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We now  form part of the Leigh Pastoral Area of which five Churches are held in the Parish of St. Margaret Clitherow and four are held in the Parish of St. Edmund Arrowsmith


THE PARISH OF ST. MARGARET CLITHEROW:  is     St. Richard’s, Atherton St. Gabriels, Higher Folds, St. Ambrose Barlow, Astley, Holy Family, Boothstown Sacred Heart, Hindsford


THE PARISH OF  ST. EDMUND ARROWSMITH:  is     St. Joseph, Leigh Sacred Heart, Leigh Our Lady of the Rosary, Leigh Twelve Apostles, Leigh

THIS WEEK



First Holy Communion Celebrations

Please note that the Holy Communion preparation for Year 4 children from Sacred Heart, Hindsford, St. Richard’s, Atherton and St. Ambrose Barlow, Astley, will take place in the New Year. Letters will be sent through school soon to explain what the preparation course involves. A good way of preparing now is to bring the children to Mass each week so that they become more familiar with the Church and get to know everyone in the Parish.


Holy Family Craft Group

This has been started in the Parish Hall at Holy Family on Wednesday afternoons between 1.00pm and 3.00pm. We hope to cover most popular crafts such as knitting, crochet, card making and sewing amongst others. Admission £3.50 including all materials.


St Ambrose Barlow Guides

Guides are collecting items for Women and Children's Wellbeing Bags to go out to Uganda in early December. Please donate any of the following in the box at the back of church or please contact Delia on 07753929476 to collect.

Any item will be much appreciated: toothpaste and toothbrush; wrapped soap; flannel; writing paper and pens/pencils and sharpener; hairbrush; socks; crayons.

Thank you so much for your support with this.

Delia, Bernadette and all the leaders and guides.


Alternative Christmas Card Giving

Pick up a Star.

Write a Christmas Greeting to your Friends/Parishioners on the Star (instead of sending individual cards),

Place a donation and the Star into an envelope and place in the basket (St Ambrose Church Porch). All funds raised will go to CAFOD.

Stars available from this weekend, to be displayed from weekend 2nd/3rd December


Advent Collections - Food & Toys

3rd December to 17th December

During Advent we will be collecting food and toys, as in previous years, but NOT clothes as we have just closed the Barnabus Project collection More details of the Advent collections see page 3.


Carols by Candlelight

Tuesday 12th December7.00pm

To be held in the grounds of

Sacred Heart Church Hindsford

Music by Tyldesley Brass Band


This will be followed by a Raffle and mince pies in the Parish Club where the fully stocked bar will be open.

NB: IF THE WEATHER IS BAD THE CONCERT WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE PARISH CLUB


Christmas Party Invite from Students at St. Mary’s Sixth Form

Tuesday, 12th December 2017

St. Mary’s Sixth Form students would like to invite the senior members of our parishes to their annual Christmas party, which will be held at St. Mary’s on Tuesday, 12th December 2017 between 12.00 pm and 2.00 pm in the school’s Conference Centre.

Refreshments and entertainment will be provided, along with a raffle and prize bingo.

If you would like to attend please add your names to the list at the back of the church TODAY Sunday 3rd December so we can cater for numbers appropriately.

Looking forward to seeing you there.


Christmas Flowers for St Ambrose Barlow and Holy Family

Please fill in the forms at the back of church with names of  loved ones who we will remember during the Christmas season.  Donations welcome.


Editors note.

In order to accommodate the items for inclusion this week I have had to reduce the size of  text, I apologise for the inconvenience.


