Catholic Pic January 2022

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Issue 208 January 2022

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Golden Jubilee celebrations Pages 16-17


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contents Welcome

Issue 208 January 2022

As we begin this new year we look forward with hope for the future and pray that we may have a peaceful, healthy and safe year ahead. Happy new year. The Daughters of St Paul recently commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the death of their founder, Blessed James Alberione. It seems an appropriate moment to pay tribute to their presence in Liverpool over very many years; our main feature looks at their work in the archdiocese and their spirituality. Sunday 5 December was a special day for three of our parishes as they celebrated their golden jubilee – Our Lady of Walsingham, Netherton; St Aidan, Winstanley and St Philomena, Liverpool all feature in this edition. Thursday 9 December saw the ordination to the diaconate by Archbishop Malcolm of Rev Derek Lloyd at St Mary’s College, Oscott. Peter Ross, one of our seminarians, offers us an account of the celebration. Rev Michael Harwood from St Peter and St Paul, Crosby was ordained Deacon at the Beda College in Rome last year and in November received his degree certificate of Bachelor of Theology from Saint Mary’s University, Twickenham. We congratulate him. Please keep Derek and Michael in your prayers as they prepare for ordination to the priesthood this year.

From the Archbishop’s Desk As we begin the new year, we can be pleased that we celebrated Christmas even though there were many who claimed that it was cancelled as we continued to face up to the effects of the new variants of the coronavirus. I don’t believe that you can cancel Christmas even though I fully understand what they mean. Maybe we didn’t have the office parties and gatherings of friends in restaurants which usually accompany our celebration of the feast but most people throughout the world don’t have those kinds of festivities in the first place. Our churches were open during Christmas and welcomed people of all faiths to join in our Christmas Masses and carols. It is worth remembering that it is in the celebration of the Mass that we celebrate the incarnation of Jesus every day of the year not just on 25 December. Yes, Christmas may have been muted but hardly cancelled. For Christians the joy of Christmas was found in the Eucharist and the crib. We gave thanks to God for the gift of his Son who cried out from the manger to remind us of the continuing plight of the homeless, refugees and those escaping terror. When we gathered as far as restrictions allowed us, we remembered what it is to be a family no matter how few we were or how distant we were from each other. The Holy Family was only three people yet proved to be the source of a great love which has overflowed into our lives two millennia later. May your families have the child Jesus at its centre, it too will be a source of love – a true source of strength for the year ahead. Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool

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Contents 4

Main Feature A new chapter for the Pauline Family

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News From around the Archdiocese

12 What’s On Whats happening in the Archdiocese 14 Nugent Optimistic and hopeful for 2022 and beyond 15 Animate Youth Ministry Reflecting on the challenges of 2021 18 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 19 Profile Sister Angela Grant Following the Pauline way 26 Pic Extras Mums the Word News from the KSC 28 Dialogue and Unity Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2022

Editor Peter Heneghan Editorial Catholic Pictorial Magazine Liverpool Archdiocesan Office, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool L17 1AA Tel: 0151 522 1007 Email: catholicpictorial@rcaol.co.uk Advertising Sales team 0151 709 7567 sales@cpmmmedia.com Website: www.catholicpic.co.uk Twitter: @PicCatholic Youtube: CPMM Media Copy deadline February 2022 Monday 10 January 2022

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29 Cathedral Record A rich tapestry of music 30 Pic Life Why New Year’s resolutions matter

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A new chapter for the Pauline Family The Daughters of St Paul have turned the page in Liverpool with the opening of the Pauline Books and Media Centre on Church Street. By Simon Hart ‘Church Street was always a dream for many of the sisters,’ says Sister Angela Grant, explaining the recent relocation of the Pauline Books and Media Centre a short distance down the road from its former home on Bold Street. ‘We wanted to be in the hub of the city. We wanted to be where we’d be more visible and would be able to reach out to the non-evangelised as well – to bring in lots of people from different walks of life.’ The Daughters of St Paul have been in Liverpool since 1966 but their new base on Church Street, inaugurated and blessed by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon last May, represents a new and hope-filled chapter. This is not only a bookshop but a ‘Centre of light’, to use the Sisters’ terminology. It has a chapel, inaugurated by Bishop Thomas Neylon, and a conference area which will be available for hosting events such as retreats and book launches. Crucially, adds Sr Angela, there is also a pastoral hub which she believes will prove significant once the centre is fully opened. ‘If people want a chat or a cup of tea or some information, they can go there for a conversation confidentially.’ It is the cue for her to quote Blessed James Alberione, the founder of the Pauline Family. ‘He said that the book centres were not a business venue but a place that radiated the love and truth of Jesus Christ and that everybody should find a place where their spirituality is nurtured and where they feel welcomed,’ 4

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she says. This blend of books and spirituality is at the heart of the Sisters’ work. And it is not just books. The Pauline mission means ‘communicating God’s work through the media and evangelising’, says Sr Angela, who remembers how Pope Francis reiterated this point in an address to their General Chapter at the Vatican in 2019. ‘Pope Francis encouraged us to continue to arise and be women of resurrection, to be women of faith and to respond through our Pauline mission of communicating God’s work through the media and evangelising,’ she explains. ‘He encouraged us that this is a muchneeded mission in the Church and in the world today. ‘The Pauline charism is such a relevant mission in meeting the people of today with the means of today – that was very much reflecting on what Blessed James Alberione would have said. We need to reach the people of today with the means of today. Everyone has a mobile phone in their hand. He encouraged us as Paulines to use these means for the good of evangelisation and to communicate God’s word with these means.’ Back to the beginning The history of the Paulines can be traced back to one New Year’s Eve more than a century ago. To be precise, to 31 December 1900 in Alba, a town in the northern Italian region of Piedmont. Blessed James Alberione, the future founder of the Society of St Paul and of the Pauline Family, was a 16-year-old

‘If people want a chat or a cup of tea or some information, they can go there for a conversation confidentially’ seminarian attending Midnight Mass. He stayed behind for the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and in that moment found the inspiration to ‘do something for the Lord and for the people of the new century’, as he later described it. That something was to spread the Christian message through the printed word. He began by directing the Gazzetta d’Alba, a weekly diocesan newspaper. In August 1914, he founded the ‘Little Workers’ typographical school which would later become the Society of St Paul. A year later, with the arrival of the first woman, 21-year-old Teresa Merlo, he began a second Congregation, the Daughters of St Paul. Sr Angela elaborates: ‘We started off with the printed word. Alberione’s great desire was that the word of God would be in the hands of all people. Radio was invented and then television and he used all these means to evangelise. When he died in 1971, we continued to carry out his charism of evangelising through the media. We are in 51 countries throughout the world and today have sisters working in co-operation with lots of lay professional people.’ The mission in Britain When the Pauline Sisters arrived in the United Kingdom in the late 1950s, their first approach was evangelising via ‘drop-aganda’, as Sr Angela calls it. ‘That was literally going around houses, schools, factories and giving people the opportunity to buy a book or a Bible.’ Then came the book centres – starting in Birmingham, with others opening in Liverpool, London, Glasgow and, most recently, Newcastle. ‘The book centres were a very visible presence of us on the high street with a Christian witness of communicating God’s word and making it visible to people,’ adds Sr Angela.


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feature Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald celebrates Mass on the 50th anniversary of the death of Blessed James Alberione

‘We also have a production centre based in Slough where we produce catechetical resources, visual resources, and work with different dioceses in exploring ways to provide resources which support the existing religious education.’ One notable initiative she cites is the series of books on the religious art work of Sieger Koder, a German painter and priest, which have

proved popular across different Christian denominations in this country and beyond. ‘Lots of people appreciate the visual resources and reflections in the series of books we have on his paintings. We started producing them in the early 90s.’ Today, there are almost 3,000 Pauline Sisters worldwide, with 21 of them based

in the United Kingdom. Their new ‘Centre of light’ on Church Street represents a reinforced presence in Liverpool, as Sr Angela explains. ‘At the new centre there are eight sisters working currently but this number will rise with new posts to be filled in the administration department, warehouse and book centre.’ Both the warehouse and central apostolic offices on the upper floors are being relocated from their main base in Slough as a result of a Europe-wide reorganisation process which followed the Pauline Sisters’ general chapter in 2019. Sr Angela, a member of the steering commission assisting the general leadership team in Rome, reflects that ‘the vitality, continuous support and Synod process of the Archdiocese of Liverpool’ were all factors taken into account when the Sisters chose to deepen their footprint here. ‘The whole Synod process offers hope for the future,’ she says. And it is very much the future that the Pauline Family are focused on. Sr Angela talks with enthusiasm about the range of activities which will now be run from their Church Street base, including their marketing work and website. ‘We dedicate our time and our lives to exploring all ways to communicate God’s word through

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feature

Archbishop Malcolm blesses the new Church Street Centre - May 2021

the media – today, social media, the digital world, is a huge opening for us to be ever more present there to communicate God’s word.’ Yet those Pic readers who prefer the printed word need not fear. Of the new bookshop, Sr Angela says: ‘The Word of God and Scripture is something we keep very much at heart and there’s

‘We dedicate our time and our lives to exploring all ways to communicate God’s word through the media’ 6

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also a very colourful and attractive children’s area, as well as a section on youth outreach and another looking at the whole area of self-help. We hope in time we can offer open days for people to come and see our new presence. All the Sisters very much look forward to welcoming many people from across the Archdiocese and beyond.’


