St Joseph’s Church, Southport at 12noon.

Our Lady’s Church, Lydiate, L31 4HH Mass of Thanksgiving 4.30pm

Father James Finnegan will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at Our Lady’s Church, Lydiate at 4.30pm.

Sunday 28 July

St Dominic, Huyton Southdean Road, Huyton, L14 8UL

90 Years of St Dominics Church, Huyton 11am

St Dominic Church in Huyton will be 90 years old on Sunday 28 July. As such, all are invited to a celebratory Mass at 11am, followed by a social gettogether with refreshments. For catering purposes, please let Eileen Kearney know if you are coming by calling her on 0151 228 1556. We’d also like for anyone with photos of the church before 1990 email them to Diane Freeman at d69freeman@

A season of special events

It has been a busy year for the music department, but it is not over yet!

On Sunday 7 July at 15.00, we are presenting a special concert of French Choral and Organ Music in the Metropolitan Cathedral, featuring the joint choirs of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral & Liverpool Anglican Cathedral along with special guest Professor Ian Tracey, Organist of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. The joint choirs will sing the Messe Solennelle of Louis Vierne, interspersed with French organ solos played by Professor Tracey. Do come along and enjoy a Parisian summer afternoon here in Liverpool! Tickets £10 available from metcathedral or on the door.

There are also weekly opportunities to hear our recently restored grand organ during August and the first weekend of September. Each Sunday afternoon at 14.00, there will be a free organ recital (with a retiring collection) given by current and former organ scholars of the cathedral.

4 Aug – Peter Kwater (Organ Scholar 1982–1984)

11 Aug – Dan Mansfield (Organ Scholar 2017–2018)

18 Aug – Peter Morrison (Organ Scholar 1977–1979)

25 Aug – Andrew Sharples (Organ Scholar 1980–1982)

1 Sep – Zakariya Raoudi and James Vowles-Wang (Organ Scholars 2023–2025)

Cathedral Record

Canon Anthony O’Brien –Cathedral Dean

July could well be described as not so much “a game of two halves” but instead “a month of two halves”.

The first half is extremely busy, with some major archdiocesan and educational events, followed by a quiet few weeks at the end of the month as schools break up, archdiocesan pilgrims depart for Lourdes, and the major holiday weeks begin.

In the year after Covid, the music department set an ambitious target of having our choirs visit every deanery of the archdiocese within the next five years. Over the last two years, we have visited 19 parishes in 7 of the 13 deaneries in the archdiocese! Over the next two years, we very much hope to visit the remaining 6 deaneries. It is a joy for our choirs to visit parishes, as we receive such a warm welcome. It is a privilege for us to share a small part of the cathedral ministry by bringing the ‘sound’ of the cathedral throughout the archdiocese.

The Autumn of 2024 promises to be busier than ever! Some of the events currently in our diary include:

27-28 September:

24 Musicathon to raise funds for the Cathedral Choir tour to Cologne

9 October:

Live BBC Radio 3 Choral Vespers for the feast of St John Henry Newman

13 October:

Welcoming the choir of Cologne Cathedral to sing Mass with us in the Cathedral

19 October: Concert of orchestral and choral music featuring the Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony

31 October - 3 November: Cathedral Choir tour to Cologne (twin city of Liverpool)

On the weekend of 7-8 July, there is an Organ Day for young people to interest some young musicians in possibly receiving tuition in playing the organ – possibly some eventually becoming parish musicians. On Sunday afternoon, there is a joint grand endof-term concert by both our Liverpool Cathedral Choirs from 3-4pm at our Cathedral, which is open to all. Later at 5pm, Archbishop Malcolm will celebrate the Lourdes Departure Mass – the first pilgrims will be travelling to Lourdes the following week.

The following Saturday, four men will be ordained priests for this archdiocese. They are Deacons James Finnegan, Martin Fyles, Peter Ross and Lister Tonge. This will be one of the largest ordinations of priests within the archdiocese for some years, and it is fitting that it will take place at the Cathedral for people throughout the archdiocese to attend and pray for these men and celebrate what will be a very joyful archdiocesan occasion. Please pray for these four deacons as they make their final preparations for ordination.

From 15-19 July inclusive, the University of Liverpool will be holding its Summer Graduations at the Cathedral. There will be three sessions each day, so the regular evening masses at 5pm and Friday exposition will all take place within the Crypt Chapel for the week. Then following this a quieter two weeks to the end of the month.

Care for Creation

‘This has made me cry like nothing before’

Dr Yazid Said

‘I’m from Galilee originally. I was born in Nazareth. I’m sure you’ve heard of it.’

As introductions go, it is a winning line and it comes from Dr Yazid Said, a senior lecturer in Liverpool Hope University’s Department of Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies. An Anglican priest resident in Liverpool for the past eight years, he has a fascinating personal journey to relate yet his background ensures that his chat with the Pic must dwell also on events in his homeland as Israel’s assault on Gaza goes on. ‘For the first time it made me cry in a way haven’t done so before,’ he laments.

His is a voice worth listening to on the current conflict, which began with the Hamas attack of 7 October. He elaborates: ‘When Hamas did its atrocities, the sympathies it arose for Israel were quite strong and I understand them fully. Yet there has been no sympathy for Palestinians for the last I-don’t-know-how-many decades for what has been going on on the ground. That’s part of the problem: we need to understand where everybody is coming from.’

Yazid speaks with the benefit of both lived experiences in the region and decades of study, beginning with a BA in Classical Arabic and English Literature at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University and continuing with a Theology degree at Cambridge University. ‘I later trained for the priesthood in the Anglican Church in Cambridge,’ he adds of a pathway that led back to Jerusalem for five years, including a spell as acting dean at St George’s Cathedral. Later, he returned to Cambridge for his PhD on the medieval Muslim theologian Abu Hamid al-Ghazali.

All of which means that he surveys the present with a rare appreciation of what has gone before. Consider his reflection on why ‘countries in the Middle East tend to oscillate between either anarchy or tyranny’; he looks back to the Islamic world in medieval times when ‘the caliph often made up the rules as he went along’ and ‘there was no centralised system of law in the way it evolved in Europe around the idea of civil law’. By contrast, ‘when the Roman Empire collapsed in Europe, the Church made sure to maintain the law. It allowed for the development of what we know as civil law.’

