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Issue 183 January 2020

Week of prayer for Christian Unity


Celebrations for the 200th anniversary of the FCJ Sisters

A day with the Metropolitan Cathedral Education Service

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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 Specialisms in Sciences, Applied Learning and Maths & Computing

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contents Welcome A very happy and blessed new year to everyone. As we begin 2020 we join with the Faithful Companions of Jesus as they celebrate the 200th anniversary of their foundation. Their contribution to the work of education is invaluable and the sisters have had a presence in Liverpool since 1844. We give thanks for their work and ministry among us. Each January we celebrate the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity which begins on Saturday 18 January and concludes on the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul on Saturday 25 January. It is a time of special significance here in Liverpool as we give thanks for the work of successive Church Leaders from all denominations in bringing us closer together. This year the theme offered by the Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland is ‘unusual kindness’ which refers to the welcome which St Paul received from the inhabitants of Malta when he landed there. We can read the full account in the Acts of the Apostles. Resources for the Octave are available at This month we also look at some of the ecumenical work taking place with young people in our area.

From the Archbishop’s Desk I was thrilled to see that in this issue of the Pic there is an article about the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the Faithful Companions of Jesus. My mother was educated by the sisters in London and much later, of course, I was school chaplain and a governor at the same school. It was a great privilege to associated with the FCJs in this way. Two things impressed me about them. They always cared for the whole pupil. Academic and sporting success were as important as they were in any school, but they also were concerned about the family life and wellbeing of the whole person. This began with spiritual care but extended beyond this to a real love for the individual student as they developed, even if they were not normally loveable. I remember two frightened young girls joining the school who had come from the Congo to stay with their aunt. They didn’t know a word of English but very soon they were accepted into the school community; and it was a proud day for me five years later to see these same girls, now self-confident young women, go on to university and take their place in society. These sorts of miracles happened regularly. The second aspect of the sisters which I love is their refusal to give up. Despite diminishing numbers, they carry on their mission in education with the same vigour, but they are also starting new ventures. Here in Liverpool the spirituality centre at St Hugh’s which the FCJs are developing will be a gift to all of us in the archdiocese. Congratulation sisters on your double century, thank you for your work in Liverpool, and may you continue to walk as companions of the Lord. Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool

Editor Peter Heneghan

Copy deadline February 2020 Wednesday 8 January 2020

Editorial Catholic Pictorial Magazine Liverpool Archdiocesan Centre for Evangelisation, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool L17 1AA Tel: 0151 522 1007 Email:

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Contents 4

Main Feature Two hundred years and counting for the FCJ Sisters


News From around the Archdiocese

13 Cathedral Record ‘Christ, bless this house’ 14 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 15 Nugent With your support we can help 16 What’s On Whats happening in the Archdiocese 18 Animate New year, new beginning? 19 Profile Sister Lynne Baron FCJ A guide for young people exploring their path 26 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC 28 Pic Life Starting the year with that old spirit of perseverance 30 Justice and Peace Hidden in Plain Sight: Human trafficking and modern-day slavery

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Two hundred years and counting for the FCJ Sisters A valuable presence on Liverpool’s Catholic landscape since establishing Bellerive FCJ Catholic College in the 1840s, the FCJ Sisters are marking their bicentenary with a significant pledge. By Simon Hart For Sister MaryAnne Francalanza, the essence of the Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ) can be captured in six words. A teacher of Maths at Bellerive FCJ Catholic College in Liverpool, she explains: ‘We’ve done a lot of work with staff and students and different levels of management to try to find what is the FCJ ethos and we came up with six words: companionship, dignity, excellence, justice, gentleness – which is a very FCJ thing – and hope. Our communities are places where those six values are lived and encouraged.’ This definition is particularly noteworthy now we are in the FCJ’s bicentenary year, which began in September 2019 and continues until the feast of Christ the King in November 2020. A prolonged anniversary year with time for celebration and reflection on times past but also, crucially, an action plan shaped by concerns about tomorrow. First the celebrations, which began on 21 September, the birthday of the foundress of the congregation, Marie Madeleine d’Houet, who established the first FCJ community in Amiens, France in 1820 and went on to found other schools and missions such as working with the poor not only in France, but also in England, Switzerland, Italy and Ireland. At Bellerive, as at other FCJ schools and communities the world over, pupils participated in an International Day of Kindness, which included serving afternoon tea to local 4

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people. For past pupils and friends of the community, a reunion Mass in Merseyside will follow though the date remains unconfirmed. There is substance to the celebrations according to Sister MaryAnne, who cites two themes rooted in the here and now: the climate and youth. ‘The first is the climate emergency,’ she explains. ‘We’re trying to find ways to respond to Laudato Si’ as a group ourselves by the influence we have with the schools and the places we work.’ The FCJ published an Area of Europe Bicentenary Commitment in September which includes the pledge for each community to plant 10 trees. Another is to to clear all single-use plastics from FCJ communities and homes. According to Sr MaryAnne, these actions will be accompanied by ‘advocacy for the poorest’ who are the first to be affected by climate change. The second theme, she continues, is young people’s faith and vocation discernment. ‘Like the Jesuits our spirituality is Ignatian from Saint Ignatius Loyola and discernment is a one of the main gifts that he gave the Church. It’s what we learn in early years of formation – to help people to discern and make choices. It’s something the Pope’s Synod

‘Like the Jesuits our spirituality is Ignatian spirituality from Saint Ignatius Loyola ’ on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment was talking about so we’re well placed to respond.’ Early days The FCJ Sisters’ presence in Liverpool dates back to 1844 when a request was issued for Sisters to provide support at St Patrick’s Parish Church, which had been established for the city’s growing Irish community. ‘They came to St Patrick’s from Ireland and opened a school there because our Sisters were known for education,’ says Sr MaryAnne. ‘It had about 1,000 children and in the evenings they had a night school for girls who were already at work.’ An early protagonist, Mother Xavier O’Neill, died of cholera and her name adorns one of Bellerive’s new buildings. Bellerive itself had been established in 1845 in St George’s Square in the city centre, with a selfdeclared mission to teach ‘Geography, use of globes, Botany, History, Writing, Arithmetic and French and Italian languages.’ In 1896 it moved to its current site beside Princes Park. ‘It’s had various incarnations but it started at a time when girls weren’t necessarily educated,’ adds Sr MaryAnne. From Liverpool the FCJ influence fanned out, with houses opened in Birkenhead – today’s Upton Hall School – as well as Chester, Manchester and Salford. Eight Sisters even sailed from Liverpool to Canada, as Sr MaryAnne relates: ‘In late 1883 we started foundations in Canada and Australia and they left for Canada from here and went across the prairies in these wagons. It was the most amazing and courageous thing knowing they’d never come back.’ The passing decades have brought changes. Bellerive became part of St Mary’s Roman Catholic High School in the reorganisation of Liverpool’s Catholic senior schools in 1983. Its name was restored in

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FCJ Sisters from across Europe

1997. Today it is a six-form-entry college, its days as a boarding school now a faraway memory. ‘In the distant past there were Sisters who’d have done the teaching and the management of the school, the cooking and the cleaning,’ Sr MaryAnne observes. ‘It would’ve been a much bigger community but that work is gone and we’ve fluctuated according to the needs and the availability and the skill of the Sisters.’

If Sr MaryAnne is today the only Sister teaching at the school, a sense of purpose remains intact. So too a strong influence. Sr Brigid Halligan OBE, previously Bellerive head teacher for 24 years, holds a role on the board of the FCJ Education Trust which oversees all of the order’s schools in the UK and Jersey. Overall six Sisters remain in Liverpool, spread across two houses – one near the old St Hugh’s parish, Wavertree; the other in St Clare’s parish, Sefton Park.

Sr MaryAnne explains: ‘We do quite a lot of young adult spirituality work, retreats and Scripture study. We have sisters who visit the sick and take communion – companionship work. One sister is very involved in the university chaplaincy. Another is a full-time chaplain at our school on the Wirral. We also have a completely new group of people called FCJ “Companions in Mission” who are lay people but live with the FCJ spirit.’

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Young adult pilgrimage

Positive thinking This positive tone is echoed by Sister Lynne Baron, whose work in Liverpool centres on vocations. She explains: ‘We’re a very small congregation – we’re only 200 worldwide and there are probably about 85-90 of us in Europe. Around 10 per cent are younger sisters so while our numbers are reduced, we can see there’s a healthy, younger group coming up. ‘We’ve chosen to make changes and come out of some ministries but often with a real sense that “This is where the call is for us now”. In the 1800s we were setting up schools because no one was providing Catholic education for girls. Now we have committed lay people running schools and the sisters are saying, “Where is the call now?” There’s a great sense that this is a good life. It’s really expansive and deepening and God is still calling us.’