6.30 pm Sunday Mass(St. Richard’s)

As mentioned last weekend at Mass we have made the difficult decision to end our celebration of the 6.30 pm Mass at St. Richard’s on Sunday evenings. It was a very difficult decision but a necessary one since it is proving more and more difficult to find supply priests who can cover Sunday evenings. Also the numbers of people attending the Mass have decreased quite a lot over the years. We will lose more Masses in the future as we prepare ourselves for a time when there will be only three priests in the Deanery. This is the first step. It has been on the cards for many years but still it is sad. We do, however, have more than enough Masses in the Deanery at present – perhaps still too many for the numbers of those attending. The last 6.30 pm Mass will take place on Sunday December 17th, since the following two Sundays are Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve







Reflect:

‘Stay Awake!’ This week’s Gospel theme reminds us that it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security, to become entrapped in our own little bubble of awareness and lose sight of the wider dimension and picture of what other people are feeling or experiencing, and of what is happening in the world in general.


Pray:

An Advent Prayer

Come Lord Jesus, come, and let your light shine through us

so that through our actions We may be salt for the earth,

A light in people’s sight And that we might reach out to you

In one another, Especially those in need.

Amen

(CAFOD)


Act:

Consider ways in which you can prepare more meaningfully for Christmas. Try not to get caught up in the consumer race to buy, buy buy!


Challenge:

To cut down on plastics, buy loose fruit and vegetables at the market, greengrocers or supermarket. Use recycled plastic bags or paper or cloth bags to carry your produce in rather than buying items in a plastic tray wrapped in cling film.


Advent Collections: 3rd – 17th December

We are having three collections during Advent for the following:

1. The Windsor Drop in Centre (also called Loaves and Fishes) in Salford is looking for tinned food for the homeless over the Christmas period.

2. The Royal Manchester Children’s hospital is looking for NEW gifts for those children who will not receive a gift or a visit on Christmas Day.  Children range from babies to 18 years old.  Hospital staff sort and wrap the gifts but do welcome contributions of wrapping paper.  Gifts should bear the British Standards Kite Mark or the EU Standards CE Mark.

3. Animals in Distress in Irlam would welcome donations of cat and dog food and old towels.



Response to the Archbishop’s Letter

A few weeks ago we listened to a Pastoral Letter from Archbishop Malcolm concerning a way ahead for the whole of the Archdiocese. The letter was in response to the results of Deanery meetings throughout the Archdiocese early in the Summer – many thanks again to all those who came along to our Open Meeting in St.Joseph’s. in his letter the Archbishop outlined a three-year plan in which we can share a vision for the future of the Archdiocese and every Parish and Deanery within it. This will lead to a Synod – a gathering of the whole Archdiocese in 2020. This doesn’t mean that nothing will be done until then. It means that the process will begin in the New Year with a year of prayer. Therefore, during 2018, there will be a number of Holy Hours throughout the year. One of these will be led by the Archbishop himself. The second year will focus on Parish groups coming together to share their vision for the future. Then the final year all the deaneries will meet on a more regular basis to propose a way ahead. It is a proposal that the Archbishop has initiated himself in response to the people who shared their views at the different Open Meetings last year. As soon as we know more about the process we will share it with you but, in the meantime, please come along to the Holy Hours when we have them in the New Year and pray for the future vision of our Church.


Act in Support of Catholic Education

Archbishop Malcolm wishes to contact us to encourage us to speak out for Catholic Education. He writes:

“Do you support Catholic schools and the right of Catholics to send their children to them? Then we need you to make your voice heard. The Government is making a critical decision on whether to overturn the admissions cap which prevents new Catholic schools from allowing all Catholic pupils to attend. The Prime Minister has acknowledged that this policy discriminates against Catholics and had promised previously to abandon it. Now the Government may decide to keep this discriminatory policy in place instead of removing it. We need you to tell the Government NOT to discriminate against Catholics and to remove the admissions cap ion new faith-based schools.”

Visit http://catholicnews.org.uk/education-cap or search for “Catholic Education” in your search engine to write to the Government and urge them to drop their policy which bans new Catholic schools.


Christingle

This will be this Sunday 3rd December in Holy Family church at 4.00 pm.  All children welcome.


Ecumenical Carol Service

This will be held at Standfield shops on Sunday 3rd December at 5.00 pm together with the local churches.  All welcome.


