The funeral of Fr Francis will take place at 11.00am on Tuesday 21st September at Holy Infants and St Anthony’s Church, Astley Bridge, Bolton, followed by the burial in Astley Bridge Cemetery. Refreshments will be offered in Thornleigh House, Sharples Park, afterwards.
If you are attending the funeral, please let me know, preferably by text on 07754 057074 with names/numbers so that I can pass on the information to the Salesian Community in Bolton for planning and catering.
It was with great joy that we were able to celebrate the first holy communion Mass for children from the 2020 cohort on Saturday 10 July. Congratulations to the children and to all who attended and contributed. We continue to pray for these children as they continue on their journey of faith.
It was with great joy that we were able to celebrate the first holy communion Mass for three children from the 2020 cohort on Saturday 31 January. Despite the restrictions we were able to make it a beautiful occasion. Congratulations to the children and to all who attended and contributed.
Particular thanks are due to Barbara Crack and her team of catechists and parents for preparing the children; Paul Kerryson and Katherine Cooke for music and singing; Oonagh Wray and Rosa Revell for flowers and posies; and the prayer sponsors and stewards.
We continue to pray for these children as they continue on their journey of faith.
Last year our parish was very generous in raising money and donating many Christmas gifts to ROAR - Reach Out And Recover - in Macclesfield.
You will remember that ROAR is a not-for-profit, support in the community organisation, which offers people who face addiction, homelessness and other issues a safe, secure and stable environment in which they can start to tackle their addictions and personal issues. It is a housing project, and those who access the service are given help to take control of their lives and to develop practical skills whilst working in the community. Of course, in these stricken times, things are very difficult for them. I am in regular contact with Jill from ROAR (who wrote to thank us last year) and I’m informed that they are coping well, but the outlook is a bit bleak.
As fundraising is not an option just now, I’m hoping that I might encourage parishioners to put aside some Christmas gifts for them, as we did last year. Things like hats, scarves, gloves, socks, slippers, chocs, biscuits, so that they can have a gift at Christmas, and some of which they can share with local homeless or elderly people living alone nearby who they usually provide a Christmas lunch for at the United Reformed Church.
I was hoping to have a box in the Barn for items or to collect them myself or have them delivered to my front porch, but this will have to wait until after lockdown. It’s something to think about during lockdown. Please contact me for further information. Thank you.
Do you have a favourite apple recipe that you can donate to the St Gregory's School apple recipe book?
It can be sweet or savoury, easy peasy or fussy and fancy, an olde english favourite or from a far flung corner of the world! The book will be produced by the children, filled with their apple art and will be on sale in time for Christmas in order to raise some much needed funds.
If you would like to sponsor the book's printing costs and have your business advertised, then do get in touch.
Please send your recipes and/or sponsorship queries to by Friday 16th October.
An amazing £67 bags of food and a cash donation for the Macclesfield foodbank Silklife were collected from our school and Parish. Given the current circumstances, this is an amazing achievement.
Thanks to all who donated, organised, collected, sorted....or helped in any way.
Here is the letter of thanks from the foodbank.St Gregorys Catholic Church - Harvest Collection Thank you letter Oct 2020.docx
A Pastoral Letter On Testing Times and an Invitation to go to Saint Joseph, Sunday 27th September 2020
My dear brothers and sisters,
As 2020 dawned, few of us could have imagined the testing times that lay ahead. Times unprecedented in the long story of this Diocese, when in response to public health measures the doors of our churches were closed. During those long weeks between March and June, we saw many initiatives to reach out to the most vulnerable and isolated: we did not forget the poor. Amid many restrictions, priests devotedly ministered to the dying. We prayed for the souls of those who had died and for all who mourned the loss of loved ones. During those same months, many remained close to the Church in prayer, not least by the livestreaming of Masses. Some of our churches recorded the largest attendances in their history, albeit virtual attendances. At the Cathedral alone, tens of thousands would share via the internet in the celebration of Easter and Holy Week. Yet, we felt deeply, the loss of the public celebration of the Mass and being unable to fully participate in the Eucharist that is the living heart of our faith.