With an imprint in 15 countries, the FCJ has a global presence which is felt in the Bellerive pupils’ celebrations of the bicentenary. For instance, before marking the school’s Feast day of the Immaculate Conception with special Masses on Friday 6 December, each year group researched and learned about an aspect of the FCJ’s work around the world. ‘There was a real sense in the school of the children connecting with other schools,’ says Sr MaryAnne, and this brings us back to that FCJ ethos. ‘It’s the Faithful Companions of Jesus so companionship is quite important, so although it’s a school and there are six million boxes to tick, there’s also a sense of being a family and that family reaches to other schools.’ Making the experience of this special year all the richer in the process. For more information visit:

The FCJ’s bicentenary commitment is:

‘We do quite a lot of young adult spirituality work, retreats and Scripture study’ 6

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• To celebrate the beauty of creation and make a positive contribution to our local environment. We will plant 10 trees per community and/or group in 2020. • To endeavour to divest all our FCJ communities and homes of single-use plastics, growing in our awareness and supporting each other in our resolve. • To publicly acknowledge the impact of climate change on the poorest people in society, raising awareness of issues locally, nationally and internationally, and becoming involved in advocacy where possible.

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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:

Let your light shine By Helen Jones, Pastoral Associate

The lights of St Wilfrid’s Parish, Garston shone brightly on a dull Saturday in November as young people gathered at Carmel Monastery, Maryton for their first ever Youth Ministry retreat day. St Wilfrid’s is blessed with a host of musicians, altar servers and readers amongst others. 21 of them ranging from Year 4 to Year 12 experienced a day exploring gifts and talents. The Avengers may seem like an unlikely focus for spirituality, but each ‘superpower’ that these superheroes displayed inspired the young people to create their own superheroes from their own gifts and talents: music, sport, entertaining, dance, singing, reading, baking, drawing, running…. the list went on. Concluding with spiritual moments in the chapel, the youth ministers reflected on using their gifts and talents in love for the greater good of their parish. They appreciated being able to come together in a different environment, getting to know each another and praying with one another. Father Joe Kendall said: ‘The future of our parish is in safe hands. Having seen how our youth come together like this is inspiring for all of us’. Yasmin Maassarani and Jo Wallace led the day and Sr Patricia and the sisters at Maryton offered encouragement and the generous use of their monastery. St Wilfrid’s Youth is indeed ‘Called and Gifted by God’ and their lights truly shone at Carmel, brightening a gloomy day with the light of their lives.

St Edmund’s exhibition highlights community efforts ‘A chance to share all the good work that goes on.’ This is how Kenny Lawler, the pastoral associate at St Edmund of Canterbury, Waterloo summed up the exhibition that took place at the parish recently.

Pat Murphy at the exhibition


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The event, organised by Kenny and the parish priest, Father John Cullen, was an opportunity for parishioners to display the different forms of volunteering and ministry in which they are active participants. It coincided with the launch of the first theme of the Synod, ‘All Called and Gifted by God’. To spread the word, there were flyers put up in local churches, shops and community centres, updates in the parish newsletter and even a plug from presenter Roger Phillips on BBC Radio Merseyside. Kenny added: ‘I was delighted that we’d arranged it, unknowingly at the time, on the same weekend that our first Synod theme was launched. It fits so well. It was an opportunity for the wider parish community to get a real taste of what goes on and what opportunities there are for people to get involved. Some people might know what Eucharistic Ministers do, but they might not know about the SVP, Justice and Peace or family groups. Some people might know about all these groups but aren’t sure on the ministry of keeping the church clean and the gardens in good condition.’ Kenny, who is based at Our Lady Star of the Sea, Seaforth, added that every parish could benefit from an exhibition of this kind. ‘There was something very special about seeing the fruit of the work we do together as a community. This was a prime example of everyone being “called and gifted” and will definitely aid the discernment of people thinking of their proposals on this first theme.’

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news diary Churches Together on Merseyside 18+ ... A journey in faith and friendship By Veronica McDonnell and Elisabeth Hachmoeller A little over a year ago, a group of young Christian adults began to meet in Liverpool to get to know each other and to celebrate what they have in common through their Christian Faith. A lively, interesting and very happy journey has taken place over these past twelve months as the group has grown together in mutual understanding and a shared vision, with the Gospel at the centre of everything they do. The group is made up of members from the Salvation Army, Methodist, Anglican, Pentecostal and Catholic Churches: young men and women from different walks of life, all over the age of eighteen. On reflection, it is easy to see how the Holy Spirit has been at work, as the young people have been so open to sharing their gifts and talents, in a spirit of collaboration. Whilst acknowledging the difference in denominational traditions, a deep respect and appreciation of, and for, each other has developed, and these young people are on a mission to continue to spread the good news. Since the initial meeting in November 2018, they have worked together to

establish a common vision through shared leadership. Members have taken turns in chairing meetings and offer individual perspectives to enlighten each other. For example, in April last year, P J and Chloe (Anglican and Methodist) led the group in determining its purpose, and set out their hopes and dreams for the way forward. In May 2019, Peter led the group through the Catholic Synod 2020 questions, which sparked a lively exchange of views and ideas. Following this, two members (Sam and Chloe) were pleased to take part in the Synod meetings, representing the Anglican and Methodist Churches. They were delighted to observe how their input was received and welcomed by Synod 2020 members. Pentecost Celebrations on Sunday 9 June 2019 became a particular highlight for the group. They actively took part in the Pilgrimage of Hope which used to be the ‘Two Cathedrals Service’ and was inspired by the Pope’s visit to the city in 1982. This Pentecost event celebrates the unity between Christians and is also symbolic of the unity which exists amongst Christians in our city and region. Group members were asked to proclaim

some of the readings during the service and the bonds within the group were strengthened that day. As the year moved on, relationships have deepened and lots of insights, and food, and laughter have been shared along the way. A need for prayer emerged also, and when it was Liam Mc’s turn to chair he gave a brief talk on Ignatian Spirituality followed by guided prayer in the two main Ignatian forms: the examen, and imaginative contemplation of the Gospel. This was well received by all and deepened the groups’ sense of spirituality. During the Summer, the group enjoyed a relaxing walk along the dockside. A friendly chat and refreshments along the way made it a happy social occasion. More recently, the group decided to dedicate some time to visiting the various denominations, in order to appreciate their work and traditions more fully. Last October, the Catholic Chaplaincy of John Moores and Liverpool University warmly welcomed the group at St.Philip Neri Church, led by Liam Mahan and Father Neil Ritchie. Father Neil traced the history of this beautiful church and explained the symbolism of its sacred spaces. He also demonstrated the use of incense at the request of the other denominations, as they found it fascinating and wanted to know more about it. November brought us to Childwall Valley Salvation Army, where Bek and friends offered to share their home for the evening and explained how they live in community to facilitate their Christian outreach. The journey continues...a seed has been sown, and with God’s grace the group will flourish and produce rich fruit. The young people are keen to welcome others to share in and become part of the journey. Youth workers are also welcome. We are grateful to Taras who has supported us along the way. If you know anyone aged between 18 to 30, who may be interested, please encourage them to contact Veronica email: The Facebook page is at Meetings take place on the second Monday of each month and all are welcome.

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news diary

‘Better together’ is Bishop Tom’s message for Hope celebrations Bishop Tom Williams has taken part in the 175th anniversary celebrations of Liverpool Hope University by delivering a lecture on ecumenism in the city. ‘Christian Faith in the City over 175 years:

Is it “Better Together” or getting worse?’ was the title of Bishop Tom’s distinguished lecture, which he gave in the Senate Room at the University’s Hope Park campus.

The Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool, began by recalling how ‘Better Together’ was not just the slogan of the Eldonians, who campaigned in the 1980s to keep their inner-city community together and provide better housing, but also the title of the book co-authored by Derek Worlock, the former Archbishop of Liverpool, and David Sheppard, his Anglican counterpart. In his reflection on the history of the city, he spoke of many changes and challenges faced: the growth of the port, Irish immigration, sectarian violence, the Blitz, and he added: ‘The history of this city and this community, is about winning the struggles. We have to come through the trauma of our own history with hope, dignity and, like the Eldonians and many others, we do that by having a determination and a will to be better together.’

1,000 lunches served with love and friendship St Oswald’s Caritas Group, Longton, was formed in May 2017 with the aim of helping all Parishioners to feel ‘included’. We began with a Lunch Club (inspired by Father Philip Inch, Parish Priest at the time). All parishioners, including those from our neighbouring parish of St Teresa’s and St Mary Magdalen’s Penwortham are invited. Hot pot and cheese and potato pie (provided by a caterer) are served together with tea and coffee and home-made cakes. There is no charge just a voluntary donation. Over 35 parishioners regularly attend our monthly lunch. The Faith in Action students, Year 6, from St Oswald’s Primary School, eat their lunches sitting amongst the parishioners, then serve cakes and clear tables. Their interaction with the adults is a great success. Our 1000th lunch serving last November was a wonderful achievement and the lucky diner was presented with a box of chocolates. We sincerely thank everyone for their support, particularly Father Michael Barrett, Parish Priest, and Father Roy Cooper (St Teresa’s and St Mary Magdelen’s). We also provide transport as required to the lunches and to Mass. This year we have organised a family 10

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treasure hunt, a day of reflection, a visit to both Cathedrals in Liverpool, to the shrine at Ladyewell and to a local garden centre. On each occasion we filled a 59 seater coach.

