Latest Parish Updates


We are issuing tickets for the Easter Masses and Services including the Holy Week Triduum as the capacity of our churches is currently limited to St Joseph – 90 and  St Thomas of Canterbury – 100.

If you are wishing to attend, please download and complete the application form: Easter Services – Application for Tickets

Please email your completed form to or post to St Cuthbert’s Parish Office, 71 Hobart Street, Bolton BL1 3PU

Indication of Likely Attendance

To help with planning, please use the form to indicate which Mass or Service you and members of your family would like to attend.

We do need a lead name and contact address; family groups must not exceed 6 persons.

Allocation of Places

Places at each Mass will then be allocated and information issued regarding the collection of tickets.

Schedule of Masses and Services

Holy Thursday 

Evening Mass 8.00 p.m.

Good Friday

Solemn Liturgy of the Passion of Our Lord 

12.00 noon St. Joseph

3.00 p.m. St Thomas of Canterbury

Easter Saturday Vigil Mass

8.00 p.m. St Thomas of Canterbury

Easter Sunday Mass

9.30 a.m. St Joseph

11.15 a.m. St Thomas of Canterbury

Requiem Mass Michael Yates RIP

There will be a Requiem Mass for Michael Yates at 10am on Thursday 11th March at St Thomas of Canterbury. Attendance is by invitation only, so no public Mass on that day. The Requiem Mass will be live streamed.

Diocesan E-Newsletter 

Please follow this link to download the Diocesan Newsletter for March 2021.

Diocesan E-Newsletter March 2021


DIY Retreat Lent 2021

Ever fancied making a retreat but didn’t have the time or it seemed to daunting to do? Well here is an idea for this Lent. Make your own retreat at home this Lent using our parish resources. I have put together ten short clips on YouTube using reflections by Magdalen Lawler in her book ‘Show us the Father’ each with an accompanying hymn. These will be available from Saturday morning the 6th of March. Use these and the different prayer times and mass online to create your own retreat. For example choose a day and use the morning prayer, some of the time in prayer in front of Blessed Sacrament in Exposition, Mass, one of the Prayer Around the Cross episodes, Night Prayer and the ten little episode throughout the day. And if you can, go for a prayerful walk. Or choose a few days and treat them as a mini retreat in the same way using the resources available. Simple but if we are open to God, very effective. Why not give it a go?
Fr Chris

CAFOD Lenten Appeal 

Last Friday 26th February was Family Fast Day. Please return your envelopes or  This Lent we can continue to express our shared love and concern by supporting the appeal on line. You can donate by phone or online.
You can donate by text: text LENT 10 to 70460 to donate £10 or add the amount you would like to donate, e.g. Text LENT 20 to donate £20.
Alternatively you may donate by visiting the CAFOD website or by calling CAFOD on 0303 303 3030.
Thank you for your generosity.

Missio – The Year of St Joseph 

The Year of St Joseph, a special jubilee year in honour of St Joseph, starting on Dec 8th 2020, was proclaimed by Pope Francis, to mark the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Pope Pius IX, of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church.  The Apostolic Letter, by Pope Francis; Patris Corde “With a Father’s Heart”, written against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, is available on the Vatican News website.

National Novena to St Joseph 10th -18th March 2021

Each year the Mill Hill Missionaries prepare for the feast day of St Joseph their patron, on the 19th March with a Novena of Masses and prayers. This is to ask for God’s blessing on their Society and on the missionary outreach of the Church, as well as for the intentions of all who support their work. It is hoped that this Novena will be a means of grace and consolation for all who have suffered bereavement and loss during the pandemic. You are invited to send in your petitions and/or to request a Novena booklet, to enable you to join in from home, by praying the daily Novena prayers.

Please download a copy from

or write to Novena Director, St Joseph’s Missionary Society, 41, Victoria Road, Liverpool, L37 1LW enclosing a S.A.E if possible.

Alternatively, please send a request by  email to

Jesuits in Britain: Knowing Jesus: Lent Online Retreat 2021

We are pleased to announce the sign up for our Lent online retreat, organised by the Ignatian Spirituality Centre in Glasgow. This year BBC Radio 4’s Daily Service and Sunday Worship will be taking readings and themes of our retreat. Details below:

Knowing Jesus: Lent Online Retreat 2021

Walk with us through Lent and Easter and really come to understand and love Jesus. We will ponder Gospel stories, reflect on their meaning and see how startlingly relevant Jesus is to living a truly human life in the 21st Century.

Follow the retreat online, and sign up to an online group (places limited):

Registration to lead Lent Groups is also still open – link on the above page. This includes an invitation to a training day.

Sign up to receive daily emails during Lent and additional resources:

Follow the Lent Retreat on the Jesuits in Britain social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Cuckmere Pilgrim Path: a talk by Peter Blee

This has been recommended by a friend of Fr Chris and helpful to watch as part of our Lenten Pilgrimage. Please follow the link to watch the talk on You Tube.

