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Issue 172 January 2019
Welcoming the stranger INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
‘an amazingly moving and informative day of safeguarding’
170th anniversary celebrations at SFX
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Inspiring excellence personal and academic
Welcoming students from all areas of Liverpool & beyond Bellerive is a very popular choice for girls from across Liverpool. Contact us for a guided tour and ďŹ nd out why we are such a unique, ambitious school.
Bellerive FCJ Catholic College 1, Aigburth Drive, Sefton Park, Liverpool L17 3AA Tel: 0151 727 2064 www.bellerivefcj.org Specialisms in Sciences, Applied Learning and Maths & Computing
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contents Welcome A very happy, peaceful and blessed new year to all. As we welcome in the new year our cover this month shows a display from a conference held late last year by Asylum Link Merseyside with the theme ‘Welcoming the Stranger’. It considered how best to welcome asylum seekers and refugees. Steve Atherton reflects on the conference in his column this month. As we welcome a new year it is a good time to consider how we welcome those who are beginning a new life in our country and also how we welcome others into our lives. In a few moments of silence, we can also have time to think about how we welcome God into our lives. So that we can extend a true welcome to all it is right that there are procedures in place to protect the young and the vulnerable in our communities. Our main feature this month looks at the work of safeguarding in light of a training day held for our priests in the autumn. One comment following the day was,’ an amazingly moving and informative day of safeguarding’. If we can offer a place of safety, security and care, then we can be a welcoming community.
From the Archbishop’s Desk January is a very hopeful month for it is a time for us to look forward to the year ahead and even beyond. The days lengthen, and our new year’s resolutions fill us with determination to do better with the things of last year, and to be creative in the months ahead. The Christmas feast has reaffirmed our identity as brothers and sisters of the Prince of Peace and daughters and sons of the highest God. That is really who we are. So much of the last month’s celebrations have been about confirming bonds of friendship by the giving and receiving of presents. Our families have been strengthened by the meals that we have shared and parties that we have enjoyed. But underlying these has been an affirmation of what it means to be a Christian. Now the fuss is over, and the decorations have come down, we can pause and think of what really matters. Our value as human beings is not measured by the size of the gifts we exchanged, or the amount of alcohol we consumed but by our loving relationships; not just with those we know intimately but with people who are outside of the warmth of our families. You know who I mean: refugees, the homeless, rough sleepers, and our neighbours who rely on food banks. Now Christmas is over their need will be greater. Don’t forget them. They too are God’s children. Let us share our hope for the coming year with them. Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool
Main Feature Building a Safer Church
News From around the Archdiocese
16 What’s On Whats happening in the Archdiocese 19 Profile Alexandra Griffiths Setting new safeguarding targets 21 Animate Make a bright start to the new year 22 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 23 Nugent News Bishops call for action on the housing crisis 25 Cathedral Record Cathedral’s stamp of approval 26 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC 28 Pic Life ‘New year, new start?
Editor Peter Heneghan
Copy deadline February 2019 Monday 7 January 2019
Editorial Catholic Pictorial Magazine Liverpool Archdiocesan Centre for Evangelisation, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool L17 1AA Tel: 0151 522 1007 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publisher CPMM Suites 3 & 4 Pacific Chambers, 11-13 Victoria Street, Liverpool L2 5QQ
Advertising Sales team 0151 709 7567 Pictures Main feature and Profile: Peter Heneghan
30 Justice and Peace Asylum Link Merseyside Welcoming the stranger
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.
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Building a safer Church
‘What I’ve found is that, as a community, everybody wants our churches to be safe’
The clergy of Liverpool Archdiocese underlined their commitment to safeguarding efforts with a ‘moving and informative’ training day. by Simon Hart ‘Safeguarding training is of vital importance for us as it increases our understanding of how to respond to and prevent such terrible crimes and it helps us in the essential ministry of responding to victims and survivors.’ These were the words of the Archbishop of Liverpool, Malcolm McMahon, during a day of no little significance at LACE on 27 November. It was a safeguarding training day for the clergy of the diocese, and it brought together approximately 140 priests to the conference centre on the edge of Sefton Park where they received insights into the long-lasting trauma that any kind of abuse brings for victims and survivors, learned about sources of support, and heard about the important work of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). The day was opened by Archbishop Malcolm and Alexandra Griffiths, Safeguarding Coordinator for the Archdiocese. Archbishop Malcolm acknowledged the devastating impact of abuse, and how important it was for the Church community to act upon the findings of IICSA to complement the existing safeguarding policies and practice. ‘We in the Archdiocese of Liverpool are committed to the work of safeguarding to protect all vulnerable people in our community and to walk alongside all who are suffering,’ he added. The first speaker of the day was Father Dominic Allain, a priest from the Archdiocese of Southwark who is the international pastoral director of Grief to Grace, a retreat programme for victims of 4
abuse. Father Dominic began by exploring the many ways in which abuse manifests itself as trauma, both at the time and afterwards, with its enduring impact in later life. He explored the emotional and psychological effects of abuse, and the ways in which trauma manifests itself subsequently, citing the work of a renowned expert in the field of trauma, Bessel van der Kolk, whose work The Body Keeps the Score explains how the human body stores the memory of secrets that are too deep and painful to speak of.
thousands of people had already come forward to explain their stories, and stressed that any victims or survivors were still welcome to contact them.
Fr Dominic highlighted that abuse is fundamentally against the teachings of the Bible, and discussed the importance of spiritual healing alongside psychological healing. Grief to Grace is a five-day programme that takes place in a safe environment with the support of trained professionals. It uses therapeutic psychological tools (group activity, discussion, cognitive restructuring and grief work) and is grounded in the scriptures, sacraments and prayer to give healing to victims and survivors.
Peter Saunders and Daniel Wolstencroft from the IICSA Victims and Survivors’ Consultative Panel then explained their involvement. Saunders told of the abuse he had suffered in childhood, and how this did not come to light until later in life when he was struggling with depression and self-esteem problems. The realisation that he was not alone, and that many adult survivors were similarly troubled by childhood events, led him to set up the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), a charity which he has now been running successfully for 20 years. NAPAC provides support for adult survivors of all types of childhood abuse, including physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect; it also offers training and information to professionals.
The afternoon session featured contributions from members of the IICSA team. The first speakers were Ella O’Brian, head of the northwest office, and Liam Moran, head of processes and quality assurance. Ella and Liam explained their work regarding the Truth Project, which allows victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experiences in a supportive and confidential setting. Through this sharing of experiences, victims and survivors can make a crucial contribution to the work of the inquiry, and are helping to influence and shape the recommendations that will come out of it. They noted that
Daniel Wolstencroft shared his experience of abuse during his childhood, and how it was repeatedly missed by the adults around him who failed to exercise their ‘professional curiosity’ about his poor behaviour. He went on to establish Shatter Boys UK and Shatter Girl UK, which are peer-support and campaign groups for male and female survivors. He spoke of the importance of teaching the whole of our society, as well as our children and young people, to have more open conversations about body safety and boundaries in order to
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Archbishop Malcolm introduces the day
normalise this aspect of a child’s safety, as we would do with their physical safety. Following the IICSA presentations, a panel of speakers was convened which also included Adele Downey, chief executive of the Disclosure and Barring Service, and Suzanne Smith, director of safeguarding at the Disclosure and Barring Service. The clergy were encouraged to ask questions of the panel and one of the most
important messages that came out of this session was in response to the question ‘What is the one thing that we should take back to our parishes?’. The answer was to ask questions of people, to talk to professionals about worries, and to not assume that abuse is only something that occurred in the past. Following the conference, both the
speakers and clergy members contacted the Archdiocese to express how positive they had found the day. One comment was that it was ‘so good to see that your Diocese is taking these issues so seriously and pro-actively’; another offered ‘thanks for such an amazingly moving and informative day of safeguarding. Best I've ever had on the whole traumatic issue’.
Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School Cedar Road, Aintree, Liverpool L9 9AF T: 0151 525 9600 F: 0151 525 2998 Places available for Reception start date September 2019
We offer: • 2 year old provision • 30 hour offer • Extended Services including Holiday Club • Fantastic EYFS provision If you wish to visit the school or have any further enquiries please contact the school ofﬁce on 0151 525 9600 From our RE Inspection: “The extent to which the Religious Education Curriculum meets pupils’ needs is outstanding.”
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Above: (l to r) Daniel Wolstencroft, Ella O’Brian, Peter Saunders and Liam Moran.
Alexandra Griffiths was equally grateful for the contributions of those who came to LACE to address the clergy. She said: ‘The Archdiocese of Liverpool would like to thank all of the speakers who made such informative and compelling presentations to the clergy.’ The Archdiocese’s Safeguarding Coordinator added that the clergy training day was just one step taken in recent months following her appointment in the summer. ‘We also had a safeguarding conference at the beginning of September for our parish reps, so we are looking to do more along those lines, partly to educate people but partly as well so they understand what structures and policies and processes we have in place, and that we’re adhering to legislation. When we do get a complaint in, it’s taken seriously and is dealt with within those policies and procedures. People don’t always understand there are stringent
guidelines in place which we do adhere to. ‘What I’ve found is that, as a community, everybody wants our churches to be safe,’ she continued, ‘and there’s a really good sense that everybody’s working towards the same goal with safeguarding which I’ve found hugely reassuring.’ • If anyone has been affected by the issues raised in this article please contact Alexandra Griffiths, Safeguarding Coordinator, on 0151 522 1043 or email@example.com. Alternatively, if you would like to know more about how safeguarding in the Catholic Church works, and the policies and procedures already in place, please visit https://www.csas.uk.net/procedures -manual/ • See p19 to learn more about Alexandra Griffiths’ work as the Archdiocesan Safeguarding Coordinator.
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wrightington Burse by Father Andrew Unsworth In January last year I was handed a large envelope. On it was written the intriguing question: ‘15 Cent. Embroidery Burse?’ This was the handwriting of the late Father Marsh, who was parish priest of St Joseph’s Wrightington until 1979. Father Philip Gregory, the current parish priest of St Joseph’s, had found the burse a few days earlier. Realising immediately that he had discovered a special item, he shared his find with me. What is a burse? A burse is a case or purse, made from textile. The burse holds the white corporal used in the celebration of Mass. Although the burse is still used today by many priests, its use is considered optional. In 1969 in ‘St Joseph’s, Wrightington: A History’, Father Marsh wrote: ‘Here at Wrightington we have a green burse ornamented with three embroidered figures of saints’. Clearly this describes the ‘Wrightington Burse’, which has belonged to the church since its opening in 1894. It is likely that the burse has been owned by the Catholic community in Wrightington since the opening of the
Catholic chapel at Wrightington Hall. There was a resident chaplain there from 1686. The images are made up of a number of coloured threads embroidered onto a linen base. The burse is 24cm wide and 24cm long. One side of the burse depicts a single figure with a halo. This is St Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors, children and Liverpool. He holds three bags. One of the traditions about St Nicholas is that he gave three bags of gold coins to a poor man. The man could not provide dowries for his daughters, so Nicholas saved the day. On the reverse side there are two figures, one with a halo and one without. The figure with the halo is St Paul. He is bald and holds the scriptures and a sword. The other figure may be a saint or the medieval patron who financed the piece of embroidery. My research suggests that the embroidery comes from a fourteenth or fifteenth century vestment originally kept at Standish Hall. This was brought to Standish from Manchester by Father Laurence Vaux around 1559. When the vestment perished, the embroidery was removed and stitched onto the burse
which is made of seventeenth century green taffeta. Perhaps it was made for Father Christopher Tootle when he arrived at Wrightington in 1686. The burse is almost certainly linked to the Vaux Chasuble which was kept at Standish, then Upholland College and is now held at the Metropolitan Cathedral Archive. This vestment was shown on the Antiques Roadshow when it visited Liverpool in 2015. Our research continues.
St Benet’s Faith in Action Group Homeless Appeal Young people involved in the Faith in Action award at St Benet’s, Netherton, appealed to parishioners on behalf of the Whitechapel centre as part of their Christmas appeal for the homeless. They were overwhelmed by donations from parishioners and their friends and local colleges and cannot thank them enough for their support. Over the course of three weeks, 120 Christmas bags were made and donated to the Whitechapel Centre. 10 Christmas stockings and 7 bags for dogs were also donated as well as clothing, towels, shaving equipment and 250 soups and coffee for the street team to distribute. The group were also able to send 15 bags to the Southport soup kitchen, as well as a donation of toiletries and 4 treat bags for dogs. This project began as a response to the second reflection point ‘Loving our neighbour is loving Jesus’ where the young people reflected on ways in which they can be the face of Christ to those around them. Pat, one of the award coordinators at St Benet’s, said ‘I am extremely proud of the young people, and how much they want to help others. It has been great to see how the young people involved in the award have grown in confidence from one level of the award to the next and how much more they want to do for others from being a part of the award scheme.’ 8
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Welcome to our new seminarians As they come to the end of their first term of studies, we welcome James Finnegan and Michael Harwood as students for the priesthood. James writes: allow me, by way of introduction, to share with you a little bit about myself and my journey to beginning seminary formation with a view to priesthood. I’m 23 years of age, and was brought up in Knotty Ash, attending St Margaret Mary’s church and schools. I then went on to St Edward’s College, where I took A Levels in French, Biology and Religious Studies, and then up to study Theology at University. Throughout this time, I discerned that still, small voice of the Lord calling me into loving service of Him and His Church and, even in times when I have felt very far from God, that voice has not gone away, ‘Come, follow me’. During a pilgrimage to Lourdes in 2017, I decided that it was about time to take a firmer step in responding to that call, to put out into the deep and see just how, and why, Jesus was asking me to go after him. That decision manifested itself in deciding to ask the vocations director, Father James Preston, if I might take up residence at the House of Discernment in Aigburth. After a year of developing my spiritual life, engaging in pastoral work within the parish, and going through the formal application to begin seminary formation, I’m now studying at the English College in Rome. I ask for your prayers as I take this next step into the, as yet, unknown, that I may grow deeper into the knowledge of the love of God, and so share it with the world. Michael writes: I am incredibly fortunate to have been given the opportunity to study for the priesthood at the Pontifical Beda College in Rome. I first felt a calling to the religious life in my teens and I was interested in teaching, but the time was not right for me to enter seminary. I took a degree in modern languages and post graduate qualifications in education and later in management. Initially I taught young people and adults with special educational needs and then became a Senior Lecturer in Languages and European Business. As a senior manager I became deputy principal in sixth form and further education
170 years at St Francis Xavier
By Debbie Reynolds, Pastoral Assistant
Michael Harwood colleges. I then moved to a national role designing and commissioning training for college lecturers, managers, principals and governors. Living and educated in Crosby, I spent most of my working life based in and around Cambridge before returning to Crosby a few years ago. This move was unplanned though I knew that I wanted a change in my life as the calling to the priesthood had curiously started again after many years. I continued to commute twice weekly to London and, after some negotiation, was allowed to take a six month sabbatical to focus on discernment. Through excellent spiritual direction, advice and support, I soon realised that the obstacles were purely practical but all along, I have been clear that priesthood is not my ambition, it is the Lord calling. With your prayers and His grace I will succeed in fulfilling His plan for me.
