Christmas Eve

December 24th

Carols 6:30pm

Vigil Mass 7:00pm

Midnight Mass


Christmas Day

December 25th

Mass 8:45am

Carols 10:15am

Mass 10:45am

Sunday: 6:30pm (Sat Vigil); 8:45am, 10:45am

Holy Days: 7:30pm (vigil), 9:00am, 7:30pm

Daily Mass: 10:00am (10am bank holidays)

except Friday term time:

9:10 am in school

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: 

 9:00 am weekdays  

Morning Prayer: 

9:40 am weekdays


 after 10:00am weekday mass

Sacrament of Reconciliation: Saturdays 

5:45pm -6:10pm


Little Church: during 10:45 mass, Sunday term times.

Newsletter: for our latest newsletter click here.

New Parishioners:

If you are new to our parish please call by or fill out a new registration from the Parish Office or download one from here.

Modern History from 1993


After the successful celebrations of the first 150 years of St. Winefride’s parish Fr. Courell’s thoughts turned once again, to the much needed renovations to the church building. It was plagued by increasing dry rot and was becoming dangerous. Not only that, but the congregation had grown so much that it was very obvious that the existing building was too small for our needs.


It was decided that the best way forward was to extend the church by building a new wing in place of the existing Lady Altar. The plan was to use sandstone to create a wing which would blend in nicely with the main body of the church but give us much needed room to cater for the number of parishioners we now had. A new stained glass window would be installed which would provide a focal point for devotions to Our Blessed Lady and a backdrop for the lighting of votive candles.


These problems had been ongoing for years and were becoming increasingly urgent but planning permission had become a big stumbling block. St. Winefride’s was a listed building and English Heritage wanted it to remain as it always had been. Fr. Courell fought valiantly on behalf of us all but he was getting extremely frustrated by all the red tape and inability of English Heritage to move on their stance.


As time went on it became obvious that the condition of the church was becoming more dangerous as the dry rot increased and we were fast reaching a situation where it was becoming a straight choice between closing the church down and losing it or doing the much needed renovations. An alternative plan of building a new church within the existing grounds had also been mooted as a last resort. More representations were made to English Heritage and many prayers were said and finally, in 1994, we were given permission to go ahead with the renovations, our church was saved!


The next question was how were we going to accommodate the parish whilst the church was closed? The answer came from the Anglican Parish of St. Mary and St. Helen, Neston. The Reverend Alistair Shufflebottom kindly invited us to hold Sunday Masses every week at their church. We had always had a close friendship with the local parishes through “Churches Together” and their kindness was overwhelming. Other regular Masses would be accommodated in our church hall.


The church was finally closed for renovations in January 1995 with the first Mass being held in the parish church on Saturday 21st January 1995. An historic occasion!


Tenders had been sent in from companies prepared to do the renovations and one was selected by the diocese to do the work. All was well for a few months. We watched as our lovely church was reduced to barely a shell as all the woodwork was stripped out and building began on the extension.


Then disaster! The company employed hit financial troubles and had to pull out. The search was on for a new company to take over the work and many prayers were said. Eventually a new company was found and work began once more.


The work was expected be completed by Christmas 1995 but as Christmas approached, we realised we would not be back in our church in time. Fr. Courell began to make plans to accommodate us for the Christmas services. Once again, Rev. Alistair Shufflebottom came to the rescue and it was arranged that the Vigil Mass would be held in the church of St. Mary and St. Helen. 


Fr. Courell announced the arrangements and proceeded to remind us, over the lead up to Christmas, that if we wanted to be guaranteed a seat for Mass at Christmas we would need to attend the Vigil Mass at the Parish Church, as the Masses in our church hall would be packed.


Christmas Eve arrived and our parish took Fr. Courell at his word! St. Mary and St. Helen had seen nothing like it, the queue to get in stretched down towards the gate. Every bench was packed and parishioners continued to pack in – even standing room was at a premium! When Fr. Courell entered the pulpit he just gazed around and simply said “WOW!” That Mass is still talked about in both parishes. A moment never to be forgotten by all!


