Lenten Canvas:

By His wounds we have been healed


By his Wounds we have been Healed



At first glance, from a distance, the words are prominent but they seem meaningless. They are a contradiction. Whose are the wounds that have healed and why did I need healing? There has been nothing wrong with me. I am healthy and strong. As I look further into the picture, I see the outstretched arms reaching up, hands wide open, palms upward, pleading, begging. They are like the hands of poor people on the streets: the tramps: the homeless: the hungry. But what has that got to do with me? I am not poor. I’m not rich but I have enough. I have a house and a family. I have enough to feed them and give them a few luxuries now and then. I am alright. I am comfortable with my life. They are not my hands reaching up, and yet, why do I feel uneasy?


As I approach the picture, I see that there is something behind the words. There is an outline of a cross, pieces of rough-cut wood put together to form a crucifix, but how can that be the answer to anything? The wood is dead. Once it was a tree, vibrant and strong: A tree that stood proud and produced fruit, food for people to eat, shade from the midday sun. Now it is dead. The shape is also a symbol of death, a cruel, hideous and shameful death of a criminal. I am drawn closer. There are two small red patches on the cross which represent the one who died. This must be the wondrous cross on which our saviour died.


Now I begin to feel remorse because I know that although my body may be whole, deep inside I am broken and sinful. I recall the sins that I have committed but more importantly perhaps, I remember the opportunities I have missed. I remember times when I have been “holier than thou”, but with all the advantages I have had, all the blessings our Heavenly Father has showered on me, I should be holy, but I am not. I turn away from the picture and look around at the people who are assembling for morning mass. I have come to know them so well and I am humbled by their faith and reverence before the Blessed Sacrament. These are the holy ones. As I become more aware of my own brokenness, I feel a deep sorrow for I know that it was because of my sins that He had to suffer and die.


I turn again towards the picture and suddenly I am filled with Joy. I realise that it was because of our broken humanity that He came to live and die for us. I remember the lesson that St. Paul taught us that in our weakness we are strongest. If we can recognise and accept our brokenness and turn to Him for forgiveness, then we are healed.


O Jesus, son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner.


Picture by Joe Tunstall, Reflection by Tony Topping

Easter 2013

Easter Canvas:

The ‘Alleluia’  





This acrylic is a sequel to our Lenten canvas which grew from the quotation given by Fr Ravi: ‘By His wounds we have been healed’. The dichotomy of wounds healing us helps us journey to the joy and appreciation of God’s love this Easter.


This Easter 2013 canvas also comes from the ‘Alleluia’ given by Fr Ravi as a starting point. It is intended to help us deepen our understanding of how much God loves us; we spend a long time in our  life coming to terms with the concept of God’ love for us- unmerited, freely given and proven by Christ’s dreadful Passion, Death and wonderful Resurrection. How often does it challenge us to receive something for nothing?


The ‘Alleluia’ canvas shows God’s light of love rising above the dark earth of the garden containing Our Lord’s tomb- and the darkness of our ingratitude in our sins. The small red flowers represent the blood shed by our Saviour. The three trees on a rising horizon lead to the cross and are a reminder of the three falls Christ endured on His way to our salvation.


The white unfurled and empty shroud was inspired by the SVP Stations of the Cross recently this Lent. The white of salvation is echoed by the white letters rising towards Heaven and Christ’s Resurrection from his burial, making us the Easter people, fully redeemed.


Lord teach us how much You love us. Help us know this in our heart whenever we see a crucifix.


Joe Tunstall, March 2013

The Year of Faith


Year of Faith at St Winefride's, Neston

During the Year of Faith the parish of St Winefride's have undertaken the following activities:

  • Vatican II Talks - timetable here
  • Prayer Register
  • Book of Remembrance
  • Daily Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
  • Faith Formation for those in Liturgical Ministries four times a year
  • Parish Renewal Programme with Bishop Brian Noble (March 18th - 21st)
  • Parish Website
  • A redesigned newsletter
"Communication leads to Communion"


All about the Year of Faith in the Universal Church


What is the Year of Faith?
Why is the Year of Faith this year?
How are the Year of Faith and New Evangelization linked?
How does the Year of Faith affect the average Catholic?
What we can do as Individuals
What we can do as Families
What we can do as a Parish


Porta Fidei

Porta Fidei


What is the Year of Faith?


This Year of Faith declared by Pope Benedict is a "summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Saviour of the World" (Porta Fidei 6). In other words, the Year of Faith is an opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion - to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with Him.  The Pope has described this conversion as opening the "door of faith" (Acts 14:27). The "door of faith" is opened at Baptism. During this year, Catholics are called to open this door again, walk through it and rediscover and renew their relationship with Christ and with His church.


Why is the Year of Faith this year?


With his Apostolic Letter of October 11th, 2011, "Porta Fedei" - (The Door of Faith), Pope Benedict XVI declared that the Year of Faith would begin on October 11th 2012 and conclude on November 24th 2013.  October 11th, the first day of the Year of Faith, was the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) and also the twentieth anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  During this Year of Faith Catholics are being asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism so that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith.


