Please click on the image above to get to the 'Latest News' page on the Archdiocese website.
The Church of Saint Mary of the Isle, Douglas, has been granted cathedral status by Pope Francis as a co-cathedral of the Archdiocese of Liverpool. The inauguration ceremony, at which Archbishop Malcolm will be installed in his seat by the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, will take place on Friday 3 November at 12 noon. The canons of the Metropolitan Cathedral will also be installed. Ecumenical partners and civic dignitaries will have a role in the liturgy. On this historic day for the Isle of Man, the Archdiocese of Liverpool and the wider church, we welcome people across the Archdiocese to join the celebration online by watching the livestream:
The SYNOD process, which included our own input, has resulted in the preparation and presentation of the Pastoral Plan. Check out our Pastoral Plan page. It includes links to the plan, to read or to download the plan for reading later. There is a lot of new information on this page and links to some MUST READ documentation for all parishioners.
Pastoral Development Bulletin
Every few weeks, the Archdiocese communications team sends out a Pastoral Development Bulletin with information and links to events within the Archdiocese and beyond.
Please find the link to the current version of the PD Bulletin on our Pastoral Plan Page here.
CHRISM MASS 2024 - Wednesday 27 March
The Chrism Mass, which this year will take place on Wednesday 27 March at 7.30pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral is usually the largest annual gathering of archdiocesan clergy and faithful throughout the year. At the Mass, Archbishop Malcolm blesses the holy oils that are used throughout the archdiocese for celebrations of the sacraments in the next year. He does this in the presence of priests, deacons and lay faithful.
Additionally, the Archbishop invites the priests of the archdiocese to renew the promises they made at their ordination: to dedicate their life in service to the Church - to preach the Gospel and teach the Catholic faith, to faithfully celebrate the sacraments and to pray for God’s people.
Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend this liturgy enhanced by the Cathedral Choir, and experience the richness of our local church, especially if you have never been before. Any queries please contact Claire Hanlon at email@example.com
Lenten Music at the Cathedral
Attached alongside is a poster with the upcoming programme of sacred music at the metropolitan cathedral during Lent. These include:
Sunday 25 Feb - Messiah, Part II excerpts - Handel
Sunday 3 March - Les Sept Paroles du Christ en Croix - Franck
Sunday 10 March - Stabat Mater - Pergolesi
Sunday 17 March - Lamentations of Jeremiah - Tallis
Sunday 24 March (at 7:30pm) - Tenebrae
All are welcome.
Belle Vale Passion Project
Would You Like To Be Part Of The Belle Vale Passion Taking Place Over The Easter Weekend 2024?
This moving musical drama tells the story of the final stages of Jesus’ life. The Belle Vale Passion will present the story of the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in a way you will have not seen before and promises to be an unmissable experience for Easter 2024. The team are looking for volunteers from the local community to take part in this exciting and unique event - young, old, male, female, there is a role for everyone, all we ask is that you commit to attending meetings and rehearsals according to your role. The first meeting took place on Sunday, 18 February and the next meeting/rehearsal takes place on Sunday, 25 February, 3pm at Our Lady of Assumption Parish Centre, Hedgefield Road, Liverpool, L25 2RW. If you are interested then please just come along on Sunday, this is a wonderful opportunity to make new friendships, contribute towards a community project and above all, bring the incredible Easter story to the local community. We'd particularly welcome musicians to join us this weekend and if anyone has TV/Radio and Newspaper connections so we can highlight the project and share the story to an ever wider audience, then that'd be great too! For more info on the project and the roles available please visit: https://bellevalepassion.co.uk/
Archdiocese Synodal Council Report 2023
120 people gathered on Saturday 25th November for the 1st meeting of the Archdiocesan Synodal Council (ASC). We gathered a month after the end of the first part of the Vatican Synod. Its method of working – small groups around tables, listening, discerning and significant periods of silence influenced our way of gathering. This was part of what enabled the very first ASC to have a special character and to develop the valuable lessons we had learnt on our own Diocesan Synodal journey.
Bishop Bev Mason, Anglican Bishop of Warrington, set a positive tone for the day in her opening reflection encouraging and affirming us. She said: It's upon your firm foundations of enduring Presence, hospitality, faithful witness and service, of generosity — and of keeping the nerve when everyone around you may be losing theirs, that you're now seeking to build upon ... and be more of a visible and proactive presence in the name of Christ. This is so very exciting ... it's our Lord's own ministry that you're seeking to intensify, And you couldn't be doing this at a more crucial time! Don't be afraid! You know, the biggest blockage to mission and outreach, is us and our own self-consciousness and confidence. Remember who it is who calls you. And remember He is with you!
The main task of the ASC was to hear what had happened to implement the Pastoral Plan since its publication in November 2021 and under the 6 Pastoral Plan Areas to suggest priorities for the Diocese for the next 12 months. This report gives the priorities that have, after discernment, emerged, and a flavour of what was said in each of the Areas.
The suggested priorities are shown in bullet points below.
Becoming a church that honours the vocation of all the baptised
• Establish a continually developing plan to empower/enable all the baptised to develop confidence in living out and sharing their baptismal vocation.
