Catholic Pic February 2021

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Issue 197 February 2021

‘With the Church in prayer at home’

The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes


A Christian call to restore harmony

Moving forward on our Synod journey

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contents Welcome

Issue 197 February 2021

On Thursday 11 February the Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the World Day of Prayer for sick people. Lourdes is a place of pilgrimage for many thousands each year but in these last months the pilgrim’s journey has not been possible and sadly it will remain so as we celebrate Our Lady’s feast. Our annual archdiocesan Mass will be celebrated online by Father Des Seddon and full details are given on the centre pages this month. You will also find the message from Pope Francis there with the theme: – ‘You have but one teacher and you are all brothers’ (Matthew 23:8). A trust-based relationship to guide care for the sick. In his introduction the Holy Father says, ‘We think in particular of those who have suffered, and continue to suffer, the effects of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. To all, and especially to the poor and the marginalized, I express my spiritual closeness and assure them of the Church’s loving concern.’ It is now more than ever that we need to pray for the sick, for those who care for them and for each other that we may be safe. We also look forward with hope as the vaccine is rolled out.

‘With the Church in prayer at home’



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Our Lady of Lourdes - Pray for us.


From the Archbishop’s Desk I am writing this during the week of Prayer for Christian Unity which ends on the feast of the Conversion of St Paul on 25 January. This great feast celebrates the moment when Saul realised in a powerful way that salvation was located in the person of Jesus Christ. There is a challenge implicit in this for every one of us; these days of lockdown can possibly be used to meet it. The challenge is whether or not we can be like St Paul and draw closer to the person of Christ. It is unlikely that we are going to have a similar experience to him but in a less dramatic way we can get to know Jesus better through reading the gospels and taking some extra time for prayer. Just listening to God through the words of scripture and in silence is a pretty good place to start. It’s best not to take on obligations like saying certain prayers or committing to reading the psalms or saying the rosary if that is not your normal practice. Just begin at the beginning and the rest will follow. The great Jewish prayer, the Shema, begins with the words, ‘Listen O Israel, the Lord is our God‌’ and goes on to say, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart‌’ These are words familiar to us from the lips of Jesus as well as the Book of Deuteronomy. Listening leads to loving, and indeed listening is an act of love. Listening to God in Jesus Christ will help us to get to know him and love like him. This has to be the beginning of unity for all Christians.


Main Feature A Christian call to restore harmony Justice and Peace Memorial Lecture


News From around the Archdiocese

13 What’s On Whats happening in the Archdiocese 14 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 15 Nugent An historic new partnership 19 Profile Charlie Corkin Directing a choir with a community purpose 21 Animate Youth Ministry Locked down but our work goes on 25 Cathedral Record A special time

Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool

Editor Peter Heneghan Editorial Catholic Pictorial Magazine Liverpool Archdiocesan Centre for Evangelisation, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool L17 1AA Tel: 0151 522 1007 Email: Advertising Sales team 0151 709 7567 Copy deadlines March 2021 Monday 8 February Website: Twitter: @PicCatholic Youtube: CPMM Media

26 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC Subscriptions To take out a subscription please email Kim O’Brien at or call 0151 709 7567 or contact Barbara on 0151 733 5492 Publisher CPMM Ltd Suite 4 Pacific Chambers, 11-13 Victoria Street, Liverpool L2 5QQ CPMM Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced copied or transmitted in any form or by any means or stored in any information storage or retrieval system without the publishers written permission. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published, Catholic Pictorial Ltd. can accept no responsibility for the veracity of the claims made by advertisers.

28 Pic Life Is there a right way to pray? 30 Holy Land Co-ordination 2021 We remain resolutely committed to supporting our sisters and brothers

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A Christian call to restore harmony Mary Colwell highlighted the importance of care for the natural world in the annual Liverpool Justice & Peace Commission memorial lecture.

By Helen Jones Every year on Peace Sunday, the third Sunday of January, the Archdiocese of Liverpool Justice & Peace Commission hosts its annual memorial lecture in memory of those who have contributed to the J&P cause in their lifetime. This year it was held on Sunday 17 January and, instead of a physical gathering, it was held virtually for the first time on Zoom. The lecture was titled ‘To prepare a future full of hope amid chaos and uncertainty’ and was given by Mary Colwell. Mary is an award-winning writer, environmentalist and producer, who is also a feature writer for The Tablet, and she put her considerable communication skills to use with a gentle, inspiring presentation which indeed explained chaos and uncertainty in our world, and explained the need for a balance between the four considerations of God, others, the environment and ourselves. Of these four, she pointed out that the environment had only recently become a major consideration but, quoting from ‘Laudato Si’, observed that the maintenance of this balance was now seen as a major factor by the Catholic Church. Mary then went on to help us to find ways in which we could act. She emphasised passion and simple steps, including the suggestion to ‘pick something you love’. She illustrated this with her own love of the curlew, a large British wading bird, the numbers of which have drastically fallen in recent decades. She explained how she had set out on a 500-mile walk through England, Wales and Ireland where curlew numbers were falling and how this first action had led to interest, education and political action among people throughout the UK. Her suggestion of using a LOAF (Local, Organic, Animal-friendly, Fairly traded) approach when buying food was picked up on by many participants. Following on from the lecture, we were invited to have small group discussions followed by a Q&A session with Mary where she responded to a wide range of


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feature ‘Mary's lecture on a damp Sunday afternoon was a wonderful reminder during this ever-long lockdown of how blessed we are with the world’ questions including the use of public parks as a resource to educate and ways to lobby MPs. Below are some of the responses we received from participants from the Archdiocese and beyond: Annie Merry, Director of Faiths4Change, Merseyside Mary invited us all to engage actively in preparing for a future together that was rooted in faith, hope and nature. Drawing on ‘Laudato Si’, she highlighted Pope Francis’ call for direct action and challenges to the tragedy of extinction facing many species by our current ways of living, saying: ‘We have not the right!’ Mary concluded by asking us to stop waste, start being thankful and to ‘fall in love with the Earth again’. Pat Murphy, Archdiocese of Liverpool Mary's lecture on a damp Sunday afternoon was a wonderful reminder during this ever-long lockdown of how blessed we are with the world and all that it provides for us. Mary’s words vividly reminded us that we are just custodians of this planet to hand on to the next generation. Appreciate the simple things that we take for granted – the birds of the air, the ebb and flow of the tide and the wonder of the seasons, with the changing landscape. As Christians it is our duty to play our part in the care of the planet. Recycle, reuse, buy Fairtrade, become animal-friendly, walk rather than drive. God has created all these things, and provided a beautiful earth for us to enjoy. Let’s not destroy it. Take a photograph each day of something that is simple but uplifts us – carry the positive thoughts that will keep us positive. Take the simple, more holistic approach to our daily life. A most uplifting couple of hours. A burst of energy almost, and a reminder that if we can all just change our lifestyle in a small way, we will leave the earth in a good condition for the next generation.

Brother Bernard Foy, Diocese of Arundel & Brighton Mary evoked both an intellectual and emotional response in me. Her delightful presentation reminded us of the glorious variety of creation, and through that of the exuberance of the Creator. GM Hopkin’s poem came to mind: ‘The world is charged with the grandeur of God.’ After a lifetime of involvement with young people and becoming increasingly aware of the diminishment of life experiences for

many young people in the deprived city areas we serve, I was led to ask how can we focus on animal charities when stories of women and children suffering appear daily. The really difficult area of Justice & Peace commitment is: how do we prioritise issues, especially those concerning people? Pauline Volk, Archdiocese of Liverpool At a time when we can all feel overwhelmed, it was refreshing to hear Mary’s approach in that after giving some

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thoughts on the larger picture of the concerning situation we are in at present – in light not only of Covid-19, but also the climate crisis – she highlighted the value of taking some initial smaller steps. Through sharing her personal story, it was much easier to imagine those first possible small steps we each could make. In the break-out groups and afterwards in the chat, many concrete actions were suggested. Last year, I took part in the Laudato Si Animator course and I take this talk as further encouragement to put the ideas of Pope Francis into practice by choosing to adopt the Live Simply principles and also invite others to do so too.

‘When I logged on, I didn’t have any clear expectations about what I was going to learn’ 6

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Mark Wiggin, Director of Caritas for Diocese of Salford & Northern Dioceses Environment Group convener When I logged on, I didn’t have any clear expectations about what I was going to learn. It had been a busy week and I didn’t do my usual due diligence of looking up who exactly Mary Colwell was. I remember reading a Tablet article some time ago about her walking the Camino which led me thinking perhaps today would be a

spiritual reflection on a painful journey towards redemption. The title of the lecture sounded as it might be a call to the ‘new normal’ for us to rally round social-justice issues of poverty, disadvantage or even reflect on what a post-Brexit Britain might look like. Instead, I found myself listening intensely to the wisdom of a person who had fallen in love with nature and who offered a simple solution to climate change and the finite resources of our planet when she said that ‘we want to have a future where people and nature are in harmony’. Asked about what our priorities should be, she offered the following advice: ‘Pick something to love and go with your passion, go with your heart, that’s where you will make the best difference.’ At the end of her inspiring memorial lecture, it began to dawn on me that the curlew was indeed a metaphor for redemption and its survival and flourishing, like everything else on God’s earth, begins by taking the first deliberate step on that journey to salvation. • To read more about Mary Colwell’s work, visit

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

Port Erin Nativity Whilst most of the archdiocese had to celebrate Christmas with severe restrictions, the Isle of Man was Covid free and able to celebrate as normal, albeit with travel restrictions. On 20 December, St Columba’s in Port Erin held its Nativity Service in the same format as it has done for the last 17 years. The youngest children acted out a tableau whilst the older ones read the Christmas story. Carols were sung as they fit the story. Music for the carols was provided by the Rushen Silver Band. A packed church of parishioners and the wider community had a really uplifting afternoon. Recently appointed parish priest, Father Mike Thompson took a part as one of the innkeepers which went down very well. A retiring collection raised £621 for Cafod. Sadly, on 5 January it was announced that the island potentially had Covid cases in the community and an immediate lockdown brought to an end over six months of normality.

