14 March 2021 – 4th Sunday of Lent




Val Hartley RIP

Geof Martin RIP

Rosemary & Felix Jacquier RIP




Church is closed for public worship, for the time being  




This Week    
  E. Minister Reader
Next Week    
Ministry E. Minister Reader




We are looking forward to being able to welcome parishioners back to Mass – very cautiously – as from Easter.
The same Covid-secure measures still need to be in place for some time yet, in order to protect everyone, so please bear with us.  A reminder that these include:

  • Booking a place(s) on Fridays, between 10.30am and 3pmapart from Good Friday. No other time / day.
  • Face masks must be worn at all times
  • Stewards will be on duty to guide you to socially-distanced seating
  • The doors will remain open throughout Mass (ventilation is crucial), so please dress warmly
  • Hand sanitiser will be used on entry / exit
  • Candles will be pre-lit
  • Mass will be shorter than usual
  • No singing
  • Minimal speaking

Palm Sunday Vigil: Saturday 27 March at 5pm
Palm Sunday: Sunday 28 March at 11.15am
Holy Thursday: 1 April at 7pm
Good Friday: 2 April at 3pm
BOOKING: FRIDAY 26 MARCH, between 10.30am to 3pm only

Easter Sunday Mass: Sunday 4 April at 11.15am
Easter Monday: Monday 5 April at 11.15am (for those unable to attend on Sunday)
BOOKING FOR THESE MASSES: FRIDAY 2 APRIL, between 10.30am to 12 noon only. (Please note: the office will be closed from 12 noon on Good Friday).

Here are a few of the ways in which, as individuals and as a parish, we can mark the season of Lent this year:
Almsgiving*: We seek out opportunities to give money to charity or time to help those in need. Even a phone call to someone who is lonely – this is giving!
Fasting: We deny ourselves some food or luxury during Lent, and so remind ourselves that our deepest need is for God, not material things.
Private Prayer: During Lent we should all try to make a little more time for quiet prayer with God.
Stations of the Cross: An opportunity to meditate on our Lord’s last journey, when he shows such deep love for us.  Many churches will be streaming their Stations during this Lenten ‘lockdown’.
Attending a virtual weekday Mass: Many local churches are holding weekday Masses anyway and particularly so during Lent.
Confession: This sacrament is available by appointment, so please ring to arrange a time.
Talks: The Archdiocese and other churches / organisations are holding online talks and presentations during Lent.  Look out for details in the Newsletter over the coming weeks.  Or, if you hear of any, please contact the office (email of phone) with the details.
Spiritual Reading: Pick up a good spiritual book and feed your soul during Lent!

Alongside prayer and fasting, almsgiving is a key element of Lent. It’s an opportunity to give generously to those in need. This may involve giving money to charity, leaving donations for the food bank, or giving time to someone in need. Any way in which we give of ourselves – or of what we have to help others – is a form of almsgiving. Like prayer and fasting, it’s an essential element of Christian life throughout the year, but Lent highlights this need for us.
Why do we do it?  Firstly, because the Lord commands it: “I was hungry and you gave me food, naked and you clothed me…”; secondly, because it’s an act of love for our brothers and sisters.
But beyond these, it also benefits us too. The act of giving frees us from undue attachment to possessions or to our own comfort; it enables us to become less selfish, to live more for love. So almsgiving benefits the recipient, but undoubtedly also benefits the giver too.
The season of Lent is a time of grace to help us to become more Christ-like. In giving, we become more like Him, who gave Himself completely for the salvation of the world. He held nothing back: His whole life was a gift to humanity, an act of generosity on the part of God, to give us a salvation we did not deserve.
In our acts of charity, let’s hold before us the charity of the cross, the unbounded self-giving of our Lord, that crosses out the capital “I”.
If we do so, we shall give generously, grow in love – and ultimately – learn how to be “perfect”, just like “our heavenly Father”.