The long-awaited return came at the beginning of July, with the gradual re-opening of our churches dependent on each parish putting in place stringent, public safety measures. This was an enormous undertaking and must surely stand among the most remarkable achievements in the history of the Diocese. Today, I wish to record the gratitude of the whole Diocese for the work of clergy and parish volunteers together with diocesan officers that enabled us to return with joy to the Holy Eucharist. Alongside key workers in our health and essential services, your generosity deserves to be long remembered.
Times of trial and upheaval can lead people to deeper faith and commitment or tragically to fall away. Like the two sons described in the Gospel, our faith is proved not by sentiment, it is proved by what we do. This is the simple question Jesus asks at the end of Gospel: “Which did the father’s will?”. Faithfulness in carrying out our duties and protecting the gift of faith leads me to turn to the example of a man who, through testing times, did all the Lord asked of him. This man is Saint Joseph, to whom the Eternal Father entrusted the care of His only Begotten Son together with His Blessed Mother Mary through the most bitter trials of poverty and exile. To Saint Joseph the whole Church is now entrusted; and we look to him especially as a guide in the life of prayer, so we may be attentive to what the Lord asks of us.
Saint Teresa of Avila wrote, “If we cannot find a guide to teach us how to pray, let us take this glorious saint as a master and we will not go astray”. How much we need the prayer and example of Saint Joseph! Accordingly, it is to Saint Joseph that I want to entrust the recovery of all the communities of our Diocese from this testing time. Today, I wish to invite the whole Diocese to celebrate a year of prayer dedicated to Saint Joseph from October until the beginning of Advent next year.
The 1 October marks the beginning of the second decade of my service as Bishop of Shrewsbury. On 21 October we will be remembering the first anniversary of the death of Bishop Brian Noble who guided the Diocese through many challenges. We have been warned to anticipate challenging months ahead and so will ask Saint Joseph’s help to discern how best we can each respond to the challenges of our time. Pope Francis reminds us how Saint Joseph responded to his calling “to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church … by being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and attentive to God’s plans not simply his own”. In a similar way, says Pope Francis, we are invited to protect with love all that God has given us. This will be the happiest challenge of the year ahead, that will lead us to “Go to Joseph”in order to ask his prayers and learn from his example. The Joseph of the Old Testament, whose story is recounted in the Book of Genesis, helped his people in time of famine with the earthly grain that Pharaoh had entrusted to him. In the Gospel, Saint Joseph would be entrusted with the care of Him who is the true Bread come down from Heavenand to guard the Holy Family on earth amid every danger. May Saint Joseph help us in testing times, to protect the gifts of faith and grace God has entrusted to us. In imitation of Saint Joseph’s faithfulness, may we do what the Lord asks of us, above all, when we come together in the Mass to do what the Lord Jesus commanded us to do in His memory.
Entrusting each of you to the prayers of Saint Joseph,
Bishop of Shrewsbury
i Cf. Gal. 2: 10
ii Mt. 21: 31
iii Book of Her Life, Chapter 6
iv Homily at the Mass for the Inauguration of his Pontificate 19th March 2013
v Gen: 41:49
vi Cf. Jn. 6:42
vii Cf. I Cor. 11:25
Masses will be held in the barn at Savio House:
Saturdays at 6pm and Sundays at 8.30am and 10.30am
As before you will need to book your place at mass as space is limited.
Please phone Barbara on 07831 457442 to reserve your place
PLEASE REMEMBER YOUR MASK
This year we have decided to collect food for the Silklife Foodbank in Macclesfield which was established in December 2010 in response to Macclesfield's growing need for on-the-spot emergency food boxes. During the lockdown, they provided 16000 meals and helped 1300 people in the Macclesfield area.
Silklife Foodbank is run and supported by Silklife Church and is stocked mainly by regular food and financial donations from church members and increasingly through the local community. All boxes are given freely.