Yazid looks with sadness, meanwhile, on the shrinking of Christian communities there. ‘The amount of Christians you’d find in Jerusalem is nothing compared to the early 20th century. People basically decided to leave. Nazareth was historically a majority Christian town and so was Bethlehem. They are no longer so. They’re now majority Muslim.’ The same applies ‘in Syria, in Iraq and Egypt.’

With that in mind, he sees a deep irony in the fact that ‘the Arab nationalist movements that wanted to break from the Ottoman Empire in the late 19th century onwards in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon were led by Christians’. That nationalism became ‘aligned with a broad Islamic ethos in order to remain popular’, creating tension for Christian communities. And this brings us back to the Christians of Palestine, assailed, he attests, by ‘an impossible political situation. Historically and biblically, Palestinian Christians are in many ways the natives of the land in its organic ties with the biblical narrative and the historical connection to Palestine’s early Christian communities.’ Yet people once used to Zechariah’s Song – ‘Blessed be the God of Israel’ – are now faced by the Israel of Benjamin Netanyahu’s nationalist government, and the decades in between have brought ‘a crisis of identity that required pastoral care and patient education of the emotions but this hasn’t always been successful.’

Hence the departure of so many abroad, including Yazid himself who acts as honorary assistant priest at the Liverpool Parish Church of Our Lady and St Nicholas, an Anglican church near the Pier Head. He finds Liverpool ‘a city rich in history and culture’ yet cannot ignore the shadow cast by the suffering of so many of his fellow Palestinians back at home. And he finds little optimism as he considers this conflict’s main actors. ‘It is not the truth that people are interested in. It is power, it is control, it is a zero-sum game – either me or you. But if we live by the principle of justice, we can’t do that without acknowledging the tragedy that is there. As a Christian myself, the only way forward through the impasse is a total change of perspective – a conversion, if you like.’

Let there be light?

Have you ever seen the Aurora Borealis? A severe geomagnetic storm recently resulted in the aurora being seen widely across the UK and Europe, including on Merseyside. Many slept through it! I saw the aurora for the first time last year when I visited the Cairngorms, an area blessed with dark skies. The impact on my companions and me was visceral. We gasped as colours waxed and waned. Nature was delivering the most impressive of light shows.

Light pervades our Christian life. The first chapter of Genesis states: God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. ‘God saw that light was good …’. In the penultimate chapter of Revelation, we read of the Lamb as a ‘lighted torch’. So the Bible is bookended with references to light.

Similarly, light features much in our liturgies, not least the Easter Vigil Mass. As the new paschal candle is lit the priest prays, ‘May the Light of Christ … dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.’ In his Angelus homily of 22 March 2020, Pope Francis exhorted the faithful to ‘become light’: “Each one of us is called to receive the divine light in order to manifest it with our whole life”. Light is good then, it dispels darkness … right? No!

Increasingly, excessive light is another form of pollution and, like other forms of pollution, it is damaging both to the environment and to humans. Light pollution is a human-made alteration of light levels through the excessive or poor use of artificial outdoor light. Sources of light pollution include street lights, offices, industrial complexes, supermarket malls, recreational sports lighting, and electronic advertising boards. Astronauts on the International Space Station locate cities around the globe simply on the basis of their light pollution. On a smaller, but no less significant scale, we also like light around our homes. It is common to see lights over house doors and domestic security lighting, fairy light displays around garden sheds, fences etc., and those mourning their loved ones will often place lights around graves. Our thirst for light seems boundless. Light pollution is increasing exponentially across the globe. Does this matter? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Light pollution impacts

on wildlife and ecosystems, energy and climate, human health and our night sky heritage. Mammals, birds, insects and even plants can be affected by this pollution. All organisms operate circadian rhythms which govern waking, sleeping and feeding. Light pollution can disrupt those rhythms. Even some plants rely on night-day patterns for their growth and development. Evidence suggests that light pollution can influence their flowering.

Many people hear robins singing in their area late into the night or early in the morning. They are responding to light pollution; the light has disturbed their circadian rhythm, including their feeding patterns. Owls fly at dawn and dusk. Light pollution may make hunting more difficult for them. Many birds migrate in spring and autumn. Artificial light can confuse their timing of migration with serious consequences including death. Bats are creatures we frequently associate with nocturnal activity, so artificial light may harm them also. It has been said that for bats, encountering an artificially lit neighbourhood is like staring into full-beam car headlights. This may cause them not to see potential prey. A well-lit roadway may prevent bats from reaching their preferred feeding sites.

Light pollution also affects insects. Recent research has suggested this may account, in part, for the serious decline in insect numbers. Surveys have shown an almost 50% reduction in caterpillars in lit areas. Streetlights may deter nocturnal moths from laying eggs or put some species at increased risk of predation by night-flying creatures.

Too much artificial light also affects physical and mental functions in humans. The hormone melatonin is released at night and inhibited when light is present. If melatonin production is decreased, this can result in stress, depression, fatigue and anxiety. Links with cancers, diabetes and heart disease may also result although more research is needed on this. Light pollution affects access to our dark sky heritage. It is estimated that 55% of the UK population cannot see the Milky Way from where they live. UNESCO reports that 80% of the world’s population lives under a lit sky. Dark sky areas, those with no light pollution, now attract visitors. In the UK these can be found in the Brecon Beacons, Galloway Forest Park, Exmoor and Northumberland. In 2013, Northumberland National Park was designated as England’s first International Dark Sky Park, with the Milky Way and thousands of stars visible.

Our response to Pope Francis’s call to ‘become light’, could include setting examples by reducing the artificial light in our lives becoming ‘lights’ to help save the environment. Reducing light reduces CO2 emissions and saves money - particularly relevant in these days of soaring energy costs. Some light reduction measures at home can be resolved easily. Close curtains at night, turn external lights off, encourage your workplace to turn lights off at night: think twice, think light.

Maricourt Catholic High School strengthens ties with St. George’s Parish through faith and community service

As part of its Catholic life mission, Maricourt Catholic High School is committed to establishing close links with the local parish of St. George’s, Maghull. Representatives from Year 7 and Year 8 attended the Patronal Feast Day Mass, where they brought up the offertory and chatted with parishioners afterwards.

Readers and musicians from Maricourt participated in the Mass for Pentecost, creating a wonderful ‘family’ celebration attended by parents and carers.

Chaplain Julia Ashes said: “It is very important to me that our young people know that the Church is their ‘home’ – a safe and sacred space where they can grow in faith and as members of a community. St George’s is a vibrant, warm and welcoming parish and we are looking forward to growing in friendship and faith together.”