1st Reading: 2 Chronicles 36:14-23, The wrath and mercy of God are revealed in the exile and in the release of the people
Psalm 136: O let my tongue cleave to my mouth if I remember you not!
2nd Reading: Ephesians 2:4-10, You who were dead through your sins have been saved through grace.
Gospel: John 3:14-21, God sent his Son so that through him, the world might be saved
Gospel acclamation: Glory and praise to you, O Christ!   God so loved the world so much that he gave his only Son; everyone who believes in him has eternal life. Glory and praise to you, O Christ! 
Communion antiphon: Jerusalem is built as a city bonded as one together.  It is there that the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord., to praise the name of the Lord.

This reflection is from Sr Lynne FCJ who is based at the FCJ Centre at St Hugh’s, Wavertree.
Today’s Gospel begins with a reminder of the Old Testament story about the serpents in the desert – a symbol of healing which has endured to this day in pharmacies across the world! In the story from the book of Numbers, the Israelites, beset by danger as they travel in the desert, are saved when Moses raises a bronze serpent which they look to for healing. God assures the people of his presence and promise even in the most difficult of times.
Here Jesus proclaims that he is the new sign of God’s healing presence and love, and this will be revealed when Jesus is both raised on the cross and raised in glory. Then come some quite challenging and yet familiar words. ‘God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son…’ We may find the cross easy to understand as a symbol of love, or we may struggle with it, but Jesus makes it clear that it is God’s overwhelming love that is revealed and that we are invited to trust and to believe.
What is it that is difficult here? Belief can be a challenge, and here we are invited to take some significant steps in faith: To believe that God loves us and does not condemn us; to believe that Jesus is the Son – the incarnate presence of God; and then to trust this loving presence of God in our everyday life. We are all faced with both light and darkness in our lives. None of us is perfect and I am sure we all feel at times that we deserve to be judged.
Perhaps the most difficult thing to believe is precisely what Jesus is inviting us to – the belief in God’s personal, non-condemnatory love for us as individuals. It is a healing, self-giving love. Jesus is saying directly ‘I (God) love the world so much…’ We are invited in this journey of Lent to move from the darkness in which we condemn ourselves, into the light in which we accept the loving, caring, forgiving and healing of God.
As we move towards Christ, the truth of who we are is revealed. We are the beloved of God.

Take a few moments to receive and reflect on this poem by Gillian Clarke.
The Habit of Light
In the early evening, she liked to switch on the lamps in corners, on low tables,
to show off her brass, her polished furniture, her silver and glass.
At dawn she’d draw all the curtains back for a glimpse of the cloud-lit sea.
Her oak floors flickered in an opulence of beeswax and light.
In the kitchen, saucepans danced their lids, the kettle purred on the Aga,
supper on its breath and the buttery melt of a pie,
and beyond the swimming glass of old windows, in the deep perspective of the garden,
a blackbird singing,
she’d come through the bean rows in tottering shoes,
her pinny full of strawberries,
a lettuce, bringing the palest potatoes in a colander,
her red hair bright with her habit of colour,
her habit of light.

As a result of your reflection, offer some prayers of intercession for the people and situations in our world today that seem to you to be most in need.

Archbishop Malcolm has asked us to pray the following at this time of crisis:
God Our Father, each person is precious to You.
You are the Giver of life.
Have mercy on us and protect us at this time, as the coronavirus threatens health and life.
You are an ever-present Helper in time of trouble.
Watch over those who are suffering, give strength to those who are aiding the sick and give courage to all in this time of anxiety.
We ask this of you in the name of your Son. Jesus Christ.

We join Pope Francis in his prayer intention for March:
That we may experience the sacrament of reconciliation with renewed depth, to taste the infinite mercy of God

Let us pray…
For those journeying to full initiation into the Catholic Church …
may they be enlightened during this Lenten period and encouraged to persevere on the journey to new life in Christ.
For communities throughout the world experiencing the darkness of violence and unrest …
that seeds of peace might be sown through a commitment to justice and right relationships.
For our friends and family who are struggling with illness or bereavement …
may the light of Christ bring healing and the hope of new life.

We pray now in the words Jesus gave us:
Our Father, who art in heaven…

Special Days of prayer this week
17 March – St Patrick, Patron of Ireland
18 March – St Cyril of Jerusalem
19 March – Solemnity of St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin

A very Happy Mothers’ Day to all Mums, Grandmothers, Godmothers.  Thoughts and prayers for all of you.  Enjoy your day!