Cafod’s online run raises £20,000 How do you organise a charity fun run in this time of social distancing? This was the challenge facing the Catholic aid agency Cafod before Christmas. Unable to stage its annual Christmas event at Wavertree Athletics Centre, where it usually takes place each 27 December, Cafod organisers found a solution by making the fun run a virtual event, with each runner asked to take a photograph of themselves in action – and it proved so popular that runners have already raised £20,000. Colette Byrne, Cafod’s community participation co-ordinator for Liverpool, explained: ‘As with most things in 2020, we decided to take the event online. We asked people to run or walk five kilometres in their area and we encouraged them to set up a JustGiving page attached to our Fun Run campaign.’ Colette herself created a JustGiving page for the South Liverpool pastoral area as a way of getting parishes and individuals to fundraise and even run together – albeit staying socially distant. Hundreds of people took part in this unique edition of the fun run, which first took place in the 1980s. Participants


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included Stuart Brandwood who, 48 hours ahead of schedule, ran from his home in Hunts Cross to St Francis of Assisi parish church in Garston, where he helped serve the Christmas morning Mass. Writer Frank Cottrell Boyce, a keen supporter of the event, joined his family for a run along the promenade at Waterloo. He said: ‘It’s a brilliant race – it’s got very deep roots and is very connected to the community it serves.’ As well as the regular runners and Cafod supporters who took part, clergy from not just Liverpool but as far afield as

Hampshire got their running shoes on too, and Colette said: ‘The great thing about this year’s event is that it gave people who can’t usually get to Wavertree the opportunity to participate. We had some new participating parishes from Warrington and Formby, for example. This gave Cafod the idea to promote the event nationally too. ‘Overall, we’re incredibly grateful to everybody who embraced this new way of working for this unusual year and who really joined in the spirit of the event,’ she added. ‘Cafod simply couldn’t continue its vital work supporting people in some of the world’s poorest countries without your kind support and generosity.’ Next on Cafod’s agenda is its Lenten ‘Walk for Water’ campaign which invites people to walk – or even run –10,000 steps a day over the 40 days of Lent to raise funds to end water poverty. For more details, visit: • In these challenging times, Cafod has had to make some difficult decisions and its staff in Liverpool are now home-based meaning that the Volunteer Centre in Old Swan is permanently closed.

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news diary

Liverpool Archdiocese engages with the God Who Speaks by Eleanor Lalley For many Catholics the Bible sits on a shelf at home as a valued family possession, but it stays mostly unopened and unread. How can we encourage more Catholics to take the Bible down from its shelf and read it? The Bishops Conference has linked up with the Bible Society to bring resources and ideas to open up the Word of God to Catholics in new ways. The God Who Speaks is the initiative that engages with individuals, parishes and dioceses to promote the 73 books of the Bible with Catholic readers and nurture a deeper Catholic engagement with the scriptures. This year’s special focus is on the Gospel of Mark which we read in the Mass. For the ‘Year of Mark’ there are different initiatives taking place in our archdiocese. The Liverpool Archdiocesan Pastoral Associates and parishioners from the archdiocese are responding to this call to engage more deeply with scripture by recording local Catholics personally reflecting on a particular scripture from Mark. These short reflections are filmed (on a phone or computer) to encourage others to ponder the Word of God personally and ‘fish with Mark’. Comments coming out of reflecting on passages from Mark include: • ‘… can I trust that everything is in God’s hands?’ • ‘How do we use our time wisely, even in lockdown?’ • ‘God sometimes makes us do things we are not comfortable with.’ • ‘God is waiting to forgive us.’ • ‘How often do we welcome everyone, like Jesus did, to our table?’ • ‘If there is a message Jesus has – he says it with the words “follow me”’. Mark’s gospel has a message for every man and woman today, and through scripture anyone can explore God speaking to them in their everyday lives. Scripture is not just for scholars, linguists, and clergy. Today God speaks to us all through Sacred Scripture - whether it is in the Mass,

the Divine Office, Lectio Divina, through a Bible App on a phone, or in personal reading of scripture. Another way the archdiocese is engaging with the God Who Speaks initiative is through ‘Echoes of God,’ a journey through the whole Bible in a seven week course. Professor David McLoughlin has put together weekly resources that take readers through key passages of the Bible, noting how the Old and New Testaments ‘echo’ each other. The Scriptures unfold God’s liberating and creative love in the history of Israel and the Church. This course can be followed by individuals, families, friendship groups, and in parish online groups. The Pastoral Associates are offering a Zoom group meeting on Monday evenings from 7.00-8.00 pm until 1 March. People can join at any time by contacting Echoes of God covers selections from Genesis, Exodus, Prophets, Wisdom, Psalms, the Gospels and the letters of Paul. How might you engage with scripture in lockdown and beyond? The Bible Society and Bishops Conference would like to challenge you to listen to The God Who Speaks to your circumstances and your daily life. The national bishops conference website: The Liverpool God Who Speaks Website – including Echoes and Fish with Mark

Obituary of Rev James Clarkson Father James Clarkson, former Parish Priest of St Winefride’s, Bootle, Holy Family, Ince Blundell and St Mary’s, Little Crosby, died on Saturday 2 January, aged 89 and in the 56th year of his priesthood. James Clarkson, the son of James and Harriet Clarkson, was born in Wavertree, Liverpool, on 9 April 1931. He received his early education at Our Lady’s, Wavertree, St Anne’s, Edge Hill, and Old Swan Technical School. Archbishop Heenan accepted him as a student for the priesthood and he was sent first to Campion House, Osterley, before completing his studies at the Beda College, Rome. He was ordained priest at the Basilica of St Paul, Rome, on 3 April 1965. Following ordination he served in several parishes as assistant priest: at St Edward, Wigan; St Paul, West Derby from December 1967; English Martyrs, Litherland from August 1976 and St Austin, Thatto Heath from December 1982. In January 1985 he was asked to take up an appointment as parish priest at St Winefride’s, Bootle. After 15 years of fruitful labour in Bootle he moved in the summer of 2001 to Holy Family, Ince Blundell, as parish priest. In October of the following year he also took on responsibility for the parish of St Mary, Little Crosby. He retired from active ministry in 2006, though he continued to reside at the presbytery at Little Crosby. The following year, however, he took a flat at Ince Blundell Hall, where he was cared for by the sisters and staff for the remainder of his life. His Funeral Mass was celebrated at Holy Family, Ince Blundell, on Thursday 14 January followed by cremation at Thornton Crematorium.

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news diary

The Journey continues by Father Philip Inch - Synod Moderator As you know the word Synod comes from two Greek words meaning on the path, on the road, on the Way, together. This is certainly how it feels with the Synod Team at the moment. There is a lot to do and we seem to have a lot of zoom meetings. Let me tell you where we are up to: (this is being written mid-January 2021) • We have a new Synod Co-ordinator, Kenny Lawler. Kenny has been seconded from his work as Pastoral Associate in St Oscar Romero parish. He is working for the Synod three days a week until the end of June. He has already shown how much of a valued part of the team he will be. Kenny will be getting in touch with the Synod Members soon about the March on-line meeting. • We have also been very fortunate in getting the expertise of Chris Knowles to work with us. Chris (originally from Warrington) has set up Synod Fruits and Forming Missionary Disciples. So he brings a huge wealth of experience and insight. • We have just received the data from the Members indications of which proposals and affirmations they were most drawn to. This has produced a huge amount of data which we are looking at now. • At the end of January 25th – 27th, the Synod Working Party are meeting for

three days (on zoom!) to look at what the Synod members were drawn to from the long list of proposals and affirmations. We hope to be able, from this time of discernment, to present in March the final Synod proposals to be sent back to parishes and communities and then to be voted on at the Synod in June. This is a huge task – and it needs to be soaked in prayer. • In February, with the help of author and scholar Bill Heubsch, we are going to write a short booklet which will include all the Synod proposals and some background catechesis. This will include scripture and tradition. We will shine the light of the Word of God and recent papal teaching on our Synod path. This will be made available to anyone who wants it. • Father Peter McGrail is preparing a presentation on the things that have been put forward that are outside the remit of the Synod. Since the very first Synod meetings we have said that we can only deal with things that a Diocesan Bishop can decide – but we didn’t exclude anything from our listening and discernment. To ensure that nothing has been lost we have kept a record of anything that we felt could not be part of our Synod, but was important to people and this will be presented to the Synod members in March and then made available to everyone. This information will form part of our final Synod documentation.

• The initial meeting of the Pastoral Plan Group will now also have to take place on zoom. This is a two day meeting of people from the Diocese and from around the country who, in the light of what the Synod says, will help the Archbishop draw up a Pastoral Plan for the Diocese. This group will help us tap into some great expertise and experience, as well as being rooted in the reality of our own Diocese. The PPG (Pastoral Plan Group) will be meeting both before and after the Synod to do their work. As you know it is the intention that this Plan will be presented to the Diocese on the 1st Sunday of Advent 2021. • Finally: You may have seen the book put together by Austin Ivereigh of conversations (and emails) with Pope Francis called: ‘Let us Dream’. In it Pope Francis (from page 79 to page 94) shares something of his own understanding of Synodality, Synods and how they should work. The whole book is worth a read – it is full of hope and challenge for a post-Covid church and world, but the part on Synods is especially helpful for all of us involved in Synod 2020.