The school’s Faith in Action group, working towards their Silver Award, will support the parish fundraiser to renovate the kitchen in the church hall. Recognising the kitchen as the heart of any family home, the group noted its current state of disrepair. Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Mercy Sisters,

valued the communal aspect of a good cup of tea, emphasising the importance of sharing moments together. The parish hall kitchen serves various purposes, from sacramental preparation to a Wednesday coffee morning.

In the coming weeks, pupils, along with the chaplain and parishioners, will identify ways to support the ‘Save Our Kitchen’ campaign. This initiative provides a wonderful opportunity to witness faith in action within the local parish community.

Students wow judges in national art and poetry competition

Maram Ahlin from The Academy of St Francis of Assisi and Madeleine WilemanDuckworth from The Academy of St Nicholas have been awarded highly coveted prizes in the No Place Like Home Art and Poetry Competition.

Founded by the charity, Sanctuary Foundation, and in partnership with the British Library and the Church of England Education Office, the competition invited students aged 7 to 18 years old, from across the UK, to reflect on what life is like for the 43.3 million children around the world who are displaced.

Students were tasked with creating either a piece of artwork or writing a poem illustrating their empathy with, or experience of, being separated from the place they call home.

The students, who are from academies which are part of All Saints Multi Academy Trust, captivated the esteemed judging panel with their creations. The panel of judges included comedian and TV presenter Mel Giedroyc, foreign correspondent Christina Lamb, actor Sir Jonathan Pryce CBE, artist Hannah Rose Thomas and engineer and writer Suad Aldarra.

Maram, who is currently in Year 8 at The Academy of St Francis of Assisi, reflected on her own experiences and penned a poignant poem detailing her escape from the war in Syria. She described in detail the devastation that she saw with her own eyes

and having to leave behind her beloved aunts, cousins and friends.

Year 9 student, Madeleine, from The Academy of St Nicholas, composed a poem called ‘Eyes’. The piece delves into the life of a young girl forced to flee her home and escape the surrounding conflict.

Upon submitting the artwork, The Academy of St Nicholas and The Academy of St Francis of Assisi were notified that judges were particularly moved by these students’ entries. The shortlisted poems were displayed at the British Library, London, during Refugee Week from 17 June.

Madeleine and Maram were invited to a special prize-giving event on Friday 21 June at the British Library, with their families and representatives from their schools.

As part of the event, they enjoyed a special lunch and a VIP tour of the British Library. The prize-giving event included special guest Sir Jonathan Pryce CBE and the acclaimed author Sita Brahmachari.

Speaking about the competition, Madeleine said: “I was a little nervous at first, but it was a proud and exciting moment to read my poem for the audience and see my work on public display.

“There were so many amazing poems, it feels great to have been noticed by the judges. Also, the British library is huge!”

Madeleine also won a ‘Commendation’ certificate for use of vivid imagery and cacophony.

colleges to enter the Educate Awards!

Time is running out, with only THREE weeks left to enter the prestigious Educate Awards.

The Educate Awards, in partnership with ASL, is the largest education awards in the North West. Now in its thirteenth year of running, the awards are open to schools, colleges and academies of all shapes and sizes, including alternative and specialist provisions.

There are 21 categories for schools, academies, and colleges to enter, with something to suit everyone from literacy to sports to performing arts.

Last year, 15 inspirational Catholic schools and colleges were named in the Educate Awards shortlist.

With the end of the academic year fast approaching, Educate Awards founder, Kim O’Brien, is urging Catholic schools and colleges to enter the awards so they don’t miss out.

Kim said: “We are only three weeks away from the entry deadline for the Educate Awards 2024 and I strongly encourage Catholic schools and colleges to put their best foot forward and enter.

“There are so many fantastic things happening in Catholic schools and we want to hear about them. The awards are free to enter, and you can enter as many times as you wish.”

With just 20 days remaining until entries close on Sunday, 14 July, the Educate Awards team has shared its top tips for schools and colleges to help with the submission process on the Educate Awards website.

Maram enjoyed visiting the British Library and accepting a certificate at the prizegiving. She said: “The whole experience from start to finish was awesome. loved the trip down to London with my mum and Mrs Booth.

“Seeing my work on public display made me feel so happy and proud. I would recommend other children to enter competitions like this as you never know, they might win like did!”

CEO of All Saints Multi Academy Trust, Heather Duggan, commented: “We are incredibly proud of Maram and Madeleine for their outstanding contributions to the No Place Like Home Art and Poetry Competition. Their writing was incredibly moving and highlighted the hardship faced by many children in the world today.

“We extend a heartfelt thank you to Maram for courageously sharing her own personal journey.”

Madeleine Wileman-Duckworth at the British Library

Welcoming Notre Dame Catholic College

Ann Connor OBE, Chair of the SJCMAT Board, recently spoke about welcoming Notre Dame College into the St Joseph Catholic Multi Academy Trust (SJCMAT) family, saying: “I am delighted to welcome Notre Dame Catholic College to our family of schools. Women in my family had been educated by Notre Dame sisters for three generations when I became a pupil at Mount Pleasant. The sisters have given a dedicated and outstanding contribution to education in Liverpool since 1851. I am therefore very proud that St Joseph CMAT will be able to carry their charism onwards in the 21st century.”

Victoria Taylor, Headteacher of Notre Dame Catholic Academy.

What stood out to you about Notre Dame, and what made you apply to lead their community?

I am incredibly proud to be the headteacher of Notre Dame Catholic Academy and a member of the St Joseph Catholic Multi Academy Trust. We are based in the heart of the Liverpool community and are incredibly fortunate to be housed in a multi-million-pound, new building equipped with state-of-the-art science, theatre and sporting facilities. We continue to build on the work of our founder, St. Julie Billiart, whose vision was to provide excellent schooling for disadvantaged girls, and it is our aim today to develop this pioneering spirit within our children, so they are ready to take on whatever challenges they face!

Can you please tell us a little about your education background?

I join Notre Dame, having worked previously as a headteacher of an all-girls school, a deputy head of a Catholic school in Yorkshire and the senior vice principal of a trust in Stoke. Notre Dame’s warmth was apparent from my very first visit.

How do you instil strong Catholic Family values into your work?

As a Catholic school, we are called to live out our faith in our daily lives. We strive to celebrate our children’s successes in all areas of school life and show them that we believe in them, respect them, and are proud of them.