The money we raise from bingo and parish collections is donated to provide for certain children in our school and to support our young people on the Lourdes Pilgrimage.

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news diary

A hostel with hammocks by Neil Sayer Archdiocesan Archivist This year the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) celebrates its centenary, having been founded in Glasgow in 1920. It aimed to provide pastoral and welfare services to all mariners, no matter what their race or religious beliefs. Inspired by the Scottish example, the Liverpool branch was founded in 1923 when Archbishop Keating appointed Dom Odo Blundell, a Benedictine monk from St Anne’s, Edge Hill, to develop a similar mission in the second port of the Empire. Port Chaplains, beginning with Father Blundell, visited sailors on board ship, providing spiritual ministration where it was asked for and, aided by voluntary workers, donating clothes, books and sports equipment. There was definitely a need: the River Mersey boasted seven miles of docks, and the rise of sea freight and passenger liner voyages during the 1920s meant that there were increasing numbers of merchant seamen with time on their hands. ‘Land Sharks and gambling dens’ were what awaited them, according to those concerned for their welfare. They needed both recreational activities and safe, relaxing places to stay. From small beginnings in the Sailor’s Home, the Liverpool branch of AoS established Atlantic House in Bootle in 1937. That institution provided accommodation and recreational facilities until it was requisitioned when war broke out. A second Atlantic House was then set up on Little Howard Street. There, according to their publicity, the AoS ‘maintained a real “Home from Home” for seafarers of all nations and of all creeds, catering for their comfort and entertainment during their short periods ashore’. The Atlantic House pictured here was opened on Hardman Street in Liverpool in 1947. By the 1950s it was able to offer bedrooms, a bar and restaurant, dancing every night, concerts, whist drives, rambles and other outings, as well as practical facilities for laundry, dry cleaning, shoe and watch repairs. An Oratory Church for 300 people could be created from the Ball Room. Many of those who visited for social events or to stay might remember the entrance hall, featuring a marble floor with the insignia ‘Apostolatus Maris’ worked in coloured mosaic. As the Mersey dock activity gravitated northwards, the city centre became less accessible for time-pressed merchant seamen. In 1969 the AoS opened a purpose-built hostel, Stella Maris, as part of the new Atlantic House on Bootle New Strand. Changing needs meant that this too closed in 2004, and the AoS is now represented through the Liverpool Seafarers Centre in Seaforth.

Obituary of Rev Kevin Ashton Father Kevin Ashton, former Parish Priest of St Mary, Birchley, and the longest serving priest in the archdiocese died on Saturday 16 November aged 98 and in the 75th year of his priesthood. John Kevin Ashton was born in Crosby on 16 February 1921, the youngest of five children born to Charles and Catherine Ashton, and grew up with four elder sisters, two of whom became nuns. His father, a joiner who worked on Hollywood film sets and in the Canadian logging injury, died after a serious accident on a construction project when Kevin was still young. He received his early education at St Bernard’s School, Liverpool, and St Edward’s College, Liverpool, before transferring to St Joseph’s College, Upholland, for his seminary training. He seemed to thrive in this environment, where he was noted as a good footballer, earning the nickname ‘Smash Ash’ for his combative play, and for being an all-round athlete. He was ordained priest in the college chapel on 26 May 1945 by Archbishop Richard Downey. In common with many priests ordained in the archdiocese during that era, Kevin served a long apprenticeship to become a parish priest, ministering in several parishes as assistant priest: St Christopher, Speke (1945); St Marie, Standish (September 1949); St Marie, Southport (April 1951), St Elizabeth, Litherland (June 1956), St Swithin, Gillmoss (October 1957); St Joseph, Kirkby (1964); St Philip Neri, Liverpool (December 1965) and St Mary, Woolton (September 1970). In the last appointment at Woolton he was also chaplain at Notre Dame School. His priestly ministry might have been quite markedly different if one of his requests had been accepted. In the early 1950s he expressed the desire to serve as an army chaplain, but there were no vacancies at that time. He pursued the matter again in October 1956. Although chaplains were needed and he was deemed a suitable candidate, the decision was postponed because Archbishop Godfrey was about to go to Westminster, and Father Kevin continued to minister faithfully in parishes across the archdiocese. In January 1973 he was appointed parish priest at St Mary’s, Birchley, in succession to Father Vincent Gaskell. He soon developed friendships with local families, as he had done in his previous parishes, and ministered faithfully to this community for 22 years. During that time he developed a close link with Nugent House School in Billinge, so it seemed fitting upon his retirement from the parish that he took up the role of chaplain at the school. He remained at Nugent House for a further 14 years before moving to Sale to live with the Duggan family. There in St Joseph’s parish he regularly celebrated the lunchtime Mass on Saturdays. With the frailty of increasing age he moved to Ince Blundell Hall for his final few years. According to friends he always aspired to be the oldest priest in the archdiocese, which he was at the time of his death, though not the oldest priest we have had. That record belongs to Father Tom Kennedy. However, Father John Kevin Ashton has been the longest-serving priest

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news diary

Synod in the year 2020 by Father Philip Inch, Synod Moderator January 2020 sees us entering a decisive year for our Synod Journey. We have always been very careful to emphasise that Synod is not just a one-off meeting, it is a walking together on a road, listening, discerning and trying to discover the voice of God. The weekend of October 16, 17 and 18 2020 will bring together all the Synod Members to pray, to celebrate and to vote on proposals. These proposals will be based on the four themes that emerged from all the listening that took place in Spring and Summer 2019, but they are also informed by the prayer that took place in 2018 as we led towards Adoremus. And after October 2020 that journey will not cease. The Archbishop will present a Pastoral Plan for the Archdiocese which will be influenced by all that has been said and heard and by the votes that have taken place. This will not be ready until early 2021. So, what about Synod 2021 and then 2022 onwards? All of this reminds us that as we follow the Way there isn’t an end point: it is the ‘joy of the journey’. In the final document of the Amazon Synod in October 2019 the Synod Fathers wrote this: ‘To walk together the Church today needs a conversion to the synodal experience. It is necessary to strengthen a culture of dialogue, reciprocal listening, spiritual discernment, consensus and communion to find spaces and modes of joint decision and respond to pastoral challenges.’ The Synod Talks that have taken place and continue at Hope University Chapel have helped us to reflect on some of the issues that the Amazon Fathers reflected on and that we as a Diocese have to respond to. Father Gerry O’Hanlon shared with us his understanding of the way that Pope Francis doesn’t just talk about Synods but has tried to live as the leader of a Synodal Church. He began his talk with this thought: It all starts with some kind of encounter, in faith, with Jesus Christ. Remember Jesus and the Rich Young Man: ‘Jesus looked at him steadily and loved him’. There was a real joy in


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this encounter. Father Gerry went on to explore how Pope Francis prefers to stress the dynamic noun ‘encounter’ rather than the more abstract notion of ‘relationship’. Pope Benedict spoke of the passion of God for us. Father Gerry went on to say that the ‘us’ is important, it has an ecclesial dimension – it is about ‘Church, about Diocese,’ and that is why Archbishop Malcolm called a Synod. In the second talk Dr Ros Stuart Buttle from Hope University ended her powerful talk with this reflection: ‘No matter what age we are, our faith and our theology are constantly challenged by life. When people speak of growing old, too often the emphasis is on the “old” rather than still growing or becoming. But we can only be the people and the Church now, in this moment, in this culture, in this time. This invites our faith and our Church not just to be understood differently but to be lived differently. May the Holy Spirit give each of us the grace to respond.’ The talks to come will, hopefully, give us more food for the journey. Monday 13 January Dr Dominika KurekChomvcz and Professor John Sullivan from Hope will reflect on faith in the Family. Dominika is a mum of two boys and married to a Greek Catholic priest. What does it mean to talk about the domestic Church? How can faith be passed on in the family? Monday 17 February Bishop Philip Egan (Portsmouth) will talk about the place of the Catholic Church in society today. Monday 9 March David McLoughlin will

help shone a light on the Church as One and yet seemingly fragmented. And finally in on Monday 20 April Kate Wilkinson and Dr Peter McGrail will share their reflections on ministry. 2020 promises to be an exciting and memorable year for the Archdiocese of Liverpool, but it will not all stop on December 31st 2020 The text of Synod Talks and more details can be found on the Synod 2020 website: under the heading resources – Synod Talks.