Work was continuing at St. Winefride’s. A new stained glass window was commissioned to be designed by David Hillhouse. Below is a description of the window taken from his website:


Stella Maris - Our Lady Star of the Sea, St. Winefride’s, Neston, Wirral

Stella Maris


The Window is designed for the next millennium. It portrays the elements connected with our seas and oceans - water, air, light, earth, the heavens, the creatures which inhabit the waters and most of all, the people who "do business in great waters", for sailors have a great love and a great respect for the sea. Our Lady is shown surrounded by the elements, protecting herself with the collar of her cloak drawn up to her chin. She acts as a guardian to those whose life is spent on the world's oceans and she is surrounded by the creatures and objects associated with the sea.


Our Lady acts as a beacon in more ways than one. This century we have exploited our natural resources more than ever before. If we do not come to terms with our responsibility for our world we are in danger of causing irreparable damage to our environment. Our Lady reminds us of the wonders of our God-given world. She shows concern and offers a note of caution to us all.


At the point at which one looks left to the chapel, the upper part of this design has a breadth and impact to capture the attention of the viewer from a distance. With light shining through the lighthouse beam, attention is immediately drawn to Our Lady. When closer to the window, the wealth of detail around her feet gives a jewel-like variety of colour which sparkles with light. With sun shining from that side of the church, the window becomes alive as light changes. It is also possible to illuminate the window at night with exterior spots.


The window has attracted interest from a wide variety of people. Commissioned by a seafarer, it alludes to the importance of Our Lady as protector. Children have always been captivated by the variety of sea-life, a factor which reminds us of the location of the Church, on the banks of the River Dee near to the old fishing villages of Neston and Parkgate.


The Refurbishment of the Church



At the time of our renovations the diocese found it necessary to close St. Laurence’s Church, Birkenhead and the screens from there were used to replace those which had been removed from St. Winefride’s due to the dry rot. We also were able to replace our ageing benches with those from St. Laurence’s. It would have been very difficult to match up the old benches for the new extension; so sadly, it was felt better to replace them all. A new octagonal altar was also installed to face the congregation.


A Mass of re-dedication was held on Saturday 24th February 1996 which was celebrated with Bishop Brian Noble and the church was reopened.


Following the renovation of the Church, the hall was improved by the addition of an inside toilet, improvements to the kitchen and outside toilet and redecoration.


The Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes


Lady of Lourdes Grotto

At the rear of the church, at the back of the car park, is our Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. This was the idea of Tom Mckeown, a stalwart of the parish who was a great help to Fr. Courell as he could always be relied on to do numerous jobs around the church and grounds.. The project was undertaken in the year 2000 in celebration of the millennium. The grotto is dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes and carries a plaque reading "I am The Immaculate Conception" - as he had a great devotion to her. This is mounted to the right hand side of the grotto.


Tom did the design and all the bricklaying and Geoff Davies acted as his labourer, doing the donkey work sorting out the stone from a huge pile of sandstone in the yard of the old schoolhouse. This stone was rescued from the walls of the church which were removed at the time of the church extension; the stone in the grotto therefore matches perfectly the stone of the church. Geoff also did the cement mixing and carrying, with some help from Ron Jones, and planted the climbing roses donated anonymously by a parishioner.


It is an extremely solid and well built piece of masonry and it is estimated that it weighs at least five tons. The grotto was dedicated by Fr. Courell on the evening of 7th October 2004, with Tom present, even though he was suffering from cancer. He passed away on Saturday 23rd October 2004 and is sadly missed by all in the parish.


Credit must also be given to Tom`s daughter Yvonne, who has tended the grotto for the past twelve years ensuring that it is always well kept and planted out with flowers.

It was definitely a labour of love for Tom and a fitting memorial!


Judy Howard


Modern Historical Gallery


Some of the pictures taken during the renovations of St Winefride's. You can click on any image thumbnail to expand it.  If you have any photos you can share, please contact the web team.