Catholic Pic June 2024

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FREE Issue 238 June 2024 INSIDE THIS MONTH Kevin HylandLeading the fight against human trafficking Civic Mass 2024 A new way to mark your First Holy Communion

A few weeks ago, I sent the Holy Father Pope Francis my resignation as Archbishop of Liverpool, as I am requested by canon law to tender my resignation on my 75th birthday. There is unlikely to be a quick reply to my letter as the process of finding a replacement can take months if not years.

To be honest I don’t understand why this should be the case as it is not as if my birthday is a secret. However, there is a little bit of me that is relieved about that, as I have really enjoyed my time in the archdiocese, and any extra time I will consider as an unexpected bonus. When I arrived in Liverpool, was overwhelmed by the welcome I received, but felt that you were deserving of a younger man with more energy and vision as your archbishop, and hope that my successor will be such a person. One of the first things did was to get a new pensioners’ bus pass and then I applied for my state pension – hardly symbols of youth and dynamism in your new archbishop.

After a few months settling in I began to realise that the future of the archdiocese didn’t depend on me but on God, and especially God’s Spirit working through his people and priests. That change of attitude comes with age too. Less energy and creaking bones have enabled me to let go (just a little bit) and let God get on with caring for his Church.

Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool

Monthly prayer intentions

Holy Father’s prayer intentions entrusted to his worldwide prayer network for the year 2024:


For Those Fleeing Their Own Countries

Let us pray that migrants fleeing from war or hunger, forced to undertake journeys fraught with danger and violence, may find welcome and new living opportunities in their host countries.

A Warm welcome to another new member of our St Joseph CMAT family - Notre Dame Catholic Academy! A Warm welcome to another new member of our St Joseph CMAT family - Notre Dame Catholic Academy! Contents: 4 Main Feature A new way to mark First Communion Day 7 Sunday Reflections 8 From the Archives Recycled churches in Huyton 9 News News from around the archdiocese 14 Pastoral Ponderings 16 What’s On What’s happening in the archdiocese 17 Cathedral Record 18 Profile Kevin Hyland 27 Animate Youth Ministry 28 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC 29 Nugent News Sleep Out With Nugent 2024 30 Dialogue and Unity contents From the Archbishop’s Desk
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We wanted something really personal for them to keep forever, something that really represents what their First Holy Communion means to them.

A new way to mark your First Holy Communion

For children making their First Holy Communion this year, an archdiocesan-wide badge competition offered an extra cause for excitement in the build-up to this always-special day.

‘It is a rite of passage of every Catholic child.’ So Monsignor John Devine sums up one of the more joyful occasions on the May calendar of every parish in the archdiocese – First Holy Communion season. This special day – unfolding, for the lucky ones, in late-spring sunshine – has always had the power to create life-long memories for children as they take the Sacrament of Holy Communion for the first time.

Indeed, Mgr John, who celebrated his golden jubilee as a priest last year, still has clear memories of his own First Communion Day at Christ the King church in Childwall in the 1950s. ‘I had two Shredded Wheat for my breakfast - normally only had one!’ he recalled. ‘I was wearing a little grey suit – a jacket with matching short trousers – with a red tie and a white shirt. It was the feast of Corpus Christi, a holy day, and my dad, who worked in the Inland Revenue, took the day off. We went off in the car to Thurstaston Hill on the Wirral.’ The sense of occasion remains the

same for children and their families today and for 2024’s communicants in the Archdiocese of Liverpool, there was an extra layer of excitement in the form of a newly introduced competition to design a First Holy Communion badge. In January, all children in the archdiocese preparing for the sacrament were invited to design their own badge according to the following criteria: it had to be the size of a 2p coin and contain no more than five colours.

The winning design, from around 400 submitted, came from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Leigh.

Explaining how the competition was devised, John McMahon, head of finance for the archdiocese and a member of the badge judging panel, said: ‘Our original idea came from a discussion about the wonderful badges created since 1923 for the annual Lourdes pilgrimage. We imagined a scenario where First Holy Communions were marked in the same way and so we invited the children preparing for Communion to submit their own designs to our competition.’

Harriet Anwyl, another panel member and our archdiocesan communications

officer, added: ‘We wanted something really personal for them to keep forever, something that really represents what their First Holy Communion means to them.

‘We were overwhelmed by the quality – there were some absolutely fantastic ideas. Some children included a little written explanation of their badges, so they’d clearly given it a lot of thought. It was very difficult to choose just one – each one of our judges had a handful of favourites – but we ultimately felt the winning design captured everything succinctly, with the cross in the background reminding us why we take Communion, the wine, and the Host above it.’

That winning design was by a Year 4 pupil from St Joseph’s, Michalina. Her head teacher, Michelle Daley, said: ‘We’re all very proud of Michalina’s achievement – we love her design! This fantastic news has made this special occasion even more memorable for our Year 4 children, who are just delighted that the winner is not only from their school but also their class. Michalina is a hard-working and kind pupil who lives out our mission statement every day – in short, a very deserving winner!’

Changes down the decades

If this year’s badge competition is a new initiative, certain aspects of First Holy Communions remain the same – such as the girls’ white dresses and the boys’ red ties. Yet amid the traditions, there have been gradual changes too. Mary

a long-serving catechist at Christ the King parish, explains that she was six when she had her First Communion; today, communicants are children from Year

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Coghlan, 4 at primary school, which means they are eight or nine years old. 5 Catholic Pictorial
feature feature
Blackbrook St. Mary’s St. Helens boys Our Lady of Perpetual Succour RC School in Widnes, again in the parish of St. Wilfrid Blackbrook St. Mary’s St. Helens girls Fr Tony Slingo, St Teresa’s Norris Green Fr Mark Moran St Gerards Primary School St Wilfrid’s Parish in Widnes Fr Mark Moran St. Bede’s RC Junior School St Wilfrid’s Parish in Widnes St Julie’s primary school, Ecceleston, St Helens


Neil Sayer has delved into the Pic’s archives to show how First Holy Communions looked 50 years ago, back in June 1974.

As Mary explains, the preparation process, if still centred on the children in their schools, now includes their families more than in the past. In the case of Mary and her fellow catechists at Christ the King, they arrange a series of sessions for children with their parents, staged from autumn through to spring.

She explained: ‘Before, it was mainly done in the schools, and then we started bringing it into the church and making it a family thing. If you go back all those years, a lot more families were practising, whereas now a lot have fallen away from weekly Mass attendance, so across the year we have six sessions when the parents come with the children.’

According to Mgr John Devine, the greater involvement of families extends to the First Holy Communion Day itself. ‘We try to encourage families to come up and receive with them. Aunts, uncles and grandparents all show up and they make a big effort and make it an occasion for the kids. That’s where we need to meet people and build on that.’

As for exactly how to build on it, Mgr John offers the following perspective: ‘It is the first chance that kids have something to do for themselves after

their Baptism. First Communion is an opportunity to be consciously participating in the life of the Church. say to them it’s a sign they are grown-ups – they can now join in the celebration of the Eucharist, which is a sign of Christ’s presence and His promise to be with them every day of their lives from now into the future and that God loves them no matter what they do. That is what they are celebrating.

‘As for whether people choose to live out their faith in the future is perhaps beyond my paygrade really – leave that to the Holy Spirit!’

On this question of the legacy of a First Holy Communion Day, Mary Coughlan ends with a lovely tale about a former communicant from years past. ‘I prepare the children who don’t attend Catholic primary schools and not long ago I was walking around town and a man came up to me and said, “You prepared me for my First Communion”. He’s in his 30s now and he said, “I loved those times, and I persuaded my parents to put me in St Edward’s and from there I joined the Cathedral choir, and I am still singing in it!’

On a liturgical note

The first weeks of June here at the Beda are very full and busy as our top year pack up their rooms ready for their return to their respective countries to prepare for their ordination as priests.

We have seven priestly ordinations to look forward to at various stages over the next months: two in Scotland, another two in England, and one each in India, Ireland and Mauritius.

There is also the small but not insignificant matter of end-of-year examinations, followed by marking and the Board of Examiners so that we can get all the results forwarded to Saint Mary’s University in London for inclusion in the July graduation ceremony.

On Wednesday 12 June, we have the last full day of the college year, which is marked by the Ordination to the Diaconate of three of our seminarians: Philip Thornley from the Diocese of Leeds; Philip McMahon, a Franciscan from Ireland; and Louis Kwadwo, a Benedictine from Ghana. Please remember them and all our ordinands in your prayers that they may be ardent but gentle servants of the Gospel.

In popular devotion, this month is often kept as the month of the Sacred Heart and indeed on 7 June the Liturgy keeps the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For many generations, a devotion

Sunday thoughts

In recent years, peregrine falcons have taken to perching on the tower of our Cathedral Church of Saint Mary of the Isle.

They nest and hatch on the cliffs by Douglas Head. But their favourite vantage point is the metal cross atop our church, the highest point in town. One member of the legislative council in Tynwald, the Manx parliament, located just across the road, is a keen photographer. He has captured wonderful pictures of the mother and her chicks conducting flying lessons.

The choice of poems for Easter in the Prayer of the Church includes ‘The Windhover’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins. It begins:

‘I caught this morning morning’s minion, kingdom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing

In his ecstasy!...’

Hopkins’s words take flight themselves as they mimic the movement and grace of

and love of the heart of Jesus was presumed when you made the profession of faith: ‘He became incarnate of the Holy Spirit and was made man.’ To be human is not merely to have an organ which pumps the blood around the body but to have a seat of emotion, love, care and compassion.