Lighting of the Synod Candle at the members meeting on Wednesday 25 September 2019

Synod members meeting Saturday 21 September 2019

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

‘Christ, bless this house’ After the excitement of Christmas, January can feel a bit flat. However, the liturgical season of Christmas continues up to the Solemnity of the Epiphany (and in fact technically all the way up the Presentation of the Lord on 2 February.) To mark the Epiphany this year, as had been traditional for a few years now we are holding a special Epiphany Carol Service in the Cathedral on Sunday 5th January. The service will open at the Crib, before proceeding with a mixture of carols, readings and motets, all of which will reflect on the later parts of the Christmas Story and the early parts of Jesus' ministry. The Carol Service will begin at 3.00 pm and all are very welcome. Every two years the Cathedral hosts an Epiphany Service for schools across the archdiocese. At this year’s service, which takes place on Friday 10 January, we are also joined by a delegation from our twin city, Cologne, in Germany. Our visitors play a prominent role in the service, and before they leave they inscribe onto the wall of the Cathedral the initials: CMB 2020. CMB stands for ‘Christus mansionem benedicat’ which translates to ‘Christ bless this house.’ But, of course CMB also stands for the names of the three Kings, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. Since before the middle ages, Catholics would bless their houses by inscribing with blessed chalk the initials of the three kings above their doorways, a tradition which is still alive and well in Germany and brought to Liverpool by our friends from Cologne. Liverpool is a unique city in many ways, none more so than in the close relationship between its two Cathedrals. To mark the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the choir and congregation of both Cathedrals will gather at Liverpool Cathedral for Choral Evensong on Sunday 19 January. The joint choirs will sing music by Bairstow, Tallis and Dyson. The preacher will be Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald who has just a short walk up the hill from St Vincent de Paul Church.

Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean We begin a new year hopefully rested after the hectic Christmas schedule. As the year unfolds may it be for us all a year with many blessings and very few sorrows.

November 2019 saw the death of two individuals who wielded great influence on the music here at the Cathedral. Monsignor Peter Cookson, former Dean of the Metropolitan Cathedral was a great supporter of music in the Cathedral so it was a great privilege for the choir to be able to lead the music at his Requiem Mass in the Cathedral. Former Master of the Music Philip Duffy composed a Gospel Acclamation verse especially for the occasion and the choir sang parts of Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem. Colin Mawby KSG also sadly passed away in November. Colin’s connections to the Cathedral began in 1967 when Archbishop Beck commissioned him to write a new Mass, in English, entitled ‘Mass in Honour of Christ the King.’ first sung as part of the opening celebrations of the Cathedral. During Archbishop Worlock’s time Mawby was commissioned to write the ‘Liverpool Mass’ for Congregation, cantor, choir, organ and optional brass and timpani. This Mass was subsequently re-written in 2012 to match the words of the new translation and first used in this format at the Mass to celebrate the golden jubilee of Archbishop Patrick Kelly. In 2017 Colin was commissioned to compose a setting of the Te Deum as part of the Jubilee celebrations of the Metropolitan Cathedral. May God grant eternal rest to these souls and may they sing with the heavenly choirs for all eternity.

One of the key events taking place this year will be the Diocesan Synod, the actual Synod gathering will be taking place in Wigan but a number of the lead up services and final celebrations will be based at the Cathedral. The level of involvement and engagement of people in the Synod process so far has been wide ranging but there will still be much to be done throughout the year to prepare for the final assemblies. The year begins with the Feast of Mary the Mother of God and we just have the one Mass that day at 10.00 am. It is much more advantageous asking God’s blessing for the year ahead than staying up the night before to drink away the memories of the past year. The celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated on the first weekend of the new year. Later in the month to mark the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity there will be a joint Cathedrals Evening Prayer at Liverpool Cathedral on Sunday 19 January at 3.00 pm. Both Cathedral clergy and choirs will be taking part with Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald as guest preacher. For most of the month of January the Crypt Halls are booked up for exams for John Moores University students, which means a lot of tired and stressed looking young students visiting the Cathedral to say a quick prayer before the ordeal ahead. Thankfully our start to the year is not quite as frantic as theirs. A Happy and Blessed New Year to you all.

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sunday reflections On a liturgical note As our schools and workplaces and parishes get ‘back into gear’ after the Christmastide and New Year break, we look forward to the 12 months which open up before us filled with opportunities ‘to know, to love and to serve the Lord’. In fact, the attitude with which we embrace life is, in the words of Pope Francis in his first Apostolic Exhortation written in 2013, to be filled with ‘the joy of the Gospel’ because it is in that spirit of joy that people will be able to truly encounter the risen Lord Jesus. Joy is not about wearing a fixed grin which people will very quickly realise is false and forced, nor is it an attempt to pretend that life is always a bed of roses; life can be tough, faith can feel sometimes like an uphill struggle, and joy is perfectly compatible with suffering – just look to the Martyrs! The ‘joy of the Gospel’ is our being so deeply rooted in our relationship with the Father that, using the words of Saint Paul, we know in the depth of our being that ‘in all things God works for the good of those who love him’ (Romans 8:28). To quote Pope Francis: ‘The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer

Sunday thoughts As I write, Advent has yet to begin. Christmas has yet to take place and I am attempting to fast forward in my mind to the feast of the Epiphany. I am writing this piece in late November although it’s intended for the January edition of the Pic. On reflection this has one advantage. The Epiphany can get short shrift as a tired postscript to Christmas. Yet it’s a magnificent stand-alone feast. It addresses the question: ‘For whom did Jesus come?’ Christmas is a feast for the family, the home crowd, for the followers of Jesus. At Christmas we invite him into our home, to our dinner table, our sofa and our TV screen. (Before central heating became the norm, we used to invite him join us at the fireside. I miss that. Nothing beats contemplative-like staring into an open fire in the hour before bedtime).

Canon Philip Gillespie

heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless. That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ.’ (The Joy of the Gospel #2) When we come together to celebrate the Liturgy of the Church we are nourished by Word and Sacraments for the task that lies ahead of us each day, each week, each year. The Liturgy is a moment in the life of each individual and community when, in a particular and powerful way, God works for our Good – transforming our lives through the working of His Holy Spirit. Pope Francis certainly challenges each one of us by his words regarding the need for each of us – both as individuals and as parishes – to embrace the call to be missionaries of the joy of the Gospel. We are called to be missioners of Gospel joy in a world which can so often appear to be concerned merely with the superficial, the short-term and the self-centred. By our example we play our own little part in fulfilling the great command to ‘go, make disciples of all nations’, but we can only do this in the strength of the Holy Spirit. This is not only a challenge – but also an Examination of Conscience!

Mgr John Devine OBE

The Epiphany tears us away from the cosiness of home. It requires us to crawl from under the duvet and return to work. ‘The Journey of the Magi’ by poet TS Eliot describes how one of the three wise men was changed by his encounter with the child Jesus: ‘We returned to our places, these Kingdoms, but no longer at ease here …’ The Epiphany celebrates the way our meeting with our new-born king changes the way we look at the routine of life in the real world, loathed as we are to return to it. The Christ-child comes not just for us but for the rest of humanity. Epiphany celebrates the realisation that he really is a light to the nations.

Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at 14

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Called to be a people of hope How many times have you, like me, begun a new year with resolutions to change in some way? I don’t doubt that, after a very short time, we have found ourselves caught up in our old habits and negative ways of doing things. I hit 60 this year and as I grow older, I wonder whether real change and transformation will ever happen within me. Or will I always live a life of quiet resignation saying things like, ‘This is the way I am’ or ‘I’m only human’? Yet I believe profoundly in the Gospel call to transformation, to deep inner change that prepares us for eternity and sets us free from the mundane, moribund existence that so many call ‘living’. Central to our Christian faith is that we, in Christ, can become a new creation. That belief is rooted in the belief that ‘nothing is impossible with God’. So I can say, with confidence, that real change is not easy, but it is possible because of Christ. Our resolutions at New Year are usually that we wish we could be brighter, healthier, better-looking, younger, richer, more talented, more respected, more loved, in a better job, in a better marriage, in another country. These wishes are not grounded in anything and most of the time, go nowhere and so they disappear like smoke in the air! Hope is different. Unlike wishing, hope is grounded in a promise. We hope that life will be different, that we can become more loving, compassionate and forgiving. We hope that the world can become a different place. We hope that we might live with confidence in eternity, freed from the worry and concerns that grind us down and which always pass away. We hope in Christ and He has promised that we can become a new creation. Hope does not leave us powerless. Every hope in Christ can become a possibility, a reality. Hope promises us that mountains will move, but it doesn’t promise that they will move quickly! What hope promises us will come to pass; real change will take place, but only if we are patient and faithful enough to persevere. All things, we are assured by faith, come to those who believe enough and who are faithful enough. Given this, let us do more hoping this year, and maybe a little less wishing and dreaming. Fr Chris Thomas