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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: catholicpictorial@rcaol.co.uk

Deacon Michael’s Degree presentation Students at the Pontifical Beda College in Rome celebrated their academic Mass on Sunday 7 November when Michael Harwood a Deacon, from St Peter and St Paul Crosby received his degree certificate

of Bachelor of Theology from Saint Mary’s University, Twickenham. Michael received his certificate from College Rector, Canon Philip Gillespie. He studied for the degree for three years at the Beda College and graduated with

Thank you Bernard Pupils, staff and friends of St Richard’s Catholic Primary School in Skelmersdale welcomed Bernard Sweeney into school last month to present him with an award from the Lancashire Association of School Governing Bodies for his outstanding contribution to the work as a governor at St Richard’s over many years. Bernard has served on the governing body since 1988 and continues to do so today. He received the Lancashire Association of School Governing Bodies Special Recognition Award for his outstanding service to the work of school governance. Bernard has been linked to the school for decades as his children attended the school and wife, Joyce, was school secretary from 1973 until her retirement in 2001.

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first class honours. He says, ‘I had not studied formally for many years so getting back into the routine of lectures, essays and examinations was quite a challenge. I am pleased to report that by the grace of God and with excellent teaching and support I graduated with first class honours. ‘The course covered a range of subjects that fell broadly into the categories of theology and philosophy; neither of which I had studied previously. ‘Two years of philosophy were certainly a challenge for me. Ethics and moral theology were complex yet fascinating subjects. I am interested in history so Church history from the beginning of the Church via the middle ages to the Reformation and up to Vatican II was right up my street. Our in-depth study of scripture really brought the Old and New Testaments to life and gave new perspectives. As you might expect we studied the theology of the sacraments and liturgy which included practical elements such as the rites of Baptism, Marriage, RCIA and funeral rites. ‘An important part of the academic programme is the reflective report and journal based on the experience of a summer placement each year. I was very fortunate to have three long and fruitful placements first at Saint Mary’s and Saint Columba’s, Isle of Man, then at Saint Mary’s Chorley and at Saint Sylvester’s, Liverpool. I am indebted to those parish priests and at St Peter and St Paul, Crosby, the deacons, parish administrators and parishioners for their welcome and support.’ Michael is now studying for the Graduate Diploma in Theology.


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news diary

Lucy’s incredible achievement The Queen’s Scout Award is the culmination of everything that a young person in Scouting achieves. Participants commit to developing and challenging themselves in many new ways. spending time in new places, meeting new people and learning new skills. Developing their communication, organisational and teamworking skills. Standards are very high, but with a choice of how it is completed based on skills, interests and talents. Personal commitment, determination, self-discipline and effort are required,

sustained over at least 12 months. Those who achieve the award are invited to the National Scout Service and Parade of Queen’s Scouts at Windsor Castle. Lucy Fol is a Beaver Leader at 4th Crosby & District (St William of York) Scout Group. She has progressed through Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Young Leaders, becoming an adult leader just before the pandemic. Her commitment to Scouting is outstanding. To achieve the top award, Lucy first completed the Platinum and Diamond Awards, these correlate with DofE

Leading the Blind by Neil Sayer, Archdiocesan Archivist Many things have changed about the Liverpool Catholic Blind Asylum since this appeal for funds was published 75 years ago this month. The Brunswick Road premises were demolished some time ago, the institution is no longer run by nuns, and to a degree its very purpose has changed. Liverpool was at the forefront of caring for and educating blind people. The institution that became the Royal School for the Blind (now in Wavertree) was founded in 1791, the first such school anywhere in the world. At that time many adults became blind through infection, disease and poor hygiene, causes that we either avoid or treat relatively easily today. Although attempts were made throughout the 19th century to cure some forms of blindness, the institutions then established in several British cities were intended not as hospitals but as shelters where blind people could be cared for in a safe environment and taught trades. The trades, such as basket weaving and mat making, were partly intended to pay for the institutions themselves, as there were regular sales of works, but also to give blind people a means of making a living if they went out into the world away from the institution. A more general education for blind people was only developed later, with the invention of Braille among other written languages. During the course of the 20th century educational thinking and legislation led gradually to the absorption into mainstream education of children once deemed as ‘handicapped’. Among a wave of foundations of schools for blind people in the 1830s and 1840s – at Exeter, Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham, for instance – the first school formed by a religious organisation was that of the Catholic Blind Institute established in Islington, Liverpool in April 1841. In 1866 it moved into more spacious premises on Brunswick Street. The Sisters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul agreed to take on the running of the asylum in 1871, and they remained in charge until 1996, when it came under lay leadership. By then there had been many more changes: St Vincent’s School for the Blind was built in West Derby and opened in 1901. This became through many modifications a Specialist School for Sensory Impairment. St Vincent’s School is still a residential school offering pupils from across the north west access to the full national curriculum. Allied with it is Christopher Grange, built in the 1970s as a residential and nursing home designed specifically for the needs of the visually impaired. It provides rehabilitation services, support and training, and palliative care. Much has changed since 1947, but the Liverpool Catholic Blind Institute remains a charity, and it still welcomes our donations, at New Year or any other time.

Bronze and Silver plus three elements of Scouting: International, Community and Values. The final step was to complete Gold DofE, plus the essential Scouting elements and present her achievements to the wider community. As an ambassador for Scouting, Lucy represented the UK at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, USA. She has served her local parish community, St William of York, supporting Little Church and reading regularly at Mass. For the physical and skill elements Lucy participated in dance and singing classes, performing regularly in local events, her residential service challenge took place at Brathay Outdoor Centre in Cumbria, where she worked as part of the service team to cook, clean, and plan activities for more young people to experience outdoor adventures. Lucy’s expedition was completed with her school group from Holy Family Catholic High School, hiking in the Peak District completing 50 miles over 4 days and 3 nights. Lucy is already highly decorated, completing all the awards available to young people, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond awards, achieving her Young Leader belt before completing her adult leader training to achieve her wood badge. Now she deservedly joins the elite of Scouting as the first Queen Scout recipient of her group, 4th Crosby (St William of York). Many congratulations to Lucy for the inspiration and example she shows to other young people and the time and energy she invests to ensure that the next generation of young people have exciting opportunities and adventures that will build on her own experiences.

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news diary

Pax Christi Merseyside and COP26 On Saturday 6 November members of Pax Christi Merseyside joined the COP26 Coalition to walk through Liverpool. Like thousands throughout the world, we were asking our government to take the steps necessary to prevent devastation to the environment and human life. We carried a message from Pope Francis: ‘What kind of a world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up? The question not only concerns the environment in isolation; the issue cannot be approached piecemeal’ Pax Christi works to resolve many of the underlying problems which contribute to the climate crisis, and we feel that the threat to the environment from nuclear weapons is not sufficiently recognised. With nearly 14,000 nuclear weapons, the nine nuclear-armed states possess the capacity to destroy humanity and devastate the environment through war or nuclear accident. A nuclear exchange between the USA and Russia would lead to nuclear winter and global famine. During the march we carried another poster stating: War causes climate change; Climate change causes War. We believe that to end global warning, we need to end war. We supported the call to keep global heating to no more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. As part of this, we call for the military to be included in emissions targets. Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) estimate that 6% of all global emissions are the result of the world’s combined military activities and of the industries that provide their equipment. This estimate does not include the environmental effect of fighting wars, nor the potential long term devastation to the earth, the climate and

human life in the event of the deployment of nuclear weapons. Pax Christi also calls for a shift in priorities and resources away from military and war, towards just and sustainable peace. Our banners stated: Over the next 4 years the UK government has promised £24 billion for the climate and £188 billion for the military. (Stats taken from Campaign against the Arms Trade.) We plan to continue our work for the goals of COP26 by encouraging our government to sign the United Nations Treaty for the prohibition of nuclear weapons, and to participate in the Review which is to be held in March 2022.