Saint Francis Xavier’s Church, affectionately known as SFX, had a weekend of celebrations over the First Sunday of Advent, for its feast day and 170th birthday. SFX church first opened its doors on 4 December 1848, the day after the patronal feast day, and has been staffed by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) ever since. The architect was JJ Scholes, who designed the nave in the early gothic decorated style using blue limestone for the slender pillars. The Sodality Chapel, dedicated to the now closed Churches of St Joseph and St Mary of the Angels, was not built until 1888. Over the past 170 years many beautiful additions have been made to the building, however, the main features have remained unaltered. SFX has been described as ‘the most complete and moving repository of Victorian Catholic art in the country’. We would like to take this opportunity to thank parishioners, the local churches, Faith Primary School, Notre Dame Catholic College, neighbourhood businesses, the Archdiocese of Liverpool, the Society of Jesus and friends of SFX Church Liverpool for their continued friendship and generosity in ensuring the church is still a wonderful place for worship. Group tours can be arranged with the possibility of afternoon tea, please contact the Church Office Tel: 0151 298 1911 for more details.
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news diary New statue of St James at Blessed Sacrament
Deacon Charles Hegarty, Father Jacob Ruszniak, Canon Anthony O’Brien, Father Sergio Haro PP, Father Thomas Blok with the statue After a fruitful and inspiring parish retreat and pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela parishioners from Blessed Sacrament, Aintree, asked for a statue of St James the Apostle to be placed in their church, so Parish Priest, Father Sergio Haro, commissioned a Spanish artist to hand carve in wood and hand paint in oil a statue of the Apostle. On the first Sunday of Advent the statue was unveiled and blessed by Canon Anthony O’Brien, Dean of the Metropolitan Cathedral. Canon O’Brien presided and preached at the Mass sharing his experience of having led pilgrims from the Metropolitan Cathedral along the Camino de Compostela, St James’ Way, earlier in the year. Concelebrating were Father Sergio Haro, Father Jacob Ruszniak SDB and Father Thomas Blok SDB from St James’ Parish, Bootle, assisted by Deacon Charles Hegarty. Canon O’Brien encouraged parishioners to walk with St James on their Advent journey saying, ‘may St James be your companion to enrich your Advent journey. A new greeting for the beginning of this season this year is to wish everyone a “buen camino”, the greeting and blessing used all along the camino way, so, I wish you all a “buen camino” for Advent’. Danny and Joe, youth ministers in the parish, were impressed, Danny said, ‘The statue has been fantastically designed and created, the whole community will benefit greatly by learning from St James’. Joe said, ‘It was a wonderful Mass on Sunday and great to have visiting priests join us to celebrate. The statue is brilliant and fits in nicely at Blessed Sacrament’. Meanwhile Geraldine, a life-long parishioner, said, ‘it was a lovely service, and a wonderful way to introduce St James to the parish, it reminded me of how the Catholic Church was when I was a child’. 10
Joy, the surprise of the Gospel’ The winning poet in the ‘Joy, the surprise of the Gospel’ poetry competition at the Northern Scripture Festival was Andrew Brown, who is a member of St Mary’s Sabden, Our Lady of the Valley parish. ALIVE! ‘HE’S ALIVE!’ What? Elated cries of (demented?) folk running through the streets. Shouting ‘He’s alive! Alive!’ WHAT!!!? No…impossible…nonsense…But Longing so much, so, so much; it begins to dawn. Suddenly it’s another day. Another. Bright. Beautiful. Day. The third day. Mourning Is broken. And little by little it comes together. The cryptic clues, The hidden hints. The last piece of the puzzle. Solved! So simple, after all. He’s alive. Alive…alive!!! Alive-luia!!! All-E-LU-IA!!!
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education news Carol concert heralded the start of festive season at St Mary’s It started to feel a lot like Christmas at St Mary’s College in Crosby when the school staged its ever-popular annual carol concert. Staff, students and their families gathered at a packed SS Peter and Paul Church on Liverpool Road to enjoy the atmospheric service in the 100-year-old building. The Message of Christmas concert which was partly candlelit - featured a selection of readings, carols and instrumental and choral performances coordinated by the school’s Director of Music, Andrew Byers. The programme included both traditional songs and more modern festive favourites, with contributions from the school’s Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Choir. Unusual features of this year’s concert included sixth form student Matteo Ressa conducting the Lower School Choir, accompanied by another sixth former, Georgina Duncan, on piano. There was also a beautiful and very well received a cappella version of Mother Mary, a song written by American folk musician Eliza Gilkyson and performed by
a small group of sixth form singers. At the end of the service the evening continued in festive fashion with the serving of mulled wine and mince pies back at the school. St Mary’s College Principal, Mike Kennedy, said: “The carol concert is always a very popular event with families, and a really enjoyable way to mark the start of the Christmas season. “Once again the event proved to be a great success, helped in no small part by
the wonderful setting of SS Peter and Paul Church. “I would like to pay tribute to all the students and staff whose hard work and talent helped to make the service such a first-class musical evening.” Mr Kennedy also pointed out that everyone involved with St Mary’s is now looking forward to the school’s centenary in 2019, and a number of special celebration events that will take place throughout the year.
St John Bosco pulls off The Greatest Show! St John Bosco Arts College has wowed audiences with its 2018 school production, The Greatest Show. More than 240 students from Years 7 to 13 were cast in the production, inspired by last year’s blockbuster hit The Greatest Showman.
Students spent months rehearsing for the all-singing, all-dancing show, which is inspired by the circus and the lives of its star attractions. With an exceptionally talented cast it is difficult to highlight all the noteworthy performances. Emily played the
charismatic ringmaster Barnum and left the audience completely captivated through her faultless performance. Molly and Megan were fantastic in their portrayal of the star crossed lovers, producing a duet that melted every heart. Student Aiva delivered a mesmerising stoic performance, with a vocal that could rival those we find in the West End. Also Harley, who could compete with the Stars of Strictly Come Dancing, was sensational. The production was put together by the school’s drama, dance and music departments, led by Craig Gaffney. A matinee for the school’s feeder primary schools saw students take centre stage for the first time, with a further two standout performances taking place across two days to packed audiences. Craig Gaffney said: “We’ve had wonderful feedback from parents and attendees about this year’s production, The Greatest Show. “It’s been a real team effort, from those acting and singing centre stage to all those students helping behind the scenes with lighting and costumes. Our girls have really pulled off the Greatest Show!”
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education news Cathedral welcomes thousands of school children for annual Advent Service
The annual Schools’ Advent Service, held at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, has taken place (12-13 December). Bringing together students and teachers from diocesan schools, this year the Christmas story was told by students from The Academy of St Francis of Assisi, including a song written by ASFA’s Chaplain Phil Johnson. Bringing a contemporary twist on the traditional story, Years 7, 8 and 9 drama students told the story as a special news report. The joint-denomination Catholic-Anglican Academy was asked to lead this year’s services, which brought together 1,200 school children from across the region. The event included singing, drama and readings from talented diocesan students. The Academy’s junior choir performed Mary’s Boy Child, We Three Kings and a choral version of the Rihanna hit Diamonds.
A student also performed a version of Fall On Me by Andrea Bocelli, which was rewritten to compliment Mary’s response to Gabriel’s message. Little Drummer Boy was performed by two Year 9 students, accompanied by Djembe drums. Year 10 student Sophie Flannery wowed guests with her rendition of Shining Star. Nugent was also present during the two day celebration, as students were asked to bring along toys as a gift donation for its Christmas appeal. Headteacher Tracey Greenough, said: “It was wonderful to be asked to lead this year’s Schools’ Advent Service at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. “Our Chaplain Phil Johnson has done a fantastic job and it was a great way to round off another successful year at the Academy.”