LIVING WITH LAUDATO SI: Your Parish and Your Planet Zoom Retreat, 12-16 March & 16-19 April 2021 (led from Boarbank Hall, Cumbria)
What will happen? A long weekend of talks and discussions on Zoom, and practical activities, on living the message of ‘Laudato Si’ in and through your parish.
Who is it for? Any interested parishioner is most welcome to take part.
Sessions will be on Friday night, Saturday morning and night, Sunday afternoon and night and Monday night (leaving people free during the day on Monday).
Trish Sandbach, worked in Oxfam Education for many years and led to St Benedict’s, Garforth, in the Leeds diocese, to winning a Livesimply award. She is also an assessor for the LiveSimply award (see https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/ Livesimply-award).
John Paul de Quay and Ellie Margetts, founder members of the Ecological Conversion Group and Journey to 2030 (see https://journeyto2030.org/).
Sr Margaret Atkins, an Augustinian Canoness at Boarbank Hall in Cumbria, a teacher of philosophy and theology, with a lifelong interest in the natural world, and author of Catholics and Our Common Home: Caring for the Planet in a Time of Crisis (CTS).
Archbishop John Wilson and Bishop Peter Brignall (March) and Archbishop Bernard Longley and Bishop Marcus Stock (April) will begin and end the weekends with prayer and reflection. A panel discussion for sharing advice on practical projects.
Cost – voluntary donations gratefully accepted, but there will be no fee for the weekend.
To apply, simply email Sr Margaret Atkins: margaret@boarbankhall.org.uk.
What will happen? A long weekend of talks and discussions on Zoom, and practical activities, on living the message of Laudato Si’ in and through your parish.
Who is it for? Any interested parishioner is most welcome to join us.
Sessions will be on Friday night, Saturday morning and night, Sunday afternoon and night and Monday night (leaving people free during the day on Monday).

Fr Chris Thomas offers a series of reflections on Lent.  This week, the theme is ‘Forgive One Another’
A series of three reflections, approx. 30 minutes in length.
Please use the following link Lent Reflections | Liverpoolcatholic (liverpoolcatholicresources.com)

THE DRAMA DISPLAYED – Talks from the Heritage Christian Centre
A series of online talks concludes this month.
On Thursday 25 March Sr Emanuela Edwards will speak on “The Life to Come” and Michelangelo’s Last Judgement: https://christianheritagecentre.com/events/the-drama-displayed/

The event will livestream on ACN’s YouTube channel – simply search Aid to the Church in Need on YouTube or use this link. If the date and time don’t suit you, feel free to watch it later.

  • Prepare your own Sunday lunch on the day—we’ll be enjoying starters, mains and puddings during the course of our time together!
  • Set up your device so you can watch from your dining table.
  • Click on the link provided any time from 12:30pm on the day and get ready for a fantastic line-up of prayer, personal testimony, interviews, cookery demonstrations, music and more.
  • As we eat together and enjoy each other’s (virtual) company, you’ll have the chance to make a donation to support the life-changing work of the St John the Merciful Table.
  • You’ll enjoy your Sunday lunch, join the ACN family for the afternoon and feel great because we’ve worked together to feed those unable to feed themselves or their families.

Find out more about the work of Aid to the Church in Need and support them at www.acnuk.org


Fr Chris Thomas will lead three days of reflection for Holy Week on 1, 2 and 3 April, entitles, ‘Dying and Rising with Christ’.
Please email Jenny at jenny@irenaeus.co.uk for more details / to register.

Fr Denis will be leading an online retreat this Lent, based on his two books Reflecting with Paintings Vol 1 and Vol 2.  There is no charge.
Each video will be uploaded to the site first thing on each given date for you to watch. Once released, you can choose to watch each video at a day/time that suits you. Each video, once released, will stay on the webpage.