• Bring together models across the Diocese of good catechesis and create ways in which good practice can be shared across the parishes.
• Draw up a plan and a strategy to begin the implementation of the employment of lay pastoral workers.
The responses suggested in this part of the Pastoral Plan hold firm the tension of doing things in the Church and of living out our baptismal calling in the day-to-day living of our lives. The way we hold that tension forms the struggle of trying to suggest priorities. Do not limit ministry to things we do in the Church or for the Church. The vast majority of Church members are lay people! If we had a thorough audit of skills we would be encouraged. The need for evangelisation and formation were stated many times, as was the need to be committed to paid pastoral staff on the ground. An invitation to a personal relationship with Christ must be at the heart of our understanding of responding to our baptismal calling.
Becoming a church that accompanies people through life
• Clarify what is meant (and not meant) by accompaniment and how this relates to synodality and communicate this to all parishes, plus a structure and plan to implement accompaniment across the archdiocese.
• Develop programmes to identify the different accompaniment needs of various specific groups (e.g. parents with young children, marriage preparation, the elderly, those in mixed faith marriages, those freshly graduated, catechists, social action groups, sick, disabled, divorced & separated, LGBTQ+, bereaved, single parents, those struggling with cost of living, prisoners and their families, families with children or adults with special needs, supporting Catholic children in special schools or in non-Catholic schools, teachers, etc)
Many of the comments in this Area put at the heart of accompaniment a renewed encounter with Christ and a need to be formed in different areas of spirituality (spirituality network etc.). The importance of formation looms large, especially for those entrusted with ministries – catechists being just one example. The lack of a director in the Pastoral Department was felt to be a serious weakness. A comment raised a question for reflection: Why would anyone want to be accompanied by us?
Becoming a church where synodality is embedded
• Commit to looking at governance structures across the archdiocese ensuring transparency at all levels.
• Ensure and develop support for effective working of the DSCs.
• Develop a strategy to better communicate the path the archdiocese is following in implementing the Pastoral Plan.
How do we ensure that all parishes and all archdiocesan structures are embracing our Pastoral Plan commitment to synodality? It was clear from the responses made that some are worried about places where there is no engagement for varied reasons. There was a realisation that we had not clearly communicated the path on which we are walking.
If we are going to set up new structures, we must support those who give of their time and energy to enable these to work effectively. We must not be afraid of giving the time needed – but we must also not be afraid to move on!
Becoming a church that renews its organisational structures and administers its property to serve its mission
• Equip all in the Families of Parishes to capture and share the vision involved in their development, particularly in relation to our use of resources and our environmental responsibilities.
• Review how we are operating synodaly in every level of archdiocesan life and work.
It is clear that many people felt that we are trying to talk the talk, but not walking the walk! We are not being as bold and creative as we have been encouraged to be. Formation is called for to enable this. Are buildings more important than people and mission? There is a commitment to making Families of Parishes work – but many questions about the support needed to make this happen. What is our mission? What is the reason we do all we are doing? We are being called to make this clear for everyone.
Becoming a church where young people and young adults flourish
• The Youth Synodal Council must be established as an urgent priority
• Support schools pastorally in developing chaplaincy with particular reference to the Catholic life of the school and links with its local parishes and communities.
We must not leave the future to chance. What is the place of the parish in ministry to, and with, young people? An easy answer is Catholic Youth Workers – but in what way? The work of Animate is seen as important but there needs to be a re-focusing on the links with parishes and young people and young adults.
Becoming a church that cares for its priests
• Develop a system of mentoring and pastoral accompaniment for all the priests of the archdiocese, taking special note of the way this is communicated.
• Find new ways of providing support for priests in administration, finance, building management and maintenance in order to free them for their specifically priestly ministry.
“It’s a team game” and “don’t play your striker in goal.” There is both a realistic and unrealistic expectation of the ministry of priests. Well-being for ‘staff’ is key in all business, no less so for priests. There was concern shown for priests who are getting older with no reduction in workload and pastoral demands. Again, as in the Synod, it was made clear that there is a great affection for and concern for the priests of the archdiocese whose work in valued and appreciated.
A supplementary document will be made available on the archdiocesan website. This document will ensure that we have a record of all the points that were made in the submissions that were received.
The next ASC gathering is on Saturday 9th November 2024.
A vocations weekend for young women will take place in Liverpool in February.
Vocations Weekend for Women (20s & 30s)
Theme: Discerning God's Call in your life
Dates: 16-18 February 2024
The weekend is organised by the Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ).
Jesus invites each of us to 'Come and See' - this weekend will give the opportunity to explore the vocation to religious life and to reflect on God's call to you.
If you are wondering if God is calling you to religious life and would like to find out more why not come along? You are welcome to stay for the weekend or just come along on Saturday for the day. There will be opportunity for prayer, reflection and input, chance to ask questions and to meet others who are also wondering where God is calling them.