McKenzie shines as St Cuthbert’s Sports Personality of the Year An evening was designed to celebrate the sporting success, achievement and commitment of students at St Cuthbert's in line with the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards. The school took the decision for their evening to take place in the same week as the annual BBC event to raise awareness of success in sport. The evening took place at St Cuthbert's on Wednesday 12 December 2018, with a drinks and canapés reception followed by the awards ceremony. To award the prizes the school was lucky to have Danny Richardson, a rugby league footballer who plays as a scrum-half or stand-off for St Helens in the Super League. Speaking at the event, Head of 14
Physical Education at St Cuthbert’s, Miss Nicola Lethbridge, said: “We are proud of all our students who show passion, commitment and enthusiasm for being active and participating in exercise and sport as much as possible.” For the main ‘St Cuthbert’s Sports Personality of the Year’ Award, the school shortlisted eight outstanding nominees. Students, staff, parents and governors were invited to vote for 1 nominee only. The overall winner of the St Cuthbert’s Sports Personality of the Year was Year 10 student McKenzie who is described as being an asset to the school football, rugby and handball teams. He has signed a scholarship for Saints and was the Players’ Player of the Year for Thatto Heath RFC.
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Bellerive opens new sports hall Bellerive FCJ Catholic College has completed its latest building project with the handover of the new sports hall in December. The hall is another impressive addition to the school’s estate following the completion of the Sefton Park building (for Sixth form, Humanities and Performing Arts), which opened in September 2016, and the O’Neill building (for Science and Technology), which opened in September 2017. Mrs Niamh Howlett, Bellerive’s head teacher, said: ‘We are delighted to see the sports hall now open for business. Our students and staff have a great passion for sport, especially competitive sport, and we see the new hall as major step towards even greater success in this area. We are very appreciative of the support shown by the FCJ sisters for this project and we hope to welcome other Liverpool schools to see our facilities in forthcoming competitions.’
Synod 2020 – a progress report By Matt Jeziorski A new year may have just dawned yet Year 2 of the Synod 2020 process is already well under way. It began in October 2018 and runs until September and its focus is on Listening and Discernment. It began with a series of open meetings which raised many issues and pastoral concerns that people hope Synod 2020 will act upon. Over the coming months the people of our Diocese will be invited to reflect further on the joys, sorrows, hopes, and struggles of Christian life today. Making all voices heard One notable concern raised in the open meetings was to ensure that we listen to those who might be hard to reach. A great strength of the Synod is that membership is organised locally and listening is taking place in our communities. Our focus groups have a specific remit to hear all voices and our online survey will help extend the listening as far as possible, and we’re making a particular effort to ensure the involvement of young people. We are working with Animate Youth Ministries and our school chaplains in high schools, while a team of primary specialists are producing resources for younger children. Two of the 10 planned focus groups will be specifically for young people and every pastoral area has been asked to ensure that at least two of the 16
Synod members from their local communities are aged 15-25. Moreover, as a direct consequence of the open meetings, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon has invited Kate Wilkinson, a school chaplain and national president of the Young Christian Workers, on to the working party. Concerns and outcomes Many issues were raised during the open meetings that people would like to see addressed by the Synod. Yet it can address only those things that are within the Archbishop’s power to make decisions upon. This means there are certain matters concerning the law of the Universal Church that may emerge as key themes during our listening and discerning but which are beyond the scope of a Diocesan Synod to address. Archbishop Malcolm has resolved to take any matters beyond the Synod’s remit to Rome and make representation there to ensure that the views from our Archdiocese are heard there. It is worth adding that the outcomes are not prewritten; we are embarking on this journey with the openness to the Holy Spirit working in all of us and it is through listening to the Holy Spirit and listening to each other that we will be able to discern where God is calling us. Steps taken so far The deadline for registering Synod members in our parishes and pastoral
areas was 14 December. A number of parishes held open meetings to discuss the Synod and consider who could represent them as a member. On the Isle of Man, for instance, a Synod Holy Hour was held to pray for wisdom in the discernment of Synod members. Those who have put themselves forward must be willing and able to commit to the Synod process for a period of two years. What happens next Synod membership will be confirmed by mid-January with the Synod Opening Ceremony taking place at the Metropolitan Cathedral on 3 February. Members will attend an initial gathering in early February before taking part in listening and discernment preparation during Lent 2019. Local listening takes place in our communities between May and July when everyone will get the chance to share their reflections on our Synod questions. • For more information, visit: synod2020.co.uk
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what’s on Sunday 6 January Feast of the Epiphany Redemptorist Youth Ministry 18-40 young adult group. 6.00 pm Mass at Bishop Eton (arrive 5:50 pm), followed by food and drinks. Details: email@example.com Liverpool Bach Collective Johann Sebastian Bach Cantata 123: ‘Liebster Emmanuel, Herzog der Frommen.’ (‘Dearest Emmanuel, Lord of the devout.’) 6.30 pm at Holy Family Church, Back o’th’ Town Lane, Ince Blundell, L38 6JJ. Singers and Players directed by Philip Duffy. www.liverpoolbach.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tuesday 8 January Alpha Evening 6.00 pm at Animate Youth Ministries, Lowe House, 99 Crab Street, St Helens, WA10 2BE. The evening is open to anyone in year 9 and above and will be a great opportunity for young people to learn more about their faith and discuss their ideas with their peers. Redemptorist Youth Ministry 18-40 young adult group 7.30 pm at Our Lady of the Annunciation, Bishop Eton, Woolton Road, L16 8NQ. Spiritual discussion and activities followed by drinks. Wednesday 9 January ‘Songs we Remember.’ Singing and enjoyment for anyone who likes to sing but particularly geared towards those living with
january dementia and their carers. 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm at St Thomas of Canterbury Parish Hall, Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details: Irenaeus Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: email@example.com Website: www.irenaeus.co.uk UCM bi-monthly Mass 7.30 pm at St Margaret Mary, Pilch Lane, Knotty Ash, Liverpool, L14 50JG. Tuesday 15 January Alpha Evening 6.00 pm at Animate Youth Ministries, Lowe House, 99 Crab Street, St Helens, WA10 2BE. The evening is open to anyone in year 9 and above and will be a great opportunity for young people to learn more about their faith and discuss their ideas with their peers.
Spiritual discussion and activities followed by drinks. Wednesday 23 January ‘Songs we Remember.’ Singing and enjoyment for anyone who likes to sing but particularly geared towards those living with dementia and their carers. 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm at St Thomas of Canterbury Parish Hall, Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details: Irenaeus Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.irenaeus.co.uk
Friday 18 January to Friday 25 January Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity Sunday 20 January Day of Prayer for World Peace Ecumenical Service of Choral Evening Prayer in the Octave of Christian Unity 3.00 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Preacher: Canon Sue Jones, Dean of Liverpool Cathedral. Tuesday 22 January Alpha Evening 6.00 pm at Animate Youth Ministries, Lowe House, 99 Crab Street, St Helens, WA10 2BE. The evening is open to anyone in year 9 and above and will be a great opportunity for young people to learn more about their faith and discuss their ideas with their peers. Redemptorist Youth Ministry 18-40 young adult group 7.30 pm at Our Lady of the Annunciation, Bishop Eton, Woolton Road, L16 8NQ.
Wednesday 30 January Taizé 18–35 A time of prayer, Scripture reading, singing, silence and discussion for young people 18-35. 7.30 pm at St Margaret Mary’s Parish House, Pilch Lane, Liverpool, L14 0JG. Details: Father Ian: email@example.com (the 15 bus stops outside the church/house.)