  1. Fourth week in Lent – Wed 17 Mar
    Facing the truth – Logo for Frankfurt Book Fair, 1998
  2. Fifth week in Lent –  Wed 24 Mar
    Bearing up – Peasant Woman with Buckets and a Child by Kasimir Malevich
  3. Palm Sunday – Sun 28 Mar
    Hat trick – Pilate’s Wife by Sebastien Champion
  4. Good Friday – Wed 31 Mar
    Letting go – Pieta by Vincent Van Gogh
  5. Easter – Sun 4 April
    When words are not enough – The Reconciliation of Peter by Iain McKillop


Since the first UK Covid-19 lockdown began in 2020, millions have been bereaved.  The National Day of Reflection, coordinated by the charity Marie Curie and officially supported by the Church of England, will designate a special day to reflect on collective loss and grief. All denominations are invited to encourage their parishioners to take part.
There will be a minute’s silence at 12 noon on 23 March to create a moment that shows support for the millions of people who’ve been bereaved. It might also be a day to connect with someone who is grieving. This might be in simple ways such as having a chat with them, sending a card, a message, or giving them some spring flowers.
Other things we can all do:

  • plant a seed, a bulb, a bush as a sign of hope
  • tie yellow ribbons to a prayer tree or railings as sign of prayer and support for all who are bereaved
  • Use the 8.00pm ‘share the light’ moment to light candles and lanterns in windows

For more information and details, please use the link: National Day of Reflection 2021 | Church Support Hub

You Tube animated stories and songs each week.  

This week, musician Bobby Goulder’s arrangement of the Rutter favourite, ‘The Lord Bless You and Keep You’.  The Lockdowns have – amongst other things – certainly encouraged an enormous amount of artistic creativity, which is great for all of us!
The Lord Bless You And Keep You – John Rutter arr. Bobby Goulder (one-man choir) – YouTube
And a final chance to hear the sublime, ‘Here I Am Lord’, especially during Lent – the perfect time for us to be offering our love and service to Our Lord.  The words of Schutte’s hymn sum this up perfectly.  This US arrangement features some excellent voices and lovely harmonies as well as a band.  You might need to steel yourself for the (very) ‘American’ ending.  It’s still lovely, though! Here I Am, Lord (Schutte/Hayes) – Choir & Orchestra of St. Lillian – YouTube

Denis Blackledge SJ, Jesuit Parish Priest of Saint Francis Xavier’s Church in Liverpool delivers a series of armchair retreats.
​Each week Fr Denis chooses a couple of scripture passages to break open the living word in a homely way to give fresh encouragement, and deepen the daily living of folk as friends and followers of Jesus.
Please use this link: Armchair Retreats | Liverpoolcatholic (liverpoolcatholicresources.com)



As you may be aware, our Bishops have lifted the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.
To keep Sundays holy, it might be helpful to spend some time reading the Scriptures.  Besides your Bible, the Magnificat publication can be a wonderful aid to prayer and of course, you also get the readings for Mass for every day of the week!  At a cost of less than £1 a week, you may be interested in subscribing now: tel. 020 7448 3618; email: uk@magnificat.com or visit the website: www.catholic-herald.myshopify.com
Masses will continue to be live-streamed and televised for many months yet, so you can still take part in Sunday worship and the Act of Spiritual Communion will continue to be an important part of people’s worship for the foreseeable future. 
If you have any queries or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul. 
Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you. 
Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

Locally, there is St Clare’s, Sharoe Green Lane, Fulwood: www.saintclares.co.uk which streams Mass daily at 9.30am.  Please follow the easy links on the website. 
https://www.vaticannews.va/enPope Francis
https://www.churchservices.tv/whats-on-now/  Great selection of Masses and other Church serviceshttps://www.lourdes-france.org/en/tv-lourdes/ Mass and daily at 2pm, the Rosary in English
https://www.livemass.org Extraordinary Form (1962 Missal)
Use the website links to EWTN (Sky Channel 588)) or the Archdiocese to access daily Masses
On the radio: Catholic Radio Sky Channel 0147
Also, you may wish to try the Pray as you Go phone app:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=pl.foxcode.prayasyougo&hl=en
PRAYERS from the Archdiocese, for Stations of the Cross etc: https://www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com/

Please email the Parish Office with details of any other online services you know of that may help parishioners at this very difficult time.  We will try to include them in next week’s Newsletter.

With his apostolic letter, ‘Patris Corde’ (‘With a Father’s heart’), Pope Francis has proclaimed a ‘Year of St Joseph’ running from 8 December 2020 (Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception) to December 2021.
At the end of the letter, he asks us to pray the following prayer to St Joseph:

Hail Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you, God entrusted his only Son,
In you, Mary placed her trust,
With you, Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
Show yourself a father
And guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage
And defend us from every evil.
PRAYER CARDS FOR THE YEAR OF ST JOSEPH: Prayer cards are available – please notify the Parish Office and we will send one out to you so that you can say the prayer to St Joseph during the week.  We know we can rely on his guidance and protection in every difficulty and challenge.  And his intercessions are certainly much-needed by us all at the moment!

CATHOLIC NEWSPAPERS: These are available to order directly from the publisher (www.thecatholicuniverse.com  or 0161 820 5722). It can be posted to you each week. Introductory offers: printed copies for three months – £25; twelve months – £99; or digital copy £55 for twelve months.

Please click on the link below and identify this Sunday’s video.
The Mark 10 Mission team is passionate to see the Gospel shared with children and to help them grow in their relationship with Christ. The website is updated each Friday morning with a new episode, so happy viewing!

Many thanks to generous parishioners who continue to support the parish during this extremely challenging year.
Instead of putting money in offertory envelopes each week, those who are able to make an offering are asked to either:

  • Write a monthly cheque (payable to ‘Ss Peter & Paul Church’) and post to the presbytery with a covering letter and one offertory envelope for gift aid purposes.
  • Contact the office (by phone or email) to request a Standing Order mandate for your bank –

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss this further.


It is important that we all follow the rules for the Tier 5 National Lockdown in order to protect all age groups, but especially the most vulnerable.
Check out the government website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home to find out what the restrictions (and exceptions) are, and to keep abreast of changes in the future
The good news, though, is that the Covid-19 vaccination programme started in  Lancashire on 15th December. The NHS contacts those eligible for a vaccine to arrange an appointment.

Many residents have now received their first dose of the vaccine, but it is important to note that protection doesn’t kick in for a number of weeks after the vaccine, so it is vital that everyone remains vigilant and ensures that they follow all the rules to keep themselves and everyone else safe.
The number of positive cases in the NW has increased in recent weeks.

Residents can book an appointment if they are experiencing symptoms of Covid19 via www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

Many parishioners have already received notification about their vaccine – or have received the first dose.
Please contact your local surgery if you are over 60 and have not yet been given a date for your vaccination.
Please also note that the Catholic Church has given its full support to the vaccine (all three of them) and is keen to assure Catholics that there are no moral issues linked to the science of the vaccines, whatsoever.  The vaccines are safe. The Archbishop of Liverpool is anxious to dispel any myths and urges Catholics to have the vaccines.  Cardinal Vin Nichols has had his first vaccine.  So has the Pope  – and hospital chaplains have also received their first doses.

Unfortunately some people are trying to exploit the fears of others, so be on the alert for so-called vaccine scammers, who will try and charge you for a vaccine. 
There is NO CHARGE.
The vaccines are free. 
GP surgeries are not paid.  The government is paying for the whole programme.

Please also note that there are some scammers pretending to be the NHS.  There is only one official NHS email address, which is www.nhs.uk

The NHS will never ask for details like family maiden names of bank accounts / credit & debit cards.  Nor will they require you to pay anything for the vaccines.  If you are contacted by a group claiming to be the NHS and they’ve asked for these details, it is a scam and you must ignore it.  Then report it!

Only essential food shops remain open (and post offices)
Leave home to exercise once a day only
No meeting of groups, even outside
No mixing of households
Travel allowed for key / essential workers only
Follow instructions to self-isolate if alerted by Track and Trace
Take regular Covid tests (whenever possible), especially if you’re not displaying symptoms.

It is essential to continue to observe the ‘basics’: hand hygiene, face masks, social-distancing – and lots of good ventilation – at all times