Obituary of Reverend James Matthews Father James Matthews, who through his ministry in the Archdiocese introduced hundreds of people to the Marian Shrines of Lourdes and Medjugorje, died on Saturday 16 January aged 87 and in the 61st year of his priesthood. James Matthews was born in Bootle on 2 April 1933, the son of Cornelius and Elizabeth Matthews (née Fitzpatrick). He was baptised a few days later at St Francis de Sales, Walton. After attending the local primary school, he entered the seminary at Upholland and was ordained priest by Archbishop John Carmel Heenan in St Joseph’s College Chapel on 12 June 1960. Following ordination he served for a few months at St Bernard’s, Liverpool, before taking up an appointment as assistant priest at Our Lady’s, Eldon Street, Liverpool, in October 1960. Six years later 10

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he was asked to move to St Dominic’s, Huyton, to assist Monsignor Peter Whitty. His curacy at Huyton was a long one, proving to be the longest continuous appointment of his priestly ministry. He had a particular devotion to Our Blessed Lady and while at St Dominic’s he would take young parishioners and the scouts on pilgrimage to Lourdes, introducing many to the shrine for the first time. He also set up three HCPT groups and raised thousands of pounds to take hundreds of children from across the Archdiocese, and further afield, to Lourdes at Easter. He would later add pilgrimages to Medjugorje as well as Lourdes. In March 1982 he moved to St Cyril’s, Netherley, as priest-in-charge, though his time running a parish proved to be relatively brief. In 1986 he moved to St Ambrose, Speke, to assist Father Charles Canning, with

whom he had been a fellow curate at St Dominic’s, Huyton. He spent eleven fruitful years in Speke and he is still remembered well by parishioners. In November 1997 he took up residence at Upholland College and the following March he was appointed chaplain to the community of nuns at the local Carmelite Monastery. In 1999 he resumed parish ministry as he took up residence at Holy Cross, St Helens. He served in St Helens until his retirement from parish ministry in September 2009. He would not, however, countenance retiring completely and so the remainder of his life was spent as chaplain to the sisters and community at Ince Blundell. His Funeral Mass was celebrated on Thursday 28 January at Holy Family, Ince Blundell, followed by burial at St Peter and St Paul, Crosby.

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news diary Advent Action at SFX ‘It’s you, it’s me, it’s us that makes community!’ That’s a line from the College song at Notre Dame. Advent Action at Saint Francis Xavier’s Church Liverpool worked in partnership with the school chaplain, Rebecca Wall, to help the young people in recognising the great work of local agencies, schools, community centres and churches, especially during the pandemic. The young people made personalised Christmas greeting cards thanking people for their service and ministry. Joseph wrote to Judith sharing the College’s commitment and interest in responsible recycling

and encouraging others to do the same. SFX Church Pastoral Assistant, Debbie Reynolds had the delight of picking the cards up and giving them to some of the hardworking volunteers at the church. Both the College and SFX Church collected for local Foodbanks and many children’s gift sets were given for those in need so it was an active advent with lots of time given to reflecting and understanding of what is community giving thanks and praise for all the good work within the City Centre North Pastoral Areas of Liverpool.

Knowsley charity seeking donations to help maintain refugee support In ordinary times, the Prescot and Whiston Methodist Church is abuzz with activity each Monday lunchtime. This is the day of the weekly ‘drop-in’ organised by SHARe Knowsley, a support service for asylum seekers and refugees living in the borough, and Mondays at the church on Atherton Street in Prescot mean as many as 50 people calling in to make use of the weekly pop-up shop offering food and second-hand clothing at nominal prices together with a free meal. They also get the opportunity to access advice from a British Red Cross case worker and to build a support network in a safe and welcoming meeting place. With a third national lockdown under way, these are not ordinary times and the impact of the pandemic on the charity’s work is considerable. With the ‘drop-in’ currently closed, manager Margaret Roche explains that ‘at the moment we’re doing food deliveries but on alternate weeks because of funding and Covid restrictions. We need to consider our volunteers and minimise the risk for them so we have a smaller group of people packing parcels.’ These volunteers, she adds, ‘generally belong to different Christian churches’ but with a good number in the older age bracket, fewer are available to help out at the very time that demand for support has risen with over 80 single people and between 25-30 families now receiving

food parcels. In addition, the English language lessons that SHARe organise – for three different learner levels – at the Old School House in Huyton have gone back online, albeit still four days a week. Meanwhile, Margaret is counting the financial cost of the closure of churches. ‘We are short on donations because the churches are all closed and that was our

main source of funding,’ she says, explaining that the money from donation boxes in a couple of local churches was used to refund the travel costs of anyone who used SHARe’s services. ‘When you have only £37 a week to live on, your bus fare leaves a big hole,’ she notes. For more information about SHARe Knowsley or to make a donation, please visit:

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news diary

Merseyside Faith Leaders on the current Covid-19 situation Archbishop Malcolm joined with other Faith Leaders from across the Merseyside region in issuing the following statement on 14 January concerning the current Covid-19 situation: As leaders of faith communities in Liverpool and Merseyside, we are taking very seriously our region’s extremely high infection rate and the added concern around the spread of the new variant of Covid-19. We believe that faith communities make an essential contribution to the common good - not just in the spiritual support which is provided, but in the practical action which is undertaken by faith groups, for example though our foodbanks or our education and support groups. Unlike in previous lockdowns, the government has not prevented public worship, although a large number of places of worship have voluntarily suspended their services. The higher infection rates of the new variant mean that we must be correspondingly more alert to the possibility of infection. For people of faith, human life is sacred. We are called to model a responsible reaction to the current situation, and that by our actions we can show leadership within our communities. We do this with the active support of Directors of Public Health in our local authorities. We call members of our own faith communities, as well as people across the region of any faith or of none, to the following actions: In all aspects of our lives, including in the practice of our faith, we must maintain Covid-secure behaviour so as to care for one another. We strongly encourage everyone to take up the vaccine offer when it is made to us, and we should support other people in receiving the vaccine. In these stressful days we must show kindness to one another, and especially to the anxious and those more vulnerable than ourselves. Where asymptomatic mass-testing is available, we should participate in order to play our part in protecting others from infection. Where faith communities are continuing to offer public worship, we expect our colleagues to have formal risk assessments, ensure that hand sanitizer is used, good quality face masks are worn, and proper distancing is rigorously observed. If a faith community cannot maintain public worship safely, then we expect them to suspend their services until the infection rates have decreased to a safe level. We recognise that these times are difficult for all. But we ask people, of all faiths and none, to commit to the actions which we list above. The Right Reverend Paul Bayes, Anglican Bishop of Liverpool The Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP, Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool Liverpool Region Mosque Network Abdullah Quilliam Mosque Al-Rahma Mosque The Reverend Dr Sheryl Anderson, Chair of the Liverpool Methodist District The Reverend Phil Jump, North Western Baptist Association Liverpool Reform Synagogue Allerton Synagogue


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Princes Road Synagogue Major Roger Batt, Divisional Commander, Salvation Army Kadampa Buddhist Meditation Centre Hindu Cultural Organisation Liverpool Baha’i Centre Childwall Hebrew Congregation United Reformed Church Mersey Synod

Obituary of Rev Gerard Britt Father Gerard Britt, former Parish Priest of Our Lady, Queen of Peace, Litherland and Holy Family Ince Blundell died on Wednesday 20 January. He was 98 years of age and in the 73rd year of his priesthood. With his death the Archdiocese of Liverpool lost its last surviving priest ordained in the 1940s. James Gerard Britt was born in Liverpool on 1 April 1922, the son of James and Helen Britt (née Campion) and he was baptised shortly afterwards at St Philip Neri, Catharine Street. He attended the Notre Dame Demonstration School, Maryland Street, and St Francis Xavier’s College, Liverpool. Aged 12, he entered the seminary at St Joseph’s College, Upholland in September 1934 and was ordained priest by Bishop Joseph Halsall, the then auxiliary bishop, in the college chapel on 22 May 1948. Following ordination he was appointed as assistant priest at St George’s, Maghull, and served there with Father Albert Bentley until February 1955. He then moved to the ProCathedral to assist Canon Gregory Doyle, the longserving Administrator, who was to be a major influence on his priestly ministry. In October 1961 he was asked to move to St Mary’s, Blackbrook, St

Helens, and he remained there until June 1967. He then returned to his native Liverpool and became assistant to Monsignor Thomas Adamson, the former Vicar General. At St Clare’s he dedicated himself particularly to the chaplaincy work both at Sefton General Hospital and at the Lourdes Hospital. He is remembered by one of his fellow curates of the time as being particularly helpful to a recently-ordained priest, having a great sense of humour and often quoting Latin tags learned from Canon Paddy Hanrahan at Upholland. In February 1975 he received his first appointment as parish priest, when he was asked to succeed Father John Moynihan at Our Lady, Queen of Peace, Litherland. He dedicated himself for fifteen years to the service of the people there. By now in his late sixties, he moved to the quieter parish of Holy Family, Ince Blundell, for his final parochial appointment in August 1990. He retired from active ministry in September 2001, moving initially to Formby. In 2003 he took up residence at the St Marie’s House, Southport. His Funeral Mass was celebrated on Saturday 30 January at Holy Family, Ince Blundell, followed by burial in the cemetery at Ince Blundell.

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news diary

Cathedral Music Staff raise over £2,000 running a Marathon for Micah Music staff from the two Cathedrals in Liverpool came together on December 31st 2020 to raise money for MICAH, the social justice charity set up by Liverpool Cathedral, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King and St Bride’s Church to relieve Liverpool residents from social injustice and poverty. Christopher McElroy is Director of Music at the Metropolitan Cathedral. Stephen Mannings is the Director of Music Outreach at Liverpool Cathedral. They have been training together (albeit

socially distanced and when legally permitted) for this special event for several months. Despite training having gone very well, two days before they were due to run the marathon, a cold weather spell arrived in Liverpool. Runners will (happily) run in most weather conditions (sun, rain, wind) but the one that strikes terror is ice. Ice on the floor surface is both hard to see (especially in the dark) and can have lethal consequences, especially when running at pace. On December 30th the day before the marathon, a course inspection of the planned course took place. The self-designed route was planned to start from the Anglican Cathedral, passing the Metropolitan Cathedral and taking in large parts of the city before finishing at the Pier Head in front of the Liver Buildings. Sadly, it became clear that the course as planned was not going to be runnable due to significant patches of ice. Having received a significant amount of financial sponsorship to benefit MICAH, giving up simply wasn’t an option. So the runners reverted to plan B, which involved a route up and down the Promenade from Aigburth to the Pier Head and back (several times). However, the viability of this route wasn’t certain so a (very) early morning course inspection took place on December 31st. Whilst the paths were not great, it was possible to run either on the grass alongside the path or next to the railings in efforts to avoid the icy surface, so the runners decided to go ahead. Both runners managed to stay fully upright for the duration of the marathon (with one or two close calls). They rain through rain, wind and a freak hailstorm at one point, finishing the 26.2 mile run in 3 hours 23 minutes. They were greeted at the end by family and friends, who offered congratulations and updated them on fundraising progress. Chris and Stephen are delighted that their Marathon for MICAH raised a grand total of £2,250 to assist MICAH in their current projects to combat unemployment and deliver emergency food aid and affordable food at this difficult time for so many people.