Missionaries of Africa - Message from Fr Hugh Seenan MAfr
"I write firstly to thank you, and all your priests for the wonderful welcome given to me and our team as we travelled through the Archdiocese. Your priests and deacons are quite extraordinary in their work and kind and generous in their welcome. 61 parish priests responded positively to our request for an appeal date. The appeals covered 103 parishes. £37,009.70 was raised through the collections.
ALL RCIA CATECHESISTS
THIS YEAR’S RITE OF ELECTION FORM AND INFORMATION ABOUT OTHER EVENTS TAKING PLACE IN THE DIOCESE.
The booklet downloadable below outlines the RCIA events for the rest of this year and includes this year’s registration form for the Rite of Election taking place on 18th February. Please complete this in full for all your Catechumens and Candidates and return it to Aaron Kiely firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 31st January. If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com
The Sacrament of Confirmation roadmap for 2024 is shown above. Registrations open on 15th January so if you're eligible (in Year 8), then please register at www.liverpoolcalled.co.uk
Catholic Multi Academy Trusts
Schools in the Archdiocese's have been invited to consider becoming an academy. More information on this is shown in the document below. The updated list of locations and dates is shown below and replaces that on the document shown in the window.
Vatican II Constitutions lecture & seminar series- book now!
The Vatican II Constitutions lecture & seminars is a series of events with Liverpool Hope University in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Liverpool. These events are in advance of the Year of Prayer 2024, inpreparation for the Jubilee Year in 2025.
These events are free and are available to everyone, but places are limited so it is essential to book tickets in advance.
The dates and speakers are as follows:
Both the seminars and lectures will take place at Liverpool Hope University and are open to anyone, however they will focus on discussions about pastoral ministries and are therefore ideal for pastoral ministers including priests, deacons, chaplains, readers, catechists and liturgists. The seminars will run from 3pm - 4:30pm. After an hour's break for refreshments, the lectures will start at 5.30pm – 7pm.
For those who can’t attend in person, a link can be sent for you to view the lecture online. The best way to do this is to log in to Liverpool Hope's online store ahead of time and register. Instructions on how to do this are attached to this email.
If you would like to sign up for either the seminars and/or lectures, click here: Distinguished Lecture and Seminar Series on the four Constitutions of the Second Vatican Council | Liverpool Hope University Online Store
Journey into Prayer Course
There are many different ways of praying, but many of us stay with the few methods we learned years ago. It is good to try other ways as they may lift us out of the ry place we sometimes find ourselves in. the Journey Into Prayer course aims to give a taste of a variety ways of praying, not just by talking about them but by giving us space to experience them.
The course, which will cost £160, will begin at The Cennacle on 16th January 2024 and continue for 12 sessions through to July, with a break for Easter. The closing date for applications id 1st December 2023.
For more information, and the application form, please see the PDF below which can also be downloaded.
A new cathedral!
Today it has been announced that the Church of Saint Mary of the Isle, Isle of Man has been granted Cathedral status by Pope Francis and will be a co-cathedral for the Archdiocese of Liverpool.
Please click here and you will find more information on the Archdiocese website.
Scam emails about Ukraine
We have been alerted to an email entitled ‘FINANCIAL REQUEST FOR THE EMERGENCY MASS STIPENDS FOR PRIEST FOR THE EXARCHATE OF DONETSK UKRAINE’ being sent to people in our archdiocese. We have checked this with Bishop Gregory in Ukraine and he confirmed that this correspondence is a scam email so please do not respond to the email or send any funds.
Please do be vigilant if you receive any emails on this subject matter.
If you would like to make any donations to Ukraine, please do so via our #Liverpool4Ukraine appeal as this is a safe and secure way to get your funds directly to the people of Ukraine.
New Bishop for the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle
This week, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed Rt Rev. Stephen Wright as the Fifteenth Bishop of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle.
More information can be found here: Appointment of a new Bishop for the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle - Catholic Bishops' Conference (cbcew.org.uk)
Warm and Cozy Update 8th November 2022
Thank you to everyone who has supported the warm and cosy hubs and well done to all parishes who have set up their own initiatives- they have been a huge success across the archdiocese.
They are a great opportunity for local people to keep warm and create new friendships in a safe environment.
Above is a snapshot of the first warm and cosy gathering at St Mary's parish centre in Billinge last week.
Parishes can also upload their details to this national website to raise further awareness of their hub: Register your Space — Warm Spaces
A generic volunteer role description will be circulated, together with associated risk assessments, to assist parishes who are setting up warm spaces. The role description will be assessed by Safeguarding colleagues to confirm that DBS will not be required for this activity.
Warm and Cozy Centres
At the beginning of October, the trustees approved for our parish centres across the archdiocese to be used as warm and cosy centres during the winter months.
The centres will welcome people with free tea and coffee, and use of TV and WiFi in a safe and friendly space.
Opening days will vary between parishes and a full list is available from the archdiocese website. However, the centres available in the Warrington and Widnes deanery are shown in the graphic alongside. Please be advise that times may change to reflect local timetables and issues.
The idea has already received press attention and was featured on the BBC website this weekend:
Suzanne Garswood, manager of St Jude’s, Wigan spoke to the Wigan Post about warm and cosy, you can watch the video here.