Looking ahead: Ash Wednesday 6 March Liverpool Pax Christi walk of repentance for possession of trident nuclear weapons. 12.00 noon at St Luke’s church, Berry Street, Liverpool City Centre. Prayer, procession and liturgy with ashes. Details: Jan Harper Tel: 07746 919915 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
website at www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk
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Noddfa means haven or refuge - a place of welcome and peace, a place where you can regain energy. We hope that you will experience this in the comfort of the house and the beauty of the surrounding hills and sea. We welcome people to a safe place to connect with God, themselves and others on their spiritual journey. Carersʼ retreats are held at various times during the year. We also offer Private Retreats or the use of facilities for groups organising their own Retreats. March 21-28 – IGR April 18-21 – Easter Triduum May 10-13 - Our Creativity, Our Planet (WWS) 20-24 – CARM Painting and Prayer June 10-13 Celtic Retreat led by Julie Hopkins
Issue 163 April 2018
READ ONLINE www.catholicpic.co.uk
Easter Joy INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Peter Woods appointed High Sheriff
Celebrating marriage and family life
17-20 – Capacitar training led by Pat Cane July 10-17 IGR 18-25 IGR August 1-4 – Workshop/retreat led by Diarmuid OʼMurchu 23-26 – Serenity retreat September 19-26 – Retreat
Noddfa Spirituality Centre, Conwy Old Road, Penmaenmawr, Conwy LL34 6YF Tel: 01492 623473 • email: email@example.com Website: www.noddfa.org.uk
Homecare Service Helping you to maintain your independence The Homecare Service offers high quality personalised care as well as practical domestic support such as cleaning, shopping and help with escorted outings
To find out more, call 0151 330 5678 or visit our website www.ageconcernliverpoolandsefton.org.uk
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Setting new Safeguarding targets for the Archdiocese By Simon Hart s a former probation officer, registered social worker and Independent Police Complaints Commission investigator, Alexandra Griffiths has seen many things in her professional life. By her own admission, though, she encountered an unwelcome surprise when embarking on her role as Safeguarding Coordinator for Liverpool Archdiocese. It came, she explains, from the attitudes of people outside the Archdiocese. ‘I’ve always been open about the fact I’m a Catholic but when I came into the role a lot of people questioned why I’d want to take on almost “a poisoned chalice”, for want of a better phrase,’ she says. ‘That really did surprise me because it’s only part of the story. Every time somebody is abused or hurt, it is one person too many and that is not acceptable, but it doesn’t tell the whole story and it doesn’t tell how many people are supported by their faith and get comfort from their faith.’ A parishioner of St Mary’s, Woolton, Alexandra had a more welcome surprise as she embarked on her job last summer – discovering the extent of the foundations laid by her predecessor, Des Bill. ‘The Archdiocese of Liverpool was
ahead of its time in a lot of respects – there’s been some form of safeguarding officer here since 1998,’ she explains. ‘I can speak as a Catholic mum, and a Catholic layperson who’s come into the Archdiocese, and having had a look here there is a really good, solid foundation. There are a lot of policies and procedures I didn’t know about. I didn’t know about the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service. It’s been hugely reassuring to know all these safeguards are in place and they’re working.’ Alexandra’s aim is to build on these foundations. ‘It is quite an exciting time to join the department as we’re looking at developing and learning from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and modernising the department as well. One of the reasons I wanted to come in is to offer what expertise and skills and experience I have to try to build upon what’s already here.’ The modernising process will involve new computer systems. ‘One will support volunteers and the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) side,’ she says. ‘The other will support our case work so we can access records more easily.’ She describes it as ‘a huge project’ and underlines the scale of the work undertaken by the Archdiocese’s
five-strong safeguarding team by adding: ‘We cover about 200 parishes with 9-10,000 volunteers, and we process all the DBS checks for all our volunteers and clergy. We also do safeguarding training for volunteers and clergy, and address any safeguardingrelated issues. We’re here to support the parishes and make sure people are able to come to their church to worship safely and securely.’ The former St Julie’s High School pupil evidently enjoys a challenge. After gaining a degree in Human Applied Biology and Psychology, she set her sights on the Probation Service. ‘I started temping for the Probation Service and had a look at the work they were doing with offenders – some had made horrendous mistakes, others obviously do things on purpose – but I looked and thought, “I really want to do that, I really want to help people get to a better place while trying to keep people safe at the same time”.’ Safety is a thread running through her career and she has a hobby that demands precision, too. ‘I’m an archer in my spare time,’ she smiles. ‘It probably taps into the inner child – who hasn’t, when they’re a child, run around with a bow and arrow?’ Time for some new targets.
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Make a bright start to the new year By Tom Carty, Animate Youth Ministries team member When I was younger, January was always my least favourite month of the year. It was dark, cold and time to go back to school. Christmas was over and there was nothing else to look forward to for months. New Year’s resolutions would be made and almost immediately broken. These days I must admit things aren’t too much different for me. I’m sure other people feel the same. It’s all too easy for us to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of modern life that we forget about what’s important. Once Christmas is over, we can be guilty of instantly putting the meaning of it all to the back of our minds as we begin focusing on returning to school, university, work, or whatever it might be. Of course, the spirit of Christmas isn’t something that lasts only as long as our turkey leftovers from the 25th; rather it is something that we should constantly strive to remember and to act out in our lives. The Incarnation, the Word made flesh, the birth of Jesus should never cease to be a source of awe and wonder for us. The
fact that God loved us so much, sinners though we are, that He was willing to send his Son into the world to die for us, to reconcile us to Him, is nothing short of mind-boggling. And, quite frankly, I believe that it isn’t spoken about enough nowadays. The greatest story ever told and hardly anyone seems to want to tell it anymore. I’m aware that all sounds a bit melodramatic; of course there are still people who are more than happy to talk about Jesus. Working at Animate gives me plenty of opportunities to see this. There is no shortage of young people who are enthusiastic about their faith and eager to share it with others. For example, discussions about the upcoming synod have been happening in schools all across the Archdiocese. The synod in 2020 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for everyone in Liverpool Archdiocese to have their voices heard. Naturally the thoughts of young people are very important to us and so throughout the year many forms and
Picture: Mark McNulty
questionnaires have been sent out to schools, forms which were also completed by everyone who took part in last summer’s annual pilgrimage to Lourdes. The feedback received was extremely interesting. Many of the young respondents feel they are not given the chance to talk about their faith as much as they would like, in school or at home. They are eager to learn more and expressed a desire for their schools to put faith more at the forefront. They want more Masses in school, more visits from their parish priests and also more opportunities for confession. At the same time, many also feel that people are very quick to judge them for having a faith and dislike how the Church is frequently portrayed in a negative light in the media and elsewhere. On the back of all of this, the Animate Team decided to hold a pre-synod discussion meeting of our own at Lowe House in November. It was a chance for youngsters to offer their thoughts without fear of judgement or criticism. The evening was enjoyed by everyone involved (though that may have had something to do with the free pizza), and the young people expressed a desire to have such evenings more frequently. And so this month – on 8, 15 and 22 January – the Animate team will be hosting Alpha evenings for school pupils from Year 9 upwards. The evenings will run from 68pm and will involve social time, food and a discussion about a film from the Alpha series. Having watched several of these films already, I know it will be a rewarding and engaging experience for everyone, with the opportunity to discuss our faith in an informal setting. Therefore, as the Christmas season draws to a close and everyday life resumes, let us remember that the miracle of Christ’s birth isn’t something to contemplate only during December, but something that must shape our lives every single day. And though the nights may be dark, with young people like ours, the future is bright.