Notre Dame is a journey through childhood. Through our 4 C’s (Charity, Courtesy, Confidence, Courage), we have developed an innovative, ground-breaking education that puts our children and young people at the centre of our decisions. We offer our children the chance to thrive, to be free from stereotypes, and to shine in all areas.

How do you promote an ambitious community?

I am particularly passionate about our children’s wider learning experience. We are more than just a school… we mould lifelong memories and friendships and empower and develop all of our students so they can go on to be whatever they choose, with no limitations. We are an intentionally inclusive school—our students talk to us about any issues they may face, and we nurture and develop young voices.

What does the future look like for Notre Dame?

It is an exciting time to join Notre Dame; we are all excited and hopeful for the future. Liverpool is a wonderful, caring and loving place to work. It is a privilege to serve such a wonderful community!

Expanding the Catholic community

Andrew Truby, chief executive officer of the Trust, shared his thoughts on welcoming Notre Dame to the SJCMAT family: “St Joseph Catholic Multi Academy Trust is further enriched by Notre Dame joining our family. Our mission is to transform children’s lives through a world-class Catholic education. Over the next three years, we are implementing an ambitious improvement plan to ensure that we provide excellent teaching that enables all students to achieve well. We are also delighted to be providing expertise in music across the city region as Resonate is now an important part of the Trust’s offer.”

St John Bosco Arts College hosts largest careers fair in school’s history

St John Bosco Arts College hosted its biggest-ever careers fair that welcomed over 40 employers from diverse industries.

The event, open to students from Year 9 to Year 13, provided an opportunity for them to meet potential employers and explore some career options.

Also in attendance at the event were local colleges, universities and training providers, including Myerscough College, LIPA, Everton Football College, Edge Hill University, Liverpool John Moore’s University, and Liverpool Media Academy, who shared insight into further and higher education options for those in Year 11 and Year 13.

There was a diverse range of employers at the event, with something to suit all students’ future career interests.

Some employers included Merseyside Police, The Armed Forces, Aintree Hospital, Hill Dickinson Solicitors, Liverpool City Council, LSTB, Thin Blue Line, Jacobs, Women in STEM, and many more.

The careers fair was organised by assistant headteacher and head of sixth form, Charlotte Lyon, and careers coordinators, Adam Powell and Antony Stagg.

Charlotte said: “These events are the perfect opportunity for our young people to meet real employers and have their questions answered. It is also a chance for them to discover different sectors and potentially find their true passion.”

Employers in attendance at the careers fair praised the school and students for creating such a well organised event.

Hope Academy teacher runs three half marathons to fund Tanzania expedition for students

Assistant principal of Hope Academy, Miss Amy Green, ran three half marathons in three months in a bid to raise money for students to go on a lifechanging educational trip to Tanzania.

Miss Green, who has worked at the academy since 2017, completed the Run Wigan Festival in March, the East Yorkshire Half Marathon in April and most recently, the AJ Bell Great Manchester Run. In total, she has run over 350km since January as part of her training and participation in these events.

Miss Green embarked on this ambitious challenge to ensure that financial constraints do not hinder students from participating in the expedition. The funds raised through Miss Green’s running endeavours will go directly towards covering travel expenses, accommodation, and educational materials for the students.

Miss Green said: “Running these half marathons has been tough, but thinking about the impact this trip will have on our students kept me motivated every step of the way.”

In 2025, 16 students from Year 10 will travel to Tanzania, in partnership with Camps International. The four-week trip will involve working in the local communities around several different areas of the country.

With over a year until the expedition, the students and staff at Hope Academy are busy planning a calendar of initiatives to help raise all-important funds, such as completing The Three Peaks, bag packing in local supermarkets, raffles and selling ice creams in school.

As the children will be looking to raise money for their own place on the trip, they are seeking sponsorship from local businesses and individuals who are keen to support young people in education.

Mrs Marie Adams, principal of Hope Academy, said: “Miss Green inspires our Hope family with her unwavering commitment to improving the life chances of our students.”

Annual governance conference highlights commitment to Catholic education and collaboration

Holy Family Multi Academy Trust recently hosted its governance conference, which invited governors and directors from across the Trust, its seven schools and schools outside the Trust, to meet, collaborate, and share ideas and best practice.

The annual event took place at the Holiday Inn in Ellesmere Port, with attendees benefitting from a jam-packed itinerary that included guest speeches, governance and Trust updates, and interactive workshops.

Headteacher at St John Bosco Arts College, Darren Gidman, commented on the event’s success. He said: “We are delighted with the turnout for our annual careers fair event. It was incredible to see our young people engaging with employers and educational institutes and making plans for their future.

“We are committed to providing each of our students with the tools, knowledge and opportunities to build the foundations for their next steps, whatever they may be.”

The keynote speech, delivered by seasoned Catholic leader and distinguished educational speaker and writer, Raymond Friel OBE, was an impactful discussion on ‘Transforming the World: Catholic Education in the 21st Century’.

Raymond’s speech encouraged attendees to reflect on the essential mission of a Catholic school and the pivotal role Catholic schools play in supporting social justice within society.

Chris Hotchkiss, governor at St Bernard’s RC Primary and Nursery School and St John Plessington Catholic College, shared how Raymond’s speech reinforced what schools should be focussing on.

Chris said: “It has been a fantastic day, and listening to someone like Raymond reinforces what we, as Catholic schools, should be looking at. It also serves as a reminder of our mission and why we do what we do.”

During the afternoon, attendees had the choice of a selection of workshops to attend, including Link Governors to Accountability, a Governor’s Role in Managing the Wellbeing and Workload of Staff in Schools, Behaviour and Attendance and Your Role, and C Change: Creativity Collaborative update.

Madeleine Ward, governor at Our Lady of Pity RC Primary School and former RE coordinator at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, shared how useful she found the event.

Madeleine said: “Today has been extremely useful. It is fantastic to be part of a support network across the schools within the Trust and work collaboratively to share best practice, knowledge and experiences.”

The event was also an opportunity to officially introduce Hans Van Mourik Broekman to the Trust’s governors and directors. Hans will join the Trust in September 2024 as lay chaplain.

As a Catholic trust with Gospel values at the heart, the Trust was keen to use the event to encourage its governors and directors to continue drawing on Catholic teachings within their roles. CEO of Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust, Andy Moor, said: “As a Trust, we are incredibly proud to be supported by a team of governors and directors who share our vision of ‘Formation, Inspiration, Transformation’.

