Happy New Year!

Where has the last month gone, in fact where has the last year gone?! Here we are about to begin a New Church Year…so Happy New Year! I’ve never been very good with resolutions even though I try my hardest, but I will do my best to make more time to read the scriptures – something that through the Alpha course at St. Maximilian’s I realised I don’t do enough of. What will you try and do this coming year as we listen to the Gospel of Luke?

Anyway, guess what… November was another jam-packed month – probably why it has flown by!

In St. Michael’s I received another lovely welcome as I joined them to celebrate Mass. It was lovely to join in their commemoration of Remembrance Day too, particularly marking the 100 years since the armistice. I wasn’t expecting the laying of wreaths and poppies on Saturday night and the silence before both Masses – it was so powerful and moving. Below shows the wreath and poppies laid by the Royal British Legion and Parishioners.

Poppies .jpg

I also made an appeal for volunteers at St. Michael’s as without volunteers I won’t get far with my ministry! I’m so pleased that a few people spoke to me and offered to help…but the more the merrier! So if you think you can help me, we especially need some men to comply with safeguarding practices, please see me after Mass or get in touch!

After half term, I went into St. Michael’s to introduce myself to the children during assembly, it was also the beginning of the Anti-bullying week so they were all wearing odd socks…I wondered what was going on until they told me!

The Catholicism DVD series on a Thursday afternoon has been going well and I’ve managed to go to a few of these sessions and meet more parishioners – the DVD’s have been engaging and thought-provoking with, I’m sure, each of us learning something new each session.

Just last weekend I helped Parishioners at St. Michael’s plant the trees in the grounds – another chance for me to meet more new people! It was a bit of a cold morning, but it’s true – many hands make light work and within an hour the final trees were planted. Now comes the hard part…waiting for them to grow!

In the middle of the month, I was back at Holywell for another retreat – this time with Catherine, Sophie and Dave from the Shrewsbury Youth Mission Team. Together we continued with our formation using ‘Forming Intentional Disciples’ by Sherry Weddell, watched videos about the youth synod, thinking about what we can do next and personal prayer time. We visited St. Winefride’s Well, Pantasaph and Basingwerk Abbey. (Pictures below)

In Runcorn, November began with an Autumn Craft Fair – I had asked the Faith in Action Group to suggest children’s activities and run them – we had a penalty shootout, nail painting, face painting, lucky dip, making decorations and various games. Throughout the day they signed up to ‘man’ an activity – lots of them ended up staying longer than their hour slot and parishioners were made up to see youth there getting involved – some having their nails painted or a go of a game because the youth were doing it! Not everyone wanted their face painted so they got creative and painted people’s hands!

The Faith in Action group also came up with the idea to do something for the younger children in the Parish so on the Feast of Christ the King we had a film afternoon – children from Year 3 and 4 came along and we had food, sweets, juice and popcorn while watching ‘The Lost Medallion’- a great afternoon was had by all!

Alpha in Runcorn has gone from strength to strength – I have been amazed myself at how well it’s gone. We had our ‘away’ time in November – we spent a day and a half at Norton Priory – the main focus was ‘The Holy Spirit’. I must admit I was a little worried about the weekend, having been the main contact between us and the venue, and prayed a lot for everything to go smoothly and that everyone would be open to the gifts of the Spirit. My prayers were heard and answered! It was an incredible weekend…we’re now looking forward to Youth Alpha and another Alpha course in 2019!

So onto December… lots more in store! Advent prayer day, Team Formation, Parish meetings and much more before celebrating the birth of our Saviour!