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sunday reflections On a liturgical note ‘What will my future be? I wonder’ The question posed by Maria in The Sound of Music lies at the heart of the idea of making a new year’s resolution – we look into the future but we know that ‘I’ will indeed help to shape the future because given the joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the coming months, it is ultimately for me, by the grace of God and under His guidance, to respond to the challenges, seize the opportunities, and make the fullest use of the gifts and talents entrusted to me in this new year which opens before us. There is a sense in which our New Year’s Day was not 1 January 2019 but 2 December 2018, the Sunday when the Liturgy began afresh with the season of Advent, a season which came to a crescendo with the hopeful and trusting cry of the Church: ‘O come, O come Emmanuel.’ Christmas Day and the Christmas season celebrate and rejoice in the response of God to the heartfelt desire of his people: ‘O Come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Emmanuel’ (from the carol O Little Town of Bethlehem). It is the coming of Jesus into the
Sunday thoughts I remember being prepared for First Confession and the dreaded Sixth Commandment. Its prohibition of adultery was explained as ‘doing rude actions and saying bad words’. I confessed rude actions and bad words on a regular basis. I was occasionally asked ‘alone or with others?’ This apparently compounded the sin. My rude actions consisted of sticking my tongue out to my teacher behind her back and saying words like ‘bottom’. It sounds funny now, but it wasn’t at the time. I was tortured by the realisation that I couldn’t receive Holy Communion without compounding my guilt with sacrilege. I became an altar server. I would pester the priest to hear my confession before Mass so that I could receive Communion, or I would suffer the further shame of not receiving Communion in front of a church full of people. Sweat ran off me as I knelt squirming with fright at the enormity of the choice. No one ever said to me: ‘This is silly. God
Canon Philip Gillespie
world and more specifically into my world, my choices and ways of living which, quite literally, makes all the difference in the world; perhaps this is the real essence and foundation of all evangelisation – to share with others the fact that, having Jesus in my life, makes all the difference, or as Saint Paul puts it: ‘Nothing surpasses the supreme value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.’ (Philippians 3:8) Now that the tinsel and wrapping paper of Christmas Day are all boxed up and tidied away, it is good to reflect on the challenge of the letter to Titus which the Church received at the Mass during the night of Christmas itself: ‘Jesus gave Himself for us – to purify a people so that it could be His very own and would have no ambition except to do good.’ (Titus 2:14) A challenging text indeed, and a good examination of conscience at the end of each day; have I lived this day with no ambition except to do good? And if we are still looking for a new year’s resolution then perhaps St Paul has just helped us out. Mgr John Devine OBE
does not want to put you through this.’ Many people of my generation walked away from the oppression of this system. I did the opposite and became a priest. Ironically, the child-abuse scandal, especially in Ireland, has set many people free. I have grown up, too, and am determined that children today are not subjected to the same spiritual abuse as I was. On Sunday 20 January we hear the story of the marriage feast at Cana. Six jars of water are turned into wine. This water was ready for ritual cleansing – after menstruation, nocturnal emission, sexual intercourse. And for washing bodies prior to burial. Sexuality was coupled with death, dirt, shame and darkness. Jesus takes the water of sin and death and changes it into the wine of rejoicing. He celebrates marriage and sexuality as life-enhancing. It’s his first miracle.
Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk/reflection 22
The transformed heart I have been watching a boxed set of Mapp and Lucia recently. There is a wonderful scene where Mapp asks an Indian guru if he is happy and the guru says ‘yes’ because he is following the way. The other day I opened up an old Pastoral review to see an article titled ‘Gratitude, a one-word summary of the Catholic faith’ and I remembered something that I’d read many years ago that only the grateful heart is the transformed heart. I began to then ask myself questions. Do I have a grateful heart? Have I had a grateful heart this year? Am I grateful for the gift of life? Am I grateful for the people around me? Am I grateful for the air that I breathe, the creation that I live in? Am I grateful for the good and the bad that comes in life because of what it can teach me? The grateful heart is the heart that’s been touched by the Gospel. Or is my life soured by negativity and disappointment? Am I always dissatisfied and critical? Is the world a bad place to be endured? Do I treat people badly? Do I only think of myself? Do I reject and push away those that I find difficult? They’re the signs of a heart that needs to be more open to transformation. I think if we are going to be honest, we probably all need to be more open to transformation. Transformation is at the heart of the Gospel and if we’re followers of Jesus, we have to follow what he was about. Faith is not just about going to Church. Faith is about relationships that transform the heart so that it becomes the grateful heart that makes a difference around us. We have just begun a new year. It is a new beginning for all of us and anyone anywhere can have a new beginning so let’s pray that in our encounter with the Lord this year we will be filled with gratitude for everything we have been given. If we are not particularly grateful, then resolve to become more so. And if we are already grateful, then pray for more gratitude to spill forth into the lives of others. Father Chris Thomas
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‘Matilda the Musical’ at St Oswald’s Staff and pupils from St Oswald’s Primary School in Padgate, Warrington, have been selected by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and the Manchester Palace and Opera House and the Liverpool Empire Theatre to become a Matilda Champion School as part of the musical’s new nationwide education programme, ‘Change My Story’. The school is in the first year of a two-year partnership in which teaching staff work with professional theatre directors, choreographers and musical directors to produce a special production of ‘Matilda the Musical’, based on the book by Roald Dahl. The performance took place last month as St Oswald’s school play. Headteacher, Helen Lennon said, ‘The show was a fantastic success and was booked out for the full week and finished with a standing ovation at our finale evening. We can’t wait to work with the RSC, the Palace and Opera House Manchester and Empire Theatre Liverpool next year in the second year of the project. The project has been able to bring out the very best in our Year 5 children. It has challenged them, giving them wonderful learning opportunities, allowed them to shine and given us all hours of fun.’ In the coming year St Oswald’s will continue to share skills learnt from the programme and maintain a local culture of school creative engagement with the arts.
Rainhill’s Real Advent Calendars The children from St Bartholomew’s School, Rainhill, made Advent Calendars with a difference: instead of the usual chocolate ‘Receiving’ calendars, they made real ‘Giving’ calendars. Each class organised their own calendar which was made up of their own donations with each child bringing in one item so that at the end of Advent, their Calendar was full of gifts ranging from toiletries, small games and non-perishable food to household items. The calendars were taken to ‘Our Warm Welcome’ in St Helens, a charity which supports refugees and migrants, to be shared with those in need. Tavimba said, ‘They’re a good idea to help people who don’t have things and who don’t have family to go to because they’re far away’, with Freya adding, ‘I think about the other people who don’t have any food or shelter, or much food when they’re travelling’.