Whats On February 2021 Mondays 15, 22 February and 1 March at 7.00 pm Everyday God – led by Sister Moira Meeghan (on Zoom) Reflecting on the presence of God in our life. For a link contact No charge but donations gratefully received. The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst Christian Leadership Formation Programme for those in Lower Sixth who want to make a difference. Three residential modules – 26-30 July 2021; 23-25 October 2021; 9-12 April 2022. Workshops on statesmanship, public policy making and public debate within a framework of prayer, social time and team building activities. Information and application pack: Email: A Journey of Salvation Moments in Salvation history. 7.30

pm online on Thursdays: 11 February ‘A Great Love Song’ Father John Hemer 26 February ‘The Greatest Gift’ Dr Caroline Fairey 11 March ‘Signs of Passion Pam Moon 25 March ‘The Life to come’ Sister Emanuela Edwards Details and registration: Email: Set Free – discover the mystery of human love. A UK summit for young adults aged 18-30 with six talks based on the teaching of Pope St John Paul II. Speakers: Brian Butler, Dr Mario Sacasar, Kerri Christopher, Kendra von Esh, Daniella Grillo and Father Rob Galea. 4.00 pm to 5.30 pm Sundays 7 February to 14 March 2021 via Zoom. Details and registration: Email:

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sunday reflections On a liturgical note ‘A light to enlighten the Gentiles’ The greeting of Simeon which is recounted by Saint Luke on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (2 February) gathers together all the hopes and promises of the Old Testament as ‘the watcher in the Temple’, Simeon, recognises in the person of the child Jesus a fulfilment and a revealing (Epiphany) of what God had promised to his people – that He would be ‘Emmanuel’, God-with-us. Simeon’s life is now literally ‘full-filled’; it has reached its climax and its goal ‘for my eyes have seen the salvation you have prepared for all peoples, the light to enlighten the Gentiles and be the glory of Israel, your people’. Simeon can now welcome even death itself because he has experienced the fidelity and love of God: ‘At last all powerful Master, you give leave to your servant to go in peace, according to your promise…’ These words are used by the Church each day of the year as part of Night Prayer, known as ‘compline’ from the Latin suggesting something which completes, perfects or brings to a close. In the life of the Church, in word and in sacrament, we too share Simeon’s delight in recognising the

Sunday thoughts February is still early enough for us to say a final goodbye to 2020 and embrace 2021. Jesus grows up quickly in the Church’s calendar. One minute he’s lying in the manger. Days later he’s fully grown and being baptised in the Jordan. He moves rapidly to call his disciples and embark on his mission. And yet it’s 2 February before we see the child Jesus make a final appearance. This date marks the Feast of the Presentation. We’re loathed to let the child Jesus go. To prove the point, I keep the Christmas crib on display until that day. The ‘Nunc Dimitis’ is remembered as the theme music by Geoffrey Burgon for the 1979 BBC serialisation of John le Carré’s ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ starring Alec Guinness. Simeon’s prayer, the ‘Nunc Dimitis’, is the last of three canticles in the early chapters of Luke’s gospel. Mary addresses Elizabeth in the words of the Magnificat. Zechariah, the father

Canon Philip Gillespie

fulfilment of God’s promises. In times past, it was only on the Feast of the Presentation (known sometimes as the ‘Purification’, or the ‘Encounter’) that Christmastide ended. The revision of the Liturgical Calendar after the Second Vatican Council fixed the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord as the conclusion of the Christmas season, leaving 2 February as a Feast of Light in the midst of the Ordinary Time of the Year. The theme of light, so much present during the seasons of Advent and Christmastide, is one which recurs frequently in the Scriptures and in our Liturgy. It speaks powerfully of the presence and action of God in our lives – scattering darkness and guiding the way – and it speaks also of our own role and mission for the world and the society in whose life we share: we are called to bring to others the light of the Good News, preaching perhaps at times with words, but at all times through our actions. In these days of continued uncertainty and difficulty, our response to the call to be a lightbearer is perhaps ever more urgently needed.

Mgr John Devine OBE

of John the Baptist, speaks the words of the Benedictus at the circumcision of John. Although spoken through the mouths of three figures in the gospel story, early Jewish Christians would have heard in these canticles echoes of lines in the Old Testament. All three canticles are key texts in the story of salvation and each is included every single day in the Divine Office, the official prayer of the Church. An old man, Simeon lets go of his life: ‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace.’ Having seen the Lord, he is content to die. The ‘Nunc Dimitis’ makes a perfect New Year prayer; saying goodbye to the old and welcoming in the new. It is also a wonderful night prayer. We let go of the day. What happens tomorrow is in the Lord’s hands.

Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at 14

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Heaven all the way to heaven I met Pam many years ago. Pam was a real character. Her laugh was louder, and her tears more heartfelt, than anyone else’s. She had a big heart and would help anyone. If she had food or drink, she shared it. When she had money, someone's hard-luck story would take it from her. Pam was baptised Catholic and, despite her mother's difficult battle with alcohol, they attended church. She would sometimes talk to me about her faith. One day she told me that she had known much love in her life. I was quite surprised when she said that, but she said she’d known the love of a mother who cuddled her on the couch and made hot tea and toast dripping with butter for them to share. She had experienced love in the care and concern of those who tried to help her and, because she had known human love, she said that she knew that God loved her and would always be there for her. It was a Gospel moment as I looked into the eyes of this wonderfully compassionate, broken woman and heard the truth from her lips of the love of God. Sadly, for many people their faith isn’t about a love relationship with God but is a relationship of fear as they try to appease God with sacrifices and offerings. Yet Jesus came to show us that the heart of the good news is that there is no need to be afraid. This God is father and is love. I think the transformative moment in our lives comes when we begin to know that we are loved by God without exception, whether we be black or white, gay or straight, whether we have mental health problems or not, whether we are physically disadvantaged or not. When we really hear that truth deep within, we are no longer constrained by what people think about us or the games that people play. We don’t have to buy into the systems and structures that control the world because we don’t need them in the same way that everyone else does. Our security lies in the truth that we’re loved. Living in that relationship is an invitation to live in heaven now. It is to live in this world with an attitude of trusting and hoping and loving and praying. It is about being open to the spirit within. It is about loving and respecting the world and everyone in it. It is about living each day, each moment, in a spirit of gratitude, caught up in love and empowered to live. If we lived, as Jesus did, believing that we were loved by God and spent our lives allowing that love to work through us, to help others believe in love, then we could transform the world. Father Chris Thomas

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An historic new partnership will help usher-in a new generation of specialist social workers. In Nugent’s 140th anniversary year we are pleased to announce a unique collaboration which will see the recruitment of three Social Work students every year into the new Nugent route through the Liverpool Hope University Social Work programme. The partnership brings together two of Liverpool’s most respected and established organisations: Liverpool Hope University, with a mission to helping the most marginalised and oppressed people in society, and a commitment to social justice, and Nugent, who are dedicated to caring, educating, and protecting vulnerable children, young people and

adults through their schools, care homes, and community and social work services. Whilst studying for their Social Work Degree undergraduates will undertake a series of social work placements within Nugent’s establishments with the aim to not only provide students with crucial hands-on experience, but to also help them forge a tangible career pathway. Normandie Wragg, CEO of Nugent, said: ‘We are delighted to be joining forces with Liverpool Hope University for this exciting new initiative, which will offer social work students the sort of professional experiences and opportunities which will see them thriving in their careers. It’s about having the same shared values -

improving peoples’ lives and improving therapeutic outcomes of the people we serve.’ Professor Michael Lavalette, Head of Hope’s School of Social Sciences, said: ‘Our Social Work degree is a value driven programme, where dedicated work placement time makes up a quarter of the degree in total. Which is why this new collaboration between Hope and Nugent is so important to us. There will be no limits on the vast array of skills a student might glean from their time with Nugent.’ Liverpool Hope University and Nugent will now begin recruiting the first crop of three students to begin their learning journey in September 2021.

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Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes This year the Archdiocese of Liverpool Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes Mass will be celebrated online only. Please do not attempt to attend in person. It will be held remotely and broadcast on Thursday 11 February 2021 at 7.00 pm from Our Lady’s RC Church, Lydiate with Father Des Seddon as Celebrant. The Feast Day Mass can be accessed on Facebook at: Or on the Church Services TV ( ) link for Our Lady’s, RC Church, Lydiate Merseyside Southport Road, Lydiate, Liverpool, England The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is the World Day of Prayer for the Sick and Pope Francis has issued the following message with the theme – ‘You have but one teacher and you are all brothers’ (Matthew 23:8). A trustbased relationship to guide care for the sick. Dear brothers and sisters, The celebration of the XXIX World Day of the Sick on 11 February 2021, the liturgical memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes, is an opportunity to devote special attention to the sick and to those who provide them with assistance and care both in healthcare institutions and within families and communities. We think in particular of those who have suffered, and continue to suffer, the effects of the