Father Christmas

TODAY Sunday, 3rd December, immediately following the 11.00 am Mass at St Ambrose Barlow, Father Christmas is visiting the Parish Hall and the children will be able to come and see him. There will be refreshments on sale and a Christmas Stall - selling only NEW Christmas items (boxed cards, decorations, wrappings etc.) plus a raffle for a luxury Christmas Hamper.


Christmas Donations

Your kind donations are requested for:

Items can be handed in at church each week and will be collected weekly. Finally, thank you in advance for your   continuing generosity in support of St Margaret Clitherow parish.


Advent Hamper

There will be a hamper in St Ambrose Barlow church into which you are asked to place items throughout Advent. On Christmas Eve these items will be taken to a local food bank for distribution amongst those in the community whose needs are greater than our own.

Services During Advent

Please try your very best to come along to some of the Advent services as we prepare for the great celebration of Christmas.

 Reconciliation Service (with individual Confession) – December 7th at 7.00pm in Ambrose Barlow.

 Advent Carol Service – December 12th at 7.00pm in the grounds of Sacred Heart Church, Hindsford.

 Advent Taize Service – December 13th at 7.00pm in St.Richard’s.

 Advent Confessaphon – December 16th from 10.00am-1.30pm in St.Joseph’s, Leigh.


HCPT Coffee Morning

HCPT are holding a Coffee Morning in St. Richard’s Parish Centre after the 9.30am Mass TODAY Sunday December 3rd. The Coffee Morning will include a raffle and a tombola. All proceeds go towards HCPT.

Also, at all the Masses on the same weekend some of the students from St.Mary’s will be selling raffle tickets for a Christmas Hamper. Again proceeds will go towards HCPT.


Foundation Governor Vacancy

St Mary’s Catholic High School currently has a vacancy for a Foundation Governor.

To apply to become a foundation governor you need to:-


Be a Catholic who attends Sunday Mass regularly and gives true witness to the teachings of the Church

Be prepared to work with discretion as a member of the full governing body and attend training events to help build up a body of knowledge and expertise

Bring a wider skill set to enhance the wider Governing Body in undertaking its collective duties to lead the school and meet the contemporary requirements of the Department for Education and Ofsted


If you are interested in becoming a Foundation governor please can you send a short resume of your particular skills and how you would contribute to our school Governing Body (250 words max).

Please send your expressions of interest into school for the attention of the Chair of the Governing Body no later than Friday 15th December 2017.  

For further information on the role of a Foundation Governor please check out the Archdiocese website www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk/schools

or contact the Clerk to Governors (Mrs Pat Lloyd) by telephone on 01942 766906

or email p.lloyd@admin.st-maryshigh.wigan.sch.uk

In the event of multiple applicants the Chair alongside a member of the clergy will shortlist and assess the skills offered.


Christmas Mass Times

An early notice of the Christmas Mass times this year. Many people like to plan ahead so here are the Mass times for St.Margaret Clitherow Parish and St.Edmund Arrowsmith:-

Christmas Eve.

XII Apostles, Leigh at 5.30pm.

St.Joseph’s, Leigh, Holy Family, Boothstown & St.Richard’s, Atherton at 6.00pm.

St.Ambrose Barlow, Astley at 8.00pm.

Sacred Heart, Leigh & Holy Family, Boothstown at 11.30pm.

Christmas Day.

St.Joseph’s, Leigh at 8.30am.

Holy Family, Boothstown at 9.00am.

Sacred Heart, Leigh & St.Richard’s, Atheron at 9.30am.

St.Joseph’s, Leigh at 10.30am.

Holy Family, Boothstown & St,Ambrose Barlow, Astley at 11.00am.

Our Lady of the Rosary, Leigh at 11.15am.


There will also be a special Mass to celebrate the arrival of 2018 in Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Leigh. This will take place at 12noon on New Year’s Day. All welcome.