New grotto at St Robert Bellarmine’s After weeks of hard work, on the morning Bootle parishioners have been busy of Wednesday 12 May the positioning and restoring a statue of Our Lady which final cementing into the grotto of Our Lady had been discarded in the grounds of a and St Bernadette took place. All involved derelict convent for many years and in the preparation and restoration of the constructing a grotto to house it. It statues and the site gathered and arrived at St Robert Bellarmine’s on the applauded the completion of the project. back of a trailer on a very grey March morning last year and immediately Anne Finally on the following Sunday, 16 May, Taylor got down to the laborious work of scraping off the layers of old paint and filling in all the cracks to begin to make it presentable again. Meanwhile, Terry McDonough started preparing the area where the grotto was to be sited in a sheltered but prominent corner. After a while Terry’s design of a solid angled roof supported by columns of recycled bricks began to take The statue of Our Lady before and after restoration shape. 10

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parishioners looked on as Monsignor Stephen Alker blessed the shrine of Our Lady and St Bernadette. Local people comment on how beautiful the shrine looks in its prominent position, with Our Lady and St Bernadette surrounded by multi coloured flowers looking out over the parish.


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news diary

Derek Lloyd ordained to the Diaconate by Peter Ross On Thursday 9 December, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon ordained Derek Lloyd to the diaconate at Oscott College. Derek has been in priestly formation for the archdiocese for one and a half years following his conversion to Roman Catholicism. Prior to this, Derek ministered as a Priest in the Anglican Diocese of Liverpool. He is 43 and originally hails from Tipton in the Black Country. Derek studied at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, and served in Anglican parishes for a total of seventeen years. After a number of appointments, he found himself in his dream role as the Vicar of Saint Agnes and Saint Pancras Church in South Liverpool. By this point, however, Derek had grown to live with a persistent longing, a longing that never went away. Through many conversations and time spent in prayer, Derek eventually concluded, that he was being drawn into fuller communion with the Catholic Church. Derek is immeasurably grateful for everything the Church of England has been to him. Indeed, he found it acutely painful to leave his community. But the urge was so powerful and it was by conscience that he acted in the end. Early in 2020, he took the decision and approached the archdiocese. This move involved surrendering home, security and ministry. Archbishop Malcolm picked up on this in his homily, at the ordination Mass: ‘Derek, you have shown enormous fidelity to the Gospel and perseverance to the call of the Lord in your life as a priest in the Church of England. To leave that behind and enter into fuller communion has, I know, been very hard for you’. The Archbishop preached primarily on the Deacon’s role as the guardian of the

chalice. He made it very clear, that the chalice of the Lord’s blood is not a cup of privilege, but rather a cup of ‘the tears of humanity; tears of sadness and joy, disbelief and faith’. He also spoke about the Deacon as the one who is attuned to the people, both in the liturgy and out in the world. Like Christ, the Deacon serves all of God’s children, reaching out to those who ‘need human contact, the lost and forgotten’. Nevertheless, Deacons show that God’s care is not only a sorrowful love but a joyful love, expressed most fully in Jesus’ resurrection. Derek is clearly no stranger to such service, but now he begins a new service, a service among us, as part of our archdiocesan family. A number of Derek’s friends were able to join him and to share in his celebration together with Bishop Tom Neylon and several of our own priests who came

along to support him too. During January, Derek will be on placement in the Parish of Saint Wilfrid, Widnes. Afterwards, he will return to Oscott, in anticipation of his priestly ordination, God-willing, during the summer. Please continue to pray for an increase in all vocations within our Archdiocese. Let us pray that the Lord will send many a faithful worker into his great and wonderful harvest. Pictures: Peter Ho, Oscott College

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news diary

Honouring Sunday During the pandemic, public worship was suspended for a time and there have been restrictions on parish life. As a result, people have been exploring other ways to practice their faith, including Spiritual Communion via live streaming. As people begin returning to more regular patterns of parish life and following the first face to face meeting of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales in Leeds, the bishops have issued the following statement about the importance of honouring Sunday: Honouring Sunday As the Synodal Pathway of listening and discerning unfolds, we the bishops of England and Wales, are paying particular attention to the hopes and fears, the joys and anxieties of all who are sharing their thoughts and feelings with us. Longing for our Lord We are attentive to the experience of the last year or so, when we have lived our faith through the limitations of the pandemic. We have heard of the longing which some express as a ‘homesickness’. We want to be in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. We yearn to celebrate the sacraments together, especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We desire to be nourished by our Lord in Holy Communion. The live streaming of the Mass and the remarkable response of our Catholic communities to those in need, have provided comfort, sustenance and resilience. The Eucharist, source and summit The Eucharist is the source and summit of our spiritual and pastoral life. Many people have said to us that they have appreciated the noble simplicity of the Mass at this time, which has allowed the mystery and majesty of our Lord’s sacrificial love to shine through. The central appeal of the Mass, its beauty and its transcendence, raises our minds and hearts to God in an unambiguous and compelling manner. Our Lord Jesus invites us to receive anew the gift of Sunday as the preeminent day, the day of the Resurrection, when the Church gathers to celebrate the Eucharist. Here we stand together before our heavenly Father, offering our thanksgiving and

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prayer, through our Saviour in the Holy Spirit. Here we receive Christ in his Word. Here we are nourished by Christ in his precious Body and Blood. This is our primary joy, for which there is no substitute, and from which we draw our strength. The Gift of the Sunday Eucharist The Sunday Eucharist is a gift; as God’s holy people we are called to praise and thank God in the most sublime way possible. When the Church speaks of the Sunday obligation, it reminds us that attending Mass is a personal response to the selfless offering of Christ’s love. At this time, we recognise that for some people there may be certain factors which hinder attendance at Sunday Mass. The pandemic is clearly not over. The risk of infection is still present. For some, there is legitimate fear in gathering together. As your bishops, we recognise that these prevailing circumstances suggest that not everyone is yet in the position to fulfil the absolute duty to attend freely Sunday Mass. Responding to the Gift We now encourage all Catholics to look again at the patterns which they have

formed in recent months with regard to going to Mass on Sundays. This would include consideration and reflection about what we might do on Sundays, such as sports or shopping, or other leisure and social activities. This review, and the decisions which arise from it, fall to every Catholic and we trust this will be done with honesty, motivated by a real love for the Lord whom we encounter in the Mass. The Sunday Mass is the very heartbeat of the Church and of our personal life of faith. We gather on the ‘first day of the week’, and devote ourselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers (Acts 2:42). The Eucharist sustains us and spurs us on, renewing our gratitude and our hope. When we say ‘Amen’ to Christ in receiving his Body and Blood, we express the love of God which is deep within us, and at the end of Mass, when we are sent forth, we express our love for our neighbour, especially those in need. These two dimensions reveal the full meaning of our faith. We are gathered together and sent out, we pray and are fed, we worship and we adore; these are intrinsic to our lives as those baptised into Christ. Approved at the Plenary Assembly of Bishops in Leeds Thursday 18th November 2021


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news diary

Design a banner at St Joseph’s, Penketh St Joseph’s Parish Council’s ‘Bridging School’s Initiative’, culminated in a joyous evening of surprise and celebration on Wednesday 13 October. Bishop Tom Neylon celebrated Mass with Father John Schofield, Father Mark Drew and Canon Christopher Cunningham. Also attending were the Head Teachers from the parish schools. Bishop Tom had the pleasure of cutting the ribbon to release a silk blackout to reveal the winning entries for the ‘Design a Banner’ competition. Before the Mass a large congregation had enjoyed a video presentation enlightening all on the ‘Bridging Schools Initiative’ journey. The unveiling brought three initiatives together in one evening: ‘Highway to Heaven’, which saw the Art department at St Gregory’s asked by the council to design an image which could be used in a forthcoming news supplement, highlighting a different road or avenue to have our parish prayers for that week. The ‘Faith in Action’ award brought a very specially designed glass piece commissioned to present to a pupil at the end of the academic year who has shown faith in their actions to others. Finally, the highly successful ‘Design a Banner’ competition, which saw over 300 entries wanting to be part of a very special prize - to be hung in the church for everyone to see for years of celebration in the future. Mike Armstead, Chair of the Parish Council, said ‘When the Parish Council reformed back in February 2020 it was clear that we had to open new links and reenergise our existing relationships with our three partner schools St Gregory’s, St Vincent’s and St Joseph’s. Support from the three schools, parents, children and the parish community have been unbelievable in making our common goals of reconnecting a reality and hopefully strong enough to journey down life’s road together.’