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worldwide coronavirus pandemic. To all, and especially to the poor and the marginalized, I express my spiritual closeness and assure them of the Church’s loving concern. 1. The theme of this Day is drawn from the Gospel passage in which Jesus criticises the hypocrisy of those who fail to practise what they preach (cf. Matthew 23:1-12). When our faith is reduced to empty words, unconcerned with the lives and needs of others, the creed we profess proves inconsistent with the life we lead. The danger is real. That is why Jesus uses strong language about the peril of falling into self-idolatry. He tells us: ‘You have but one teacher and you are all brothers’ (v.8). Jesus’ criticism of those who ‘preach but do not practise’ (v.3) is helpful always and everywhere, since none of us is immune to the grave evil of hypocrisy, which prevents us from flourishing as children of the one Father, called to live universal fraternity. Before the needs of our brothers and sisters, Jesus asks us to respond in a way completely contrary to such hypocrisy. He asks us to stop and listen, to establish a direct and personal relationship with others, to feel empathy and compassion, and to let their suffering become our own as we seek to serve them (cf. Luke 10:3035). 2. The experience of sickness makes us

realise our own vulnerability and our innate need of others. It makes us feel all the more clearly that we are creatures dependent on God. When we are ill, fear and even bewilderment can grip our minds and hearts; we find ourselves powerless, since our health does not depend on our abilities or life’s incessant worries (cf. Matthew 6:27). Sickness raises the question of life’s meaning, which we bring before God in faith. In seeking a new and deeper direction in our lives, we may not find an immediate answer. Nor are our relatives and friends always able to help us in this demanding quest. The biblical figure of Job is emblematic in this regard. Job’s wife and friends do not accompany him in his misfortune; instead, they blame him and only aggravate his solitude and distress. Job feels forlorn and misunderstood. Yet for all his extreme frailty, he rejects hypocrisy and chooses the path of honesty towards God and others. He cries out to God so insistently that God finally answers him and allows him to glimpse a new horizon. He confirms that Job’s suffering is not a punishment or a state of separation from God, much less as sign of God’s indifference. Job’s heart, wounded and healed, then makes this vibrant and touching confession to the Lord: ‘I had heard of you by word of mouth, but now my eye has seen you’ (42:5). 3. Sickness always has more than one face: it has the face of all the sick, but also those who feel ignored, excluded and prey to social injustices that deny their fundamental rights (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 22). The current pandemic has exacerbated inequalities in our healthcare systems and exposed inefficiencies in the care of the sick. Elderly, weak and vulnerable people are not always granted access to care, or in an equitable manner. This is the result of political decisions, resource management and greater or lesser commitment on the part of those holding positions of responsibility. Investing resources in the care and assistance of the sick is a priority linked to the fundamental principle that health is a primary common good. Yet the pandemic has also highlighted the dedication and generosity of healthcare personnel, volunteers, support staff, priests, men and women religious, all of whom have helped, treated, comforted and served so many of

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es – Thursday 11 February 2021

the sick and their families with professionalism, self-giving, responsibility and love of neighbour. A silent multitude of men and women, they chose not to look the other way but to share the suffering of patients, whom they saw as neighbours and members of our one human family. Such closeness is a precious balm that provides support and consolation to the sick in their suffering. As Christians, we experience that closeness as a sign of the love of Jesus Christ, the Good Samaritan, who draws near with compassion to every man and woman wounded by sin. United to Christ by the working of the Holy Spirit, we are called to be merciful like the Father and to love in particular our frail, infirm and suffering brothers and sisters (cf. John 13:34-35). We experience this closeness not only as individuals but also as a community. Indeed, fraternal love in Christ generates a community of healing, a community that leaves no one behind, a community that is inclusive and welcoming, especially to those most in need. Here I wish to mention the importance of fraternal solidarity, which is expressed concretely in service and can take a variety of forms, all directed at supporting our neighbours. ‘Serving means caring … for the vulnerable of our families, our society, our people’ (Homily in Havana, 20 September 2015). In this outreach, all are

‘called to set aside their own wishes and desires, their pursuit of power, before the concrete gaze of those who are most vulnerable… Service always looks to their faces, touches their flesh, senses their closeness and even, in some cases, ‘suffers’ that closeness and tries to help them. Service is never ideological, for we do not serve ideas, we serve people’ (ibid.).

resurrection is the source of the love capable of giving full meaning to the experience of patients and caregivers alike. The Gospel frequently makes this clear by showing that Jesus heals not by magic but as the result of an encounter, an interpersonal relationship, in which God’s gift finds a response in the faith of those who accept it. As Jesus often repeats: ‘Your faith has saved you’.

4. If a therapy is to be effective, it must have a relational aspect, for this enables a holistic approach to the patient. Emphasizing this aspect can help doctors, nurses, professionals and volunteers to feel responsible for accompanying patients on a path of healing grounded in a trusting interpersonal relationship (cf. New Charter for Health Care Workers [2016], 4). This creates a covenant between those in need of care and those who provide that care, a covenant based on mutual trust and respect, openness and availability. This will help to overcome defensive attitudes, respect the dignity of the sick, safeguard the professionalism of healthcare workers and foster a good relationship with the families of patients.

5. Dear brothers and sisters, the commandment of love that Jesus left to his disciples is also kept in our relationship with the sick. A society is all the more human to the degree that it cares effectively for its most frail and suffering members, in a spirit of fraternal love. Let us strive to achieve this goal, so that no one will feel alone, excluded or abandoned.

Such a relationship with the sick can find an unfailing source of motivation and strength in the charity of Christ, as shown by the witness of those men and women who down the millennia have grown in holiness through service to the infirm. For the mystery of Christ’s death and

To Mary, Mother of Mercy and Health of the Infirm, I entrust the sick, healthcare workers and all those who generously assist our suffering brothers and sisters. From the Grotto of Lourdes and her many other shrines throughout the world, may she sustain our faith and hope, and help us care for one another with fraternal love. To each and all, I cordially impart my blessing. Rome, Saint John Lateran, 20 December 2020, Fourth Sunday of Advent Franciscus

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Charlie Corkin Directing a choir with a community purpose - by Simon Hart ‘It was a bit strange to record O Come All Ye Faithful and O Holy Night in the middle of October,’ reflects Charlie Corkin when describing the process of organising an online carol concert with the choir he directs at St Edmund of Canterbury Church, Waterloo. Strange, like so much else right now, yet successful too. ‘Something like 15 times the amount of people that would be able to fit into St Edmund’s watched the concert which is phenomenal and we were able to raise around £750 for the choir,’ he adds. For Charlie, the choir’s director of music, that concert was the last challenge met in a year which ended with his recognition as a Liverpool One community hero – an honour that followed his nomination by a choir member for his efforts, during last spring’s first lockdown, to maintain the community spirit among this 60-strong group. He explains: ‘For me as director, the most important thing is the people as if we don’t have the people we don’t have a choir and it was important they were looked after. We created a “buddy system” for older members who might have been shielding or been more isolated to make sure they had

somebody they could get in touch with if, for example, they needed food collecting or prescriptions. It meant the community aspect was still alive with them keeping in touch on a weekly basis.’ It was not just older members in his thoughts. For the children’s choir he ‘created a bank of music education resources and stuck them on our website for parents to use when homeschooling.’ Charlie also kept choir members active with a weekly online series, ‘Sundays with St Edmund’s’, featuring freshly recorded songs along with clips from old concerts. For one episode they performed a song, ‘Like a Rainbow Shining’, that its composer, Will Todd, had just released for the NHS. ‘We were planning an episode dedicated to the NHS and this piece came out the Thursday before and within three days we managed to get a few of us together to record a version,’ Charlie says. ‘We managed to raise nearly £1,000 for NHS Charities Together.’ Charlie, now living in Manchester where he works for the People’s History Museum, grew up in St Edmund’s parish and remains thankful for the support of former parish priest Father John Cullen in arranging organ tuition with Richard

Lea at the Metropolitan Cathedral during his days as a pupil at Sacred Heart Catholic College. ‘When I got into secondary school I ended up stepping in and playing for a service and it just so happened that Father John was leading the service and he said, “Why don’t you have a go at the organ and see what you think?”. The rest is history as once I started, I’ve not wanted to stop.’ In time Charlie, who studied Music and Humanities, became assistant to Martin O’Boyle, the choir’s original director, before taking over in 2018. Running the choir with the support of assistant directors Sophie McQueen and Katherine Daly, the 26-year-old adds: ‘The key thing is that we’re able to remain free and that’s possibly the hardest part of what I do – being able to ensure we have a model that works in terms of covering our expenses and ensuring the people who visit us for concerts and events, whether in person or online, are still able to enjoy them. And balancing that against the idea that though we’re striving for a community group that’s accessible to everybody, we still have a really high-quality performance.’ A balancing act that, on the evidence of December’s carols, he is managing impressively.

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Peter Woods appointed High Sheriff

Celebrating marriage and family life

How to get your Catholic Pic In normal times you would pick up your Catholic Pic at Mass but in the current crisis some churches remain closed as the necessary government restrictions are followed. There is still a print copy of the magazine available and some parishes are able to distribute them through their volunteers, but this is not always possible. If you wish to receive your copy of the Pic through the post short term subscriptions are now available. The magazine is, of course, free but the costs of postage and packing have to be covered, so inevitably there has to be a charge. Subscriptions are available as follows: £9 for 3 issues (3 month subscription) £18 for 6 issues (6 month subscription) £36 for 12 issues (annual subscription) To take out a subscription please email Kim O’Brien at or call 0151 709 7567.

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youth ministry

Locked down but our work goes on Father Simon Gore describes how the Animate team have made use of the lockdown by creating a recording studio at Lowe House. Well, here we are again. It is Lockdown III, and I hope your lockdown is going as well as it can. I am still trying to navigate myself around the etiquette of certain aspects of lockdown, and one of them is how to greet people. Can you ask how your lockdown is going in the same way you ask how someone’s holiday has been? It seems a little strange to do so as I think we are all having more or less the same kind of distorted version of reality. I imagine we are all trying to live our lives as best we can at the moment: trying to stay safe and keep our loved ones safe, while also trying to live rather than simply exist. I must confess that there is little to report on from the team point of view here at Lowe House, though one big difference from the previous lockdowns is that this time I have company. A few of the team decided to stay here and form a household as they had only just come back from Christmas. It is a little unusual for me to have company in the house yet no retreats and missions, but one

development from all of this is that we have had a chance to do some recording in our new studio. As I mentioned a while ago, we were looking to expand into the ‘virtual’ world a little more. And to help with that, we have made over one of the rooms in the house into a studio. It was a little like Changing Rooms as we got painting and gluing up noisereducing acoustic blocks. Now it is all done I am quite happy with it. I think we can do a bit more as time goes on, but trying to create something like this in a lockdown and ordering online is not the easiest! The Archbishop has been keen to have Confirmations this year and although this new lockdown might have affected things a little, we still wanted to create some videos that introduce the sacrament and talk about why the sacrament is important in our life. Hence we have created four short ‘bite-size’ mini sessions on why Confirmation is important. The plan is that these sessions will introduce the sacrament and young

people might then be encouraged to sign up for local preparation sessions. We have also been busy recording Faith in Action reflection points as well. While numbers are down for the scheme this year, there is still a large group of young people registered. And while some might not complete the award this year, we still wanted to try to offer assistance to those who are continuing. Participants can complete ‘lockdown credits’ at home and so we wanted to record something that they could follow from home as their reflection on the work they have done. It has been a little tricky as there is no feedback to work with: how can you offer thoughts for young people to reflect on when you don’t know what they have been doing? We have, therefore, tried to be as generic as possible and we hope it will be a useful resource for those working on the scheme this year. Finally, we have also recorded some more mini sessions as a form of a Lenten retreat on the pillars of Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. There is an awful lot of video material and resourcing around at the moment and we were wary of just adding more to an already abundant set of resources, but we felt it was worth doing. It has not all been work, though, and we have also used the new studio for a lockdown quiz. You should be able to see this on our YouTube channel now, with the other items due to appear over the next few weeks. Do keep an eye out for them. In the meantime, I hope you manage to keep both safe and sane.