How are the Year of Faith and New Evangelization linked?


StationsThe New Evangelization, which was called for by Blessed John Paul II, is a call to each Catholic to deepen his or her own faith, have confidence in the Gospel and possess a willingness to share this Gospel.  The New Evangelization is first and foremost a personal encounter with Jesus; it is an invitation to deepen one's own relationship with Him and a call to each person to share his or her own faith with others, using all the modern media available to take this Gospel to the ends of the earth! The Year of Faith, just like the New Evangalization, is a calling to conversion in order to deepen our relationship with Christ and to share our faith with others.


How does the Year of Faith affect the average Catholic?


Every baptized Catholic is called through Baptism to be a disciple of Christ and proclaim the Gospel.  The Year of Faith is an opportunity for each and every Catholic to renew their Baptismal call by living out the everyday moments of their lives with faith, hope and love.  This everyday witness is necessary for proclaiming the Gospel to family, friends, neighbours and our society as a whole.


In order to witness to the Gospel, Catholics must be strengthened by acquiring a knowledge of their faith.  Taking extra time to study the documents from the Second Vatican Council and by familiarizing themselves with the catechism in a more intense way.  They must also seek strength by their participating in the Celebration of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.


Parishes are encouraged to provide their parishioners with opportunities to deepen their faith during this special year, through retreats, special liturgies, Bible studies, service opportunities and formation sessions on the catechism and sacraments.


What we can do as Individuals

  1. Pop into church on the way home from work, school, shopping.
  2. Read and study the scriptures every day.
  3. Read and study The Catechism of the Catholic Church - sign up to Flocknote and get a daily email with a section of the Catechism in your inbox.
  4. Read and study some of the key documents of the Second Vatican Council
  5. Make a pilgrimage.
  6. Make a Retreat or go on a day of recollection.
  7. Consider how you celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Try to go more often.
  8. Give more time in prayer and Eucharistic Adoration.
  9. Explore ways of deepening your understanding of the holy Mass.
  10. Grow in devotion to our Lady by reading relevant Biblical texts, church teachings and praying the rosary.
  11. Build a Small Shrine or prayer focus in your home for the Year of Faith.
  12. Learn about Lectio Divina.
  13. Take up regular Spiritual Reading.
  14. Consider ways of putting your Faith into Action by serving others.
  15. Offer your time and talents to your parish and get more involved.
  16. Invite someone who is lapsed to go to mass with you.
What we can do as Families
  1. Pray together as a family - grace before meals, prayers before bedtime, family rosary
  2. Try to go to Mass as a family
  3. Place a Holy Water Stoop near the front door so that the family can bless themselves as they come and go from the house.
  4. Display religious imagery in the home.
  5. Celebrate the Church's Liturgy at home - for example an advent wreath, Religious Advent calendars, a crib, lenten prayers, Easter candle.
  6. Keep the Feasts of the Saints after which family members are named
  7. Make a family Pilgrimage - for example to Holywell or St Plegmund's Well, Plemstall (near Chester).
  8. Read Bible Stories with your children.
  9. Read the Stories of the Saints with your family.
  10. Use craft materials to create images of Faith - make rosaries or cards.
  11. Trace the sign of the cross on each others' foreheads before journeys, at bedtime, before school, at the end of family prayers.
  12. Encourage the children to donate their pocket money to help poor children in and around the world.
  13. Invite a neighbour who is lonely into your home for a meal.
What we can do as a Parish
  1. Encourage people to study the scriptures, the Catechism and documents of Vatican II. 
  2. Promote Flocknote in your parish.
  3. (Keep your church open for some part of the day).
  4. Ensure more opportunities for Eucharistic Adoration.
  5. Encourage meaningful Marian Devotions and Processions.  Redecorate a shrine/altar to Our Lady.
  6. Organise a Parish Mission.  Invite a guest preacher to the Sunday Masses.
  7. Arrange a Year of Faith Parish Retreat, Day of Prayer or Day of Recollection.
  8. Plan a parish pilgrimage locally or abroad.  Join the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes or the Holy Land.
  9. Host a parish Family Day open to all with food and entertainment.  Open it up to other parishes.

Year of Faith Vatican II Talks


In the Parish Hall (7:00pm refreshments, talks start at 7:30pm. Night prayer at 8:45pm).

2nd Thursday of every month.



October 11th

Mgr Chris Lightbound

The Church Then and Now


November 8th

Fr David Roberts

Eucharistic Ecclesilogy


December 13th

Canon Chris Walsh

Liturgical Renewal


January 10th

Fr Nick Kern

Christian Unity


February 14th

Fr David Long

Small Christian Communities


March 13th

Mrs Cecilia Allen

The Laity within the Church


April 11th

Canon John O'Reilly

The Word of God and the Signs of the Times


May 9th

Canon John Marmion

The Church in the Service of the World


June 13th

Fr Denis Marmion

Jews and Christians


July 11th

Canon Brendan Hoban

The Church's Challenges and Hopes