Whats Ons - January 2022 Sunday 9 January Liverpool Bach Collective Johann Sebastian Bach Cantata 65: ‘Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen.’ (‘From Sheba, they shall come, bearing gold and incense.’) 6.30 pm at St Monica’s Church, Fernhill Road, Bootle L20 9GA. Singers and Players directed by Philip Duffy. www.liverpoolbach.com Email: liverpoolbach@icloud.com Tuesday 11 January Time out on Tuesday enjoy some personal quiet time to deepen your relationship with God. 10.00 am at The Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane; Liverpool, L15 6TW. Please bring your own lunch, tea/coffee are provided. Suggested offering for the day is £10.00. No booking required. For more information contact Sr Winnie Tel: 0151 722 2271 email: morleywinifred6@gmail.com 7.00 pm Dementia Awareness Session with Sister Moira Meeghan Have you ever wanted to know more about Dementia? How it affects people? How we can relate to someone with dementia This session will be approximately 45 minutes, we will explore issues of Dementia and how you can help someone to live well with Dementia? Details and a zoom link from jenny@irenaeus.co.uk Wednesday 12 January UCM bi-monthly Mass 7.30 pm at Blessed Sacrament, Park Vale Road, Aintree, Liverpool, L9 2DG. Thursday 13 January Vigil for Liverpool to join the treaty for the prohibition of

nuclear weapons Pax Christi members and supporters will gather outside Crypt entrance of the Metropolitan Cathedral at 12.00 noon then move to the square on Brownlow Hill by the Students' Union at 12.15 pm for leafletting. Sunday 16 January Peace Day Tuesday 18 January to Tuesday 25 January Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity Saturday 22 January ‘Come apart and rest awhile’ Quiet Day 10.00 am at The Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane; Liverpool, L15 6TW. Please bring your own lunch, tea/coffee are provided. Suggested offering for the day is £10.00. No booking required. For more information contact Sr Winnie Tel: 0151 722 2271 email: morleywinifred6@gmail.com Sunday 23 January Sunday of the Word of God Thursday 15 February Distinguished Lecture ‘Human Fraternity’ A proposal and a project for relations between Christians and Muslims given by Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald MAfr 5.30 pm in The Senate Room (HCA Building) at Liverpool Hope University Hope Park Campus, Childwall, L16 9JD. The aim of the lecture is to present the document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together signed jointly by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr Ahmed al-Tayyeb, in Abu Dhabi on 4 February 2019.

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Nugent welcomes Canadian organisation, enhancing inclusion, diversity and equality in the classroom Normandie Wragg Chief Executive Nugent

Optimistic and hopeful for 2022 and beyond

Nugent is adding a new curriculum model from Canadian organisation Captains and Poets for their children and young people, from nursery to year 13, to bridge Social Emotional Learning (SEL) with inclusion programming to help create greater connection in the classroom. Releasing its new adolescent documentary-style instructional video ahead of World Children’s Day recently, the ground-breaking curriculum by Captains and Poets aims to prioritise self-awareness, connection and wellbeing to better enable kids to navigate their circumstances with authenticity and to create a better world. Piloted in twenty schools across Canada in 2020-2021, Nugent House School in Billinge, one of the most notable schools for students with emotional, behaviour and mental health needs in the United Kingdom, implemented the Captains and Poets curriculum earlier this month. Andy Howard, Head Teacher of Nugent House says, ‘The Captains and Poets model opens up dialogue about students’ internal and external worlds and helps us teach our students that we are here to support and help them; to love them fiercely.’ Traditional approaches to education often fail to be inclusionary and accessible to many, leaving the most vulnerable children behind. The Covid-19 pandemic shined a spotlight on the flaws in our current system. The unique programming aims to build upon what is currently being taught in schools. It is also designed to complement current efforts to educate on diversity and inclusion. Normandie Wragg, CEO of Nugent says, ‘At Nugent, we have been focussing on enhancing our equality, diversity and inclusivity and this programme from Captains and Poets will further enrich our students, giving them the space and tools to thrive as they navigate their futures. We 14

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are very excited to be collaborating with Captains and Poets.’ In the words of one student in the new documentary-style instructional video: ‘If everyone was their best Captain and Poet, I think that we would see true change in the world. We wouldn’t just see, you know, superficial change or performative action. It would be really true understanding of each other and the world.’ This programme supports young people to develop into responsible, caring and actively engaged global citizens. This is done by drawing on the fundamental human nature we all share as inspiration. This new, integrated approach is especially important in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on children’s mental wellbeing. Numerous studies have indicated a dramatic decrease in academic achievement and a critical increase in identity-related incidents as well as mental health concerns. Jennifer Johnson, co-founder of Captains and Poets says, ‘We believe young people have everything within them to be resourceful, whole human beings and to thrive as they navigate the journey to adulthood. By igniting what is naturally authentic and innate within them we empower them with a sense of purpose and agency in the world – which is more important than ever in these complex times.’ ‘It has become increasingly clear that our school systems need to be proactive in addressing issues such as authentic personal identity and well-being throughout a child’s educational journey so that they feel a sense of belonging and are empowered to be the best version of themselves’ adds Jan Frolic, co-founder Captains and Poets. For more information on how Nugent House School has implemented this programme, please call 01744 892 551 or email nugent.house@wearenugent.org

Pre-pandemic times seem such a long time ago. The coronavirus pandemic has tested Nugent like nothing else before it. As an organisation, we have had to make challenging decisions and many changes to the way we work. It has not been easy. However, during the latter part of 2021, we received an outstanding rating from Ofsted when they visited our secure children’s home Marydale Lodge in St Helens. Couple this with a plethora of award nominations, and a couple of victories and the second year living with this virus has ended on a more positive note. It is worth reiterating that here at Nugent, we love the people we support fiercely, and we remain united by our culture of integrity, ambition, courage, compassion, optimism, respect and dignity. It is these values in combination with our dedication to the children, young people, adults and families we serve that holds us together in the face of adversity. In a period of great uncertainty, apprehension and sadness, Nugent’s colleagues and volunteers have kept our doors open and continued to deliver indispensable support to those most in need of our help. It is this character, of our colleagues, volunteers and beneficiaries, which gives me great hope and optimism for the achievements possible during 2022 and beyond. Our positive results last year give us the confidence to continue working in our own way, the Nugent way, whilst continually striving to improve, not only ourselves, but also the care we offer to those who need us. Finally, the greatest achievement is that despite our many challenges over our previous 140 years, we are still here in 2022 continuing to care, educate, protect and inspire those in need. We are here. For them. For you.


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youth ministry

Welcome to 2022 As we prepare to welcome 2022, Tom Carty from Animate Youth Ministries offers a reflection on the challenges this decade has brought to date. I have not written anything for the Catholic Pic since the pandemic began so, though Father Simon has no doubt written a lot about it already, I thought I would give you something of my perspective from these last two years. As I am sure was the case for everyone, when lockdown first came into effect in March 2020, we did not expect it to last beyond the Easter holidays. Obviously, we were wrong, and we all suddenly had a lot more free time than we were used to. I was planning to use the time stuck at home to start a new fitness regime, but after spraining my ankle one week in, I gave it up as a bad job. As a team, we were a bit lost. The bulk of our work is with schools and, since they were all closed, we had to

think of something else. We met up regularly on Zoom to catch up and think about what we could do. We settled on creating new day-retreat activities and Faith in Action Award reflection points that we could use when we were allowed to work with young people again. But as the weeks turned into months, it seemed to me like that day might never come. When restrictions were eased slightly in the summer of 2020, I was glad to return to Lowe House. Though we were still unable to work with schools, it was good to be back together as a community again. Things were looking up. After the summer holidays, we returned once more to St Helens and fortunately, this time, we were allowed to work

with schools again. We had to modify some of our resources and activities in order to comply with Covid regulations and make sure everyone was as safe as possible, but we didn’t mind. We were just happy to be working with schoolchildren again. However, not long after Christmas that year, we entered yet another lockdown. This time the team remained at Lowe House for a while, where we devoted ourselves to renovation and created a recording studio in one of the rooms. We thought that even if we could not physically work with youngsters, we could still spread the Gospel message via the internet. We created a plethora of videos for YouTube and not only did we have a lot of fun making them but they garnered a lot of interest from the youth and others in the Diocese. For the rest of 2021, after Easter, things began to return to a semblance of normality. We worked with many high schools and primary schools from all over the Archdiocese, and it was like we had never been away. Without wanting to come across as patronising, I have been very impressed by the resilience shown by the youth with whom we have worked. The past two years have not made them jaded or cynical in any way. I have witnessed so much enthusiasm, compassion, and generosity from young people that it gives me hope for the future. Though we have been beset from all sides by negativity and bad news, we must not let this wear us down, or harden our hearts. As Jesus said, we must ‘become like little children’. Not jaded or cynical, but humble, compassionate, and willing to trust in God. As we begin the new year, though it is still dark and cold, we can take solace in knowing that light is coming. The light of hope which entered the world 2,000 years ago in a stable in Bethlehem. And the light of hope carried by our young people today. Best wishes for the new year.