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education news

ASFA prepares to mark Holocaust Memorial Day Students and staff at the Academy of St Francis of Assisi will be coming together in memory of the millions of people murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi Persecution and in genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. In the run up to Holocaust Memorial Day, the academy plans to combine past and present and look at how ethnic groups still face prejudice and discrimination today. Head of History, Miss Kate Allen identified that within the student community are Roma children and families. Roma or Romani originated in the Punjab region of northern India as nomadic people and entered Europe between the eighth and tenth centuries.


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Hundreds of thousands of Roma people were killed during the holocaust. Miss Allen wanted to incorporate this part of history into the curriculum and reached out to students who identified themselves as Roma to find out more about their heritage. Many students told their stories of how they are still persecuted in countries across Europe for their Roma background, for example, not being allowed into shops and being bullied in school in their home countries. They identified links between the persecution of Jews and other minorities in the early days of the Nazi regime and of discrimination that still goes on today. Students then used their imagination to draw pictures relating to a story about

Raymond Gureme, a Romani holocaust survivor. The drawings were then incorporated into an animation video with voiceovers by several students. The video was created by animator, Linda Bennett. Miss Allen said: “Every year, we commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day and think about all those people who needlessly lost their lives. “There is so much be learnt through our vibrant community at ASFA and by looking into the history of Romani people and Raymond Gureme, it will help our students gain a better understanding of the Holocaust over the next few weeks until the Memorial Day on 27 January.� The animation can be viewed on BenoToonz YouTube channel.

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education news St Mary’s salutes 2020 achievements with virtual prize night St Mary’s College in Crosby paid tribute to the achievements of its pupils at a prizegiving ceremony with a difference. Owing to the Coronavirus pandemic, the normally high-profile event at the Metropolitan Cathedral was replaced by a specially produced video which appeared on the school’s website and YouTube channel in December. The pre-recorded event was hosted by Year 7 pupils Amelia Johnson and Oscar Donnelly and included a pictorial review of the year by Principal Mike Kennedy and performances by some of St Mary’s talented young musicians. Mr Kennedy said: “Because of the pandemic for the first time in many years we were unable to showcase our pupils’ successes in the spectacular cathedral setting. That’s why we opted for a virtual event instead, and I’m very pleased at how much positive feedback we have received about the video.” Mr Kennedy reported that in 2019/20 St Mary’s had maintained its tradition of both academic excellence and achievement in sport, music and other extra-curricular activities. Highlights ranged from a hit production of the musical ‘Bugsy Malone’ to St Mary’s first school trip to Japan. On the sports field, the U12 and U15 football teams each reached their age-group final in the English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA) Small Schools’ Cup, with the U12s winning St Mary’s first national football trophy by defeating St Michael’s Middle School 2-1 in their final in October. Meanwhile, the U16 netball team were Sefton League winners and the rugby

First XV reached the final of the Lancashire Cup. Mr Kennedy added: “This virtual event enabled us to salute the many individual and team achievements of our pupils over the past 12 months. It also gave us the chance to thank our students, their families and our staff for the incredibly positive way they’ve responded to the many challenges they have faced in what has been a year like no other. In addition, we were able to pay tribute to the many former pupils, and parents and family members of current students, who have been on the frontline of fighting the pandemic, either as NHS staff or key workers in other sectors. They are our heroes of 2020.”

St Cuthbert’s rolls out rapid testing St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School in St Helens has started the new term with access to rapid COVID-19 testing, to help as many children of critical workers and vulnerable families as possible be able to attend school safely. The lateral flow testing facility was established from day three of the spring term, alongside a range of other previously-established measures including temperature checks, wearing face coverings and more.. The test centre, which is located in an appropriate space on its Berry’s Lane site, was set up and ready for staff and students to use within 24 hours. The school was supplied with test kits and PPE from the Department for Education and training was provided by St Helens Borough Council. Speaking at the launch of its test centre, headteacher Catherine Twist said: “The tests aren’t compulsory, but they are offered on a weekly basis to enable students to carry on going to school and teachers will be able to carry on working. “However, those who experience COVID-19 symptoms must continue to follow government guidance as normal, including immediate self-isolation and should book a test through or by calling 119. “The scale of testing is planned to increase once it is announced that our young people can return to school, hopefully later this term. Whilst news of a vaccination programme implementation is welcomed, it is part of a collection of measures that all need to be in place to beat this pandemic. “The World Health Organisation maintains that a test, trace and isolate is the “backbone” of any pandemic response in its guidance. “We will also maintain our daily temperature checks on entry to the building, hand washing/sanitising, social distancing, the wearing of face coverings and a one-way system throughout the school.” “The education and wellbeing of all our young people remains our priority so for now, they must access their learning online, stay at home wherever possible, protect the NHS and help save lives.”

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education news Celebrate the work of teachers across the Archdiocese of Liverpool For the first time ever, the Educate Awards is going virtual and will be broadcast live on YouTube on Friday 29 January. Presented by broadcaster Simon ‘Rossie Ross, the ceremony will celebrate the hard work and dedication of senior leaders, teachers, teaching assistants, nonteaching staff and governors in school and colleges from the North West of England. After such a difficult year and with COVID19 still prevalent, there is no better time to celebrate those who continue to go the extra mile for children, no matter the circumstances. With over 50 brilliant schools and colleges, shortlisted across 21 categories, including 10 from the Archdiocese of Liverpool, the ceremony can be watched by anyone and everyone on 29 January from 6:15pm on the Educate Awards YouTube channel. The Educate Awards would have normally taken place in the Liverpool Cathedral in November 2020. Kim O’Brien, founder of the Educate Awards, said: “The decision to hold the Educate Awards last year was sadly taken out of our hands, but we have managed to find a way to take it online and still build up the same excitement that usually leads up to the event. “This year, senior leadership team, teachers, teaching assistants and nonteaching staff have had to adapt quickly to changes that were bestowed upon them at short notice. The awards are all about thanking these individuals and right now, we should be applauding them.” The Educate Awards is in partnership with Copyrite Systems and Ricoh. Associate sponsors of the awards include: All About STEM, Angel Solutions, CareersInc, CER, CPMM Media Group, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool Diocesan Schools Trust, LSSP, Satis Education, SupplyWell and Winstanley College. To watch the Educate Awards and be alerted to when the live broadcast is set up take place, subscribe to the channel: The full Educate Awards shortlist: The Communication Award Abbot’s Lea School in Liverpool Buile Hill Academy in Salford Chorlton High School in Manchester Litherland High School in Sefton St Cuthbert's Catholic High School in St Helens The Academy of St Francis of Assisi in Liverpool Outstanding Commitment to the


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Environment Birchwood Community High School in Warrington Heswall Primary School in Wirral St Cuthbert's Catholic High School in St Helens St Vincent’s School in Liverpool Careers & Enterprise Award Ellesmere Port Catholic High School Myerscough College in Preston Progress Schools – Hamilton Square in Wirral St John Rigby College in Wigan St Oswald's CE Primary School in Sefton SEND Provision Award Bickerstaffe CE School in Lancashire Finch Woods Academy in Knowsley Netherton Moss Primary School in Sefton St Peter’s C of E Primary School in Bolton The Barlow RC High School in Manchester Wargrave House School and College in Newton-le-Willows Innovative and Creative Literacy Award Fairfield Primary School in Widnes Parish Church of England Primary School in St Helens Rainford High in St Helens Outstanding Commitment to STEM Bedford Drive Primary School in Wirral Cardinal Langley RC High School in Middleton The Mosslands School in Wirral Outstanding Arts in Primary School Netherton Moss Primary School in Sefton Riverside Primary School in Wirral St Oswald's CE Primary School in Sefton Outstanding Arts in Secondary School Bedford High School in Leigh Formby High School in Sefton Fred Longworth High School in Manchester North Liverpool Academy in Liverpool The Belvedere Academy in Liverpool Community Partnership Award Gateacre School in Liverpool Progress Schools in Wirral The De La Salle Academy in Liverpool Wargrave House School and College in Newton-le-Willows Mental Health & Wellbeing Award The Belvedere Academy in Liverpool Evelyn Community Primary School in Knowsley Fairfield Primary School in Widnes Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Primary School in Sefton The Hollins in Lancashire Outstanding Commitment to Sport in Primary School Billinge St Aidan’s CE Primary School in Wigan Plantation Primary School in Knowsley St Elizabeth's Catholic Primary School in Sefton The Belvedere Preparatory School in Liverpool Outstanding Commitment to Sport in Secondary School Hope Academy in Newton-le-Willows Rainhill High School in St Helens

Ridgeway High School in Wirral Leadership Team of the Year Archbishop Blanch School in Liverpool Parish Church of England Primary School in St Helens Penketh High School in Warrington St John Fisher Catholic Primary School in Knowsley School Governor of the Year Father Harry Wood from Parish Church of England Primary School in St Helens Kayte Parlevliet from Queen's Park High School in Chester Teacher of the Year Sharon Komurcu from Burscough Lordsgate Primary School in Lancashire Mark Hardy from Parish Church of England Primary School in St Helens Laura Harding from Penketh High School in Warrington Mary Lyons from Riverside Primary School in Wirral Rachael Chadwick from St Benedict's Catholic Primary School in Sefton Suaad Hussain from The Academy of St Francis of Assisi in Liverpool Catherine Lutman from The Barlow RC High School in Manchester School Support Star of the Year Julie Kelly from Bickerstaffe CE School in Lancashire Helen Greenway from Rainford High in St Helens Faye Lavelle from St Oswald's CE Primary School in Sefton Lindsey Onslow from The Barlow RC High School in Manchester Nicola Fisher from The Barlow RC High School in Manchester Most Inspirational Alternative Provision by a School Leasowe Primary School in Wirral Progress Schools – Toxteth in Liverpool Queen's Park Primary School in St Helens Three Towers Alternative Provision Academy in Wigan Wirral WRAP Most Inspirational 16-18 Education Provider Myerscough College in Preston The Manchester College in Manchester Wargrave House School and College in Newton-le-Willows Most Inspirational Secondary School Archbishop Blanch School in Liverpool Litherland High School in Sefton Stockport Academy The Barlow RC High School in Manchester Most Inspirational Primary School Halewood Church of England Primary School in Knowsley Leasowe Primary School in Wirral St Peter’s C of E Primary School in Bolton WOW Recognition Award Ellesmere Port Catholic High School St John Rigby College in Wigan The Barlow RC High School in Manchester The Hollins in Lancashire The Manchester College