“Our annual governance conference is an opportunity for us to come together as a collective and share experiences, ideas, and best practice with the ultimate goal of continuing governance improvement across our schools.

Andy added: “It was fantastic to be surrounded by so many likeminded individuals, each connected by their shared passion for delivering outstanding Catholic education.”

Pupil’s artwork of God’s creation of the world on display at Walker Art Gallery

The artwork of a talented Year 5 pupil from Our Lady of Pity RC Primary School has been selected for display at the Walker Art Gallery as part of the annual dot-art Schools competition.

Dot-art Schools is an interactive, online, inter-school art competition that takes place annually and culminates in a public exhibition of the winning masterpieces and prize-giving ceremony for teachers, students and their families.

Open to all Year 5 and Year 9 students from Liverpool City Region, the contest aims to ignite artistic curiosity and challenge young people to take artwork beyond the classroom.

It is the first year Our Lady of Pity Primary School has entered the competition with its pupils tasked with creating a piece that was their own interpretation of ‘The Creation’; the story of how God created the world.

Daisy, who won first place, was joined in the top three by fellow Year 5 pupils, Mila and Dylan.

Daisy captivated judges with her artwork, featuring the hands of God protecting a beautiful flower he has created in a transcendent landscape flooded with warm colours.

Daisy was announced as the overall winner for Our Lady of Pity, and her incredible artwork is now on display at the Walker Art Gallery from 5 June – 7 July as part of the dot-art Schools exhibition.

Daisy said: “I chose colours that represented hope and joy, the plant to symbolise growth and the hands to show care for what God created.”

Head of school at Our Lady of Pity Primary School, Mrs Kathryn Dunne, said: “This competition really helped our pupils to explore their creativity and use their imagination to express themselves, while supporting them to gain a deeper understanding of The Creation and the world around them.”

Reflecting on a year of achievement at St Cuthbert’s

St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School is celebrating a wealth of achievement and success across many different aspects of school and community life.

The school started the year by welcoming the new intake of Year 7 students with a beautiful Welcome Mass, calling on its Catholic faith to ask for spiritual guidance and love for the students.

The festive season brought St Cuthbert’s first ever Communi-tea, as staff opened the doors to members of the community. The afternoon was filled with carol singing, dancing, quizzes and games, and everyone shared the real meaning and joy of Christmas.

This year, St Cuthbert’s has provided students the opportunity to experience a variety of educational days out and residential trips away, including visits to Rome, Barcelona and Savio House.

Staff said it has also been a real privilege to work within the community, providing support for local foodbanks and care homes.

Throughout the year, the St Cuthbert’s community has continued to celebrate much sporting success. The Year 7 boys’ football team reached the final of the St Helens Town Cup, and the boys’ rugby teams across all years are working hard week after week at training.

St Cuthbert’s remains committed to acting as a trailblazer for female participation and achievement is sport, with its Year 7/8 girls’ football team reaching this year’s county finals, and the Year

8/9 team competing in Liverpool ‘Four Clubs One Goal’ finals, representing Liverpool Football Club (LFC) women and achieving second place.

Staff are incredibly proud of students, who live out the St Cuthbert’s school values of courage, commitment, community, and compassion each day.

St Cuthbert’s looks forward to continuing to support students in the new academic year, to become the very best version of themselves, and to truly live their life in all its fullness.

Student who has never missed school presented with award from Wigan Council

A former student at St John Fisher Catholic High School in Wigan has received a certificate from Wigan Council for achieving 100 per cent attendance consistently for 12 years –her whole school experience.

Libby Gibson left St John Fisher last summer without having one day off school since she started in reception class at St Mary and St John Catholic Primary School. This equals to 2280 days of school attendance.

Headteacher of St John Fisher, Mrs Rigby, and the school’s attendance and punctuality officer, Mrs Bates, presented Libby with her award.

Speaking about Libby’s achievement, Mrs Rigby said: “To have full attendance all the way through her education career is a magnificent achievement and it also, think, sets her up for the future because not only has she never missed a day’s learning; it also trains her up for the world of work.

“It just shows utter commitment, her resilience and her determination to do well. We’re really, really proud of her.”

Mrs Rigby said that she also shared Libby’s achievement with younger students at St John Fisher.

She added: “They are amazed. Libby is an inspiration to others.”

St Margaret Mary’s pupils raise money to help refugees

After hearing about the difficulties refugees and people seeking asylum face in the UK at an assembly, a group of Year 6 children from St Margaret Mary’s Junior School decided they wanted to do something to help.

The assembly was delivered by charity SHARe Knowsley (Support & Help Asylum seekers and Refugees), which aims to help improve the lives of those living in our community who have had to flee their homes.

Supported by their teachers, Miss Madden and Miss Scott, pupils had a non-uniform day and a cake sale to raise some money. The pupils included Luca Smith, Alfie Tomlinson, Finley Hodgson, Esha Pillai, Hana Helliwell, Gbemi Agboola, Diya Binu Pillai and Livia Binu.

The money raised was put towards a BBQ that SHARe Knowsley was having to celebrate Refugee Week.

Margaret Roche, a former teacher at St Margaret Mary’s Junior School, is now the manager of SHARe Knowsley. She presented each of the hard-working pupils with the SHARe Knowsley Young Person’s Social Action Award Certificate for Raising Funds to Help Refugees.

St Basil’s Catholic Primary’s ‘Year of Peace’

Back in September, a desire to explore the mission further with the children at St Basil’s Catholic Primary School has resulted in amazing experiences throughout this academic year.

Following a collective worship led by Year 6 on International Day of Peace in September, St Basil’s launched its very own ‘Year of Peace’, embarking on an enriching journey with the school community. This also linked with the school’s Live Simply journey.

Planned liturgies throughout the year have focused upon key scripture, including the Beatitudes from the Gospel of Matthew.

St Basil’s has also spotlighted key figures and their messages of peace, making St Francis of Assisi the patron saint for St Basil’s Year of Peace.

The link to Pope Francis has also been a prominent feature with the children who have loved learning more about him and his values and actions.

The highlight for St Basil’s has been ‘Peace week’, which was celebrated in January when the school welcomed

The Archbishop of Liverpool, The Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP, into school.

The children and staff were thrilled and delighted with his participation in the prayer spaces events. Events included painting peace pebbles, origami boats in the peace river, prayers and reflection in the peace garden and creating and hanging up peace doves.