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Golden Jubilee Celebrations

at St Philomena’s, Liverpool The parish community of Our Lady and St Philomena began its Golden Jubilee celebration year with a Mass of thanksgiving led by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP, assisted by the present Parish Priest Father John Hindley together with priests who had served in the parish and deanery priests who have remained great friends of the parish. The church building of St Philomena in the heart of Sparrow Hall, Fazakerley officially opened its doors on 19 December 1971 with Mass celebrated by Archbishop Beck and the then serving Parish Priest Father Pownall. The church was built to replace the existing, much smaller church opposite, which later became the parish club. The Stations of the Cross are the original ones from the old church, as is the baptismal font. The Stations were refurbished by a generous parishioner for the Golden Jubilee. People of the parish, led by Father Pownall raised funds towards the building of the church by holding raffles, bingo and sale of works. One parishioner recalls going around house to house selling tickets with her mum. So large was the Catholic community at the time that tickets to the opening Mass had to be limited to one per family with other family members having to wait to attend a later Mass at 6.00 pm celebrated by the assistant priest, Father O’Donohue. Father Pownall, the driving force behind the building of the church retired soon after it opened – his legacy being the church of St Philomena. St Philomena’s parish has always had a reputation of being friendly and welcoming. A community that has prayed together, pulled together, worked together and cared for each other. In 2006 when the neighbouring church of Our Lady of Sorrows closed, St Philomena’s opened its heart to its new parishioners and became the parish of Our Lady and St. Philomena. The statue of the Holy Family standing proud in one part of the church was brought from Our Lady of Sorrows when it closed; the Crucifix which hangs over the back door was rescued from St Mary’s Highfield Street and the statue of Our Lady came from the Cenacle on Lance Lane when the old convent closed – they are a remaining history of bygone communities. The Mass of Thanksgiving was emotional and uplifting; from the beauty of the altar 16

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and the church to the singing of the schoolchildren. This will be a year to celebrate 50 wonderful years of a great parish. To celebrate the people, priests, religious, schools, teachers and children who have made the community what it is and what it will continue to be. The celebrations will continue throughout the year and will include fundraising events to spruce up the decor with some new carpets, as well as lots of social activities and spiritual events – fingers crossed and Covid permitting. The Archbishop gave the invitation to look forward with hope and so here’s to the next 50 years.

at Our Lady of Walsingham, N Archbishop Malcolm McMahon joined with parishioners from Our Lady of Walsingham parish, Netherton, for Mass to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of their church on Sunday 5 December. To prepare for the celebration parish priest, Father Gervase Moo CSSp, held a Novena of Masses each evening from Friday 26 November with visiting priests including former parish Priest Father Liam Collister, and neighbouring priests, Father Richard Ebo, Father Sixtus Adejoh CSSp and Father Stephen Cooper. Father Gervase also celebrated with teachers

and pupils from Our Lady of Walsingham and Holy Spirit primary schools. During the Novena parishioners reflected on how the parish has changed over the last 50 years and on some of the challenges which face it today. Archbishop Malcolm brought the novena to a close at the Jubilee Mass of Thanksgiving with the Angelus followed by the litany to Our Lady of Walsingham. Among the concelebrants were Father Ugochukwu Ikwuka CSSp, the Provincial Superior of the Spiritans’ British Province, and former parish priest Canon Chris


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at St Aidan’s, Winstanley Parishioners from St Aidan’s Parish, Winstanley, held a wonderful celebration on Sunday 5 December to mark the golden jubilee of their parish. Mass was celebrated in the church by Bishop Tom Neylon together with Father John Causey, Canon Pat MacNally, Father John Johnson and Deacon Jim Cardy. It was great to see so many parishioners joining together in this celebration after such a long separation for so many. At the beginning of Mass Bishop Tom blessed a commemorative stone in the foyer of the church where everyone can see it. The stone was bought by the parish to mark the anniversary. The first Mass at the Parish of St Aidan was celebrated in the newly built school on 5 December 1971. It was Father Daniel Cadogan who realised that Winstanley and Highfield were growing rapidly, new houses being built and young couples moving in. He had the vision and foresight to realise that a new parish was needed, which would include a new school and a new church. Meetings were held in various parishioners’ homes in the

, Netherton Fallon. The congregation included teachers and pupils from the two parish primary schools. In his homily Archbishop Malcolm acknowledged that the past year had been a challenging one especially with the pandemic. Nevertheless, we remain thankful to God for his numerous gifts of

neighbourhood. A survey was carried out to find out how many Catholics were already in the area. Money had to be raised so lots of fund raisers were arranged, the future parishioners of St Aidan, worked hard to raise the money for the new school and church. After two years of hard work, the new parish celebrated its first Mass on 5 December 1971 in the new school hall. Contributions of £2 per person were received to help buy chairs for the hall,

and a carpet to protect the floor. Every Saturday evening the men of the parish would roll out the carpet and set up the school hall for Mass the following day. This went on until the church was actually finished in 1974. The celebration continued next door in St Aidan’s Parish centre, where it was a pleasure for parishioners to meet our new Auxiliary Bishop. 50 wonderful years of service to the community all celebrated in a safe but joyful way.

blessings. Fifty years as a parish could not have been without challenges but God has always been good and supportive in trials and tribulations. The Archbishop expressed his thanks to the Spiritans for their ministry in the archdiocese and asked parishioners to support parish priest, Father Gervase K. Moo CSSp, in his ministry among them. Archbishop Malcolm referred to the readings for the Second Sunday of

Advent which point to the arrival of an age when peace will reign on earth. That time begins each Christmas, and our season of Advent is also a time to prepare ourselves to play our part in the building up of that kingdom. After Mass, the Archbishop joined parishioners for refreshments in the parish centre and cut the anniversary cake with the help of pupils from the parish schools and parishioners.

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sunday reflections On a liturgical note I would say ‘Happy New Year’ but of course that would be wrong – as we all know, the beginning of the new Liturgical year was the first Sunday of Advent, 28 November. However, as the new civil year of 2022 begins on 1 January, it is quite legitimate to wish each other a continuation of blessing and happiness for the months ahead or, as Saint Aelred of Rievaux whose feast we keep on 12 January would bid us, a constant deepening of the invaluable gift of friendship – friendship with Christ at the heart of everything and then, in Him, a valuing and nurturing and nourishing of those friendships which support and strengthen us each day of our lives. One little custom which you may already keep is that of the blessing of our houses – and not just the bricks and mortar but, by extension, the households, which takes place on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord (which this year is kept on Thursday 6 January). Custom has it that just as the Magi – traditionally known as Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar – give

Sunday thoughts New Year resolutions don’t work for me. January seems the wrong time to make them. The Church’s year begins on the first Sunday of Advent. September is the start of the academic year. I find a sense of energy and enthusiasm in September. It’s a hangover from my time in school and seminary, an instinct reinforced by new clergy appointments which usually commence in September. Other people have their own new year. There’s the Jewish New Year on 25 September and the Chinese New Year on 1 February. The tax year begins on 6 April. The UK motor vehicle trade has two new years – 1 March and 1 September – when new registration plates give a boost to car sales. The real marker of the passage of time for me is my birthday. As a child, birthdays were proof that I was growing up, albeit too slowly. Birthdays now remind me that I am growing old, and they come too fast.

Canon Philip Gillespie

gifts to the new-born Christ, so we would ask that Christ’s blessing visit our homes with His gifts. Hence the letters CMB, written in chalk over the main doorway of the house. As well as being the first letter of the names of the three wise travellers, CMB could also stand for the Latin phrase Christus Mansionem Benedicat, meaning ‘Christ bless this house’. Often the current year would be added to the script, so that for 2022 we might have the following: 20 + C + M + B + 22 or CMB 2022. This is a simple way of marking the passing of the year and also making very evident our desire that we will continue to grow in our friendship with Christ through the coming months. ‘No medicine is more valuable, none more efficacious, none better suited to the cure of all our temporal ills than a friend to whom we may turn for consolation in time of trouble, and with whom we may share our happiness in time of joy.’

Mgr John Devine OBE

I associate resolutions with Ash Wednesday when I ask myself, ‘What shall I do for Lent?’. Whatever I decide rarely survives beyond three or four weeks. After years of guilt I’ve learned that’s maybe the point of resolutions; breaking them. They undermine the view that the Christian life is a selfimprovement programme. Broken resolutions are the only way that grace can get leverage in my life. That only works if I have the humility to admit, ‘When I am weak, then I am strong’. The phrase ‘New Every Morning’ appeals to me. Several evangelical hymns use this phrase. It’s taken from the Book of Lamentations but is profoundly Christian. Each morning is a fresh start after the failures of yesterday. I’m a serial offender. That’s a feature of what we call sin. But it’s Easter Sunday every morning, whatever the date on the calendar.

Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com

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The Barak of God It is the dawn of another new year, with the arrival of 2022. Sadly, the world has just spent yet another year in chaos. So what do we as Christians have to offer the world as we struggle with the wounds of Covid, the horror of Afghanistan, the scourge of famine and warfare? It seems to me that each year is the dawn again of a fresh hope, a reminder that God is with us in a new way. I have shared before that one of the words used in the Genesis stories is blessed or barak. The Hebrew understanding of blessed is far deeper than our understanding of the word. For the Hebrew, the blessing of God is like a shower of goodness that we are caught up in. This barak is the abundant life of God shared with humanity and with the whole of creation. Isn’t that fantastic? What we have is life to share with the world – abundant, freely given life. Is it any wonder that Julian of Norwich could say, ‘All will be well, and all manner of things will be well?’ She knew the barak of God, knew that life is always being poured out. The question we have to ask is: do we believe in the blessing of God, poured out, and if we do, how are we sharing this with others so that they too will know the heart of God? It is not a feeling or an emotional reality. It is a choice to know and understand the heart of God. If you know the heart of God, you will know that life is being poured out whatever state the world seems to be in, and you will choose to believe that, because of this, all will be well. I guess the question for all of us to reflect on is whether or not we will be people of hope this year or people who somehow think we know better than God. What we discover in the Scriptures is that in our own strength we cannot be people of hope. We will always walk away from God, trusting in ourselves and our own power and not in God’s abundant life. We will always fail to recognise the God who is everywhere and will choose the things that bring us death rather than life. If we have recognised the blessing of God, the barak of God, then we will recognise the call we are given to be people of hope in the world and share the barak of God with those around us by our willingness to live more simply for the sake of others. Can we hope in God in the midst of recession and warfare and disaster? Of course we can. This new year we can live in joyful hope because of the abiding blessing of God. Father Chris Thomas


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profile ‘As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ (Romans, 10:15) When Sister Angel Grant reflects on the path which led her to the Daughters of St Paul, a series of moments return to her from her youth in Scotland. There was the Mass celebrated by Pope Saint John Paul II at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium in 1982 and his message that ‘when deciding your future, you must not decide for yourself alone’. There were retreats, organised by the Pauline Sisters, which she attended from the age of 15 and Saturdays spent travelling from her family home in Greenock to volunteer at the Pauline Book Centre in Glasgow. ‘I felt in my element surrounded by so many books and resources,’ she recalls. ‘Discovering the Pauline charism was totally overwhelming – something which I connected with instantly.’ Later, crucially, there was the chance encounter with a priest from Paisley Diocese who, over a cup of coffee, advised her to ‘listen to the voice within and read the sounds around’. As fate had it, it was actually here in Liverpool, on St Andrew’s Day in 1987, that ‘God caught up with me’ as she puts it. ‘I’d found myself for weeks reading the words from St John’s Gospel, Chapter 15. I was touched deeply by the words “You did not choose me, I chose you”. I then attended Mass at Bishop Eton and as the Letter to the Romans, Chapter 10, was read, I knew there was no escape and God was calling me.’ It seems fitting that Sr Angela should be citing passages from Scripture and things once said. Words are a fundamental part of the Pauline mission and today Sr Angela is back in the city where God ‘caught’ her, living in Aigburth and leading the work of the Daughters of St Paul at the new Pauline Books and Media Centre on Church Street. It is not the first time she has overseen the opening of a new centre, having done the same in Newcastle and Glasgow, and she is delighted to be putting those experiences to use here. ‘In Liverpool the people are just so welcoming,’ she says. ‘Now that we’ve relocated, people have been so appreciative of the fact we’ve not closed down and there’s still a presence here.’ Sr Angela’s many years in the Pauline family also include spells at the Pauline Book Centre in London and in their old production department in Slough, coordinating the creation of educational

Sister Angela Grant Following the Pauline way - by Simon Hart resources. ‘I collaborated with 16 dioceses throughout England and Scotland, marketing the products and offering in-service training to teachers and catechists.’ Crucially, she also spent over a decade in Italy where she began her formation in Rome in 1988, undertook her novitiate period and, between 1994 and 1998, studied Theology and Communication at the Gregorian University prior to taking her perpetual vows in 1999. She has particularly fond memories of leading summer youth camps in that time – and the memory of one particular camp, in Piedmont, still resonates today.

Piedmont is the region where the first Daughters of St Paul, back in 1915, helped set up the first Pauline typography, printing the Diocesan newspaper. ‘It was such an honour to walk those streets and hills to the more remote areas, bringing to each house the gift of the Word of God. I had the words from St Paul resounding in my heart as, in the footsteps of our first sisters , we were ‘bringing the Good News’. Then, in the evenings, we’d host meetings for the youth and have house prayer times where we’d reflect on Scripture.’ Words and reflections once more. It is the Pauline way.

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education news

Merseyside school hails ‘life-changing’ programme as a success A St Helens school has noticed a 'real difference' in its students as a result of an education programme that was a very powerful day and that is said to live long in the minds of its young people. Year nine students at St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School in Parr, St Helens, took part in Humanutopia’s ‘Who am I?’ programme before Christmas which aimed to provide an opportunity for students to reflect on their past and consider why and who they have become today. It also challenged them to ask if and how they can make positive changes to improve their life chances. The day was broken up into three sessions, Session 1 was the ‘Comfort Zone’ in which the students reflected on the past helping them reflect on how they have become the person they are. This session was a rollercoaster as the students were roaring with laughter one minute and deep in reflection in the next. The second part of the day focused on

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the ‘Stretch Zone’ when the students considered how the present could be so different if each person behaved differently and the activities were highly engaging as they interacted with others outside their normal friendship group. ‘Panic Zone’ made up the final session of the day during which the young people imagined who they could be in the future, discussing dreams, hopes, goals and ambitions. The day concluded when every student identified and committed to making three positive changes to improve their future. Stuart Holland, Assistant Headteacher for Academic and Personal Development at St Cuthbert’s, said: “The Humanutopia team were absolutely amazing and held Year 9 in the palm of their hands. Their enthusiasm, positivity and ability to develop such positive relationships with students is something to behold. “Some of our teaching staff who were present during some of the sessions were ‘blown away’ by the transformation they saw in some students and this is

testament to the skill of the Humanutopia team.” Steve, who’s worked for the Humanutopia Team for over 10 years and ran the full day at St Cuthbert’s said: “Our audiences give me energy every day with their courage and compassion for others. “I truly believe if you give positive energy out it will come back to you and this was definitely the case with our audience at St Cuthbert’s. What a year group!” Headteacher, Catherine Twist said she was hugely pleased with the results but believed the more important impact was the difference in student’s selfconfidence. “I think what’s more important than any stats, is that the students were reporting on how they all thought it was a success, which is really interesting,” she said. “Also our staff are continuing to see that confidence in our young people in simple things like being able to stand up in class and talk, particularly with quieter or more vulnerable students.”


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education news Major boost for cricket at St Mary’s College St Mary’s College in Crosby has announced a major boost for the cricketing programme at the school. As part of its extensive extracurricular programme St Mary’s has unveiled a long-term partnership with cricket coaching specialists Academy North who will run all pre-season training sessions in future. The move is designed to improve levels of cricketing achievement at the school to reflect the advances that have been made in rugby and football over recent years. It comes at a time when the college has also joined forces with Crosby’s Northern Club to use their outdoor net facilities for games lessons, and their front pitch for important first XI matches. This will build on the school’s successful existing partnerships with Hightown St Mary’s, Formby and Ormskirk cricket clubs. The development will also complement other recent sporting developments at the college including significant investment in a new, state-of-the-art gym, the relaying of the junior cricket square and extensive drainage improvements at the school’s games field.

Head of boys PE, Derek Williams, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Academy North on board with the school. “We have worked extremely hard to improve rugby and football at the school over recent years and are proud of what has been achieved. We’re now very pleased that Academy North will help us to improve our cricket offering in the same way.” Stephen Cole of Academy North said: “We are delighted to be working in

partnership with such a prestigious school as St Mary’s College. “Over a number of years our coaching, tours and cricket camps have seen our profile increase significantly and to have that recognised by St Mary’s, and to be invited to work with them, is flattering beyond measure. “We look forward to growing the culture of cricket - and cricket achievement - at the school together in the years ahead,” added Mr Cole.