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cathedral by Dr Christopher McElroy Director of Music, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

A special time Christmas 2020 was a special time here at the Cathedral. Christmas is always a special time: the joy of singing Christmas Carols, the wonder of celebrating Mass in the middle of the night to welcome the birth of our Saviour. In the midst of a pandemic, it seemed even more special. Our need for the light that shines through the mystery of the incarnation is greater in such times. For the first time in nine months our choristers sang at liturgies in the Cathedral. An immense amount of planning took place, with many elements of the usual routine having to be reevaluated in the context of ensuring everyone remained safe. Due to the need to maintain ‘bubbles’ the choir adopted a new layout, which took up a considerable amount of space. Fortunately however, one thing our Cathedral is not short of is space. It is difficult to describe the effect of having the choristers, joining together with our adult singers, had on our Christmas liturgies. The smiles and happiness of our 60 choristers at 1.30 am on Christmas morning, having sung at Midnight Mass, radiated the joy of the Christmas season. E-mails and social media messages were received (quite literally) from around the world due to the live streaming of

services from the Cathedral. Such feedback gave our singers a whole new perspective on their role, with their music being offered both on a local and earthly basis to reveal the light of Christ through the gift of music. Unfortunately, as we entered 2021 it became clear that the national Covid situation was worsening again, and we were headed for another national lockdown. As such, our chorister rehearsals have resumed this term ‘online.’ Each day, the choristers meet in groups on-line to sing together, to do music theory, to have singing lessons and to attend music appreciation sessions. It involves a very complicated timetable and a great deal of technological patience. During our first few weeks we have very much enjoyed singing parts of the daily office with Benedictine nuns of the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Fidélité of Jouques in France, through the ‘Neumz’ website/ app. We remain optimistic for the future. The momentum generated by our Christmas celebrations is still on going, and the choristers continue to work hard in their daily ‘on-line’ sessions knowing hopefully not too far into the future, we will one day return to our Cathedral to lead God’s people in the praise and worship of God in song.

Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean With the number of positive cases on the rise there is a mixed picture across the archdiocese regarding the churches that are able to remain open and continue with the public celebration of Mass. Here at the Cathedral we are in a fortunate position that we have such a large capacity space and the staff and volunteers to enable continued public worship for as long as is permissible. However, we are at present wondering how we can safely celebrate Ash Wednesday (17th February) with some liturgical act to mark the start of Lent. Hopefully we will receive some directive regarding the distribution of Ashes – I guess that it will probably involve some form of selfadministering. No doubt great health and safety minds will be liaising with liturgists as I write to come up with clear directives for us all. It is almost a year since the first incidents of the virus began to spread in parts of this country. By the end of Lent last year we were in the first restrictive period of lockdown with just a few parishes that were able to offer a live streamed service to people at home. It is remarkable how we have now grown used to online services and using digital media for worship, talks and meetings. Some see this as a significant part of the future life of the Church, I feel more comfortable seeing it as a facility that we can use in a limited way. As we look ahead here at the Cathedral preparing for Holy Week I am hoping that we will be able to have public services during this week. In my humble opinion it is not really possible to recreate the full beauty and significance of this week online however effectively we stream.

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Pic extras

Mums the Word How sorry we were to cancel our January Bi-monthly Mass at St Gregory’s because of the new Covid restrictions coming into force.

A century of service News from the Liverpool Province of the Knights of St Columba KSC council 584 raises £1,000 for Woodlands Hospice

As you know, January’s Mass is usually when we present cheques to the charities chosen by our members, but this year foundations have not been able to to hold their usual fundraising events so the committee decided just to support the Priests’ Training Fund, which we include every year, with a cheque for £1,000 from UCM donations. You may have heard that a Liverpool UCM member received an MBE in the recent Queen’s Honours List. She is a very shy lady and does not want publicity so we will not mention her name but will simply say many congratulations from us all. Pope Francis in his Apostolic letter ‘Patris Corde’ (With a Father’s Heart) has declared the year 2021 to be the Year of St Joseph as it is the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. When we pray ‘St Joseph, Protector of the Family’ as part of our UCM prayers, we acknowledge the wonderful role that he played in the upbringing of Jesus. God our Father entrusted to him the care and protection of His only Son. As St Joseph has a special place in our hearts already, let us pray to him all the more in this, his special year. Sadly, we are hearing from foundations that many of our members have died or are sick or their families have been affected by the virus. It is hard to know what to say other than that part of our prayer to ‘make us understanding and caring to all experiencing difficulties, and generous in support’. May our Blessed Mother pray for us all. Madelaine McDonald, media officer


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The brothers of council 584 Aintree have supported numerous charitable causes over the years, most notably in raising funds to send assisted pilgrims on the annual Archdiocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes. Council 584 also has a long association with Aintree University Hospital, where numerous members of our Liverpool province have served as Eucharistic Ministers and volunteer visitors, bringing comfort and compassion to patients and others in need. Shortly before Christmas, Brothers Justin Malewezi and Mike Riley presented a cheque for £1,000 to Woodlands Hospice on the Aintree Hospital Campus in order to assist in the daily running of such a worthy charity. Woodlands and other hospices in our province provide such wonderful palliative and general care to many patients, and they are so very deserving of our support It is with great sadness and profound regret that we report the sudden death of our recently appointed national ecclesiastical adviser, the Most Reverend Philip Tartaglia, Archbishop of Glasgow. He had just taken up his new position in succession to our own Archbishop of Liverpool, Most Rev

Malcom McMahon, as we reported in the October edition of the Pic. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the faithful whom he served most diligently in his native Scotland over many years. May he rest in peace. We also report three recent deaths associated with council 9. Brother Henry Rainford, who was a KSC member for many years, sadly died on 9 December. His funeral Mass was held at St Francis of Assisi, Garston, on 22 December followed by committal at Springwood Crematorium. We extend our deepest sympathy to his widow Teresita and family. Freda Marnick, beloved wife of Brother John Marnick, died on 16 December and her funeral Mass was held at St Ambrose, Speke, on 5 January. Marjorie Kelleher, beloved wife of late Brother Jack Kelleher, died on 1 December and her funeral Mass was held at Sacred Heart, Moreton, on 16 December. We extend our deepest sympathy to John and family and to the family of late brother Jack. May they all rest in peace. Websites: Email:

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Liverpool company stages first-ever live-streamed Mass to seafarers


Car Tips and Advice Tips on protecting your car during lockdown Car drivers please take care and note the following during lock down and when driving in winter weather conditions. Remember to check your lights, levels, and tyre pressures before every journey or at least once a week. (Don’t forget to check your spare wheel/puncture kit).

Tapiit Live, a Liverpoolbased maritime training company, has staged the first-ever live-streamed Mass to seafarers aboard an offshore support vessel. This ground-breaking Mass was celebrated by Father Paulo H Prigol, chaplain of ship-visiting network Stella Maris Manila, a Catholic charity which cares for seafarers and their families. While Fr Paulo said the mass in Manila, production of the filming was managed live by Tapiit’s team in Liverpool and the broadcast received by the vessel as it travelled eastwards from America. The ‘Simbang Gabi’ Mass was part of a traditional nineday series of Masses celebrated in the Philippines in anticipation of Christmas. Tapiit Live’s CEO, Richard Turner, said the live broadcast was made possible following a new deal that Tapiit struck with sat-comms provider Inmarsat in October. The deal gives Tapiit enough bandwidth to live-stream training and events to nearly 10,000 ships worldwide. ‘With seafarers under so much pressure we jumped at the chance to help,’ said Turner. ‘A huge number are Filipino as they make up around a quarter of the

world’s 1.2m merchant seafarers. Their Catholic faith is very important to them and it’s brilliant that we’re using this new partnership with Inmarsat to support them. This is the kind of positivity and innovation we wanted to create when we set up Tapiit Live. And to be able to link in the families to the Mass as well made it even more special.’ Tapiit are now speaking with various faith-backed seafarer charities keen to offer religious services to ships worldwide. ‘This is just the beginning,’ added Turner. ‘We feel live religious services could become very popular as there’s such a strong bond between faith and seafaring going back centuries. Many of the team here at Tapiit are former seafarers so it really matters to us that we help mariners combat the isolation of being away at sea, especially now.’ Tapiit Maritime was established by Turner, a former seafarer and managing director of Shell Ship Management, in 2019. It recently announced a package of mental-health courses for seafarers, which are the first to be livestreamed both onshore and offshore. For more details visit

If you are able, run the engine on your car (outside the building) for 20 minutes every seven days and if safe to do so, then leave handbrake in off position, make sure that you leave the car in gear or gearstick in park position when leaving the car. GOOD, IDEAL & USEFUL THINGS TO KEEP IN YOUR CAR • Jacket. If you breakdown in adverse weather, you’ll need to stay warm if you have to walk to get help or stay with your vehicle and wait for recovery • Warm blanket • A copy of your car insurance and breakdown service details on your mobile phone • Fully charged mobile phone with satnav capability • Boots or wellingtons • Drinking water • Non­perishable snacks • Hi­vis vest or bright colour coat • Warning triangle and torch • First aid kit • Ice scraper and de­icer • Sunglasses or cap to shield eyes from low setting sun glare • Empty fuel can (Only fill in emergency) PLEASE READ YOUR CAR MANUAL Get to know your car, read your car manual and learn the fault codes so if they appear then you will know what they are for. What would you do if you have a flat tyre? If not sure then ask your local garage. What would you do if you have a flat battery? If not sure then ask your local garage.