A tour of the school also saw Archbishop Malcolm learning sign language for ‘peace perfect peace’ along with the children, hearing peace poetry recitals, as well as a peace dance and joyous singing.

Workshops led by visitors from peace pathways were also undertaken by each year group. These were hugely successful and have resulted in the recent training of a committed number of Year 5 peer mediators.

St Basil’s has planned a Mission Mass to provide a lasting memory for its little peacemakers, and the big ones too!

Libby is now a student at St John Rigby College.

St Mary’s College and prep school compete in nationwide table tennis finals

For the first time ever, St Mary’s College and St Mary’s Preparatory School in Crosby have had three players from three different age groups represent the St Mary’s community in a nationwide table tennis competition.

The competition pathway for schools in England is organised by Table Tennis England as part of its wider competition structure. Under the title English Schools Table Tennis, there are two National Schools Competitions – one for teams and the other for individuals.

51 school’s counties, approximately 140 schools, affiliated with Table Tennis England hold qualifying events in their counties across England. The winners then represent their schools’ counties in the Butterfly National Schools Competitions.

Those competing from St Mary’s College are lower sixth student, Jack Savage, competing in the U19 (under-19) boys’, and Isabella Hamer in Year 10, competing in the U16 girls’ category.

From St Mary’s Preparatory School is Year 5 pupil, Nyasha Roberts, competing in the U11 Girls’ category.

All of them placed in the Merseyside competition and progressed through to represent the schools and Merseyside in the Individual National Finals held in Wolverhampton on 27 April this year.

Nyasha managed to reach the quarter finals in the U11’s, Isabella placed fifth in the U16 Girls and Jack placed fourth in the U19 Boys, with both of them encountering the number 1 seed in their respective groups.

Last year’s Under 16 college boys’ team, consisting of students Jack Louie Luke G and Luke P, reached the national finals for the first time and placed fourth in the competition for the county.

St Mary’s staff are thrilled with the success of students in their skilled sport thanks to the specialist training they run at the prep with Lancashire coach Dave Graham.

St Matthew’s staff to abseil in Anfield Stadium to fundraise for school playground

St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School in Walton, Liverpool, will be taking part in an exciting fundraising event where stakeholders will abseil Anfield Stadium’s main stand to raise funds for the school’s playground. The event will take place on Saturday, 6 July 2024.

This daring and exhilarating event will see teachers, parents, and community supporters of St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School take on the challenge. The goal is to generate much-needed funds to enhance the school’s playground, providing a safe and stimulating environment for the children.

The event promises to be a day filled with adventure, community spirit, and support for a great cause. Participants have received professional training and safety guidance to ensure a secure and enjoyable experience. Friends, family, and the wider community are encouraged to go along and cheer on the brave abseilers, making it

a memorable day for everyone involved.

Headteacher of St Matthew’s, Claire Sime, said: “We are excited to host this unique fundraising event and are grateful for the support of Liverpool FC in making it possible.”

“The funds raised will go directly towards improving our playground facilities, ensuring our children have a fantastic space to play and learn.”

The event aims to raise £5,000, which will be used to install new playground equipment, safety surfacing, and seating areas. Contributions can be made on the school’s crowdfunding page here: crowdfunding/smcpsplayground

St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School invites everyone to join in the fun and support this worthy cause. Staff said: “Together, we can make a significant impact on our children’s outdoor learning and play experience so that they can continue to Love Learn and Shine Together with Jesus.”

Dialogue and Unity A grateful farewell to Revd Dr Sheryl Anderson

Merseyside has been greatly blessed by a succession of leaders of the Methodist Church. We think of the Revd Dr John Newton CBE and the Revd Dr John Taylor among others, and in recent years the Revd Dr Sheryl Anderson has worn that same cloak with skill and distinction.

Born and raised in the East End of London she was the middle child of three. When she was 15, her father tragically died following an accident at work. She says that her family’s survival at that time was fundamentally due to the love and support of the local Methodist Church, particularly its minister.

She was ordained as a presbyter in the Methodist Church in 1998 and is currently the chair of the Liverpool Methodist District, an appointment that she took up in September 2014. The Methodist District encompasses most of the Archdiocese and the Wirral end of Shrewsbury Diocese.

After ordination in 1998, she served as a circuit minister on the South Coast. Thence to London where for nine years she served as director of the South London Mission – a long-established Methodist social outreach agency – and ministered to a largely West African congregation at Bermondsey Central Hall Methodist Church.

Immediately before her move to Liverpool, she served in the Methodist connexional team, where she had responsibility for administering the processes related to selection and training for ordained ministry in the British Methodist Church.

Dr Anderson is passionate about social justice as she comes from a background in teaching and social work, specialising in work with young offenders. Before entering her ministry, she was responsible for young offender services for South-east Kent.

She has been a trustee of Liverpool Hope University and Action for Children and is currently president of the Liverpool Free

Church Federal Council (grouping denominations including United Reformed, Baptist and Salvation Army as well as Methodists).

Additionally, she has been an active supporter and advocate of the Liverpool-based Church Action on Sexual Abuse Issues (CASAI) –a project inspired and sponsored by the Methodist Church. CASAI offers support to women who have experienced abuse in a faith context.

She retires later this summer, and stresses that she “will miss Liverpool more than I can say”. Archbishop Malcolm McMahon spoke warmly of her contribution to our ecumenical efforts and her role in making the Church leaders’ meetings so productive. In recognition of her contribution to both church and community, she received the Josephine Butler Woman of the Year Award on 14 June.

Every year in January, Methodist churches hold a covenant service to renew their commitment to their faith. The Covenant prayer used echoes the life and ministry that Dr Anderson has exemplified here among us:

I am no longer my own, but yours.

Put me to what you will, place me with whom you will. Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

Let me be put to work for you or set aside for you, Praised for you or criticised for you.

Let me be full, let me be empty.

Let me have all things, let me have nothing.

I freely and fully surrender all things to your glory and service. And now, O wonderful and holy God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, you are mine, and I am yours.

So be it.

And the covenant which I have made on earth, Let it also be made in heaven. Amen.