Normandie Wragg Chief Executive Nugent
Catholic Bishops call for common action on the housing crisis Shared from Caritas Social Action Network In November, Rt Rev Terence Drainey, Bishop of Middlesbrough and Chair of Caritas Social Action Network, launched a new report, ‘Abide in Me’. The report deepens Catholic social thought on the ‘housing crisis’ in England and Wales. It calls for co-ordinated action on housing challenges in England and Wales from 2018-2030, at local, regional and national levels in the social mission of the Church. The twelve-year timescale is aligned with international Catholic Church engagement on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It reflects the need for a long-term approach to deep social and economic roots of the crisis. ‘Abide in Me’ addresses the underlying causes of the crisis, through fresh theological reflection, and in conversation with people living in different housing situations, charities and experts in various fields. ‘Charities that have deep social connections in local neighbourhoods have been increasingly forced to compete for public funds, often for short-term payments with more strings attached, and against larger, remote organisations. This further erodes trust and participation in communities, and the priority of labour over capital. I encourage you to take further measures that support local enterprise and the long-term future of local amenities.’ In conjunction with the report, the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have issued an open letter to senior leaders in Catholic charities and related institutions (including Nugent). The bishops encourage these leaders to work together, making renewed action on the housing crisis in these parts of the UK a shared priority within the Church’s social mission. Nugent looks forward to working with other CSAN charities and within the Liverpool Archdiocese to focus on the issues surrounding homelessness. If you would like to know further information about our work around homelessness issues, please see our website www.wearenugent.org
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Cathedral’s stamp of approval Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean We often speak of the January blues in referring to a low point following all the Christmas festivities. This January is going to be a time when we have to focus on the state of our finances and how we make ends meet. Our offertory income is similar to that of some of our larger parishes but that is where the similarity ends as our expenditure is of a totally different order.
by Neil Sayer, Archdiocesan archivist Our Cathedral must be the youngest building ever to feature on a British stamp. It had only been opened for two years when it appeared as part of a set on British architecture released on 28 May 1969 by the GPO. (The General Post Office was the predecessor of the Royal Mail.) It was controversial, as much about the building had been throughout the 1960s. Why should this interloper – Catholic as well as unashamedly modern – feature among such venerable structures as St Paul’s Cathedral, St Paul’s Cathedral, Durham Cathedral and York Minster? The artist behind the stamps himself seemed a little mystified. Peter Gauld designed the stamps after visiting four of the six cathedrals featured in the final set. But while he made trips to Canterbury, Durham and York, he worked only from photographs of the Metropolitan Cathedral and St Giles’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, which he had been told by the GPO to include, possibly for a wish to feature at least one cathedral outside of England. The choice of the newest cathedral in the country may well have been part of a projection of Britain as forward-looking
and technologically advanced: other recent British stamp issues had celebrated the engineering marvels of Concorde and the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth II. The fact that the Metropolitan Cathedral was the highestvalue stamp (1/6d) in the series meant that it was the one most likely to be seen on mail going overseas, selling a vision of Britain that fitted in with the 1960s mood of optimism and progress. (Down at Coventry Cathedral, it must be said, they were a little miffed that their equally modern building, designed by Basil Spence and opened in 1962, did not feature at all.) The Metropolitan Cathedral made efforts to cash in on its philatelic fame. Firstday covers were sold as souvenirs to benefit the Cathedral Fund. These eyecatching designs had a cancellation applied by hand over the commemorative stamp to show that they had been posted in the special posting box in the Cathedral. Some, as in the example shown from the Cathedral’s archives, were signed by the building’s architect, Frederick Gibberd. You may have some of the stamps, or even one of the special covers, at home. If you bought it as an investment, the truth is that you may be disappointed. Some 15 million of the Liverpool stamps were printed, and they aren’t especially rare even today.
For instance, our electricity bill for the year amounts to our total annual Sunday offerings. We have made great strides in recent years to increase our overall income by maximising car park revenue and increased hire of the Crypt facilities etc, which has made a huge difference, but we are not a commercial enterprise and try to be very sensitive to safeguarding the sacred and spiritual character of the Cathedral itself. The real challenges we face are when unforeseen or major repairs are needed, which in my experience here seems to be every few years. This month I will be having a number of meetings regarding necessary repairs to the Cathedral organ which is not only developing faults but is in need of a major rebuild. The estimated costs are in the region of £750,000 and I need to find ways of reducing this cost or finding other sources of money. There are also further investigations taking place this month on the condition of the Cathedral Lantern as the initial attempts have not stopped the ingress of water around the sanctuary. Financial challenges are just one of the many things we share in common with our neighbours at Liverpool Cathedral and we welcome their Dean, Canon Sue Jones, who will preach at a joint ecumenical service of Evening Prayer on Sunday 20 January at 3.00 pm in the week of prayer for Christian unity.
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A century of service News from the Liverpool Province of the Knights of St Columba
New members welcomed as giving goes on The KSC in Liverpool ended 2018 by welcoming two new members to the Order. The admission ceremony took place during Mass at Holy Name Church, Fazakerley on 18 November, with Alex Adonsou and Peter Boyle installed as members. We thank Father Kevin McLoughlin, parish priest, for his participation in the ceremony and for the warm welcome we received. Our photo shows the two new members on either side of Fr Kevin, together with the brothers and provincial officers present at the installation. â€˘ The officers and members of Council 493, based at St Paulâ€™s, West Derby, wish to thank wholeheartedly those parishioners who responded so generously in donating more than 120 bags of food and toiletries to the collection of items for the local food bank, together with cash that will be used to replenish stocks as required. This is just one example of members of the KSC, their families and friends supporting their local food bank in providing the essentials for less fortunate individuals and families in the local community. Other KSC councils nationwide have taken part for the past two years in a â€˜Reverse Advent Calendarâ€™ campaign whereby parishioners daily bring food items to their church or community hall, which are then taken to local food banks for sorting and distribution. â€˘ KSC Council 9 donated a cheque for ÂŁ5,751 to the Whitechapel
Centre for the Homeless on 14 December to complete another impressive fundraising effort via their annual sponsored walk. The Knights made the donation â€“ to be boosted by approximately ÂŁ550 from Gift Aid â€“ at their Christmas party at Liverpool Cricket Club in Aigburth. Once again we would like to thank all the parishes which allowed us to distribute sponsorship envelopes and, of course, all the parishioners who donated so generously to this very deserving charity. Websites: www.ksc.org.uk and www.kscprov02.weebly.com Email: email@example.com
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Mums the Word Greetings to you all as we enter 2019. May it be a happy and holy year for us all, and our families. And, to quote an Irish blessing, a particular favourite of mine: â€˜May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields; and until we meet again may God hold you in the palm of his hand.â€™ On Wednesday 9 January at 7.30pm we will be celebrating our bi-monthly Mass at St Margaret Maryâ€™s parish in Pilch Lane (L14 0JG). The annual presentation of cheques to our chosen charities for last year will take place. These are the Beacon Trust, nominated by the Our Lady of Walsingham foundation; Twinkle House, nominated by St Richardâ€™s; the Southport Kitchen, nominated by St Jeromeâ€™s; and the Priestsâ€™ Training Fund which we support every year. In December I attended a talk at LACE called â€˜Living the Liturgyâ€™, given by an American professor called Brian Schmisek, in which he mentioned that most of the Gospels leading up to Easter were from Saint Luke. I have not studied theology and so it had not occurred to me that many of the stories we hear about women are contained only in Lukeâ€™s Gospels. He tells us of Maryâ€™s visit to Elizabeth after the Immaculate Conception, of Mary and Martha and their battle over listening to Jesus or doing the housework. We also learn from Luke of the numbers of women who were followers of Jesus right up to the Resurrection. Perhaps we could listen out for more examples in the coming weeks and give thanks for to him for championing women in the establishment of our Church. May we all enjoy God's blessings and a peaceful new year. Madelaine McDonald Media officer
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Greeting Cards from Carmel
New year, new start? By Moira Billinge ew Year’s Eve always feels different to any other day and, whether we like it or loathe it, we won’t be able to ignore it or pretend that it’s not happening.