It is not only on 14 February (as seen in our gift-card shops) that the heart pierced with the arrow of love comes to the fore of our attention. In our Christian spirituality, the pierced heart of Jesus on the cross –sometimes in iconography surrounded by the crown of thorns – becomes the source and the inspiration of all loving and serving in the Church and for the world.

‘For raised up high on the Cross, He gave Himself up for us with a wonderful love and poured out blood and water from His pierced side, the wellspring of the Church’s Sacraments, so that, won over to the open heart of the Saviour, all might draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.’

Preface of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we place all our trust in you.

Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us!

the falcon. The clue lies in the poem’s title, ‘To Christ our Lord’. It is an Easter morning hymn in praise of our Risen Lord.

I’ve taken a flying lesson myself, a gift for my Golden Jubilee last summer. Now the endless rain had paused, felt now was the time to redeem the voucher. Initial turbulence on take-off at Ronaldsway soon gave way to clear skies as we flew over Laxey to the north of the island. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and our beautiful green island looked stunning from the air. was able to take control of the aircraft several times. was told to hold the joystick lightly with just two fingers. But as a nervous learner driver grips the steering wheel too tightly, did the same with the joystick. The plane moved from side to side (and up and down) as I over-steered: not much of the Windhover there.

Flying to Liverpool with easyjet and Loganair is like sitting on a bus by comparison. There’s no magic in that. In this tiny plane I felt I had grown wings. realised how accurately the phrase ‘getting your wings’ describes the experience of a trainee fighter pilot. That is how it felt at just 1,800 feet, close enough to see people and cars on familiar roads below but remote enough to feel I was observing them from heaven; an exhilarating experience.

God of the wild spaces

My uncle Bernard was a lovely man. When researching my family tree, I went to see him. He answered the door in his cardigan and neatly knotted tie. I wanted to know about his mother, my grandmother, Annie Lloyd. Among other things, he told me the story of Annie’s death in 1942. She was 68 and a much-loved person. Bernard was devastated when he heard she was dead, and he walked to Otterspool. He remembered it was a dark night, with a storm on the river that made the waves leap over the promenade, soaking him. Bernard told me he screamed into the wind until it robbed his breath. Then, exhausted from the screaming, he collapsed in the rain.

Bernard had always been a good Catholic but his was a religion of rules and regulations, not experience. It was ordered and clear as the rest of his life was. But, he said, in the storm he heard God say: ‘My ways are not your ways and I am God, do not be afraid.’ He didn’t think it was a tangible voice, but he heard it.

Bernard said that from that day, his life was never the same because he had met the God of the wild spaces, the God who was free, vibrant and life-giving even in desperate situations. Bernard had met a God who was bigger than he could imagine. I remember him saying to me: ‘Never be satisfied with any other God.’ have never forgotten that wonderful afternoon and I think of Bernard often.

God cannot be tamed, contained or even known. He can only be experienced. God can be found beyond our vaulted cathedrals and in the places we would least expect, the wild spaces. The American theologian Walter Brueggemann once said: ‘We live our lives before the wild, dangerous, unfettered and free character of the living God.’ How challenging when you think about the ways in which we tie God up and try and control that God. God must really laugh at us!

The older get, the more find myself thinking about risk. Risking demands we rely on God more than we might have done, and the more that we trust, the more we discover that wild, free, risk-taking God. When God invades our being, we can’t play it safe. We have to be like the God we’ve encountered. Taking risks makes us vulnerable but leaves more room for God; for trusting, believing and responding to God.

Sadly, we have tamed so much the God who wants to break into our lives in unexpected ways. Much of what we do in the Church tames God. Yet God is always unexpected and is the God of surprises. I want more of that God of the wild spaces and wild, creative power. hope you do too!

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Sunday reflections
(clockwise) St Bernadette’s, Shevington; St Alban’s, Liverpool; Sacred Heart, Chorley; St Monica’s, Bootle.

Recycled churches in Huyton

In July 1949 the parish of St Aidan, Huyton was officially created. Over the course of its existence, it had two church buildings but both were adaptations, and it never had a purpose-built church. Merged with neighbouring St Agnes in 2021, the amalgamated parish itself is now in need of a new church.

After the Second World War, Liverpool City Council was one of the first local authorities to resume its programme of housebuilding. By 1949, new housing estates in the Baker’s Green and Brookhouse districts of Huyton had created a need for a new parish, and St Aidan’s was established to serve the needs of over 2,000 Catholics.

Accompanied by a silver band and glorious weather, Archbishop Richard Downey opened the first church, on Adswood Road, on 3 July 1949. This was in a converted aeroplane hangar disposed of by the Air Ministry at the end of the war. Liverpool architect Francis Xavier Velarde went to Burtonwood airfield with the first parish priest, Father Thomas Maher, to buy the hangar, and received instructions to convert it into a temporary church to seat 500 people. Given post-war building restrictions, this was the best that could be hoped for.

From the architect’s description, it seems that in fact the only part of the hangar that remained was the steel framing. Brick and concrete, with an aluminium roof, formed most of the church. As Velarde commented, it was odd that the building, ‘which housed so many deadly fighter planes during the war, should now be used as a place of Christian worship’.

Despite the church’s temporary nature, well-known artists came forward to provide its furnishings. The Stations of the Cross were made by Philip Lindsey Clark, noted for war memorials as well as religious art. The altar, candlesticks and crucifix were designed by George Herbert Tyson Smith, a local sculptor who was also wellknown for war memorials including the Liverpool Cenotaph. Wood was still in short supply, so the pews were made from a variety of second-hand materials, which meant, said Velarde, that they were ‘painted to hide the many defects’. The wood-block floor was recycled from a blitzed church in Liverpool.

The second church was originally the infant department of the primary school. With falling numbers of pupils, the parish infants’ and junior schools amalgamated in 1990. The infants’ school was then redeveloped into a parish centre, under the guidance of Liverpool architects Peter Pozzoni and Peter Moore. The entrance, administration and service areas became the new presbytery

(the former presbytery being repurposed as a convent), and the assembly hall was given a flat-roofed extension and a new frontage in order to form the church. The new church was opened and consecrated on 19 June 1992 and the old church was demolished. The baptismal font and some of the statues were used in the new church, giving a sense of continuity. Sadly, the altar and Stations of the Cross were fixed in concrete, but a new altar was created by a local stonemason, Jean Christopher Simone. Its Celtic cross design highlighted St Aidan’s connection to Lindisfarne in Northumbria. Meanwhile, the Stations of the Cross came from the Good Shepherd Convent in Woolton and there were benches donated by the parishioners of St Aloysius following the reordering of their own church.

In 1949, the first St Aidan’s Church had been the third new church opened by Archbishop Downey in the space of five weeks. By the time Archbishop Derek Worlock opened the second church in 1992, Huyton Deanery comprised six churches. Five still remain, but St Aidan’s was recently sold off and now parishioners worship at St Agnes’ Church. Almost 60 years old, this is now in need of replacement and options are being explored – and perhaps as, in the past, some kind of recycling will be the order of the day once more.

News diary

If you’ve got any news from your parish that you’d like featured e-mail us with the details at:

Civic Mass 2024

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP was the chief celebrant as dignitaries from across Liverpool came together to celebrate the Civic Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral.

The Mass was concelebrated by Cathedral clergy, including Canon Anthony O’Brien, Canon John Poland, Fr Derek Lloyd, Fr Peter Murphy and Fr Anthony Lippo.

The dignitaries in attendance were the Lieutenant of Merseyside and his wife, the High Sherriff, the Honorary Recorder of Liverpool and members of the Judiciary, the Consular Corps, the Universities, Armed Services and other distinguished citizens.

Before the start of Mass, a fanfare welcomed in the Lord Lieutenant, the Honorary Recorder, the High Sherriff, the Senior Coroner and the Lord Mayor of Liverpool before the procession of the clergy came around.

His Honour Judge Andrew Menary KC, Honorary Recorder of Liverpool gave a reading from the Acts of the Apostles. The second reading was from the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Mary Rasmussen. She read from the first letter of St John.

Deacon Paul Mannings then gave a reading from the Gospel according to John. The reading talked of Jesus being the Good Shepherd, one who lays down his life for his sheep, which led well into Archbishop Malcolm’s homily, which was largely focused on Vocations, as it was also the Day of Prayer for Vocations.

He said: “The call comes to us in different ways, not just priests. We follow the example of Jesus leading his sheep.

“Being a good shepherd is more than knowing your sheep by name. It’s giving them guidance.”

He went on to say we all have a calling in some way, and it is about deciding what we do with that calling. In closing, Archbishop Malcolm then thanked everybody for their contribution to the Catholic Church and society.

Following the Profession of Faith, the Lord Lieutenant Mr Mark Blundell said Prayers of the Faithful, with a focus on work in the region. The gifts of bread and wine were then brought forward by staff and students of St Bartholomew’s Catholic Primary School, Rainhill. Following Mass, there was an opportunity to meet and mingle as refreshments were served in the Gibberd Room.

Mass for Gaza Held Amidst Prayers for Peace

English Martyrs Parish in Litherland celebrated a special Mass for Gaza on Sunday 28 April. The event, attended by parishioners and dignitaries alike, included prayers for peace and solidarity with the people of Gaza.

Bishop Tom Neylon led the Mass as principal celebrant, and the procession, which began outside of the church, included the Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre, who joined the congregation in offering prayers for the wellbeing of those affected by the ongoing conflict and challenges in the area.

Fr Gabriel Romanelli, parish priest at Holy Family Parish in Gaza, was planning to spend a few days in the parish and attend the Mass during his visit to the UK, which included several other commitments, such as visiting the Catholic Bishops Conference, speaking to MPs and Lords in Parliament, and taking a brief trip to Glasgow. However, he was called back to his parish in Jerusalem early and unfortunately had to cut his visit short. “I am very sorry to postpone my visit, but I hope to return soon to visit the archdiocese” he commented.