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Alison Gilbody Head of Strategic Relationships and Major Giving

N is for Nugent – help us spread the word! I’ve been asked by Nugent’s CEO, Normandie Wragg, to guest edit a column this month. As I put pen to paper, for what will be the January edition - here at Nugent - we’re still in the midst of developing some of our Christmas activities and appeals. By the time you get to read this, we’ll have received up to £10,000 of in-kind support for food and toy hampers and distributed up to 800 of them over the festive period to our service users and people out in the community. We’ll have supported front-line services through our crib appeal and given hundreds of people the opportunity to remember a loved one through our annual Light up a Life service, not only in the Cathedral, but also through an additional service at St Teresa’s Church in Upholland. We simply couldn’t do this without the support of volunteers and people out in our parishes and community, and we are enormously grateful. As a marketer and fundraiser, by profession, I’m always struck by the

breadth and complexity of the services that Nugent provides. This complexity can be a challenge though when it comes to spreading the word and talking about our services in a clear and concise manner. Some people are aware of us because they’ve accessed our services, or proactively supported us through their parishes. Others may recall taking part in the Good Shepherd appeal during their school days and just vaguely recollect Nugent. Raising awareness and boosting our profile is key. At 139 years, we’re proud to be one of the oldest charities in Merseyside, but we’re very conscious that there’s still plenty of people out there, who aren’t aware of who we are, or what we do. The new year seems like an ideal time to take stock and reflect on what Nugent means to people, but also to generate awareness and a greater understanding about our work. Some of you will have met our community fundraiser, Fran D’Arcy. She’s been out through the year engaging with schools,

old and new, across the archdiocese, promoting the ‘Good Shepherd’ and ‘In Your Name’ appeals. For those who frequent your local parish centres, you may have noticed Nugent collection boxes appearing. You may also see more of Fran as we’re delighted to have been given the opportunity to meet centre managers and talk more extensively about our work. (Thanks also to Mark Roche from the Archdiocesan Office for facilitating this and help make it happen). So, to help further spread the word, we’d be happy to come along and talk to your community group or society about our work, whether it’s in a parish centre of further afield. If you’d like to join our mailing list, take a collection box, or are interested in getting involved with fundraising, please get in touch, as we’d love to hear from you. Alison Gilbody Head of Strategic Relationships and Major Giving, Tel: 0151 261 2000

With your support we can help ‘The poor need our hands, to be lifted up; our hearts, to feel anew the warmth of affection; our presence, to overcome loneliness. In a word, they need love.’ Over four million children in Britain are growing up in poverty, with many at risk of going without nutrition or adequate food. As poverty has risen, families with children are among the hardest hit. Incomes have fallen since 2008 amid stagnant wages and increased costs, meaning families have had to cut their outgoings and are now spending a much greater share of their income on essential items such as food and energy. That leaves little scope for further savings in the event of another downturn. At Nugent we provide a safety net for vulnerable communities working with local partners to find ways of supporting families in crisis, through development of our Community Food Market programme, working in partnership with Micah at the food markets, Nugent’s welfare advice worker and the Gubay Crisis Fund. Recently these services have supported a family through the Gubay Crisis Fund who, through illness, had suffered loss of income and had struggled to support themselves. The fund helped provide the basics to set up a home and the family were directed to the Kirkdale food market where they found friendly support and advice that has given them hope for the future. This all-round support really impacts on families living in crisis. Just this year our services have: supported 102 children and 109 adults through the Gubay Crisis Fund; provided advice to help

over 50 people with PIP and benefit claims; supported appeals to recover over £6,500 in back pay after benefit appeals; supported over 120 people per week living with food poverty at our food markets in Woodvale and Kirkdale. Marie Reynolds, Caritas Manager at Nugent says, ‘across the year we have had so much support from across the archdiocese, for which we are immensely grateful. This has not only helped us help more people but has also been so inspiring to our staff. We look forward to being able to help more families in crisis across 2020 with your invaluable support.’ ‘The hope of the poor shall not perish for ever,’ Pope Francis.

The Father Nugent Walk

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what’s on Wednesday 1 January Solemnity of Mary Mother of God Sunday 5 January Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord Epiphany Carol Service. 3.00 pm at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Sunday 12 January Liverpool Bach Collective Johann Sebastian Bach Cantata 7: ‘Christ unser Herr, zum Jordan kam.’ (‘Christ the Lord came to the Jordan.’) 6.30 pm at St Edmund of Canterbury, Oxford Road, Waterloo, L22 8QF. Singers and Players directed by Philip Duffy. Email: Tuesday 14 January Time Out on Tuesdays 10.00 am to 4.00 pm at the Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane, Liverpool L15 6TW. An opportunity for quiet time, away from the daily rush of life. Offering £10 per person (bring your own lunch). For further details contact: Sister Winifred. Tel: 0151 722 2271, Email: Wednesday 15 January UCM bi-monthly Mass 7.30 pm at St Thomas of Canterbury, Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Saturday 18 January to Saturday 25 January Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity

Saturday 18 January ‘Journeying in Faith.’ Focolare national interfaith event at Elgar hall, University of Birmingham. Speakers: Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, Dr Mohammad Ali Shomali, Director of the International Institute for Islamic Studies, and Bhai Sahib Ji, leader of the GNNSJ Sikh community. Entry free but tickets required via Eventbrite. Details: Sunday 19 January Day of Prayer for Peace. Justice and Peace Annual Memorial Lecture Modern Day Slavery. Speaker: Kevin Hyland OBE. 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm at LACE Conference Centre, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool, L17 1AA. Details: Tel: 0151 522 1080/1081. Two Cathedrals Evening Prayer for the Octave of Christian Unity 3.00 pm at Liverpool Anglican cathedral. Preacher: Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald MAfr. Thursday 23 January ‘European Art Through English Eyes.’ A talk by Professor Keith Hanley exploring the Christian spirit of European art through the eyes of Victorian polymath, John Ruskin. 7:30 pm at Theodore House, Stonyhurst,

Synod 2020 Talks Monday 13 January Faith in the Family Dr Dominika Kurek-Chomycz and Professor John Sullivan. What does Scripture teach about Faith and family? What does it mean to call home 'the domestic Church'? What foundations for Faith can be laid in the family? Monday 17 February ‘The Church in an Individualistic Society: Today’s Economic Inequality Where is the Church?’ Right Reverend Dr Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth. What currents are evident in contemporary culture? What does the Gospel of Christ say? What pastoral approaches might the Catholic community take. Talks are at 7.30 pm at the LACE Conference Centre, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool, L17 1AA. Tea and coffee available from 7.00 pm and optional Night prayer follows at 9.00 pm.

College, Clitheroe, BB7 9PT. (Rooms available for a discounted rate.) Details: ent/ruskin-talk/ Saturday 25 January Quiet Day 10.30 am to 4.00 pm at the Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane, Liverpool L15 6TW. Time to be quiet, reflect and pray. Offering £10 per person (bring your own lunch). No booking required. For further details contact: Sister Winifred. Tel: 0151 722 2271, Email:

Looking ahead: February 2020 Sunday 2 February Feast of the presentation of the Lord Wednesday 5 February Diaconate Information Evening 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm at St Joseph's Parish Centre, Crow Orchard Lane, Wrightington, WN6 9PA. Refreshments available from 7.00 pm. Saturday 8 February Day of Prayer for Victims of Trafficking. ‘For Beethoven’s Benefit’ Concert Music by Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn, with the Metropolitan Cathedral Orchestra, Conductor: Stephen Pratt. 7.30 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Tickets and details Tel: 0151 707 3525 or Sunday 9 February Racial Justice Sunday Tuesday 11 February Feast of our Lady of Lourdes World Day of prayer for sick people and those who care for them. Time Out on Tuesdays. 10.00 am to 4.00 pm at the Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane, Liverpool L15 6TW. An opportunity for quiet time, away from the daily rush of life. Offering £10 per person (bring your own lunch). For further details contact: Sister Winifred. Tel: 0151 722 2271, Email:

Website at

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news diary The Metropolitan Cathedral Education Service by Christine Robson, Head of Education Services Visit the cathedral during any week of the year and you are likely to see a class of children or young people absorbed and listening to someone who you might assume to be their teacher. It is more than likely that when you look closer the teacher is also listening to one of the members of the cathedral education service! The cathedral education service is a team of lively volunteers, who have honed their craft over many years as qualified teachers in primary, secondary and tertiary education. They also number a couple of university lecturers and teacher trainers among their ranks. Dedicated to enriching the lives of children and young people through engaging them with the history, art, architecture and religious symbolism of the cathedral

they bring to life the teaching of Christ in both a practical and spiritual way. A visit to the cathedral is a wonderful way for children to feel that they are part of a Catholic Christian community in a vibrant city of hope and challenge. The history of the site and the story of the building of the cathedral is a message of inspiration, tenacity, determination and looking with faith to the future. The unique structure mirrors a unique city, open to innovation whilst respecting and valuing the past. Anne, Beryl, Brendan, Brian, Chris, Christine, Gill, John and Sean are highly skilled, with many different areas of interest and expertise. Together, they are able to offer a flexible support for any school visit, and in most cases, can create a guided tour tailored to your particular focus, theme or interests. As the new year begins, make

a visit to the cathedral an event to look forward to. St Joseph’s, Catholic and Anglican High School Wrexham did just that. Over one day, 150 Year 8 children toured the cathedral with their teachers and helpers, supported by Brendan, Beryl and Christine. Ms Massey, who arranged the visit through Frank, our excellent secretary, wrote to say, ‘thank you so much for once again allowing us to visit your Cathedral which has now become a highlight of the school year. We look forward to our visit next year. I would also like to thank you for a well organised visit that enabled pupils to find more out about the Cathedral. Your

tour guides were very knowledgeable and fully engaged all the pupils in their care.’ If you would like to arrange a visit and tour for your class just email the Education Service Secretary at If you are looking for a joyful and fruitful way of living your faith by connecting with children and young people at the cathedral, and you have qualified teacher status, come and join the team. Simply contact myself, Christine Robson, Head of Education Services at

Why not donate your unwanted Christmas gifts to our charity shop and help support families living in poverty through the funds raised from your donations. You can donate any items at our shop on Monday to Saturday 9.00am - 5.00pm

0151 737 2951 73 Allerton Road, Liverpool, L18 2DH

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youth ministry

New year, new beginning? By Amy Lea, Animate Youth Ministries team member First of all, I’d like to introduce myself … I am Amy, a gap year member of the Animate team. In July, I graduated from Leeds Arts University where I studied Illustration with not much idea of what I wanted to do next! I have always been creative and throughout my time at university I worked with young people in my role as a student ambassador while also volunteering in primary schools as part of my professional practice module. This, combined with my experiences in Lourdes over the past eight years, is what led me to join the Animate team. Being in education from the age of four all the way up to 22 means that for me, a new year begins in September with the start of the school year. This would mean a new teacher and timetable, while for the past three years at university it meant new houses and housemates. In September 2019, my new start involved moving into Lowe House, with a two-week induction period before work began with Catholic schools across the Archdiocese.

Amid all these September reboots, thinking about 1 January as the new year has always felt slightly unnatural to me. New Year’s resolutions are something I have never stuck to and, to be honest, I’ve always felt as though not much has changed in this January period. However, when I joined Animate, one of the things I was asked to prepare were answers to some questions. This included naming my favourite piece of scripture and I chose 1 John 3:11: ‘For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.’ I had never really pinpointed a favourite piece before but this is something I remember from a very early age, something ingrained in me. On new beginnings, John continues with the following words: ‘And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to

his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.’ (2 John 1:5-6) So this new year, I am going to challenge myself to consider it a fresh start after all – a fresh start for my own personal journey in faith, with the goal being to walk in love. This is something which has been part of my faith from the start but is ever more important at this busy time of year: to walk in love in my work with young people, in my life as part of a community and even in my encounters with those who may be strangers to me. • Confirmations Father Simon Gore writes: Although many of our year 8s will have already been confirmed, there may be some, particularly in non-Catholic schools, who would like to be confirmed this coming year. If so, they are invited to a preparation day on 29 February from 10am-1pm at Lowe House in St Helens at which they will cover the material missed in classroombased sessions. They can sign up for the day through Eventbrite (search for ‘Animate Youth Ministries’), and please see the poster above for more information.


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profile ‘I travel across Europe quite a bit,’ says Lynne Baron, reeling off a list of destinations: Ireland, France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Romania and Germany. ‘It’s a really exciting, broadening, challenging life,’ she adds. It could be a sales pitch for a job as a jet-setting executive, but think again. Sister Lynne, to use her official title, is discussing her life as a nun – a religious sister with the Faithful Companions of Jesus. It is a life she entered early, at 22, fresh from having gained a degree in Physics and PGCE at Manchester University. ‘My family had significant questions,’ she admits of her choice at the time, yet the intervening quartercentury has assuaged those doubts. ‘They’re very proud of it. They can see a real value to it. I’ve done things I wouldn’t have otherwise done.’ This includes teaching stints in Middlesbrough, London and Liverpool – the last-mentioned a nine-year stay at Bellerive Catholic College until 2011. Prior to that was a year in Romania working with refugees and children with Down’s Syndrome. Subsequently she was university chaplain at Goldsmiths, University of London. And now she is back in Liverpool, working on vocations from the FCJ’s base at St Hugh’s community house in Wavertree. ‘We’re trying to start new project, a new focus for our community here involving young people and mission. My main ministry for the last seven years has been vocations work for the congregation across Europe. We’re in eight different countries and we’re in a fortunate position where we do have vocations and have young women discerning religious life with us. ‘I do spiritual direction and accompaniment of people considering priesthood and religious life generally, and I also work with young people at that point in their life where they’re trying to make decisions and bring their faith into their decisions.’ Preston-born and bred, Sr Lynne first gained a sense of her own vocation during a school retreat in the Lake District aged 13. ‘I had an experience of prayer that made me begin to see God as real – it was first time God felt present to me and probably changed the way I thought about my faith,’ she explains. ‘I didn’t think about being a nun at that point but I did really begin to look into my faith and try to understand it more. At university I was very involved in the Catholic Society and it helped me deepen my faith a lot more but I was also having a great time socialising and doing the normal things of university life.

Sister Lynne Baron A guide for young people exploring their path By Simon Hart ‘I had a boyfriend but as I was coming to end of my degree and we were thinking what our life together might be, I began to feel, “What’s going to be the priority for me?” and this question of how I was called to commit my life to God came back much more strongly.’ It begs the question whether she finds similar conviction in the young people she encounters today. ‘I think young people want to find places where they can commit and can put their energy. There’s a real sense with a lot of them of a very deep faith but there’s probably an uncertainty about life that has increased

if I compare it with when I was thinking about religious life. There is less trust, for example, in our politicians and big institutions – “What can we trust?” – and that has shown itself across politics, across banking, across education, across the Church and that raises a level of uncertainty for young people which makes choosing harder.’

‘I think young people want to find places where they can commit’ Catholic Pictorial


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education news Our Lady Queen of Peace celebrates 25 years

Archbishop Malcolm meets students from Our Lady’s

As part of the school’s 25 year anniversary celebrations, Our Lady Queen of Peace in Skelmersdale was delighted to welcome Archbishop Malcolm to celebrate Mass in November with the full school community of young people, staff and governors, together with Father Des Seddon and Father Mike Thompson. During the Mass special awards were made as part of the celebration. Archbishop Malcolm presented many young people with their Faith in Action Awards, representing excellent work in school of how young people have been working with chaplains Gill Chestney and Suzie Whitlow to put their faith into action through acts of kindness and charity work. Governors of the school were presented with special certificates of thanks from Archbishop Malcolm, for their long

dedication, commitment and outstanding service; Mr George Fox, a governor of Our Lady’s for 25 years, recently retired, and Mrs Kath Gresty, Chair of Governors for 25 years. Headteacher Alison Knight said: ‘This was a very special celebration of our whole school community of over 900 young people, staff and governors. Students were wonderful in leading the music, readings, prayers and presentation of gifts, with a particularly moving rendition of ’10,000 reasons’ which was sung in worship after communion and included powerful actions to express the words of the song: ‘We’ll worship His Holy Name’. Our Lady Queen of Peace believes in the value and contribution of every person and is proud to have been awarded Flagship status for Inclusion Quality Mark, recently re-accredited for a further 3 years.

Visit to St John Bosco Arts College from Sr Runita Borja During November St John Bosco Arts College had a special visit from the Youth Ministry Councillor for the Salesian Sisters, Sr Runita Borja. She has overall responsibility for Youth Ministry and Schools throughout the Salesian world. Sr Runita requested a visit to visit the school, following the fantastic visit from Mother Yvonne Reungoat who visited the college two years ago. Sr Runita visited with Sr Connie, Provincial of the Salesian Sisters in the UK. They were greeted by the head girl team and taken on a tour of the building to see the school in action. Sr Runita was then invited to join Year 8 for an extraordinary assembly before she joined the Student Council for lunch and discussion. It was an invaluable opportunity not only for Sr. Runita to visit the college but to discuss issues affecting young people in their community. She was very interested talking to students and hearing about their lives. Headteacher Darren Gidman said “It was a pleasure to have Sr Runita with us, we greatly value the time she has spent with our students and we hope she will visit again when she returns to the UK.”

Kelsea’s weekend of reflection In 2017 Kelsea Curran from Bellerive FCJ Catholic College was named as one of three winners of the Dorothy Day Award for 'fostering community and participation at the ‘Celebrating Young People Awards presented in central London. The awards are run by Catholic youth charity Million Minutes, an organisation that gives voice and support to young people to transform their lives and their world. To mark National Youth Sunday weekend previous nominees and winners of the awards gathered in London for a weekend of celebration and formation involving hands on activities, periods of reflection and time to plan projects aimed to inspire them in their on-going activities to transform society. 18 year old Kelsea is a carer to her mum and younger sister, working hard without any complaint and spending most of her spare time working to help others in her volunteering work in the community. She works at a local youth centre every day supporting her peers and community group and is really motivated to help others: in school, in volunteering work and at home. She says, ‘I don’t want to be known for what I do, it’s just something I do’. Catholic social teaching principles, including promoting peace, building community and caring for creation, were at the heart of the weekend. Presentations were led by the Jesuit Refugee Service and Pax Christi UK. The young people experienced peace-making in the past, present and future with visits to the Edith Cavell Memorial and St Martin-in-the-Fields, in addition to taking part in a workshop that focused on building awareness of detention. Actions that the young adults took part in included creating a peace banner in Leicester Square and writing Christmas cards to those who find themselves in detention centres.

Kelsea Curran (right) with Kate Eastmond from Million Minutes

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education news Candlelit Carol Concert heralded the of festive season at St Mary’s College St Mary’s College in Crosby heralded the start of the Christmas season by holding its 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 co-ordinated by the school’s Director of Music, Andrew Byers, and Religious Studies teacher Christine Hearty. The programme included both traditional songs and more modern festive favourites, with contributions from the school’s Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Choir and Lower School Choir. Highlights of this year’s concert included ‘Christmas Blessing’ by Philip Stopford,

sung by the College Chamber Choir, and ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’, which was performed by the Lower School Choir, who were accompanied on the piano by St Mary’s Head Girl, Georgina Duncan. The concert also featured a beautiful performance of Karl Jenkins’ ‘Benedictus’ by the Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Choir. 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, which has been celebrating its centenary throughout this year. St Mary’s College Principal, Mike Kennedy, commented: “The carol concert is always a very popular event with families, and a really enjoyable way

to mark the start of the Christmas season. “As well as being a lovely event in its own right it is along with our annual Philharmonic Hall concert and Proms in the Park event - a wonderful showcase for the instrumental and choral skills of our students. “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 pupils and staff whose hard work and talent helped to make the service such a first-class musical evening,” added Mr Kennedy.

Sports winners revealed Students from every year group at St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School in St Helens were honoured at the second prestigious Sports Personality of the Year Awards ceremony in December. This annual event is timed to coincide with the annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards to promote maximum awareness of the power of sport. Over 100 invited guests gathered for the ceremony which was held in the school’s drama theatre and had been transformed for the special evening with twinkling lights and a giant Christmas Tree. The event was hosted by the school’s curriculum lead for PE, Nicola Lethbridge. During the evening, 20 awards were presented to students, staff and teams by guest of honour, Andy Turner, a track and field athlete who specialised in the 110 metres hurdles. Andy Turner has competed in the Olympics, won gold at the Commonwealths and been crowned a European champion. He was once Britain’s premier hurdler, and is still the third fastest 110m hurdler in British history.

Speaking to the young people present he said it was important never to give up, even when it seemed that success was miles away. “Determination, hard work and a desire to succeed are what got me through some difficult times in my career” he said. Miss Lethbridge praised the students saying “Tonight we celebrated all aspects of sporting success from individual and team achievements, to commitment and dedication shown to sport through various awards. At St Cuthbert’s we are extremely

Celebration of the Catholic Life of School The Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, Venerable Catherine McAuley said that “We should be shining lamps giving light to all around us.” Maricourt Catholic High School, were delighted to receive their Section 48 inspection report which they felt truly celebrated all that Maricourt has to offer pupils, and illustrated how as a school community ‘give light’ to those in their care. They are particularly proud of the fact that the report acknowledges the ways in which pupils live out their mission statement. Like many schools during Advent, Maricourt’s focus has been very much on helping those less fortunate than themselves. Pupils have demonstrated a strong desire to work for social justice, and all year groups have shown a great commitment to raising money for a variety of charitable causes, helping people locally and internationally. In their Advent services, led by the Chaplaincy team and the performing arts and music departments, pupils were shown the impact of their work for the homeless in Southport. Maricourt are looking forward to the new year when they can continue to build on the work they have started this term. At all times, they endeavour to follow the advice of Catherine McAuley who lived by the maxim that “We must strive to do ordinary things extraordinarily well.” proud of our students and their attitude towards physical activity and were thankful to have them and their families here tonight to share this success.” A staggering 1,490 votes were cast this year by staff, students and parents for the ultimate award - St Cuthbert’s Sports Personality of the Year. This year’s winner, Abbie S represents all of the qualities celebrated during the evening, in particular with the amount of time and effort that has been put into her sports over the years. Headteacher, Mrs Catherine Twist said: “A huge well done to all students and staff on their fantastic award wins.”

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ASFA team up with 10 primary schools for Christmas song The Academy of St Francis of Assisi (ASFA) has been spreading Christmas cheer around the city after creating a song and video with 10 local primary schools. The song ‘The Gift of Peace’ was written by local songwriter Rosy Smith who worked with ASFA to bring the academy’s 10 partner schools together and record the song in time for the festive season. The primary schools involved were; Lister Junior School, New Park Primary School, Phoenix Primary School, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, Smithdown Primary School, St Anne’s Catholic Primary School, St Cecilia’s Catholic

Primary School, St Michael’s RC Primary School, St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School and Whitefield Primary School. The song is based on the idea that many children across the world would rather peace and safety for themselves and each other than any other gift. In the consumer madness of Christmas, it is easy to forget that so many children are living in danger or poverty and so the song is about reminding adults that children should have a voice. Following the filming, ASFA invited all participating schools to the academy in Kensington to watch the finished video. Over 120 pupils enjoyed a Christmas activity morning with a performance by a

choir performed and the former primary school students met up with their old teachers. Rosy said: “It was a pleasure to visit so many lovely primary schools and meet staff and children from across our catchment, as well as getting to see fantastic art work, hearing about exciting projects and seeing snippets of school life. “Everyone was so welcoming and it was brilliant to finish the project by inviting the children to join us at ASFA for a morning of festive fun and music.” Gareth Jones, marketing manager at The Academy of St Francis of Assisi, filmed and edited the video. He said: “This project is a brilliant way of bringing everyone together for the festive season. “As a school, we hope to do many more projects in the future to further cement the partnerships across our primary school community.” Kevin Maddocks, head of school at ASFA, said: “The song has a very powerful meaning behind it which is important to share at this time of year. The finished video looks brilliant and I would like to thank each and every one of our partner schools for taking part.” You can watch the full video here:

Maricourt Catholic High School CELEBRATION OF THE CATHOLIC LIFE OF OUR SCHOOL ‘Staff are committed to the development of each pupil in their care’ (RE Inspection 2019) ‘Our school is a compassionate school and it feels like a family where everyone cares for each other’ (Pupil Voice)

Places are still available We welcome both Catholic and non­Catholic pupils. For admission enquiries, please contact Mrs Hunter on 0151 282 2151 or We look forward to welcoming you to the Maricourt family.

“We must strive to do ordinary things extraordinarily well” Catherine McAuley, Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy

There are excellent transport links to Maricourt from Aintree, Netherton, Walton, Fazakerley, Litherland, Bootle and Kirkby, Lydiate and Ormskirk

Hall Lane, Maghull, L31 3DZ Tel: 0151 330 3366 Catholic Pictorial


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Mums the Word Doesn’t the saying go that ‘charity begins at home’? Well, there is one way that we can be good to ourselves and fellow members – namely, the UCM’s National Holiday and Rest Home Service (NHRHS).