What food is needed? Any of the following is perfect...
Milk (UHT or powdered), tinned meat/fish, sugar, fruit juice (carton), pasta sauces, sponge pudding (tinned), tomatoes (tinned), cereals, rice pudding (tinned), tea bags / instant coffee, instant mashed potato, rice / pasta, tinned fruit, jam / honey, biscuits/snack bars, Fray Bentos tinned pies, Ham, Meatballs, Bolognese, tinned potatoes, carrots.
Where do I take my gifts?
You can drop off your gifts at St Gregory’s school ON 2 OCTOBER ONLY in between 9 am and 12 noon. The gifts will NOT be able to be taken into school and will be collected by the foodbank that day.
Otherwise at anytime you can drop your gifts off at Cynthia’s house Thatched House, Broad Walk Prestbury SK10 4BR or Paul Leff’s house 29 Walton Heath Drive, Tytherington, SK10 2QN.
To have your gifts collected please phone
Helen Bassirat (07726 903685) or Oonagh Wray (574019) for Bollington Cynthia Crewe (07711 570161) for Prestbury or Paul Leff (614275) for Tytherington.
Can I make a donation instead?
You can also donate by writing a cheque to Silklife Church (marked for Foodbank on reverse) and send it to Silklife Centre Church, George Street, Macclesfield SK11 6HS. THANK YOU TO ALL!
This last week we have said 'Goodbye' to Fr Tony as our Parish administrator. We owe him a huge debt of thanks for his tireless work in the Parish. He enthusiastically helped us form the vibrant Parish community we are today and we will miss him.
When it is safe to do so he will return for our celebration with us all.
We say 'Hello' to the familiar face of Fr Martin (Rector at Savio House) who takes over from Fr Tony. We thank Fr Martin for his 'Yes' to our Parish and we look forward to working with him to carry on building our community.
Alpha online leaflet.pdfHave a look at the flyer and consider whether you would like to join the online sessions.
An uplifting lockdown message from all of the children and staff at our parish primary school
Several parishioners travelled to Thornleigh College last Wednesday to attend a ceremony of rededication conducted by The Rector Major Don Angel Fernandez Artime.
After the service everyone enjoyed a buffet lunch.
The pancake party last Sunday after mass was a great success and so well attended!
We had 4 frying pans going, 2 professional chefs, we got through a dozen eggs and 1.5lbs of flour and made 72 pancakes!
It was great fun and we raised £65.48 (+ gift aid) for ’Christians against Poverty’.
Thanks to everyone who helped. Especially Nick, Sharon, Oonagh and Anna and Mike for all the washing up!
Thank you to everyone who kindly contributed to the Mary's meals backpack project.
We collected 27 backpacks including stationary, towels, shoes, toothbrushes etc.
The backpacks were collected by Mary's meals and taken to Scotland then they will be shipped to Malawi. This will be the first gift the children will have received and will give them the basic tools for learning.
Thank you to everyone.
Congratulations to Fr Martin who celebrates is 25 anniversary of priesthood and to Fr Tony who celebrates 50 years of being a Salesian.
We thank them for their ministries and we pray that God will bless them both.
Is anyone who enjoys craft or art interested in getting together to discuss creating some new decorations for our lovely building, for example banners, hangings, or focal points to reflect the seasons of the church and feast days? We could start small! Our next meeting is on Wednesday 4th July at approximately 10am (after mass). Contact the .
The bishops of England and Wales are holding a National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress in Liverpool from the 79 September 2018. Entitled ‘Adoremus’ this is a unique opportunity for the church to gather and reflect on the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Church. We are invited to attend any part of this three day historic event.
Friday 7 September: Symposium Day. Exploring the place of Eucharistic Adoration. Focus especially for catechists, teachers, RE Coordinators, Musicians, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
Saturday 8 September: Congress Day. Reflecting on the centrality of the Eucharist with Keynote speaker Bishop Robert Barron.