The Mass served as a reminder of the importance of standing together in solidarity with those facing hardship and conflict. As attendees offered their prayers and reflections, there was a shared sense of resolve to continue supporting efforts for peace in Gaza and beyond.

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The first St Aidan’s Church, designed by F X Velarde Archbishop Downey at the opening of the church, with Fr Maher and (2nd left) F X Velarde The altar and Sanctuary of the second church, which still had the feel of a school assembly hall
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News diary from the archives

#Liverpool4Ukraine’s 7th Supply Trip Sets Off

The Archdiocese of Liverpool set off on its seventh trip to Ukraine as part of its #Liverpool4Ukraine appeal.

The trip, which set off on 16 April 2024, is the latest in the archdiocese’s support of Ukraine. It has been over two years since the Russian invasion; a month later, the first trip was completed. The latest supply was made possible thanks to donations from The Brick, Wigan, the Archdiocese of Liverpool and it’s partners Greenmount Projects.

In total, 120 boxes of aid will be making the trip over to Ukraine, including seven pallets which have toiletries/sanitary products, food, toys, blankets and bedding, dried food and medical aid. As well as that, there will also be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), sanitizer and body bags.

The aid was gratefully received by Andrew Quinlan on behalf of Bishop Gregory Komar from the Ukrainian diocese of Sambir-Drohobych. As the auxiliary bishop of the diocese, with a close association with the Archdiocese of Liverpool, Bishop Gregory played a crucial role in distributing the goods across the Lviv region of western Ukraine.

People from both the archdiocese and Greenmount Projects will be making the trip, providing essential goods for the people of Ukraine. Chief Operating Officer Martin Miller said: “It’s always a privilege to be able to help the people of Ukraine in this way.

“Since the Russian invasion, people have been displaced, and feeling that they have lost everything. We hope that by continuing to help in this way, we can help give them a boost.”

The latest trip was also a chance to show the people of Ukraine that they are not alone. Whether it be through prayer, or donating something physical or financial, the people of the archdiocese, not for the first time, have stood behind the people of Ukraine, and made a meaningful impact in their lives.

Donations are very much still welcome; you can do so here:

Archdiocese of Liverpool Launches Musical Award Scheme

On Friday 10 May, the Archdiocese of Liverpool Schools Singing Programme presented the first two awards in its new Award Accreditation Scheme. Two partnered schools, St Anne’s Catholic Primary School and St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Infant School, have been taking part in a trial period for the scheme and both schools passed the first tier of the award, the Singing School Award, with flying colours.

Headteacher of St Anne’s Catholic Primary School Mr Liam Anderson said “At St Anne’s Catholic Primary School, we have worked hard to achieve this award and we are proud to be the first primary school to achieve it in the archdiocese. Our children and staff work hard to create an excellent catholic ethos in school. We are delighted to be recognised by the Schools Singing Programme and would like to say a big thank you to our Choral Director, Danny Townley, for his enthusiasm, efforts, and guidance in achieving this”.

The Award Scheme is made up of three tiers and is designed to celebrate schools who are dedicated to promoting Catholic musical life within their schools and communities. The second tier of award is the Metropolitan Cathedral Award, and the highest award attainable is the Archbishop’s Award. Schools have to show a range of achievements including a commitment to build a culture of singing within their school, actively engaging with the local parish, and ensuring that children are given opportunities to sing outside of their school.

The Award Scheme has now been launched in full and opened for entry to all of the Archdiocese of Liverpool Schools Singing Programme’s partnered schools.

Rededication of the Grand Organ of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

On Sunday 12 May, the eve of the 57th anniversary of the consecration of Metropolitan Cathedral, the Cathedral Dean, Provost Anthony O’Brien, blessed and rededicated the Cathedral’s Grand Organ during a service of Choral Evening Prayer.

The Grand Organ was installed in 1967 in time for the opening of the cathedral in that year. Along with being one of the UK’s most important examples of mid-20th century English organ building, the organ plays an integral role in cathedral life and worship. It was built by the English organ builders J W Walker & Sons Ltd and its distinctive façade was designed by the Cathedral architect Sir Frederick Gibberd.

After more than 50 years in daily use, a major refurbishment was vital and planning for this began in 2015, with work carried out by Harrisons & Harrison Ltd, organ builders based in Durham, beginning in 2021.

The project involved the removal, cleaning, and restoring of each of its 4565 pipes, as well as modifying the location of parts of the organ. The failing winding system was replaced with traditional reservoirs and new digital electronic technology installed in the place of its ageing electro-pneumatics.

Following the rededication, the opening recital was played by international artist Martin Baker which included items played at the opening of the organ in 1967. A congregation of over 400 people, which included a number of former musicians from the Metropolitan Cathedral, enjoyed refreshments at the postrecital reception in the Lutyens crypt.

St Bede’s Church: A Long-Awaited Restoration

Opened in 1847, St Bede’s, Widnes is one of the oldest churches in the archdiocese and a powerful symbol of the Catholic resurgence which Newman described as ‘the Second Spring’. With the passage of time, this Pugin gem has tarnished and fallen into a state of advanced disrepair. So the time has come for a once in a generation programme of restoration and repair, slated to begin this summer.

On Wednesday 8 May, St Wilfrid’s Parish Buildings and Finance Committee hosted a Presentation Evening, attended by nearly three hundred parishioners and senior leaders from the archdiocese to share our vision for St Bede’s. Our architects presented their detailed project briefs, stage one of which will attend to the urgent fabric repairs, make the building watertight and safeguard the magnificent stained glass. An internal redecoration will follow which will prioritise a new heating system, new LED lighting scheme and a liturgical reordering which is both sensitive to the neo-gothic aesthetic, and attentive to the liturgical requirements of a busy parish church.

This exciting restoration is the fruit of three years of meticulous planning and preparation, guided every step of the way by nationally accredited experts in ecclesiastical heritage, buildings maintenance and liturgy. With the approval of diocesan trustees, this £2 million investment begins in earnest in July, marking the long-awaited transition from hopes and dreams to lived reality. We commend the success of this ambitious project to the prayers of St Bede, who invites us to ‘unfurl the sails and let God steer us’ into the future.

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Water for Bethlehem from Friends of the Holy Land

Friends of the Holy Land have completed the first phase of their Water Emergency & House Rehabilitation Project. The project has improved living conditions for 48 families living in the area by installing water tanks and solar panels in the houses of families in need, giving them access to clean water and the ability to cope with water shortages. The investment in Phase 1 of this project has been £50,000.

“Mains water supply in the Bethlehem area is intermittent, with supply being available perhaps only two days in a month. With so many people unemployed and stuck at home due to the war, the demand for clean water storage has hugely risen, so, this project addressed an urgent need for these families by replacing old, rusty, and cracked water tanks,” commented Brendan Metcalfe, CEO of FHL.

“The range of people helped by this project is across the spectrum of the local Christian community, from large families to a young couple about to get married; all could not have afforded to even consider making this work without our help. Now, not only are their lives improved, but they know that our supporters around the world love and care for them, which is an emotional boost for them in these dark days.”

The Friends of the Holy Land team in Bethlehem worked in partnership with Pro Terra Sancta to identify the families most in need and to manage the project. They have a growing waiting list for Phase 2 of this project, which they aim to start later this year. Should you wish to support the next phase of this project, please make the note “Water Project” when you make your donation online on our website, or call our office on 01926 512980.

St Wilfrid’s Parish in Widnes goes to Knock

sang as the coach headed towards Liverpool Airport with 50 eager and excited pilgrims on board.

A four-day pilgrimage to Knock had been planned. Staying at the Knock House Hotel, the party were ideally placed to visit this famous shrine. “The whole experience was truly magnificent,” said Parish Priest Fr Mark Moran. “The opportunity to celebrate Mass in the Apparition Chapel was so wonderful and moving.”

Most of the parishioners had never been to Knock previously, so it was a wonderful opportunity to touch for the first time the stone wall where Our Lady appeared, visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Knock, and the many other holy places at the Knock shrine. “The pilgrimage was a unique opportunity for us to celebrate Mass at the sacred shrine but also to see the magnificent artwork at the Basilica and to learn in great detail the story of Knock at the wonderful museum,” said Fr Mark. The pilgrims were also able to visit other local places such as Ballintubber Abbey, dating back to 1216, and with close connections to St Patrick. “The group had a great affinity

to St Patrick,” added Fr Mark “so it was wonderful for people to visit the abbey and also to see St Patrick’s Well.”

The whole pilgrimage was a huge success. “We left Knock with a great sense of awe and wonderment,” said Fr Mark. “Friendships were strengthened, and people felt the true presence of Our Blessed Lady as we left the shrine to the strains of Lady of Knock our Queen of Peace!”

Jottings of a Lourdes Pilgrim

So here we are in the month of May, the month of our Blessed Lady. It’s lovely to hear that some parishes and indeed schools still hold the old tradition of a May procession and the crowing of the statue of Our Lady. It always reminds me of the year of my First Holy Communion, when the following Sunday I was duly dressed up in my finery again and delivered into the sacristy of my parish church for the May procession.

I was told by the teacher organising the children I couldn’t join in as I was not at the parish school. After a few minutes of me sitting looking bored, news must have got to the parish priest, words must have been said, and I was duly pushed into the middle of the line-up. However didn’t have a partner and was made to feel quite alone.