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

Isle of Man pair awarded Benemerenti medals

Any member who is in need of a holiday can apply for funding, to help them to go away for a week or a few days. There are no specific places proposed (mind you, no Caribbean cruises!) but you may choose a hotel, boarding house or retreat house anywhere within reason. Perhaps two people from the same foundation could go together, or if you needed a carer then they could be funded as well. Another service offered by the scheme ensures help is available towards accommodation costs if a close family member needs to go into hospital in another part of the country and you need to spend time with them. This wonderful and completely confidential service is available to all members. Contact your foundation’s welfare officer who will contact the Liverpool Archdiocesan welfare officer, Ann Hogg, who will guide you through the process. Ann is very willing to go along to foundation meetings to talk about the NHRHS. This is the body that allows us to have charitable status, so use it, ladies. • I hope to see you at our bi-monthly Mass at 7.30pm on 15 January at St Thomas of Canterbury, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Our annual charity fund cheques will be presented to the following four charities during the Mass: the Priests Training Fund; Child Bereavement UK (nominated by St Joseph’s); Working with Giants (nominated by St George’s); and PKU (Phenylketonuria) Charitable Fund (nominated by St Clare’s). Many thanks to all foundations for their generous contributions. • And finally, let me end by wishing fellow UCM members and all Pic readers a holy, happy and healthy New Year. May 2020 be filled with joy and good news. Madelaine McDonald, media officer 26

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It is with great pleasure that we congratulate two long-serving members of the Isle of Man council who have received Benemerenti medals for their service to the Church. Council Brothers Peter Lee and Brendan Caley are seen here in the photograph along with KSC colleagues following the presentation of their medals and certificates, during a Mass celebrated by council chaplain Monsignor John Devine (also in the photo). The Benemerenti medal is awarded by the Pope to members of the clergy and laity for long and exceptional service to the Catholic Church. It was originally established as an award to soldiers in the Papal Army but is now mostly a civil decoration. • Each year the Liverpool province holds a special dinner in honour of our council chaplains and other members of the hierarchy and clergy as a means of thanking them and

showing appreciation for the support and assistance we receive from the clergy in pursuing the aims of our order. The 2019 dinner was held at Bootle Cricket Club on 12 November and we thank provincial action and youth officer Alf Swain and provincial social secretary John Church for making the arrangements. • The council 9 annual sponsored walk took place last September, as previously reported in this column, and we can now confirm that the final amount raised is £7,320. This will be divided equally between the Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice in West Derby and the Sisters of Mercy project supporting underprivileged children in Mukuru, Kenya. Thanks to all who supported us by contributing and helping us to raise muchneeded funds for these two worthy causes. Websites: and Email:

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PIC Life Starting the year with that old spirit of perseverance By Moira Billinge My first-ever trip beyond UK shores was at the age of 14 when I joined a pilgrimage to Lourdes. On arrival we were divided up into groups and allocated a leader. My group included Alice, a teenage girl with cerebral palsy, and two much younger girls, Meg and Kate, who were profoundly deaf. (Not their real names.) Halfway through the pilgrimage we took a trip up to the lake at Gavarnie in the Pyrenees. It was the middle of March, bitterly cold, and everyone was dressed warmly against the elements. Alice wasn’t well so she stayed behind in the hotel. After a short stroll along the banks of the lake, our group leader suggested that we hire a rowing boat. I did not like the idea at all and said so but, not wanting to be a spoilsport, I very reluctantly agreed. A suitable boat was brought over and the four of us climbed in. I was – only slightly – encouraged by our leader’s

assurance that ‘No-one has ever fallen in yet’. At first we just circled the lake but before long we ventured towards deeper waters. Another rowing boat approached ours. At least one of those on board was familiar to our leader, and, inevitably, caution gave way to verbal banter. Before long the two men at the helm used their oars to splash each other, both determined to inflict the greatest drenching on the rival boat – and so the icy soaking escalated beyond common sense. Our boat capsized and we were catapulted into the water. Three of us could not swim and we clung to the sides of the boat for dear life. Within a short time, and with help from other rowers, we turned the boat upright and, shivering and extremely shocked, we climbed back in, albeit with some difficulty. Our leader was the last to attempt to pull himself back to safety but, unfortunately, his heavy, waterlogged

frame was now too much for our small vessel and, as he tried to heave his body over the side, it capsized once again. This time a rescue boat took us back to the shore to where a large crowd of anxious onlookers had gathered. The owner of a nearby hotel attempted to dry our clothes as he allowed four dripping-wet individuals to take a hot shower. Thank God, none of us came to any harm, but I am unsure how many of us ever ventured into a rowing boat on a future occasion. I related the episode to someone recently who made the comment that a lesson could be taken from this event and applied to the times in our lives when we face seemingly insurmountable problems. On such occasions we just have to make the effort to keep going and haul ourselves back up again, no matter how many attempts it takes or how exhausting it proves in the process. However hard a full recovery may be, perseverance usually bears fruit and while God expects us to try to work through the hard times, He knows that sometimes we are unable to do it on our own. There are always people around to whom we can turn for help. Inevitably, in the newness of 2020, there are many unknowns ahead of us. Some of the trials that we faced in the previous year might even be carried over to the new one, but we will get through them, we will cope, and our wonderful God will accompany us throughout our journey. Happy New Year

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justice & peace

Hidden in Plain Sight: Human trafficking and modern-day slavery By Steve Atherton, Justice & Peace fieldworker Since the awful revelation last November of the deaths of 39 Vietnamese people in the back of a refrigerated container lorry in Essex, we have all become much more aware of the extent of people smuggling. It begins in what we used to call the ‘third world’, but which should be called ‘the majority world’, where there is poverty, hunger, war, environmental disaster, poor job prospects and limited opportunities for all but the very rich or the very lucky. False promises are made and people leave hoping to better themselves. Nobody mentions the word slavery. Misled by promises of employment and the hope of financial reward, they take the risk of leaving behind their homes and their families. It is a highly organised and extremely profitable illegal trade that sends the poor of Asia, Africa and the Middle East on dangerous journeys to the West in the hope of a share in our riches. The terrible truth is that people are more profitable than drugs and represent a less risky trade for the dealers. There are a lot more arrests for drug smuggling than for people-trafficking. Estimates vary about the numbers involved worldwide. At the low end it’s 21 million people; at the high end it’s 45 million. High or low, these are enormous numbers. In Europe numbers are estimated at around the 3-4 million mark, in the UK at around 136,000. If you wonder where they end up, the awful answer is everywhere. Modern slavery is in every town in the country, in occupations where people aren’t paid a proper wage, live in cramped conditions, aren’t properly clothed, have their housing costs deducted from a tiny wage, or aren’t properly fed. They are picking and packing fruit and vegetables, washing cars, working in nail bars, delivering pizzas or leaflets, begging on the streets, in domestic servitude, selling drugs in ‘county lines’ and, of course, in the sex trade. They are even used for organ harvesting. The churches have been heavily involved in combatting this terrible trade. The Salvation Army is the lead organisation in caring for adult victims; the Church of England has the Clewer Initiative; there is already a safe house in our diocese for rescued victims of trafficking and in the wider Roman Catholic Church we have the Medaille Trust, The Passage and several initiatives in Salford and other dioceses. The government has also been active. In 2015 it passed the Modern Slavery Act and appointed Kevin Hyland as the UK’s first Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. On Sunday 19 January (1.30-4pm), he will be speaking at the J&P

Memorial Lecture at LACE. After his talk we will begin organising the ideas collected about how to do something about this scandal of modern-day slavery. Please come and listen to him, share your ideas and help make a difference. With your help we can do more. We need you. • More about Kevin Hyland: Kevin was a Metropolitan Police chief, the author of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 (the eradication of human trafficking) and led efforts for its inclusion within the UN’s 15-year global goals. In 2018 he was elected as Ireland’s representative to the Council of Europe’s Independent Group of Experts for Trafficking. He is chief advisor to the Santa Marta Group, a London-based partnership between law enforcement agencies, faith groups and civil society that he helped to set up and which was endorsed by Pope Francis at its launch in the Vatican.

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Catholic PIC retreats and away days 2020 Catholic Pic Away Days 2020 During 2020 we are planning to visit: • Stoneyhurst College Chapel and Museum • Arley Hall • Chorley Shopping Village • Chatsworth House • Llandudno • Grasmere When dates are confirmed we will let you know with an advert in the Catholic Pic. Meanwhile if you would like any information regarding our retreats and away days please call 0151 733 5492.

Worth a visit Knutsford Heritage Centre is one of Cheshire’s hidden gems for history and literature lovers, writes Lucy Oliver. Situated on King Street in the very heart of the town, the reconstructed 17th century timber-framed building has previously housed a tinsmith, ironmonger and brazier. An anvil, forge and original set of bellows feature among the treasures, and it is now also home to two galleries. The Knutsford Millennium Tapestry encompasses 13 metres of cross stitch, created by 3,000 local residents, to depict the town, its buildings and landscape. Knowledgeable guides can point out sites such as Victorian author Elizabeth Gaskell’s home, the church where she married her Unitarian preacher husband William, and the chapel where she attended worship and where her grave lies. Although, she later moved to Manchester, it was her time and the people she encountered in Knutsford and Tatton which inspired her many novels, advocating the cause of the poor and particularly women in Victorian society. From October until

March, the centre is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 11am until 4pm. A little further along King Street is Longworth’s Gaskell Memorial Tower, financed by the successful glove manufacturer Richard Harding Watt in tribute to the muchloved ‘Cranford’ author.

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