Sunday 9 September: Pilgrimage Day. Masses, Eucharistic Procession, Benediction with Archbishop Malcolm McMahon.
Details of the programme (there’s some great stuff) can be found on www.dioceseofshrewsbury.org but will be posted on a flipchart at the back of church next week. Please indicate there if you are interested, then the Faith Development Group will look at organising transport etc.
Thank you to all who came to the French evening last week and all who contributed—helping on the night, bringing food etc.
The evening was a lovely family event and raised £195 for our Parish funds.
A BIG thank you to Mandy and Dermot Rafferty for organising this event.
Fr Tony would like to thank everyone for filling out the census for Our Mission Together over the last two weekends.
You will be hearing more about Our Mission Together in our Parish after Easter.
Last week we saw some of younger parishioners take part in the mass as part of the first communion programme.
Thank you to parents and catechists for supporting the children through this programme.
Well we had a lovely lunch together with a choice of 6 delicious soups and a selection of wonderful loaves of bread donated by the coop.
The soup went down very well with many people going for seconds. Cynthia’s leek and potato was in particularly high demand! Afterwards we watched the very inspiring film Generation Hope all about Mary’s meals.
On the day we raised £124.10 with an additional donation from someone in the parish bringing the total to £224.10! That’s another 16 children who will be fed for an entire year!
Thank you to all who attended and made it such a huge success and to the big team of helpers.
Thank you to all parishioners, and especially to our enthusiastic school children, for joining together to make our celebration of the feast of St John Bosco such a special occasion. Many thanks to those who made the splendid sandwiches and cakes and helped out on the day.
On Sunday 7 January there was a parish meeting to collate all our ideas for future activities in the parish under the headings:
· Faith: liturgy, workshop and spiritual development
· Community: parish, schools, Savio House
· Parish administration: Maintenance, policy and communication
The Parish Council has drafted key aims for our Parish under each of the above headings (please see sheet below or the website) but HOW we achieve these aims and WHAT we do is up to everyone.
1. Please add to the ideas for Parish activities by emailing the
The Parish Council would like to create subcommittees representing our three key themes of Faith, Community and Parish administration. These committees will meet a few times a year to discuss, plan, action our parish activities.
Whether you have 1 hour spare a month or are retired please consider putting yourself forward for one (or more) of these committees.
Paul Kerryson (Chair of Parish Council)
PS Have a look at our full mission and aims by clicking here
Notes from a parishioner who attended the support group...
“The bereavement support group meeting was lovely. After coffee and homemade biscuits, Fr Tony gently led us, enabling us to share our own stories of grief and loss. We learned from one another and supported each other as we listened. At the close of the meeting we lit candles for our loved ones and Fr read a passage of scripture and gave us some reflection notes to take home.
We will meet again in May.”
A BIG thank you to all those who made our first joint St Gregory's church and school Christmas Fair an enormous success. Well done to Father Tony and school Head, Mr Daley for bringing us all together.
Thank you to Liz and Loraine and the team whose hard work ensured that the new look, new time and new ideas all worked so well. The stalls, interactive games, wonderful catering of mulled wine, cakes and the ‘Xavier special’ turkey and cranberry rolls all brought a fresh appeal to the occasion. It was great to see Fr Bob Coupe open the event.
Lastly a big thank you to all the parishioners, parents, teachers, stall holders, those who donated the many items and indeed everyone who supported this important event- the Fair was packed out for the entire two hours and we raised over £4000 for our parish and school communities!
Paul Kerryson (Parish Council Chair)
From November we will be emailing a daily ‘prayer to share’ to all parishioners who gave their email contact details earlier in the year.
The prayers have been written by members of the congregation—old and young.
If you do not have an email address you will be able to pick up paper copies of the daily ‘prayers to share’ at the back of church. If you would like to write some short prayers please see Fr Tony.
If you don’t want to receive our ‘prayer to share’ please leave a message with Pat.
Welcome to the new volunteers who have joined the Savio House team for this year: Jaison Lukose, Indigo Thornton, Pavel Schnirch and Piri Pinter. We wish them well and look forward to meeting them at St Gregory’s over the coming weeks. Pictured here from L to R are the full Savio House team: (back) Fr Tony, Fr Martin, Chris, Fr Cyril and Br Michael; (middle) Jaison, Indigo, Ryan, Pavel and Piri; and (front) Fr Roman
After a year of hard work and uncertainty in the Parish about whether we would have our own priest, our prayers have been answered and we are truly blessed that Father Tony is taking on the role of ministering to us here at St Gregory’s.
His hard-work, inspiring homilies, good humour and endless enthusiasm have been present for the past year together with the backup of all the Salesians at Savio House.
We owe Father Tony, Father Roman, Father Cyril, and all the Salesians a huge debt of gratitude and we pray for Father Tony and for our communities of St Gregory's and Savio House as we start a new journey together.
Paul Kerryson (Chair of Parish Council)
Dear all our friends at St Gregorys Church,
From all of us at Barnabus, a huge thank you for your recent clothes and food donation.
This is a very welcome donation at a time when we really need it. Every week, we see more and more new people at the Beacon, our drop in centre in Manchester, all seeking our help with food, clothing, accommodation as well as health and addiction problems. The rise in homelessness and poverty means that your gift will go a long way in helping us to help them.
Your support allows us to continue our vital work with the homeless of Manchester, which may include many other aspects, such as help with mental health and addictions, as well as help in trying to organise benefits or emergency accommodation.
We are also currently running ReNu, a furniture 'up-cycle' project that allows homeless people to acquire new skills in restoring old furniture. As well as this project, we also run an allotment project.
We have a lot of very exciting fundraising opportunities coming up for anyone who wishes to get involved and help to raise some money for us. Barnabus relies on our great team of volunteers who are vital to how we can achieve our goals. If you ever find yourself looking to volunteer to get a firsthand experience of the work we do and of the projects we run, please email
Thank you again from all of us here at Barnabus and we wish you every success in all that you undertake.
45 Bloom Street, Manchester, M1 3LY; Tel: 0161 237 3223; Email:
On Wednesday 12 July a number of parishioners shared conversation and cake at Jose’s house.
It was a lovely afternoon, full of smiles and laughter.
Thank you to everyone who came along to our parish celebrations and to all those who helped to make this such a special occasion. We hope you enjoy looking at some photographs from the day: 60th anniversary photos
As you can see our church has been decorated and is looking beautiful. Take a moment to look around you when you are at mass and give thanks. Perhaps you will notice the wonderful stained glass windows above the altar for the first time (see photo left).
You will also hear our new sound system-so no more straining to hear what is being said!
A huge thank you to all the workmen involved in the decorating, stonework and installing the sound system. They worked so hard to ensure we are in church this weekend.
A big job like this doesn’t just happen so thanks to ALL those involved in the organisation of this work. But special thanks to Alistair McNulty who has managed the entire project magnificently.
And finally, thanks to all those who prepared the church to be ready for our weekend masses.
Well done to our confirmation group who held a cake sale last weekend and raised nearly £300 for East Cheshire Hospice.
Thank you for your generosity in supporting our young people and thanks to Francesca and those who helped organise the event.
On Thursday we were entertained by the Thomas Cranmer Choir conducted by Mr Keith Yearsley MBE.
The evening was a wonderful feast of singing, music, and drama all performed by the multi-talented choir. We were treated to some old favourites like Panis Angelicus alongside a wonderful flute solo of 'Danny Boy' and then some folk guitar.The evening was a fundraising event for Batten disease - a rare, fatal inherited disease of the neurosystem which usually starts in childhood. Life expectancy for such children is short. Raising money for research into the disease is vital to finding a cure.
Thank you to June for organising the evening, to the choir who performed so beautifully, to the audience who supported the event and to all those who make cakes which were enjoyed after the concert.