We are all invited not to feel alone in Lourdes. There are two processions a day: the Blessed Sacrament in the afternoon, and the torchlight procession in the evening. All are invited; groups, couples, and those on their own. The assisted pilgrims are most welcome and are helped to lead the procession. Procession means joining together to remember or honour an event. In Lourdes, we process in memory of Our Lady appearing to the young peasant girl Bernadette, and we also honour the Blessed Sacrament each day. Our Lady would never want anyone to be alone. Of course, once in Lourdes, nobody is alone. It’s not just the friendship of the Liverpool Pilgrims, but also friends we made from other pilgrimages and other countries.

If you are still deciding whether this is the year Our Lady has invited you to visit Lourdes, places are still available.

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‘Golden Rose …Queen of Ireland’, this was the hymn that the parishioners of St Wilfrid’s parish in Widnes

Pastoral ponderings

Celebrating Living Catholic Social Teaching - through parish and school

May is the month of Our Lady and a time for us all to turn to her in prayer and devotion every day. In seminary, we also remind ourselves daily of Mary’s maternal love for us and her role in our lives as our mother.

It has only become apparent to me just how much of a powerful intercessor and invaluable help Our Lady is since I began discerning. Mary has always played an important role in my life from a young age, however over the past two years I have come to rely on her a great deal for strength, guidance, and comfort. In our seminary community at Allen Hall, Chelsea, we begin and end every day with prayers to Our Lady. Currently, in Eastertide, we pray the Regina Caeli in the morning and evening, in which we celebrate the joy of the Resurrection alongside our Blessed Mother. During May, as a community, we pray more frequently to Mary throughout the day, for example, we pray the Litany of Loretto at midday and call to mind all the titles and honours Our Lady is blessed with. We also began the month by crowning our statue of Mary at the foot of the central staircase.

As well as praying to Mary as a community, May has also been a chance for me personally to entrust myself to Our Lady’s care. Since last year when I studied at the Royal English College, Valladolid, the Rosary has become a central feature in my prayer life. Having previously prayed the Rosary fairly infrequently, I eventually found myself relying on its repetitive and meditative nature daily. The beauty of being united to Our Lady in the mysteries of the Rosary became, and remains, a source of great help and love.

The Rosary does have a truly transformative power and cannot recommend it enough when facing times of difficulty or uncertainty. In my journey of formation so far, I have felt the genuine love and nurturing care of Our Lady in times of both joy and sadness, and, alongside St Joseph, her intercession has been vital.

As we push on towards the end of the academic year here in seminary, will continue to rely upon Our Lady for her support and wisdom, especially in a few weeks when we will sit our exams!

Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, Pray for Us

“The little ones love finding the keys”, says Mrs Helen Crowder, Headteacher at St Bernadette’s, as she explains how children learn about Catholic Social Teaching. Standing in front of a school display exploding with colour, Mrs Crowder describes how children are introduced to the Catholic Social Teaching principles that are incorporated into their curriculum work and community outreach.

Displays, which are adorned with keys to represent each principle, share the work the children have carried out. “The image of a key is a simple reminder of how our faith helps unlock our action.”

To demonstrate the value placed on Catholic Social Teachings, the school gives a weekly award to celebrate children who care for God’s gifts or put the needs of others first - inspiring others to engage in similar efforts to address social justice issues.

But Catholic Social Teaching is also a key to forming strong relationships with the parish. Over in the church, Mary tells me how she has been supporting fellow parishioners in setting up an environment group. They recently took part in the archdiocesan Care for Creation training. “By the end of the evening,” Mary says, “everyone was saying how positive they felt”.

This parish group is now using the Care for Creation training to apply for the CAFOD Live Simply award – something that the school is also helping them with. Both Mary and Mrs Crowder firmly believe that working and journeying together – as parish and school – is what we are called to do as Catholics.

Working together to bring about God’s kingdom on earth is a clear message found in scripture and Church teaching.

As we are told in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10,

“Two are better than one…For if they fall, one will lift up the other”. However, the idea of partnership is increasingly significant as the archdiocese explores new ways of parish working. In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the parish as “a beacon that radiates the light of faith… giving meaning and hope to the lives of individuals and families”. Pope Francis urges parishes to become “schools of service and generosity, with their doors always open to those who are excluded, and to those included; to all.”

In learning to be “schools of service,” both St Bernadette’s church and primary are keen to work with each other. As well as inviting parishioners to school worship, and children attending Mass during the week, simple social action initiatives are uniting these two groups across different places and generations. This is a model emerging across the archdiocese: from tree planting in All Saints parish and school in Goldbourne; to a joint social action survey by St Anne’s parish and St Bede’s High, Ormskirk.

If you would like to support getting your parish and school connected, please contact Pablo (Catholic Social Action Coordinator) at 0151 522 1042 or

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what’s on June

Saturday 1 June

Pax Christi (International Catholic Movement for Peace) AGM

10:30am at Friends Meeting House 22 School Lane Liverpool L1 3BT

Join us at Friends Meeting House for the Pax Christi AGM. All are welcome. Contact phone 020 8203 4884 for more info.

Sunday 2 June

Cantata 5: Wo soll ich fliehen hin? (To where shall I flee?)

6:30PM at St Philip Neri, Liverpool, Catherine Street, Toxteth, L8 7NL

On the feast day of Corpus Christi, the Liverpool Bach Collective will dwell on how the wounds and blood of Christ bring salvation to the Christian soul.

The four vocal soloists and chorus will be joined by the usual ensemble of oboes, strings and organ, together with a trumpet.

Thursday 6 June

CAFOD Legacy Event

10:30AM - 2:00PM at St Joseph’s Prayer Centre, Formby

Join CAFOD for a day of sharing stories with Tom Delamere of CAFOD’s advocacy team and learning more about how we can make a lasting difference through a gift in a Will. You will be spending time in reflection and exploring the natural beauty of the grounds of St Joseph’s Prayer Centre in Formby.

Scripture Mornings: Into the belly of the whale - Reflections on the Book of Jonah

10:30AM - 2:00PM at The Irenaeus Project, Liverpool

The Irenaeus Project will be hosting the final of four scripture mornings reflecting on the book of Jonah. You can either attend in person or on Zoom.

Friday 7 June

Parish Choral Offering: St Mary’s, Billinge 6:30PM at St Mary, Birchley Road, Billinge, WN5 7QJ

The choir of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral will visit the Church of St Mary, Billinge to present a Parish Choral Offering. The choir will sing a wide variety of music including Handel’s famous ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ and the much loved ‘Panis Angelicus’ by Cesar Franck. All are welcome to come and enjoy an hour of beautiful music. The offering begins at 18.30 and admission is free (with a retiring collection.)’

Saturday 8 June

Blessed Sacrament Shrine, Liverpool LITE for Teens

10:00AM - 6:30PM at Blessed Sacrament Shrine, 4 Dawson Street, L1 1LE

The Blessed Sacrament Shrine will be hosting LITE (Life in the Eucharist) for Teenagers (13-19). The day will be animated by 11 teenagers and five adults who will be visiting from Cleveland, Ohio. Please note, all under18s will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. There will be a separate program for adults. For more information and to register, email

Tuesday 11 June

Sisters of Our Lady of the Cenacle, Liverpool Time Out on Tuesdays

10:30AM - 4PM at Sisters of Our Lady of the Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane, Wavertree, L15 6TW

Wanting time for yourself? Time to stop and reflect? Time to step aside for a while from the daily round of life? Then why not join The Sisters of Our Lady and the Cenacle on a Tuesday to get away for a few hours to stop and ponder the important things of life? No need to book, just come along and maybe bring a friend. Suggested offering for the day is £10, bring your own lunch, tea/ coffee provided. For further information contact Sr Winnie 0151 722 2271.

Friday 14 – Sunday 16 June

The Irenaeus Project, Liverpool Women’s Weekend

Join the Irenaeus Project for their Women’s Weekend on 14-16 June. The theme is ‘Mary in a World of Martha’ where they will explore what it is like to be Mary listening at the feet of Jesus, and what it is like to be Martha in her busy life, ministering to those around her. It is important to book early for a residential place. For more information, contact jenny@irenaeus. or 0151 949 1199

Wednesday 19 June

Cathedral Event – Dining Experience at The Art School

7:00PM The Art School, Sugnall Street

We would like to invite you and your friends and family to a wonderful dining experience in the Art School on Sugnall Street, just around the corner from the Philharmonic. We are delighted to be able to collaborate with Chef

Paul Askew and his team and we have arranged with them to provide a twocourse meal with a glass of prosecco on arrival and an amuse-bouche for just £50.00 per person. Chef Askew has a firm reputation as a pioneer of excellent modern British cuisine and this is a dining experience not to be missed! Dinner will be served in The Lantern Room. We hope that you will come and enjoy a convivial evening in surroundings that are timeless and yet modern enjoying the company of new friends and old ones. To book your ticket and to arrange payment please contact Claire Hanlon at c.hanlon@

Thursday 20 June

RCIA Mass for new Catholics

7:00PM at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King

The Mass for New Catholics will be celebrated by Archbishop Malcolm. Anyone who has been received into the church, both this year and previous years are welcome to attend with their families, friends and Catechists.

Sunday 23 June

Cantata 29: Wir danken dir, wir danken dir (We thank you, God)

6:30PM at Our Lady Immaculate and St Joseph, Prescot, 1 West Street, L34 1LE

The Liverpool Bach Collective will perform a cantata which asks God’s blessing and peace on the town as their contribution to the Prescot Festival. The work has a prominent part for the organ, and also added to the usual ensemble are three trumpets and timpani.

Saturday 29 June

Merseyside Pax Christi Retreat, ‘Non violence: the Way Forward for Christians’.

10:30am - 4:00pm (coffee served beforehand at 10:00am) at The Irenaeus Project, Liverpool

Join us for a Pax Christi retreat focussed around non-violence. This will be a day for reflection and sharing. Tea and coffee will be provided beforehand, and a simple lunch will also be provided. The event is free, with a suggested donation of £10. To book, please contact Sheila Cogley at sheilacogley@ or 0151 345 8137

Cathedral Organ Refurbishment

Cathedral Record

The Rededication of the Metropolitan Cathedral Grand Organ was the first major event in our Music at the Met 2024 series.

The 2024 series features the cathedral’s grand organ, recently returned after its once-in-a-generation refurbishment, alongside the cathedral choir.

The organ will feature prominently in a special concert on Sunday 7 July, when the choirs of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and Liverpool Cathedral will be joined by Professor Ian Tracey in a concert of French choral and organ music. Lots of loud noises guaranteed at this event, but also some beautiful quiet singing and the sound of the shimmering strings and flutes on the organ.

During the month of August, there are several opportunities to hear the organ played by former organ scholars of the cathedral on Sunday afternoons at 14.00.

September sees the cathedral music department embark on an ambitious 24hour musicathon to raise money towards the cathedral choir’s trip to Cologne! We will attempt to have 24 hours of non-stop music played/ sung. I hope people are willing to sign up for the slots in the early

hours when I am asleep! This would be a great day to visit the cathedral, as there will be a variety of groups performing, and the opportunity to make requests for your favourite hymns or pieces of music.

In October, the cathedral choir will be broadcasting Choral Evening Prayer live on BBC Radio 3 on the feast of St John Henry Newman. It is an enormous privilege for us to be invited to share this important feast with the nation. Later in October, before the choir goes on tour to Cologne, Germany, we will be giving a concert in the cathedral featuring music by Bruckner and Saint Saens, alongside the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra. This promises to be a thrilling evening, so put 19 October in your diary now!

Full details about all the events in our Music at the Met 2024 series can be found in the booklet, which can be downloaded from

We look forward to welcoming you!

Last month, we had public celebrations for the completion of the refurbishment of the

There was a recital after the reconsecration service and there have been a number of subsequent recitals following this. The final recital in the series will take place on Saturday 1 June and will be given by Matthew Walters 7-8.30pm. Following this weekend the cathedral will be closed from 9.30am on Monday 3 June for the day, for filming of a new series which is based in Liverpool. It will be called ‘This City is Ours’ so look out for it when it comes on – I hope our part in it will be appropriate, as we have put all sorts of restrictions on what is allowable.

was hoping that the work site at the cathedral would have been tidied up and the hoardings moved back for the busy summer period so that the pavement along the cathedral side of Mount Pleasant would come back into use, but at this stage, it seems unlikely that any progress will be made in the next couple of months.

This will impact some of the regular annual celebrations that take place here at the cathedral. The UCM are the first to gather at the cathedral for their Annual Summer Mass. This will take place on Saturday 8 June at 2pm –Archbishop Malcolm will be presiding at this Mass. Towards the end of the month, Nugent invite representative groups of schoolchildren from our Catholic Schools for the Annual Good Shepherd Mass. This year it is on 27 June at 10.30am.

Canon Anthony O’Brien –Cathedral Dean Cathedral Organ.
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Website at

Kevin Hyland

Leading the fight against human trafficking

For the past few years, Kevin Hyland has been part of the Santa Marta Group – an alliance of police chiefs and bishops striving to combat human trafficking.

The group, endorsed by Pope Francis back in 2014, work around the world helping people escape modern slavery and spreading awareness in local communities about the signs of people being trafficked, and what they can do to help. Kevin elaborated on the work they do during a recent visit to the archdiocesan offices for the ‘Love the Stranger’ training day – an event aimed at clergy and those who work within parishes.

Kevin was previously involved with police work for many years, including helping the Metropolitan Police to set up their human trafficking team. Reflecting on his time there, he said: ‘When I was a police officer, my background was in a lot of operational, serious organised crime. But I’d also had a lot of experience within vulnerability crime, like rape or domestic violence, and I was asked if I’d set up Scotland Yard’s human trafficking teams. It was something that really took seriously because I think vulnerability crime is overlooked, generally.

‘It was about bringing the skills I had and getting the teams together. So, bringing organised crime, which human trafficking is part of, and making sure the vulnerability was a priority, and then blending the two together. And then working with communities – members of the Catholic Church, religious sisters, churches and parishes – and all people of good faith. It wasn’t just the Catholic community. It was the Church of England, the Evangelical Church, and the Jewish community, particularly their work around running consent. It’s about bringing together as many partners as possible, but the Catholic Church was already working on this agenda, and they were a natural partner for us in policing terms.’

‘Love the Stranger’ offers a series of guiding principles as a Catholic response to refugees and migrants, and Kevin, in his presentation here in Liverpool, explained what modern slavery can look like. Afterwards, he praised those in attendance, saying: ‘The existence of trafficking breaks our hearts, and that’s true for everybody. I think the passion for the issue here, and the passion

that we had to support migrants and people who are displaced and vulnerable, is very real. It’s not fictitious and it’s not something that’s just ticking a box. It’s in the room today and very real. You could see that people are going away thinking, “What can I do next? How can I do something?” That’s the sign that we’re going in the right direction.

‘I think with the leadership that we’ve got from Bishop Tom [Neylon], from the team here [at the Saint Margaret Clitherow Centre], the priests, religious sisters, deacons, from people in the archdiocese and from the community, what I saw today was the reality of our Church and the world, and it does bring in action and think the process is going to continue.’

Meanwhile, he hopes to be able to continue to spread awareness of Santa Marta’s work, not just in the United Kingdom but around the world. ‘Days like today are about the work domestically, about raising awareness across the archdiocese and parishes and communities – and not just the Catholic communities, but the communities at large – about the presence of this, and then giving people ideas about how they can engage. As the Pope says, we’ve got to build the resistance to this.

“[It’s] how communities can become the resistance to the existence of trafficking and also reach out to victims or make sure there are ways that victims are supported. Santa Marta Group is committed to doing that across England, Wales and Ireland. And the other part is the international part, where we’re driving some of the international thought processes, whether that’s at the UN, whether it’s at the Commission of the Status of Women or the General Assembly, or within the G20 or G7, so that we’re bringing this to the top tier and getting investment in it.

‘At the moment, investment in eliminating human trafficking is woefully low. And that includes both political commitment and financial commitment by governments. It’s only a very small fraction compared with other crimes, such as drugs or terrorism, that is spent on defeating trafficking. We want to push [for] equal status to those other crimes.’

Christ the King raise over £1,400 for charity

Following the successful ‘Beat the School Bus’ charity relay run, two members of Christ the King Catholic High School in Southport staff took the challenge to a whole new level by running from the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King in Liverpool to the school.

Avid runners, Jay Oliver and Joanne Durkin, completed the grueling relay covering the distance of 19 miles in two hours and 30 minutes, promoting the Christ the King character values of resilience, courage, confidence and ambition.

The first leg started with Mr Oliver, one of Christ the King’s learning mentors, running nine and a half miles from the Catholic Cathedral and meeting Mrs Durkin, senior science technician, at the halfway point at Ince Blundell, Crosby.

Mrs Durkin continued the second leg from Ince Blundell, back to Southport, and was joined by Mr Oliver and pupils from Years 7-9 for the last mile, running to Christ the King Catholic High School on Stamford Road, Birkdale.

They were greeted by the whole of Year 7 and their teachers as part of their welcome celebration, which took place in the entrance to the school site.

Over £1,400 has been raised for the school charities, which have been chosen by the students of Christ the King –Queenscourt Hospice and Southport Foodbank.

It was a busy week at Christ the King, with many activities organised to promote Mental Health Awareness Week, embracing the theme ‘Moments for Movement’. courage, confidence and ambition.

Scavenger hunts, football games, anxiety drop-in sessions, wellbeing walks, exam season coping sessions, charity cake sales were among a few of the planned activities. Staff at Christ the King were also treated to meditation, coffee and connect at break and lunchtimes.

St John Bosco Arts College join the Don Bosco Green Alliance

Based in the heart of Croxteth, St John Bosco Arts College has taken huge strides to become eco-friendly and more sustainable.

As part of its mission, the school has joined the Don Bosco Green Alliance. The alliance is an international programme where Salesian communities globally join forces to support Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’, and his passion for the environment.

As part of the programme, the school has made three clear commitments that will see them develop green areas within the school, including planting more trees, supporting the development of small-scale ecosystems, and striving towards a school environment which reduces waste including paper, plastic and food.

St John Bosco’s eco-club has been busy working towards setting the foundations to deliver on these commitments and recently helped transform the Year 8 yard into what promises to be a beautiful space in bloom

The school have received generous donations of oak seeds thanks to their partnership with the Tree Council, as well as dedicated staff members supplying sunflower seeds and plant pots to the project.

The students named each of the seeds, including one named after the school’s patron saint, Don Bosco.

The Don Bosco Green Alliance has already shown its admiration for the students’ work after sharing their new project with Salesian communities globally.

Eco-club lead, Mrs Armstrong, said: “We are delighted to be a part of the Don


“We have big plans at the eco-club and lots more seeds to plant. This is just the beginning of our eco-club and the start of our school’s commitment to become more eco-friendly.”

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Bosco Green Alliance have our student’s incredible work shared with a network of Salesian communities around the world.

Maricourt shortlisted for national award

Maricourt Catholic High School in Maghull have been shortlisted for a prestigious National Tes Award for the third year in a row.