St Mary’s pupils celebrate the new partnership with Academy North coaches Stephen Cole (top left) and Dan Loader (top right)

Liverpool students inspired to follow a career in law Students from schools within All Saints Multi Academy Trust have taken part in a unique initiative launched by the Crown Prosecution Service. The Anthony Walker Pathways programme was established by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) with the Anthony Walker Foundation, National Black Crown Prosecution Association, Liverpool John Moores University and Salford University. It aims to increase diversity in the CPS by inspiring and supporting students of minority backgrounds into a rewarding career as a prosecutor. Year 11 students from The Academy of St Francis of Assisi, Kensington, and Year 12 students from All Saints Sixth Form, Garston, took part in the scholarship scheme. The scheme is in memory of Anthony Walker who was murdered in an unprovoked, racially motivated attack in July

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2005 in Merseyside. Anthony, 18, was a black British student in the second year of his A-levels when he was killed and had wanted to go to university to study law. During the event, students listened to, debated and networked with senior prosecutors and other professionals form the CPS and The Anthony Walker Foundation, and gave students the opportunity to hear first-hand about the criminal justice system and the different pathways into law. The students will now be taking part in a flagship project of work experience with the Mersey Cheshire CPS team where they will take part in workshops and look at real past cases, examine evidence and take part in a mock trial. They will find out about how the CPS make decisions based on evidence and public interest and how to “think like a lawyer”. They will also get to see law in action, learn how law is evolving and will have the opportunity to work with more amazing and inspirational staff in various CPS job roles. Miss Caroline Swarbrick, careers and employability manager at All Saints Multi Academy Trust, said: “The aim of the project is to develop our students with skills for employment, to learn about different qualifications and pathways, including university and apprenticeship routes and most of all, have the opportunity to gain real experience with professionals and grow in knowledge, enthusiasm and understanding that with the right mindset and dedication they can achieve anything they want in life. “I’m so pleased by the students’ eagerness to be part of this programme and I hope it encourages them to consider a career in law.”


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education news Holy Family receives the ‘Live Simply’ award Archbishop Malcolm visited Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Dingle at the beginning of December to present them with the Cafod ‘Live Simply’ Award. It is a prestigious award, with Holy Family being only the second school in Liverpool to receive it. It recognises the work that Holy Family have been doing, both in school and in the wider community. It follows the Catholic values which Pope Francis addresses in his encyclical letter, Laudato Si’. The key messages are to Live Simply, Live Sustainably and Live in Solidarity with the poor. The Cafod Live Simply Award has helped Holy Family build their community by bringing together different groups under a common vision. The school has taken part in a range of activities over a two-year period to encourage its pupils, staff, parents and carers to follow these messages. The school has worked to raise awareness of Fairtrade, achieving a Fair Active award in June 2020, through a visit to the local Co-Op shop and holding a Fairtrade coffee morning for parents/carers. Through Fairtrade Fortnights, children have learned about the impact of climate change upon farmers globally. The school has run events such as textile recycling collections, donating to Cafod through a sponsored School Unplugged Day, a refugee awareness campaign and even has its own allotment which the staff and pupils carefully tend. The Cafod ‘Live Simply’ award ended as it began, by gathering as a school community to reflect upon Pope Francis’ message. The award was presented to Head teacher, Mrs Rachel Davidson, a group of pupils and the award leader, Miss Sarah McClelland at two special assemblies at Holy Family. Archbishop Malcolm talked about how proud he was of the children and staff for working so hard to care for our world. He explained how so much had changed in his lifetime and how

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our children are key to resolving the environmental issues created by his generation. The Archbishop also spoke to younger pupils about Advent and the preparations needed for the coming of Jesus. With a Year One pupil, he lit the Advent wreath. What a wonderful day was had by all.


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Advent at Maricourt The staff and students of Maricourt Catholic High School had a busy Advent! Throughout Advent, the students along with their form tutors collected food items to create Christmas hampers that were subsequently distributed to those in need in the local community at the end of term. A car wash set up by gatekeeper Derek Jones on the staff Inset day and a cake sale by the Faith In Action group raised money for CAFOD’s World Gifts campaign. Pastor Lee Jennings from Hope Community Church in Aintree invited Maricourt students to assist in serving Christmas afternoon tea for the vulnerable and the elderly in the local community. Sixth form students, along with students from the Faith In Action group, went along and thoroughly enjoyed serving and chatting to those who attended. Pastor Lee said: “We are so thankful for the students from Maricourt who served at a

Christmas community afternoon tea for the elderly residents in Aintree. Maricourt Lay Chaplain, Ken McCabe said: “We served together as Christians from Catholic and Baptist churches, and as old and young people together, with one common goal of demonstrating the love of Christ to those we were serving.” Towards the end of the Advent season, the sixth form students with the chaplain Ken McCabe returned to the Missionaries of Charity in Seel Street to help the Sisters prepare and hand out food to the homeless men who attended the centre. The students worked hard in the kitchen but also took some time to chat to the men on the street as they queued for food. Ken believes that these interactions with the men are important: “The students get to see the person behind the label ‘homeless.’ They hear their stories and it gives them a more realistic insight into the reasons for homelessness.”

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Mums the Word It’s a big question: how do we heal the planet? Maria Pimblett, media officer for the Union of Catholic Mothers, offers some suggestions. Healing the planet starts in your garage, in your kitchen, and even at your diningroom table. The goal is simple. Carbon dioxide is the climate’s worst enemy. It is released when oil, coal and other fossil fuels are burned for energy – the energy we use to power our homes, cars and smartphones. By using less of it, we can curb our own contribution to climate change while also saving ourselves money. One of the single biggest ways to make an impact on global climate change is to talk to your friends and family and make sure they are making good decisions. For instance, by choosing a utility company that generates at least half of its power from wind or solar energy, and has been certified by Green-e Energy. Saving water reduces carbon pollution, too. That is because it takes a lot of energy to pump, heat and treat your water. So take shorter showers and turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Another suggestion is to change all your bulbs to LED lightbulbs, which use 80 per cent less energy than conventional incandescent bulbs. Gas-smart cars, such as hybrids and fully electric vehicles, save fuel and money too. After plastics have been used, people may dump them into the environment, sometimes purposely. Even if plastics go to a landfill site, some are light enough to blow away in the wind and enter waterways. Plastics can break down into smaller pieces – microplastics – through biodegradation or exposure to the sun, heat or water. These microplastics scatter across the globe, entering the depths of the ocean. Something to bear in mind for those of us considering New Year resolutions. • Finally, a reminder of our bi-monthly Mass at Blessed Sacrament Parish Church, Parkvale Road, Aintree on 12 January, starting at 7.30pm. I hope to see you all there. In the meantime, I wish you all a very Happy New Year.

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

Fifty years a knight for Brother Frank

It is with great pleasure that we report on the Golden Jubilee milestone attained by Brother Frank Redmond, who across his 50 years’ membership of the Order has held many offices with distinction – notably those of supreme knight and supreme secretary. The award was presented on behalf of the KSC’s supreme council by Bro Ray Pealing, the provincial grand knight, at the council 9 monthly meeting on Thursday 11 November. In making the presentation, Bro Ray warmly congratulated Bro Frank on his many achievements. Bro Frank in reply expressed his thanks for all the support received over the years and reflected on the many highlights of his membership. Bro Frank is a retired customs and excise officer and also served as a magistrate. In addition to his long and distinguished service to the KSC, he was raised to the rank of knight commander of the Order of St

Gregory by Pope Benedict XVI in August 2007 for his service to the Church. Bro Frank celebrated his 90th birthday last year and readers may recall that we reported that, shortly before that celebration, he did a sponsored walk with his daughter Sue which raised nearly £3,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society. Our photo shows him receiving his award. • It is with much sadness that we report the sudden death of council 9 member George Lwin on Sunday 22 November. We extend our deepest sympathy to his dear wife Sheila and all his family. George’s funeral service was held at Springwood crematorium on Thursday 2 December with a guard of honour provided by his brother knights. Eternal rest, grant to him O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Websites: www.ksc.org.uk www.kscprov02.weebly.com Email: dpokeane@aol.com


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Dialogue and Unity Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2022 - ‘We Saw His Star in the East’ The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally observed from 18th to 25th of January – ending on the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul. However, some areas observe it at Pentecost or some other time. Sections from the preparatory material can be a useful resource at any time for a prayer group, an RE Class or for a meeting. The work is coordinated by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity with the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches in collaboration with the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC for short). MECC comprises a broad spectrum of Christian Churches including: Eastern Orthodox Churches (Coptic, Syriac and, Armenian Apostolic), the Greek Orthodox, Evangelical Churches, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Methodists, and the Catholic Rites (Maronite, Greek Catholic Melkite, Chaldean Catholic, Syrian Catholic, Coptic Catholic, Armenian Catholic and the Latin Patriarchate). The preservation of human rights and support of Palestinian refugees are key roles for the Council. They sum up their work as ‘Three Bridges’: A bridge between Churches, removing barriers and prejudice, and building a common witness to the resurrected Lord. A bridge between Christians and peoples of other religions in the region, especially with Muslims. A bridge between the Middle East and the rest of the Christian World. The overarching bible passage for the week is the familiar story of the Magi visiting the Holy Family in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1-12). The Magi have sometimes been seen as a symbol of the world’s diversity – different religions and cultures – that comes to pay homage to the Christ-child. The story might therefore represent the unity of all created that God desires. The material focuses on serving the Gospel today which requires commitment to the poorest, the weakest and those marginalised. It requires from the Churches transparency and accountability in dealing with the world, and with each other. So, Churches must cooperate to 28