Left to Right: Archbishop Malcolm McMahon; Dr Sheryl Anderson; Elisabeth Hachmoeller Ecumenical Co-ordinator for CTMR; Bishop John Perumbalath
The Very Revd Dr Sue Jones, Liverpool Cathedral Dean; Rev Tony O’Brien, Metropolitan Cathedral Dean; Elisabeth Hachmoeller Ecumenical Co-ordinator for CTMR; Archbishop Malcolm McMahon; Dr Sheryl Anderson; Bishop John Perumbalath

Mums the Word

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well. I cannot believe we are halfway through the year all ready.

June is the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with the feast day falling this year on Friday 7 June.

The tradition of celebrating this feast in June dates back to the 17th century and the visions of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French nun, who is said to have been asked by Jesus to spread the word of His love for humanity. The Sacred Heart is the sign of the divine love that Jesus is sending to all humanity. It is one of the purest loves and it represents the willingness of Jesus to die for our sins. It is said that we need to receive and return His love with all our hearts by praying to Him.

I am looking forward to seeing all of you who are travelling to Walsingham on our annual pilgrimage.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in thee.


A century of service News from the Liverpool Province of the Knights of St Columba

Shining a light on the KSC’s structure

Who are the Knights of Saint Columba? And just how does the order work?

Following on from last month’s issue, which addressed the first question and explored the origins of the KSC, will seek to explain here the order’s structure.

At the local level, the knights belong to a council or charter council, led by a grand knight, and usually meeting monthly. The charter councils in an area (often corresponding to a Catholic diocese) come together to form a province, under the provincial grand knight.

Representatives of the provinces meet at least once annually at the KSC’s supreme council – headed by a supreme knight – which governs the order.

We will cover our aims and objectives, and the role of a knight, in the final of our explainers next month.

News from the councils

Council 18, Widnes: Following on from the news in the May edition about the Christmas photo competition winners from Saints Peter and Paul Catholic High School in Widnes, Ged Newport and Philip Higgins – respectively the grand knight, and action and youth officer from council 18 – visited the school to present the prizes. Henry, Isla and Amelia, the competition winners, were delighted with the certificates, trophies and cash prizes provided by the KSC.

Heather Smith, an RE teacher and chaplaincy coordinator at the school, said: ‘I am so proud of our Year 7 students for getting involved in this competition, and to come away with three winners from our school is exceptional and a credit to their talents as photographers. We’re so thankful to our friends at Council 18 for their fantastic support, and would encourage students from all age groups to take up any opportunities like this that may come up in future.’

Council 147, Southport: On Saturday 1 June we celebrated 50 years of service by Tommy Sammin to the KSC with a celebratory Mass at Holy Family in Southport followed by a reception in the parish hall for family and friends. Provincial grand knight Alf Swain presented Tommy with his award and they are pictured either side of parish priest Father Kevin McLoughlin in the photo above.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Knights of St Columba or arranging a visit to your local council meeting, then please don’t hesitate to contact me by email:


Nugent Gala 2024: Making Memories

This month marks one year since I was appointed CEO by Nugent’s Trustees, and what a year it has been. We have opened two new services, Lime Grove Cottage and The Orchards, enabling us to support more people in need. We achieved three major certifications – Cyber Essentials, Real Living Wage Employer, and ISO 9001 Quality Management – ensuring our sectorleading services. I have enjoyed every second in this position, and hope to continue the vital efforts we have made in the past year.

Nugent Brand Refresh

I’m thrilled to unveil our recent Nugent brand refresh! This collective effort with Moore Media has redefined our identity in alignment with our bold mission and strategy. The new logo and colour palette reflect our commitment to innovation and modernity, marking a fresh chapter for Nugent.

Sahara Trek and the Marydale Outdoor Gym

This year, Nugent’s Gala theme is ‘Making Memories’, highlighting the Memorable Experiences pillar of our “Our Future Now” initiative, dedicated to providing positive memories for those facing adversity. We believe everyone, regardless of their circumstances, deserves moments to cherish.

In Merseyside, where 13,490 adults are in social care and over a quarter of children live in poverty, the need for support is clear. That’s why our 2024 Gala theme, Making Memories, is more than just a theme – it’s a call to action.

We understand that memorable experiences are not just moments of joy, but also powerful tools for breaking cycles of adversity and offering hope for a brighter future. By shifting the focus from trauma and negativity to positive experiences, we aim to transform lives in our communities.

This year’s Gala is an integral part of the “Our Future Now” initiative. This comprehensive approach addresses not only the need for memorable experiences but also the critical pillars of Accommodation, Poverty Alleviation, and Employability. Through these interconnected efforts, we ensure every community member has the tools and opportunities to create their own stories of happiness and fulfilment.

Join us at the Gala and be part of a movement that makes a real difference, creating cherished memories and building a brighter future for all. We will be offering an early bird discount of 20% off table tickets until 31 July 2024.

For more information and to book your tickets, visit:

I’m incredibly proud of the initiative to fundraise for the Marydale outdoor gym, promoting physical and mental well-being in our community. Special thanks to Howard Lewis (General Manager, Novotel Paddington Village) and Debbie King (Business Director, Building Careers UK Ltd) for their dedication during the Sahara Trek, which played a vital role in bringing this vision to life. The outdoor gym will be a cornerstone for health and community engagement at Marydale.

Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Day

As we observe Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Day, we reaffirm our commitment to addressing period poverty in Merseyside. Through our initiative to collect and distribute period products, we are making a tangible difference in the lives of individuals in need. This effort underscores our dedication to social responsibility and our belief in the power of collective action to drive positive change.

As we look ahead, I am filled with optimism and confidence in our ability to drive meaningful change. Together, we will continue to innovate, support, and uplift our community. Thank you for your unwavering support and dedication. Let’s embrace the opportunities that lie ahead and work together to build a brighter future for all.

Normandie Wragg Chief Executive Nugent
Jo Henney Chief Executive Officer Nugent

National Faith in Action Award Scheme

Jan Barton, Administratorm, Animate Youth Ministries

Once again, we are excited to talk about the National CYMfed Faith in Action Award Scheme within the Archdiocese of Liverpool. Over 2,000 young people from 52 Schools and Parishes have taken part in the award over the course of this academic year.

The work the young people contributed has been outstanding with some final pieces not only with posters, hand-made religious models but with dance, songs and acting. All of those pieces of work needed to be Moderated by a volunteer Moderator team who took time to read, reflect and comment on the final pieces for each of the young people taking part in the Award.

Many of the Moderators are currently working in Schools and Parishes where they have also had young people signed up for the Award.