Please call Tony Standish 07774 463 549 Sarbkar local garage for any help or advice. Tony Standish is the owner and manager of Sarbkar NW Ltd situated in Speke, and regular attendee of St Charles RC Church. Readers may remember Tony from his work with the light and peace where Tony’s contribution included administration and helping to push wheelchairs at Lourdes.

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PIC Life Is there a right way to pray? By Moira Billinge Listening to the prayers of children is a joy and a privilege; they don’t usually have a problem with praying in their own words and having a real sense of the presence of whoever it is to whom they are praying. During her night prayers, as she listened anxiously to the relentless rain which had caused havoc across the country, the little eight-year-old said: ‘Please ask Jesus to stop all the rain we are having. We don’t need it but other places – like Africa – do, so let them have some of it for a change.’ Stupidly, I interjected and suggested that she might ask Jesus Himself for that intention, to which she, with good reason, responded: ‘Shh! I’m talking to my guardian angel!’ Another time she asked Jesus to ‘look after all the old people’. When her

daddy praised her considerate request, she replied, ‘Well, I had to think of something to say to Him!’ Clearly there are times, even for a child, when prayer doesn’t seem to flow as easily. Praying with children opens up the opportunity for discussion, but the questions can be very challenging. Last year she asked her daddy who was the greater, Jesus or Mary. He told her that Jesus, being God made man, was the greater. ‘No, Daddy, I don’t think so,’ she replied. ‘Mary had Jesus, so Mary is greater.’ The same little girl mixed up the words of the Hail Mary as she prayed: ‘Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with me.” Even when children get the traditional prayers ‘wrong’, they are beautifully right. Life can be hectic and sometimes we find it a greater challenge to relax than to carry on working. There is a

temptation to keep ‘clearing the decks’ and get one more job out of the way. Rather than modern technology working for us, we are actually letting it work us. With so many distractions it is easy to sideline God, and just keep him as a reserve – like a football player left on the bench – for when there’s a problem. Jesus knew that praying could be difficult which was why He responded to the request of one apostle to ‘teach us how to pray’ by giving us the Our Father. In doing so He simplified things by removing our unnecessary anxieties about the words that we think we should be using when we do pray. All prayer is powerful, no matter how brief. My late parish priest used to visit a housebound doctor whose favourite way of praying was simply to choose a hymn and reflect on it during the day. One in particular meant a great deal to him, ‘O Bread of Heaven’ – and in particular the opening lines: ‘O Bread of Heaven, beneath this veil/Thou dost my very God conceal.’ He would always recite it before Holy Communion and would say, ‘I cannot pray such words and at the same time fear death.’ His trust meant that, in the meantime, though so sick, he truly lived. We don’t need to go through spiritual acrobatics to pray. It is a truth that Cardinal Hume highlighted so perfectly in his book ‘To Be A Pilgrim’, when he wrote: ‘When we want to pray but find we can’t – we feel too ill, or we are bereaved, or just too exhausted – the desire alone is perfect prayer.’

Worth a visit - Knutsford Those planning an excursion for whenever the lockdown restrictions eventually ease would do well to consider a small town in Cheshire, writes Lucy Oliver. For lovers of literature, Knutsford is synonymous with Elizabeth Gaskell, and ‘Mary Barton’ is my favourite of her works. Depicting life for Manchester’s working classes during the Victorian era, her first novel is more than a narrative about the struggles of industrial families. This rich social commentary is drawn not only from secondary sources but from her own experiences, including meeting a family whose child had died for want of food. Gaskell’s reach extended far beyond Knutsford and Manchester where she is remembered so fondly. Her writing for Charles Dickens’ magazines fostered a working relationship whereby she could turn to him and philanthropic supporters for aid, such as in the case of a dressmaker seduced and abandoned by a local doctor. Don’t leave Knutsford without visiting the unique Penny Farthing Museum. The iconic ‘Ordinaries’ – as penny farthings were otherwise known – were only in production for


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20 years, but The Courtyard café (just behind 92 King Street) presents hundreds of bicycles for customers to view as they enjoy their breakfast and lunch.

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Keep up to date with all the news from around the Archdiocese online at: You can now follow us on twitter at:


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Final Communiqué of the 2021 Holy Land Co-ordination The Bishops of the Holy Land Co-ordination, an international annual pilgrimage to the Holy Land, have released a final communiqué having met remotely this year due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. The Bishops engaged in a number of online sessions from 16 to 21 January to examine the realities and challenges facing not just the Christians but all the people of the region. ‘We remain resolutely committed to supporting our sisters and brothers in the homeland of Christ,’ they write. ‘Over the past week we have been privileged and moved to hear from Christians across the West Bank, Gaza and Israel about their mission, resilience and witness in these unprecedented circumstances.’ The bishops acknowledge that there is less cause for optimism at the present time than at any time in recent history. At a time of political change they call on Israeli and Palestinian leaderships to recommit to direct negotiations to achieve peace. They implore the governments and political leaders of their home countries to work ‘actively’ towards this end by ‘supporting dialogue between all sides, upholding international law, and reaffirming the plurality of Jerusalem, given its unique significance for Jews, Christians and Muslims.’ The communiqué concludes by looking to the future and a time when pilgrims can re-connect with and support the ‘Living Stones’ – the Christians of the Holy Land. ‘The Christian community, though small, is an important guarantor of social cohesion and a bearer of hope for a better future. We eagerly await a time when Christians from across the world can once again make pilgrimages to the Holy Land to witness and support this first-hand. Until that point, we encourage our communities to provide any assistance that may be possible and hold all the region’s peoples in our prayers.’ The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem supports the Church and Christian people across the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem – which includes Cyprus, Jordan and the Holy Land. Visit its website at to support the work. Holy Land Coordination 2021 Final Communiqué This is the first time we have been prevented from meeting physically in the Holy Land. Yet we remain resolutely committed to supporting our sisters and brothers in the homeland of Christ. Over the past week we have been privileged and moved to hear from Christians across the West Bank, Gaza and Israel about their mission, resilience and witness in these unprecedented circumstances. Through our dialogue, it has become painfully clear that there is today less cause for optimism than at any time in recent history. The health challenges of Covid-19, felt by the entire world, are compounded by conflict, occupation and blockade. The absence of international pilgrims has exacerbated widespread economic hardship, increased levels of unemployment and pushed many more families into poverty. The lack of political progress, along with relentless expansion of illegal settlements and the impact of Israel’s Nation-State law, continues to erode any prospect of a peaceful two-state solution. Now is a critical moment for us all to strengthen our expression of solidarity with the people of the Holy Land “not as a vague sentiment but as a ‘firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good’”. (Pope Francis, World Day of Peace 2021.) 30

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We stress the importance of the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships recommitting to direct negotiations. We call upon our own governments and political leaders urgently to renew their active participation in the search for a just peace, supporting dialogue between all sides, upholding international law, and reaffirming the plurality of Jerusalem, given its unique significance for Jews, Christians and Muslims. Furthermore, the international community must hold Israel accountable for its moral, legal and humanitarian responsibility to make Covid-19 vaccines accessible for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and encourage cooperation by the Palestinian Authority, heeding Pope Francis’ message that ‘in the face of a challenge that knows no borders, we cannot erect walls.’ (Pope Francis, Urbi et Orbi 2020.) While many of our own countries continue to face severe hardship amid the pandemic, we have a profound responsibility to support our fellow Christians in the Holy Land. Church schools, clinics, hospitals and other social projects including the work of Caritas, while under severe pressure, are models of charity, justice, and peace. These Christian institutions are vital in bringing together people from many different backgrounds to serve the common good of all. The Christian community, though small, is an important guarantor of social cohesion and a bearer of hope for a better future. We eagerly await a time when Christians from across the world can once again make pilgrimages to the Holy Land to witness and support this first- hand. Until that point, we encourage our communities to provide any assistance that may be possible and hold all the region’s peoples in our prayers. Bishop Declan Lang England and Wales (Chair of the Holy Land Coordination) Bishop Udo Bentz Germany Archbishop Stephen Brislin South Africa Bishop Christopher Chessun Church of England Bishop Michel Dubost France Bishop Felix Gmur Switzerland Bishop Nicholas Hudson England and Wales Archbishop Patrick Kelly England and Wales Bishop William Kenney England and Wales Bishop Alan McGuckian Ireland Bishop David Malloy United States of America Bishop William Nolan Scotland Bishop Raymond Poisson Canada Bishop Noel Treanor Ireland Archbishop Joan Enric Vives i Sicilia Spain

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Catholic Pic Tours The Catholic Pic announces two special pilgrimages for readers for 2021, in association with Northern Star Travel No deposit required to reserve your place!

Poland in the Footsteps of St Pope John Paul II & St Faustina 9 days £949 departing from Liverpool May 2021: dates to be confirmed 2 night’s dinner, bed & breakfast Warsaw 1 night dinner, bed & breakfast Czestochowa 5 nights dinner, bed & breakfast Krakow Warsaw • Niepokalanow • Swinice Warckie • Czestochowa • Wadowice • Krakow Zakopane • Auschwitz • Lagiewniki (Divine Mercy) • Wieliczka On this journey, we will follow in the footsteps of three great Polish saints - St John Paul, St Maximilian Kolbe and St Faustina, the Apostle of Divine Mercy - as we embrace the culture of the Polish people.

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 8 days £1350.00 departing from Manchester Departure: October 4th 2021 4 nights half board 4* Hotel Bethlehem 3 nights half board 4* Hotel Tiberias. Tel Aviv • Caesarea • Stella Maris • Nazareth • Cana • Tiberias • Sea of Galilee • Jordan River Mt Tabor • Jerusalem • Ein Karem • Bethlehem • Qumran • Jericho • Dead Sea • Mt of Olives Mt Zion • Holy Sepulchre • Capernaum Guiding in the Holy Land with a licensed Christian Guide.

Sea of Galilee

Gardens of Gethsamane, Jerusalem

For more information about what the trips include and the full itinerary please either email: or telephone Barbara on 0151 733 5492 Catholic Pictorial


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