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provide relief to the afflicted, to welcome the displaced, to relieve the burdened, and to build a just and honest society. This is a call for churches to work together so that young people can build a good future according to God’s heart, a future in which all human beings can experience life, peace, justice, and love. The suggested Ecumenical Service includes the following Bidding Prayers which may form a base for personal reflection: With faith and confidence, we come in prayer, before God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit: The Magi came from the East to pay homage and offer special gifts from their cultures and countries. We pray today for all Christian communities around the world in all of their diversity of worship and tradition: Lord, we ask you to preserve these treasures, particularly in areas of the world where the presence and survival of Christians is threatened by violence and oppression. The early years of the Lord’s life were marked by violence and massacres at the orders of the despot Herod. We pray for children living in places in the world where violence continues and where its results are tangible: strengthen, O Lord, the bonds of unity and mutual love among our Churches and help us to cooperate and witness to your holy Name. Inspire us to work without ceasing in order to defend the oppressed and include the marginalized. Encourage us to stand

together in the face of tyranny and oppressive regimes as we seek your Kingdom among us. After the visit of the Magi, the Holy Family experienced migration through the wilderness and became refugees in the land of Egypt. We pray for all the refugees and uprooted people in this world: equip us, Lord, to show hospitality to those driven from their homes, and grant us the spirit of welcome to those looking for a safe haven. The birth of Jesus was good news for all, gathering people from different nations and religions in worship of the holy child. We pray for our efforts to seek harmony and dialogue with other religions: Lord, give us humility and patience to walk with others with respect on their journey. The Magi returned to their home by a different way. We pray for our Churches in this changing world: Lord, help us to find new and creative ways to follow you and to witness to you so that the world may believe. When the Magi saw the holy child, they rejoiced with great joy. Heavenly Father, fix our eyes on him so we do not lose our way. Unite us in the Lord Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life, and who has taught us to pray, saying: Our Father… The Materials can be downloaded from the archdiocesan website at www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk


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

A rich tapestry of music

Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean Following the Feasts of the Epiphany on Thursday 6th and the Baptism of the Lord on Sunday 9th January the early part of the month here is a quiet time of the year with exams taking place in the Crypt Halls.

Picture: www.nickfairhurstphotographer.com

Singing is an action that brings groups of people together, but also something we can each do individually. Singing has a special place in our Christian liturgical tradition. When Jesus was born, the angels on the hillside sang ‘Gloria in Excelsis Deo!’ The Gospels tell us that Jesus and the disciples sang a hymn together after the Last Supper. Singing is something that brings joy to many, young and old alike. During the Christmas season, people gather together to sing carols in churches, homes and village squares. As one scholar describes it: ‘the Christian Church was born in song.’ Throughout the last two millennia of Christianity, music and singing have played an important part in worship. At the root of all liturgical music is the human voice: our God-given instrument. We are each, by virtue of our baptism, called to join in the joint human/heavenly choir through the summons which the priest intones each week ‘... with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominions, and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven, we sing the hymn of your glory.’ For children, singing plays a particularly important role not only in their development, but in their religious, social and musical education. How many of us remember words to a song or hymn we

learnt as a child? Having spent 10 years here now at the Metropolitan Cathedral as Director of Music, I have increasingly turned my mind to what I might be able to do to help improve opportunities and training in liturgical singing across the archdiocese. Having spent the last few years speaking with people from all parts of the archdiocese, identifying areas of need, seeking funding and drafting ideas, I am delighted that in early 2022 we will be launching our new Archdiocese of Liverpool Schools’ Singing Programme. This programme will see musicians from the Cathedral and archdiocese engaging with schools to further a lifelong love of singing in our children. Music, singing and the arts generally are a unique pathway through which we can engage and catechise our young people, drawing them into the Church's rich tapestry of music, exposing them to the beauty, goodness and truth of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Catholic faith in order to prepare and transform them for their future role in society. We have recently recruited our first staff members who will be leading singing in schools across the archdiocese as part of our new programme, so 2022 promises to be a very exciting year. Watch this space for further updates!

Hope University hold their Winter Graduation Ceremony on 20th January. As part of the ceremony this year the University will be conferring an honorary degree to Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald. Cardinal Michael, now retired and part of the community of the Missionaries of Africa ministering in the parish of St Vincents, has spent many years working for dialogue with other religions and has served as Papal Nuncio to Egypt and Head of the Pontifical Council for Inter Religious Dialogue. Cardinal Michael will also be giving a public lecture at Hope University on 17th February at 5.30 pm on ‘Human Fraternity’. At the final Sunday of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity there will be a joint Choral Evening Prayer held at our Cathedral at 3.00 pm. I am hoping that Bishop Paul Bayes might be available to give the homily at this service which will be one of the final commitments that he will have as Bishop of Liverpool before he retires in February. We welcome the Catholic and Anglican Bishops of England and Wales on 1st February as they come together for a short conference in Liverpool. They will be visiting both Cathedrals and having a short service in both of them led by the Cathedral Deans. We decided that the best way to show local cooperation and our close links was for us to give them a sandwich for lunch and for Liverpool Cathedral to give them cake when they get there. That’s real unity in practice!

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PIC Life Why New Year’s resolutions matter We are now in the early days of a new year – days when hope really does spring eternal in the form of the many resolutions we make.

make them when others around us are perceived to be doing the same. Perhaps there is a kind of camaraderie whereby we are all being miserable together while battling whatever flaws we have decided to eradicate.

Those who have made fresh resolutions, or re-made those of previous years, do so with the best of intentions but give it a month or two and for the majority of us, perfection will likely be back where we last saw it – as a distant dream. Still, some of us will plod on valiantly, attempting to keep that initial spark of determination alive a little while longer.

My new year’s resolutions got off to an unexpected start before Christmas after listening to a homily on Saint Matthew’s Gospel: ‘So stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming.’ (24:37-44) The homily included an exhortation to live each day as if it were our last and concluded: ‘One day you will be right!’

It goes without saying that we do not have to wait for 1 January to descend on us each year before making changes in our lives. However, it just feels easier to

Yes, the final sentiment was very amusing as it was intended to be, but it also served its purpose as food for thought. Making changes does not have

By Moira Billinge

to mean giving things up; it can also include taking things on and putting aside more time – our scarcest and most precious commodity – for the good of other people. Unfortunately, God can be one of the ‘casualties’ of our busy-ness, and we sometimes put Him on the back burner in the hope that He will not mind too much, or better still, will not notice if we get everything else in our day’s schedule completed before affording Him any serious thought. How often have we ended the day without Him even figuring in the ‘Any other business’ item of our crowded agendas? We all have faults and failings and do not usually need to have them pointed out to us. For the most part we are only too aware of the areas in our lives that we struggle with, and which we know we should work on. Even if we fail in our resolve, we will have scored a few brownie points for at least having tried. Embracing change is never easy but it is necessary if we wish to achieve our full potential and become who God intended us to be. Serenity prayer ‘Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ (American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr)

Worth a visit - Salisbury Begin the new year with a trip to the beautiful medieval city of Salisbury. The city’s original site at nearby Old Sarum dates from an Iron Age hill fort later reused by the Romans, Saxons and Normans. Growing tensions between the Church and the army put the original settlement in question, and legend states that an archer shot his arrow from Old Sarum to decide the heart of the new city – the spot where the cathedral stands today. The cathedral’s chapter house is home to one of only four surviving copies of the Magna Carta. Issued by King John I in 1215 in an attempt to prevent civil war, this historical document details numerous rights which form the basis of our modern-day freedoms. The adventurous visitor can book a tower tour and climb the 322 steps to gain amazing views of the city and the iconic cathedral spire. The spire rises 55m above the tower, ensuring a combined height from the ground of 123m (or 404 feet) – the tallest in Britain. After all those steps, I’d recommend a visit to Greengages on Catherine Street for tea and cake.

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For a tower tour or to see the Magna Carta, tickets must be booked in advance via www.salisburycathedral.org.


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