After winning the Pupil Wellbeing Initiative of the Year Award in 2022 for the whole school project based on ‘calling it out’, they went on to gain a judge’s special mention in 2023. Maricourt were shortlisted last year for Staff Wellbeing Initiative of the Year for the work they did with its female members of staff, both in its own school and staff throughout the local primary schools.

This year’s entry focuses on the partnership work the school has done with key partners, LFC Foundation and Everton in the Community. LFC Foundation have ran the Onside Programme, a social action project which trained students to use bleed kits and focused on how to be part of a team instead of a gang. LFC Foundation also led a We Empowers programme with two female cohorts, which focused on self esteem and female empowerment. Due to the success of the programme, two male cohorts completed the Man-to-Man programme, focusing on mental health amongst males.

Everton in the Community also ran a 12- week active leadership programme with a large group of boys, which was centred on the promotion of making positive choices. Students said they think more about their future now in a positive light.

The biggest impact the partnership work has resulted in is the fact there has been a 150% weekly increase in the Mercy Values rewards on Class Charts. Respect, resilience, volunteering (service), compassion, justice (call it out), contribution to school life and hospitality.

Headteacher Tracy Hatton said “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the Times Education Awards for the third year in a row! We pride ourselves on the love, care and support we are able to give to our students and it is nice to be recognised at a national level. My appreciation goes out to all the staff who work hard in ensuring the wellbeing of our young people is at the heart of everything we do.”

Trust secure government funding from decarbonisation scheme

Liverpool-based All Saints Multi Academy Trust has successfully welcomed over £800,000 in funding as part of the government’s ‘Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme’.

This funding represents a significant milestone in the Trust’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.

The funding will be utilised to implement a range of energy-efficient measures at The Academy of St Francis of Assisi, Kensington, as part of a kick-start ambitious journey of becoming net zero.

This includes the installation of low-carbon air source heat pumps, additional solar panels, insulation upgrades, low-energy lighting and upgrades to the electrical infrastructure in a bid to future-proof the site. Post-installation, smart meters will keep track of energy consumption and savings. This data will be continually monitored and analysed by Energy Intelligence.

These initiatives will not only reduce the academy’s carbon footprint but also result in substantial cost savings on energy bills, allowing resources to be redirected towards enhancing educational programmes and facilities.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is run by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and supports the aim of reducing emissions from public sector buildings by 75 per cent by 2037. It is delivered by Salix.

The Trust is one of 34 multi academy trusts across the UK to receive a share of £530 million in government funding to go green, amongst other public sector bodies.

CEO of All Saints Multi Academy Trust, Heather Duggan, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this grant funding and it will enable us to make significant strides towards The Academy of St Francis of

Assisi’s goal of becoming a greener, more eco-friendly academy while providing our students with healthier and more conducive learning environments.”

Director of programmes at Salix, Ian Rodger said: “We are pleased to support All Saints Multi Academy Trust on its decarbonisation journey.

“We deliver large numbers of decarbonisation projects across schools in England and the objective is not only to make these buildings more energy efficient and reduce their carbon footprint, but to make them more comfortable and healthier places in which to work and study.”

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Vamos! St Cuthbert’s take on Barcelona

St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School students were lucky enough to be able to participate in the school’s modern languages department’s first trip abroad since 2018 to Barcelona.

31 students in Year 9, 10 and 11 experienced the wonderful culture and many amazing tourist attractions in the city while also trying out a little Spanish.

During the three-day trip, staff and students visited places such as Gaudí’s ‘La Pedrera’ and ‘Casa Batló’ on the beautiful Passeig de Gracia.

They strolled down Las Ramblas while shopping and called off at ‘La Boqueria’ market for some well-earned churros.

Then, a visit to Europe’s largest aquarium, a walk through the Gothic Quarter, where

they found the Picasso Museum and successfully navigated their way through the city via metro. The weather was very kind to the cohort, so they managed an hour on the beach too.

However, the most memorable and incredible spot that staff think everyone enjoyed the most was visiting La Sagrada Familia on Maundy Thursday. The children’s reaction when they stepped out of the metro and looked up to see the spectacular building in front of them was an unforgettable moment.

St Cuthbert’s was lucky enough to go inside the Basilica which did not disappoint either. It really was a very special moment where everyone took a moment to reflect and be thankful on Easter weekend.

It is safe to say the trip to Barcelona was a success and enjoyed by all students and the staff too.

Students really did do St Cuthbert’s proud and took everything in their stride (quite literally as they walked over 10,000 steps a day!) Staff look forward to the next trip in 2025!

A new chapter for St Joseph Catholic Multi Academy Trust

Based in Liverpool and surrounding areas, the St Joseph Catholic Multi Academy Trust has recently welcomed a new member into its existing family of academies and schools. Leaders at the trust are thrilled to introduce Notre Dame Catholic Academy as their newest member.

This announcement sees the trust increase its family of schools and academies to an impressive nine. The trust also welcomes a new headteacher for Notre Dame, Victoria Taylor, who will start her role in June.

Based in Liverpool, Notre Dame Catholic Academy dates back to the 19th century as a well-established part of the Liverpool education system.

In 2001, the academy became Liverpool’s first performing arts college; it was awarded the title and opened new facilities.

The academy is incredibly proud of its rich history, which helps to reinforce its compassionate Catholic community.

The academy’s vision is ‘To Open Hearts, Minds and Doors’, which reflects its desire to inspire its students through the love of God, the teachings of Jesus Christ and its foundress, St Julie Billiart.

This strong vision, with an emphasis on preparing students for their futures, sits alongside the academy’s values of ‘Charity, Courtesy, Courage and Confidence’ –instilled into every child.

Notre Dame Catholic Academy prides itself on opening minds to new knowledge, ideas, theories, cultures and experiences, breaking cultural barriers through an imaginative curriculum and precise teaching.

The academy strives to foster ambitious, happy and fulfilled futures for every member of its community. This ambition makes the academy a fantastic new addition to the St Joseph Catholic Multi Academy Trust, whose values also align with the academy’s goals for the future.

The trust is extremely excited to begin this new chapter with Notre Dame.

Seaforth school finalists in Pride of Sefton Awards

Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary School in Seaforth was congratulated on being named as a finalist at a glittering night of celebration at The Grand in Southport. There were several nominations for the school in the competitive School of the Year Award, sponsored by Southport College, that saw over 1,3000 submissions for this year’s awards as a whole.

One nomination said: “It’s a small school but an amazing school. My daughter started going to the baby group there from two weeks old and one of my daughters had a bowel condition and when she was attending the school nursery she needed to have a stoma bag fitted. didn’t have to worry before she got her stoma the staff ensured us that Jessica would be ok.”

Another nomination said: “They go out of their way to support all pupils and families and they are very passionate about raising awareness to support pupils in their school with disabilities and invisible disabilities.”

The 2024 Pride Of Sefton Awards saw 13 categories recognised on the night at The Grand in Southport, with incredible stories behind all the finalists.

There were over 1,300 nominations for community figures from Southport, Bootle, Crosby, Formby, Maghull and across Sefton. The night was hosted by In Demand Radio presenter Claire Simmo, with entertainment from Whitney Houston tribute performer Michelle Lawson, soul singer Dave Broe and DJ Baz Todd.

New school welcomed into trust

Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School is now a proud member of Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust (HFCMAT).

The school, which is located on Wash Lane in Latchford, prides itself on fostering a welcoming and inclusive learning environment.

The school recently received a Special Commendation Award from the local authority for their commitment to inclusivity.

The partnership marks the beginning of an exciting chapter in the school’s journey and will help open up a myriad of opportunities for the school, including enhanced resources, collaborative learning initiatives and access to a wider network of expertise.

Our Lady’s joins five other primary schools within the trust, alongside two secondary schools from across Wirral and Cheshire.

The school will continue its mission to ensure pupils achieve their full potential as children of God in a safe and loving learning environment.

David Gilby, head of school at Our Lady’s, said: “We are delighted to be a part of Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust and become part of a family of schools who place the children at the centre, fostering transformation and cultivating innovation.

“This partnership signals a pivotal time in Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School’s journey, and we are excited for the future as part of the Trust.”

Andy Moor, CEO of HFCMAT, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School into Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust.

“Our Lady’s join our growing family of ambitious schools, each committed to delivering educational excellence with Christ at the centre.

“Our vision of formation, inspiration and transformation is the foundation on which the trust is built and sets our course for developing individual excellence, embracing opportunities, and building strong communities with Gospel values at the heart.”

Bishop Tom Neylon’s special visit to Netherton school

The community of St Benedict’s Catholic Primary School in Netherton was delighted to welcome Bishop Tom Neylon to their school. The bishop began the day by joining the whole school for prayer. After this, he met governors then visited each class to meet the children.

As Sefton celebrates its 50th birthday, VIP guests attending the awards included Sefton Council Leader Cllr Marion Atkinson; Mayor of Sefton Cllr June Burns; and council Chief Executive Phil Porter.

Also enjoying the evening were boxing world title challenger Martin Murray and Liverpool FC legend Gary Gillespie.

Bishop Tom was happy to answer their many questions ranging from his favourite ice cream (pistachio) to how he became a bishop (he was chosen just like the apostles were chosen by Jesus). He concluded the morning by joining the staff and governors for lunch.

His visit brought great joy to the whole school community.

Ethan in Year 4 said: “Bishop Tom was a really special guest. He was a good influence and all of his stories were very interesting.”

Iris in Year 2 added: “Bishop Tom is funny and he is a happy man.”

The staff also commented on how much they appreciated the bishop spending time with them.

Mrs Chadwick, deputy headteacher of St Benedict’s, said: “Bishop Tom’s answers to the children’s questions were inspiring for all of us. His visit helped us to feel more connected to the wider church.”

Bishop Tom thanked the community for giving him a warm welcome and told them that the encounter had given him much to reflect on, especially the value of a Catholic education.

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College students go international with three exciting trips

Students at St Mary’s Catholic College, Wallasey, recently got the opportunity to visit three international destinations as part of their educational studies.

The first of the three trips was a visit to Poland. Completed in a single day and organised by St Mary’s head of history, Ms Stoneley, the trip was part of a wider project that three Year 13 students are undertaking with the Holocaust Educational Trust.

Ahead of the trip, students attended two online seminars where they learned about pre-war Jewish life, the Holocaust, and they had the opportunity to meet with a Holocaust survivor.

Students visited the site of the Great Synagogue, destroyed in 1939, the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum, and the Auschwitz Birkenau site.

The second trip saw 30 students and four staff members visit Morocco as part of their French and Geography studies.

Organised by the school’s head of humanities, Mrs New, and head of French, Mr Le Normand, the trip was an opportunity for students to visit St Mary’s partner school, Anoushka Elite School, and immerse themselves in the Moroccan culture.

After a short stay in Casablanca, where students got a glimpse at the third

biggest mosque in the world, Hassan II, they headed to their destination, Asilah. Students had the opportunity to attend shared Arabic, French literature and drama classes as part of an academic programme at Anoushka Elite School.

St Mary’s Catholic Junior Academy pupils celebrate First Holy Communion

Year 4 pupils at St Mary’s Catholic Junior Academy, Newton-le-Willows, celebrated their First Holy Communion, marking a significant milestone in their spiritual journey.

Dressed in their finest attire, the children gathered with their families and teachers at St Mary’s and St John’s Church.

The ceremony was presided over by Father Benedict Ogbuevule CSSp, who guided the children through the sacred sacrament with reverence and joy.

The ceremony was filled with heartfelt prayers, hymns, and a deep sense of community, as each child received the Eucharist for the first time.

In preparation for this special day, the Year 4 children participated in months of religious education and spiritual formation, learning about the Eucharist’s significance in their faith.

One pupil said: “Receiving my First Holy Communion was an amazing experience and it is a day that I will always remember.”

Mrs Samantha Birchall, executive headteacher of St Mary’s Catholic Infant and Junior Academies, commented: “It was a very special day for our Year 4 students as they received the Holy Eucharist for the first time.

“This memorable occasion not only strengthened their faith but also brought the school community together in a shared moment of reflection and celebration.”

St Mary’s Catholic Infant and Junior Academies are proud to be part of All Saints Multi Academy Trust.

Student’s artwork selected for Walker Gallery exhibition

A student from St John Plessington Catholic College has won the first heat of the annual dot-art Schools competition and will have her artwork displayed in the Walker Gallery at St George’s Hall, Liverpool.

Year 9 student, Lilly-Mae, captivated judges with a beautiful piece of artwork.

The watercolour painting, which Lilly-Mae named ‘Inspiring’, features a high-contrast portrait of Greta Thunberg on an intricate stencilled background.

The inter-school art competition is now in its twelfth year and is open to Year 5 and Year 9 students from all educational settings across the Liverpool City Region.

This year, over 90 schools submitted entries from their budding artists. Out of 290 students in St John Plessington’s Year 9 cohort, Lilly-Mae was one of 15 to make the shortlist stages.

The artwork of each student was then featured on the dot-art School website, showcasing the artistic talents of the group. A judging panel of respected arts

professionals shortlisted three entries from the school.

The shortlisted entries from all the schools then went to an online public vote.

Lilly-Mae was announced as the overall winner for St John Plessington, and she will now have her submission framed and showcased in the Walker Gallery at St George’s Hall for the dot-art Schools exhibition on 5 June – 7 July.

Lilly-Mae said: “I chose Greta Thunberg because she inspires me to make a difference and help change our earth. Winning has made me feel a lot more confident about myself and as a result, I have picked art as a GCSE subject.”

Headteacher of St John Plessington Catholic College, Mr Peadar McLoughlin, added: “A huge well done to Lilly-Mae for winning this stage of the competition.

“This achievement showcases her exceptional talent and exemplifies the unwavering spirit of creativity and excellence that defines our school community.”

Young performers take to the Liverpool Philharmonic’s stage

More than 250 talented young performers from St Mary’s College, Crosby, and its preparatory school, took to the stage for the 24th St Mary’s Festival of Music at the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool.

The concert featured a wide range of musical ensembles including St Mary’s award-winning symphony orchestra, symphonic wind band, stage band, lower school choir, chamber choir and preparatory school concert choir.

The compere for the concert was popular former BBC Radio Merseyside presenter Roger Phillips, with the various ensembles being conducted by St Mary’s director of music, Andrew Byers, and his colleagues Colin Johnston and Joanne Booth.

The concert programme featured an eclectic repertoire drawn from a wide range of styles and genres, taking the audience on a musical journey from Beethoven to the Beatles.

Highlights included ‘O Fortuna’ from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, a medley of Lennon and McCartney songs and music from Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Soloists included Louie Halpin (preparatory school choir), Catherine Power and Elsie Manson (college chamber choir) and saxophonist Ellis James and euphonist Daniel Jones (symphonic wind band).

Director of music, Andrew Byers, said: “After staging 24 of these festivals, there is no greater compliment one can pay to this year’s performers than to say they maintained the

exceptional standards set by their predecessors over nearly two and a half decades.

“The musical skills they displayed reflect the huge amount of effort that went into preparing for the concert, and they thoroughly deserved the wonderful ovation they received at the end of the evening.”

St Mary’s principal, Mike Kennedy, commented: “The success of the event demonstrates our core belief at St Mary’s that music is a wonderful vehicle for developing students beyond the purely academic, and shaping their characters and personalities in new and often surprising ways.”

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Local MP visits Liverpool school to empower young learners

During his visit, Dan embarked on a comprehensive tour of the school’s premises. The highlight of the visit was his engagement with the school council, the Parent-Teacher Friends Association (PTFA), and the dedicated staff involved in the conception and launch of the school library.

St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School’s mission is to ‘Love, Learn, and Shine together with Jesus’. This ethos permeates every aspect of the school’s activities.

Dan took the opportunity to listen to the perspectives of the school council, comprised of enthusiastic pupil leaders who represent their fellow pupils’ interests. Their insights provided valuable perspectives on the school’s needs and aspirations. Furthermore, Dan had a fruitful exchange with the PTFA, recognising the vital role played by parents and teachers in enhancing the educational experience.

The visit culminated in discussions with the dedicated staff members who spearheaded the design and implementation of the school library. Claire Sime, headteacher of St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School, is passionate about instilling a love of reading for all pupils.

Recognising the pivotal role of libraries in nurturing a culture of reading and learning, Dan commended their efforts in providing pupils with access to a diverse range of literary resources.

Reflecting on his visit, Dan Carden MP expressed his admiration for the dedication and passion exhibited by the St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School community. He emphasised the importance of investing in education and ensuring that every child has access to quality learning opportunities.

Dan’s visit underscores the significance of community engagement and collaboration in fostering educational excellence. St Matthew’s student council were invited to meet with Dan Carden MP at his offices in Westminster and tour the houses of parliament, which they are looking forward to.

The Academy of St Nicholas receive high praise following Denominational Inspection

The Academy of St Nicholas, Garston, has received a ‘Good’ judgement following a Denominational Inspection under the Section 48 of the Education Act 2005.

The Section 48 inspection, which evaluates the effectiveness of a school’s religious education, collective worship, and overall ethos, commended the joint Catholic and Church of England academy and judged it good in all areas.

The report remarked that the academy ‘remains a significantly improving community with tangible and measured success in its Christian mission and vision both within school and in its links with home, parishes, and church communities in the wider area’. The academy, which is a proud member of All Saints Multi Academy Trust (ASMAT), was praised for its distinctive Christian nature and noted that it is good at meeting the needs of all learners, and the school articulates its Christian character outstandingly.

The report referenced the school is a place where students and staff are connected and belong, and that the Christian character of the school is at the heart of its sense of purpose in guiding their life choices, and the effectiveness of religious education at The Academy of St Nicholas has significantly improved since the previous inspection.

The leadership and management of the school was also applauded for being aware of the constant need to ensure that as many as possible of the community are included in the Christian life.

Headteacher of The Academy of St Nicholas, Mr Gary Lloyd said: “This report highlights the strength of our shared faith in school and our ongoing journey of improvement.”

This latest judgement follows a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating in 2023 - the first in the 13-year history of a school occupying the Horrocks Avenue site. This transformational journey is a testament to the dedicated leadership team and the invaluable support and guidance from ASMAT.

My pilgrimage to Rome

Over my time at Animate I have been lucky enough to go on pilgrimage to several different countries. Most recently we have come back from a pilgrimage to Rome. I had never been to Rome before, so I was excited to see the city, visit the famous landmarks and, most importantly, go to the Vatican.

We had chosen to go on pilgrimage with a company called Pilgrimage People with whom we did a ‘Faith and Art’ tour of the city. Firstly, we travelled down to London where we got to meet the other pilgrims on the pilgrimage. Then we set off on our journey.

Over the course of the week, we got to meet so many different people from different walks of life and hear their stories. As for the many places we saw, one of the biggest highlights was a private guided tour of the Vatican museums, just for our group. Aside from the artwork, the security guard showed us a little hidden gem of the museum: through one of the windows, we were able to see the dome of Saint Peter’s all lit up. This was a truly beautiful experience.

We continued to make our way around the museum which led us through to the Sistine Chapel. was given the opportunity to open the door to the chapel and for a couple of minutes was the only person in there. It was amazing to see works of art painted by Michelangelo and embrace the atmosphere.

While in Rome we also managed to visit a variety of churches and chapels and see the relics of different saints. What was most impressive was seeing these incorruptible bodies and getting an idea of how they would have actually looked when they were alive.

In St Peter’s we managed to go into the reliquary where we saw relics of the cross and the thorns of the crown that Jesus wore. In the Basilica of St Mary Major, meanwhile, we saw the relic of the crib which held the Baby Jesus. In other churches we saw the head of St Valentine and the relics of St Helen which was particularly great for us – after all, we at Animate are based in St Helens so it was fantastic to feel this proximity to the saint after whom the town is named after and to ask her to pray for us.

While on our way to St John Lateran Basilica, we saw the Holy Stairs that Jesus climbed on the day that He was sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate – steps that were brought over from Jerusalem by St Helen. To see pilgrims walking up them on their knees, while praying to Our Lord, was a moment for me to reflect on how much Jesus loves us.

To end the trip, I managed to have the best lasagna I have ever had in a restaurant just outside the Vatican. Being part of the Animate team has allowed me to see and experience many different things and our pilgrimage to Rome will certainly stay with me as a major highlight.

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Dan Carden, MP for Liverpool Walton, made a significant visit to St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School.
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Mums the Word

As some of us are preparing to go to Walsingham in July, I thought I would share with you the following details about the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham.

The statue is found in the Slipper Chapel at the shrine. As the uk website explains, Our Lady is seen ‘in traditional style seated on a simple chair of state with the Child Jesus on her knee. She wears a Saxon crown in token of her ancient queenship and carries the lily of purity.’

According to the official website of the shrine, the statue’s Saxon crown and throne denote Mary’s queenship and the date of the founding of the shrine in 1061. The lily in her right hand represents virginity/sovereignty. Seated on her left knee is the Child Jesus who extends his arm in a double gesture of blessing and protection of his mother. The throne they sit on is the Seat of Wisdom.

As the website adds: ‘It is a thoughtprovoking statue with theological implications so typical of the Middle Ages. The Child seems to dominate. It is not so much a statue of the Mother with the Child as a statue of the Child with the Mother in the background. The Child holds the Book of Gospels with one hand and with the other seems to shield his mother from attack.’

• Our annual Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral is on Saturday 8 June, starting at 2pm. The main celebrant will be Archbishop Malcolm McMahon and ask all UCM members to please make every effort to attend this very special Mass.

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

Knight Life

Some of the most common questions I am asked when I tell someone I am a Knight of St Columba are ‘What do the Knights do?’ and ‘Where did they come from?’. Over the next couple of months, therefore, I would like to share with you something of the history of the KSC, along with our structure and purpose.

The early days

On 5 October 1919, Patrick Joseph O’Callaghan, an Irish immigrant from Cork, arranged a meeting attended by 24 Catholic men at Central Hall, Bath Street in Glasgow, and all present agreed to form a Catholic fraternal organisation – the Knights of St Columba. The Order was based on the principles of the United States-based Knights of Columbus, and it was dedicated to the work of the Lay Apostolate and to the virtues of unity, charity, and fraternity.

The founders initially established the Order based on ceremonial traditions, mirroring the Church’s own practices. The Knights maintain their allegiance to the Holy Father, the ecclesiastical authorities, and the Clergy, and work to support the mission of the Catholic Church.

In 1920, the KSC gained a first foothold south of the border in England with the formation of Council Number 9 in Liverpool. Today, over a century later, the KSC has thousands of members from a wide range of nationalities, backgrounds and ages. In accordance with the Church’s social teaching, we work for the moral and social welfare of our country and look to help young people develop in the likeness of Christ.

In the next edition of the Pic, will explain the Order’s structure and elaborate on our aims and the role of a Knight. In the meantime, if you are interested in finding out more about the KSC or arranging a visit to your local council meeting, then please do not hesitate to contact me via the following email: Philonline2@


Sleep Out with Nugent 2024: Tackling Homelessness in Liverpool

The event, sponsored by Krol Corlett Construction, a leading construction company with a strong commitment to social responsibility, took place on Tuesday 16 April at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, Royal Albert Docks, Liverpool. The Sleep Out saw thirty-two participants from a range of businesses, as well as Nugent colleagues, come together to spend a night sleeping on the colonnades to experience just a fraction of what it’s like to be homeless.

The evening also held several competitions to keep our spirits high, including the Best Shelter and Highest Fundraiser competitions.

The funds raised from the Sleep Out will be directed towards addressing homelessness in Liverpool, with a particular focus on supporting the initiatives of Our Future Now’s Accommodation pillar. This pillar aims to provide crucial assistance to individuals fleeing domestic violence, care leavers whose funding stops after age 18, and anyone who finds themselves in a vulnerable position.

At Nugent, we have a long-standing history of providing essential services and support to individuals and families facing various challenges, including homelessness, poverty, and residential services. Through initiatives like the Sleep Out, we continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those most in need.

Simon Krol, Director of Krol Corlett Construction, said, “As a company deeply rooted in the Liverpool community, we are proud to support organisations like Nugent in their efforts to tackle homelessness and provide vital support to those in need. The success of the Sleep Out demonstrates the collective impact that businesses and charities can have when working together towards a common goal.”

“Our Sleep Out event reflects our ongoing dedication to addressing the root causes of homelessness and supporting those in need within our community,” said Jo Henney, CEO of Nugent. “We are incredibly grateful to all participants and sponsors, including Krol Corlett Construction, for their generous contributions towards this important cause.”

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Normandie Wragg Chief Executive Nugent
Sleep Out with Nugent 2024 has successfully raised £15,000.39! 29 Catholic Pictorial
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Dialogue and Unity Wider than Church

From my perspective as an ecumenical officer, there is some irony in that while many churches seem to have declining membership, the number of church social-action projects expands. This is a point underlined by the list of Josephine Butler Memorial Trust award winners for this year.

The wife of an Anglican priest, Josephine Butler was a social reformer who worked with offenders and street workers in Victorian Liverpool and Oxford – behaviour not positively regarded in the society in which she lived. She was the first woman (without a vote) to get an Act of Parliament changed through her role in the campaign to repeal the Contagious Diseases Act in 1886. This year’s award-winners are as follows:

• Woman of the Year went to the Rev Dr Sheryl Anderson who is the chair of the Liverpool Methodist District. She serves along with Archbishop Malcolm McMahon and others as a president of Churches Together in the Merseyside region and the vice-chair of its trustees. In addition, she played an enthusiastic role as a consultant observer at our November 2023 Synodal Council.

• Volunteer of the Year went to the Rev Dr Taras Khomych. Father Taras is a lecturer in Theology at Liverpool Hope University and chaplain at St Edward’s College. He has made a highly positive impact through his work chairing the Ukrainian Association here and serving as chaplain to the Ukrainian Catholic community. In addition, he has played pivotal roles in the diocesan support programme for Ukraine and in building broad links to support our friends from Ukraine living here in Liverpool.

• The Scholarship went to Albert Osei, a member of the Tsedequah community based at Liverpool Cathedral which brings together young Anglicans from various parts of the world. In addition, he helps with the Micah Liverpool foodbank at St Bride’s and St Vincent de Paul’s. Albert is from Kumasi in Ghana, which has a triangular diocesan with the Anglican Diocese of Liverpool and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia in the United States.

• The Josephine Butler Award went to the Church at the Centre in Kirkby. It is a joint venture between 10 local churches of different denominations, Knowsley Foodbank, TANGO (Together As Neighbours Giving Out) and specialist community groups. It is open from Monday to Saturday (10am to 4pm) and its weekly programme of activities includes back-to-work skills, budget and debt advice, bread-making, relaxation therapy, bereavement support, pastoral care, art, and children’s work. It is situated on Telegraph Way, Kirkby.

As a last word on the Trust, it provides regular support to the Liverpool Diocesan Mother’s Union for its creative educational work in combatting domestic abuse and raising awareness of the evils of trafficking.

Finally, to a request: the archdiocese is large and keeping an eye on all that happens ecumenically can be difficult. If you have any ecumenical activity in your parish – such as a foodbank, debt counselling, Churches Together group, prayer group, or visiting residential homes – then please email me, as I would love to know. You can contact me at:

A Prayer for Social Justice from the Chicago Social Justice Centre By Rabbi Jack Riemer

We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end war; For we know that You have made the world in a way that people must find their own path to peace within themselves and with their neighbours.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end starvation; For You have already given us the resources with which to feed the entire world, if we would only use them wisely.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to root out prejudice;

For You have already given us eyes with which to see the good in all people, if we would only use them rightly.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end despair;

For You have already given us the power to clear away slums and to give hope, if we would only use our power justly.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end disease;

For You have already given us great minds with which to search out cures and healing, if we would only use them constructively.

Therefore, we pray to You instead, O God, for strength, determination and willpower, to do instead of just pray, to become instead of merely to wish. Amen.

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31 CatholicPictorial Keeping you up­to­date with all the news from around the archdiocese online at: You can follow us on social media at: @PicCatholic Plus you can subscribe to the Pic Postal subscriptions are available as follows: • £10 for 3 issues (3 month subscription) • £20 for 6 issues (6 month subscription) • £40 for 12 issues (annual subscription) POSTAL: To take out a postal subscription please email or call 0151 709 7567 DIGITAL: You can also subscribe to a digital version on the Pic by emailing or call 0151 709 7567

Open Evening Thursday 26th September

The St John Bosco Arts College open evening is a chance to find your place in a nurturing learning environment built on Faith, Hope and Love.

Explore our state-of-the-art facilities and meet our supportive staff who will be on hand to answer any questions about life at St John Bosco Arts College.


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