So much hype and hysteria revolve around the date. If we aren’t already worn down to a frazzle by our Christmas planning, cooking, cleaning and shopping, and weary of the bombardment of slick, incessant and loud advertising for food, alcohol and gifts that none of us can supposedly do without, then, lo and behold, in the run-up to New Year’s Eve we’re faced with it all over again, together with the media saturation of the unmissable bargains and delights that await us in the January sales. While already drained of our energy and cash after the big Christmas spend, we attempt to goad our tired bodies into preparing to welcome in another year and force ourselves to stay awake and wait for the midnight hour to chime – as it has done for each of the previous 364 days without our even noticing (unless we suffer from insomnia). To make matters worse, the excesses of the season can also leave us feeling low and susceptible to any germs that happen to be flying around. At an hour when most sensible people would normally be tucked up in bed, we attempt to sing the song for which hardly anyone appears to know all the lyrics – Auld Lang Syne – and then continue partying. Will things change next year? Probably not. We will no doubt repeat the whole exhausting rigmarole all over again. The approach of a new year can be particularly difficult for many people in our society, and especially so for the 28
bereaved. It is a time when they might most keenly feel the loss of loved ones. The inevitable celebrations taking place all around painfully serve to highlight the fact that they will not be able to share the year ahead with the people they have lost, and such grief can be a very lonely place indeed. Yet even if we've struggled to get through one year, there is always hope that the next will be better. In the darkest days of December, we celebrated a new beginning with Jesus’ birthday and now we look forward to the year to come. Even if our New Year's resolutions are habitually forgotten within a few weeks, before January has managed to get its boots on properly, at this time of year we should still endeavour to think about what we might improve. Maybe if we decide to make more realistic, more practical, resolutions for 2019, we might have a better chance of achieving them – like taking some time to call the friend we haven't spoken to in ages. Or taking time to do something that helps us to relax … once we’ve taken the time to actually work out what that is! And, of course, taking time to give some more time to our wonderful God. Even small steps can make a big difference to how we feel about our world and the people in it and this period, entering a new year, is a good time to start that journey. We can be sure that our amazing God will continue to accompany us throughout the coming months, in whatever lies ahead. The memory of our recent celebration of the birth of Christ, our King, will outlive the sound of exploding crackers, popping corks and the unwrapping of Christmas presents. Happy New Year!
There is a lovely selection of greeting cards for all occasions on sale at Maryton Carmel, call to the shop or contact the Sisters at Maryton Grange, Allerton Road, L18 3NU. Telephone the card office on 0151 724 7102 or Email the Sisters at firstname.lastname@example.org
Worth a visit
This month, visit the picturesque city of Durham, writes Lucy Oliver. Famous for its cathedral and beautifully ornate shrine to Saint Cuthbert, Durham also boasts a number of hidden gems, including the Durham Heritage Centre & Museum situated in the historic church of St Mary-le-Bow on North Bailey. A stone’s throw from Durham Cathedral, this museum tells the fascinating story of St Cuthbert’s life and his monks’ journey from Lindisfarne to the city. The displays cover more recent times too, including collections about local industries past and present. This UNESCO World Heritage site features Durham Cathedral as a particular highlight on account of its beauty and opportunities for tranquillity. Admire the grandeur of the Norman cathedral – which broke new ground, architecturally, with a huge stone-vaulted ceiling – as well as the inspiring and imposing towers. Inside, the Open Treasure exhibition of Anglo-Saxon artefacts is worth seeing, and refreshments are available in the Undercroft restaurant and café. No visit to Durham is complete without a stroll through Market Place where, unusually, a statue of Neptune is now situated. This sculpture commemorates an ambitious plan to turn the city into an inland sea port – linking the Tyne and Wear rivers through a canal which was never constructed.
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catholic pic retreat and away days
Happy New Year to all our readers We wanted our January issue to be a happy reminder of the Retreats and Away Days we spent together during 2018.
To all our readers who joined us a very big thank you. It was wonderful to be with you.
We hope to have your company on our 2019 Retreats and Away Days which will hopefully start again in April.
Pantasaph Franciscan Friary
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Letter from Wonersh By Peter Murphy Happy New Year to you all! During the last few days of Advent and the first days of Christmastime it was a great joy to be at home and with family again. As the new year broke, I was in Leeds celebrating with two friends who had just been married. One of the most wonderful experiences for me as a seminarian over the last few years has been the opportunity to watch various friends coming to the altar of the Lord to dedicate their lives to Him through the Sacrament of Marriage and family life. When serving at the nuptial Mass I have found it a profound privilege to witness the love on these couples’ faces throughout the liturgy – especially in those moments when they catch each other’s eye. The presence of families – our own, and those of our friends – is an integral part of the formation for priestly ministry. It is families who are often best placed to support and challenge us when we need it most. Taking for granted the inspiration of the Lord’s gift of Himself to the Father through His Passion, and the Lord’s gift of Himself to us in the celebration of the Sacraments (especially the Eucharist), it is the total self-gift of husband and wife to each other that makes the commitment to celibacy most understandable as a gift rather than an obligation. It is pleasing then that as we begin the new calendar year we start with the liturgical celebration of Our Lady under her title of Mary, Mother of the Church. It was from His Cross that Jesus gave His Mother to the Beloved Disciple, and in turn the whole Church. But now in this Christmas season we are able to come to Our Blessed Mother as the infant Jesus and enjoy her tender love and care for us. Before the Christmas break, I went to St Martha’s Convent in Rottingdean for the weekend with the other members of my year group. In the chapel there I was especially moved by the statue of Our Lady, by the way the relationship of the infant Jesus with his Blessed Mother was portrayed with His reaching to touch her face. Similarly, as we begin 2019, and continue through it, may we be more aware of the closeness to us of our Blessed Mother – and with her, Jesus – in all of our joys and sorrows. 30
justice & peace Asylum Link Merseyside: Welcoming the stranger By Steve Atherton, Justice and Peace fieldworker In November, more than 100 delegates gathered at LACE to consider how best to welcome asylum seekers or refugees. The conference, led by Asylum Link Merseyside (ALM), was an opportunity to share good practice and develop confidence in caring for the needs of our new residents. Representatives from 46 organisations – many from the new ‘dispersal areas’ where the need for provision is growing – had come together to learn from ALM’s 16 years’ experience. The screenwriter Jimmy McGovern opened the conference by suggesting that Antony Gormley’s iron men on Crosby beach would reach out and welcome the newcomer, those desperate migrants fleeing war, persecution, torture and hardship, their lives unravelling in the face of harsh resistance in parts of Europe. Ewan Roberts, centre manager at ALM, explained how the charity had evolved over the years, always trying to meet the growing demands. He said that almost one person in a hundred was at risk of violence or persecution and that most fled to poor neighbouring countries. The UK, a relatively wealthy country, makes asylum difficult. Ewan ended with an invitation to give ALM a call and come and visit. Bridie Sharkey, a volunteer teacher and ALM trustee, took delegates through the new Council of Europe ‘toolkit’, Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants. These materials are designed to help non-specialists to support recently arrived asylum seekers and refugees. Bridie urged delegates to look at the materials online (www. coe.int/lang-refugees) and to join a growing, compassionate, kind-hearted force across Europe. Workshops on these materials will be offered at ALM in the New Year. Most moving were the testimonies of three courageous students from ALM’s English classes – Laila, Alganesh and Racheed. They spoke, in English, of their fear, loneliness and isolation on first arriving in Liverpool and of the courage it took to venture into ALM, and of the eventual enjoyment and confidence gained from mastering the language. Delegates split into three groups to discuss casework problem-solving provision, the evolution of the ALM shop and the importance of inclusive football to mental and physical well-being. The engaging plenary session was chaired by Bill Chambers, the ALM’s chair of trustees. Frank Cottrell Boyce, author and screenwriter, and himself a volunteer ALM caseworker, gave the closing address, indicating how we all have much to offer and how volunteering and making someone else happy provides a strong source of satisfaction. ALM’s Women Together choir concluded the conference with a rousing, multi-lingual rendition of Bob Dylan’s ‘Forever Young’ – a fitting ending to an inspiring, encouraging and, above all, compassionate day.
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Catholic news from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool