A growing community of disciples
with a heart for Jesus, His Church, and His Mission
Response to Lockdown
2nd November 2020
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From Fr Michael

"Hope, pray, and don't worry."

This is one of the popular sayings of St Padre Pio.  They are words that seem appropriate for us to hear as we prepare to begin a second lockdown on Thursday.  This year has certainly presented us with many challenges, and they have not stopped yet.

At a time like this we may be filled with many uncertainties both for the short- and long-term future.  We do not know what the coming months will be like for us.  Not just as a parish, but in family life, working life, social life, in short, every sphere of modern life.  I know this will be a cause for worry for many of our parishioners and their families.

In times of uncertainty and change, in times that cause us to adapt quickly, we need to hold on to clear certainties, we need to hold on to things that do not change.  For us, for people of faith, our certainty is the Lord.  His love for us is unchanging and utterly certain.  It is a rock of stability that grounds us.

An ancient symbol of hope is the anchor.  A ship without an anchor risks going adrift.  An anchor holds the ship in place allowing its crew hope for safety, hope for rescue, hope for making good decisions.  Our anchor, our hope, is the Lord.  Without Him, we risk going adrift, pulled this and that way, and succumbing to the worries and anxieties we have at the moment and going forward.  With Him, we can navigate the storm we are passing though at this time.

Prayer, therefore, is crucial.  Prayer opens our hearts and our lives to God.  It opens us to his love.  Prayer allows to place everything, from what is happening in our lives, to what is happening throughout the world, into God's hands and trust in His loving Providence.  Rather than panic, despair, and anxiety, prayer helps us to stay close the Lord who calms us, gives us hope, speaks to worries and concerns.

Hope, pray, and don't worry.

We are all going to adapt for the next month, and continue to adapt as we come out of a second lockdown.  I know our parishioners, I know how wonderful you have been already, even through more difficult moments.  I have listened to your stories and I am confident that we will come through this.  I pray that the journey we make together will let each one of us have a greater heart for Jesus, his Church, and his mission.

I am sorry to say, the result of lockdown will mean that our churches will close for public worship (Holy Mass) but will be open for private prayer.  Unlike the last time, this time we are ready.  We have the livestream camera set up - which all of you helped us to acquire and install.  We look forward welcoming back our online community who have gone back to their own parishes since churches reopened.  We have a wonderful Hospitality Team who will be continuing to help us pray safely over the course of the coming month (and months).

There is already much to thank God for.  Let's be very clear, we are not closed, just opened in a different way.  Later today, or more likely tomorrow, I will send out an updated newsletter updating as many people as possible with what we are going to do over the next month.  I am grateful to the parishioners I have spoken to who have helped very quickly to respond this latest development.

In short, for now, take comfort from St Padre Pio, "Hope, pray, and don't worry."

You are in my prayers.  Pray for me too.

Fr Michael
Letter to Jo Gideon MP concerning the closure of places of worship
Please feel free to contact your local MP to ask for their assistance in helping churches to remain open for public worship.

Jo Gideon MP for Stoke Central

Responding to Lockdown

Weekly Liturgies
We will be keeping the same routine of Holy Mass and devotions, only that these will be streamed and we will be able to pray together from wherever we are. The only difference is that will now be only on celebration of Holy Mass on Sunday at 9.30 a.m.

Private Prayer - Sundays 10.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m.
We noticed that opening for private prayer was not very popular last time.  Instead of setting out a routine and then scaling back, we are going to start small and grow to meet demand.
We will be opening on Sundays from 10.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m.  This will allow you to participate with Holy Mass online and then come to church for a time of prayer.  My hope is that the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed during this hour.

I am happy to offer an opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Confession.  My kitchen window at the Presbytery offers a convenient space to celebrate confession at the press of a door bell.  Do give me a call if you are on your way, just in case I am walking the dog.

I was really looking forward to celebrating Confirmation with our young people at the end of November.  Sadly, this cannot take place.  It seems sensible now to postpone Confirmation until 2021.

Becoming Catholic and Growing in Faith
We are working through these sessions via Zoom so this can continue during November.  If you wish to join the group, it meets 7.30 p.m. - 8.30 p.m. on Fridays.  Contact Fr Michael for a link.

Beyond Adversity
This will be wonderful project that we can pursue over this month.  Please contact Nigel and Laura with your story of reaching beyond adversity, whatever that might be.  Also, get in touch if you wish to help with readings etc.

I was due to make a retreat this year. It is a requirement for priests to go on retreat, ideally every year.  As with everything else, it was cancelled. The lockdown offers me an opportunity to do a retreat at home.  From 16th - 20th November, I am going to try and spend the days avoiding non-essential parish work and using the time to pray and read.  More details as we go through the month.

Updated Times of Liturgy


Monday - Holy Souls

9.30 a.m. Holy Mass
7.00 p.m. Holy Mass

8.00 a.m. Holy Mass

2.00 p.m. Monica Prayers
7.00 p.m. Holy Mass (Last Public Mass)


7.00 p.m. Holy Mass

8.00 a.m. Holy Mass
6.30 p.m. Rosary

9.30 a.m. Holy Mass

9.30 a.m. Holy Mass
Parish Priest
Rev Fr Michael Glover
Parish Phone
Tel: (01782) 658 063

Hospital Chaplain
Rev Michael Puljic
Chaplaincy: (01782) 676400
Parish: (01782) 215 217
Office Hours
Mon – Fri 9.00am -1.00pm
Parish Secretary
Eileen Ratcliffe
Representative: Helen Clarke
Contact can be made through the Parish Office, or call the Diocesan Team on 0121 230 6240 or
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