Prior to the Award ceremony, a lot of work had taken part behind the scenes. With the help of ten individuals who dedicated time to be part of the FIA Volunteer Team. Who helped and played a part in arranging the activities for the day, setting up the Church, transport and parking, setting up equipment on the day and even down to arranging delivery of Portaloos – something we’ve never had to think about before!!!

Meetings were held with volunteers which included some parents, husbands and sisters of the Animate Team. Lauren, Animate Team Leader and Faith in Action Co-Ordinator spent a lot of time organising, prepping and even completing many Risk Assessments with the assistance of Mark Jones and Claire Newton to ensure everything was covered and for every eventuality with the help of the Animate Team.

The Award came to a climax on Wednesday, 19th June with a full day of celebrations. Two Award ceremonies took place here at St Mary’s, Lowe House with a festival fun time to follow.

It was an early start for the FIA Volunteer Team and a lot of time went into making sure that the day was set up as best as it could be. This included checking seating plans, fun activities for the young people being delivered, there wasn’t even time for a cuppa!! We welcomed the arrival of the morning Award recipients with volunteers on duty around the area to direct coaches and minibuses for safe extraction of young people and into the Church.

Bishop Tom Neylon presented Certificates and badges to about 500 young people for the morning Ceremony and he spoke about his own vocation which tied in with the vocation of young people completing the Silver Award.

Following the ceremony, picnics were had by all in the garden at Lowe House and a chance to have fun on the interactive games.

Following a quick turnaround and set up, we were ready for the afternoon Ceremony. Volunteers went back to their posts, directing coaches and minibuses for the arrival of the young people.

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon presented certificates and badges to the young people following this Archbishop Malcom spoke about a recent Synod meeting he had attended. A question was asked ‘what was important to him in the Archdiocese?’, Archbishop Malcom responded that the following were important – Lourdes Pilgrimage, Confirmations, Youth Ministry but if he could choose one part this would be the CYMFed Faith In Action Awards taking part in the Archdiocese of Liverpool and he was impressed on the success of the Award and the young peoples contributions within the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

Following the ceremony the young people enjoyed time in the garden having a go on all the games, a lot of interest from the Interactive Shooting Gallery, 5 pin bowling, Mini Golf, Pedal Go Karts and Zap a Mole.

Thankfully our prayers were answered, the weather was in our favour, all the coaches and minibuses were directed without issue, all the young people received their certificates and badges and enjoyed the fun activities.

The Team received feedback from one of the Moderators, Stella Gore stated, ‘It had been her privilege and pleasure to read the journals of the young people and the many ways they have found showing their care and wanting to make a difference’.

We couldn’t have done this without the help of all the Moderators and Volunteers and of course the Animate Youth Ministry Team.

On behalf of the Animate Youth Ministry Team I would like to give a big thank you to the following Moderators:

Linda Walmsley, Rebecca Donnellan, Margaret Dutton, Michael Whitlow, Matthew Lorne, Linda Morris, Lizzy Duffy, Deacon Gerald Fishwick, Rosemary Floyd, Anne Casey, Kasia Boydell, Deacon Paul Mannings, Pat Beatty, Lara Purcell, Patricia F, J Hollinshead, Stella Gore.

And not forgetting the Volunteers: Andrew and Barbara Lynch, Pat Beatty, Alastair Barton, Carl and Imogen Leatherbarrow, Kevin and Stella Gore and me!. We even had our newly appointed Deputy Director of the Education Department visit, Ben McMullen and the new Parish Priest for St Mary’s Church and St Thomas of Canterbury, Fr Michael Harwood.

Finally, a special thank you goes to Lauren for all the hard work and her dedication towards the Faith in Action Award, another year, another success!!

Time now to reflect and plan for next year and hope for another

successful Faith In Action Award with many more young people from our Schools and Parishes taking part.

Having spoken to Lauren, she did remind me of the diversity of the group involved in Faith in Action Award, she stated that the award allows a 10 year old up to an 84 year old to play a valuable role within the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

This article is a reminder for all individuals within the Archdiocese of Liverpool to be part of an Award that can enrich them and others on their faith journey of life. If this is something that you would like to be part of in the future, whether this be a Moderator, Co Ordinator or part of the Faith in Action Volunteer Team please get in contact –

Please keep the Animate Youth Ministry Team in your prayers. God bless,

Are we a welcoming Parish? How do we Love the Stranger?

As the Catholic Association for Racial Justice (CARJ) celebrated its 40th anniversary in Southwark Cathedral on 25 May with a Mass, conference, and the publication of its Racial Justice Agenda for Change ( ‘Agenda for Change’ Vision for Next Phase - CARJ Catholic Association for Racial Justice –), so CARJ Liverpool entered its 13th year. This coincided with the General Election, where race and migration emerged as a major theme.

At the same time, two of our parishes, St Agnes & St Aidan’s in Knowsley, and St Vincent de Paul serving inner-city Chinatown and the Baltic Triangle, were holding events aimed at welcoming congregations from diverse communities. This followed the 2013 publication by the Catholic Bishops Conference for England and Wales of their document ‘Love the Stranger’ ( love-the-stranger).

St Agnes has been holding an annual ‘Table of Fellowship’ since 2021. This year’s service was conducted by Fr Anton Fernandopulle, Fr Moses Henry Ariho, Fr Richard Sloan, Deacons Justin Malewezi and Mike Whelan, and student Nicholas Burundian. The early-June event was run by the Huyton CARJ group and a group of parish volunteers, and was attended by service users of SHARe Knowsley, and over 200 families and guests, from over 20 countries. The church was festooned with flags from all nations, and some of the parishioners and children wore their native clothes. The Bidding Prayers were said in 7 different languages. The service was followed by conversation, games, and a table of international foods to share, brought by the participants.

In Corpus Christi, the growing and increasingly diverse congregation, (resulting from the regeneration of the area) at St Vincent de Paul held a ‘Bring and Share’ Mass, following which parishioners were invited to bring and share their traditional foods and cultures. More than half the congregation of 60 remained after the Mass to share the cuisine of e.g. India, Nigeria, Spain - and, of course, Scouse. The success of this approach can be evidenced by the increased engagement of these parishioners in the Parish as readers, Eucharistic ministers, and the music ministry.

CARJ exists to promote racial justice. We aim to recognise, understand and respect each other’s cultures and to love and welcome our neighbours as individuals with shared Christian values.

For further information on CARJ Liverpool, please contact:

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Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.