21st June 2015 





at St Winefride's


To arrange the following please click on the link indicated below.






To our First Communion Children who received the sacrament on

Saturday 13th June






Rehearsal  -

Sunday 14th June

at 6pm for Candidates, Parents and Sponsors.


Confirmation - Wednesday 17th June, 7pm

at Holy Family, Pensby.




Pastoral Letter for Lent 2013


From Mark, Bishop of Shrewsbury


To be read at Mass in all churches and chapels of the Diocese on the First Sunday of Lent, 17th February 2013



My dear brothers and sisters,


On Monday we received with great sadness the news of Pope Benedict’s decision to relinquish his ministry as Bishop of Rome, the Successor of the Apostle Peter, due to failing strength of mind and body. We will remember with gratitude the countless ways in which Pope Benedict XVI, as the Successor of Peter, confirmed us in our faith (Luke 22:32). We think of the enduring legacy of his teaching and remember the unforgettable days of his visit to our country which gave new heart to us all. I ask you to remember gratefully Pope Benedict in your prayer and to pray especially, as he has asked us, for his soon to be chosen successor as Pope, who will continue the ministry of Peter for us.


Pope Benedict spoke on Monday of the challenges of our time and our response to them. In the light of this I want to remind you of the greatness of your own calling and witness as lay people. By far the greatest number of Christ’s faithful in every age are called to be lay people: Christians in the world, living out your lives “in the midst of... secular affairs” (AA n.2), with the priestly mission to “consecrate the world itself to God” (CCC 901). This is surely what Blessed John Paul II meant when he spoke of the laity receiving “the world as a task” (Christifideles Laici, 1988).


Fifty years ago the Pope and bishops, gathered in the Second Vatican Council, recognised that the circumstances of our time demanded a lay apostolate “infinitely broader and more intense” than ever before (AA n.1). The Council declared that “the duty and responsibility of the laity” is so decisive for the transformation of every area of society, “that it can never be performed properly by others” (AA n.13). It is through your witness that most people will hear the Gospel and come to know Christ.


This Sunday, I wish to repeat the Second Vatican Council's appeal, inviting you to recognise the urgency of your calling. The threats to the value of human life from conception until natural death and the plans of politicians to re-define marriage are surely symptoms of a society moving away from the Christian foundations on which it was built.


I wish here to acknowledge those Members of Parliament from across the Shrewsbury Diocese who recently stood in the defence of marriage and religious freedom for future generations. These men and women remind us of what it means to be a Christian in public life and they deserve our support for their courageous stand. If we are tempted to discouragement then we should remember that the first Christians transformed the ancient world from within by the testimony of their faith, their hope and their charity. A pagan society, which shared neither the Christian understanding of the value of human life, nor the meaning of marriage, was won for Christ by the daily influence of faithful Christians.


At the beginning of Lent each year, the Gospel tells of Christ’s struggle in the wilderness (Luke 4: 1-13). The Devil presents temptations, not under the obvious appearance of evil, but as false promises of human happiness. Many such promises are presented to us today in the name of false goods: false equality, false freedom and even false 'mercy’ killing. It is the task of Christians in the midst of the world to choose what is good and patiently to bring the Gospel into all human affairs. This means that wherever God places you - be it in your home and family; in education and in politics; in youth as in old age; in work or retirement; both in health and in sickness - this is where God calls you to exercise your unique influence, to bring his light to bear in every area of life and to become the faithful Christians you have the grace to be. Our Lord’s battle against evil in the wilderness, which the Church recalls in the forty days of Lent, reminds us that this struggle continues in the lives of Christians until the end of time. This is our time to engage joyfully in this struggle, confident of the victory won by Christ in our humanity, the victory we will celebrate at Easter.


Each one of us has a unique mission entrusted to us and we have an influence in this world greater than we often realise. Much depends on the witness we give as Christ’s faithful people in our private and public lives. During this Lent of 2013 let us pray for each other in all our callings, for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, and for his successor in the See of St Peter that this witness in our time will, indeed, be strong amongst us.


+ Mark


Bishop of Shrewsbury