Cuckmere Pilgrimage Talk


Pastoral Letter From Bishop John

Please follow these links to read or listen to the Pastoral Letter

from Bishop John for the beginning of Lent.

Recording of Pastoral Letter

Pastoral Letter 21 – Lent 2021


Confirmation Course

With the help of Thornleigh the Confirmation course will be run online for our young people in Year 8. The families of those who attend Thornleigh will be informed by letter with information on how to register. The families of those who attend other schools need to contact Fr Chris in the first instance so that they can be linked in to the programme. Thank you!

Contact Fr Chris

Lent with Joshua and Wooly

Join Fr Chris with Joshua and Wooly for a new series throughout Lent. Each episode lasts around six and a half to seven minutes. This introductory episode is a bit longer and teaches the songs and format for each episode which is the same every day. The series starts this Wednesday 17th February and then every day for forty days. The episode goes live each day at 8.00am on our Parish YouTube channel.


LET US DREAM – Our Lenten Journey with Pope Francis, guided by Austen Ivereigh. 

Over the Wednesdays of Lent we will explore Pope Francis’ book, Let us Dream, with the assistance of Austen Ivereigh, who worked closely with Pope Francis on the book.

Let Us Dream is the first book by a pope in response to a specific crisis, and offers us Pope Francis’s spiritual guidance for humanity in the throes of the Covid crisis, helping us to seize the opportunity for conversion and change — as individuals and as a society.

The course will begin with an Introductory presentation by Austen on Wednesday  24th February at 7pm.

Every Wednesday from 3rd March until 31st March we will meet 7pm-8.30pm, again with an opening reflection from Austen, to explore the book in five sections, share our thoughts, ask questions and deepen our understanding of the Lord’s call to us, to our Church and world through the teaching of Pope Francis.

This is a wonderful opportunity and the Bishop and Diocese are very grateful to Austen Ivereigh for making this possible.



Building Changes at St Joseph’s Church and Development of Land Behind St Joseph’s Church 

The sale of the hall, presbytery and most of the land behind St Joseph’s church to Great Places Housing Group of was completed on 20th January 2021.

The Parish has retained only sufficient land around the church to enable access for maintenance and repairs. Great Places have now taken full possession and they propose to develop the site to provide 18 one-bedroom cottage–style apartments for rent to persons aged 55 and over. The new homes will include fully equipped wet rooms, intercom systems for the upstairs flats and wider than standard parking spaces.The process of demolition of the hall and presbytery has already begun with equipment having been brought on site. In the first instance the buildings will be cleared of all remaining artefacts, then actual demolition will begin, starting with the roof. It is anticipated that demolition will be completed within 6 weeks.

Please follow these links to view illustrations of: 

  1. the alterations to the narthex, confessional area and link corridor.St Josephs Church_Proposed Plan
  2. the boundaries of the new development and its relationship to the church. St Josephs PROPOSED SITE PLAN
  3. the proposed street elevations of the properties. St Josephs PROPOSED STREET ELEVATIONS


Impact on St Joseph’s Church

Access  – Entrance through the main door will be unaffected.Part of the link corridor between the sacristy and the Presbytery will be retained and a new rear entrance created for access by authorised keyholders.Safety  – There is a statutory requirement to provide a fire exit as near as possible to the far corner opposite to the main entrance. This will be created as part of changes to the confessional area (see below).Worship – There will be no long term impact on the amenities for worship apart from the need to remove some of the benches at the rear of the nave.Support Amenities – The following replacement amenities will need to be created:WC with disabled access; Multi-function meeting space; Kitchenette and serving hatchThe meeting facilities will be provided by:

  • removing the screen between the nave and the narthex
  • positioning a new screen in line with the rear pillars
  • building a new wall to the right inside the main entrance, thereby also creating an inner entrance lobby

The WC and kitchenette will be built in the former baptistery area at the rear of the narthex.Suitable cupboard and storage space will be constructed after the new screen is in place.Confessional Area – The façade and one of the confessional boxes will be retained but the rear space will be remodelled to provide:

  1. Vesting Space and Private Meeting Room; b) new Emergency Exit.

Operational Impact

  1. Access via the Presbytery is no longer permitted
  2. The rear side door near the entrance to the choir will be re-opened to provide temporary access for authorised keyholders
  3. The internal alterations will have some short term impact on use of the church.

Financial Impact

Since the hall and playground/car park were previously used for educational purposes the income from the sale deemed to apply to that part of the site has to revert to the Diocesan Education Fund. The net result is that the Parish should receive circa £100k from the sale of the presbytery and part of the land behind the church. There will be substantial costs associated with the necessary structural alterations, for which updated estimates are being obtained. Arrangements are in hand to review the overall financial implications as soon as possible in the hope that approval will be given to proceed with the internal alterations and the long delayed external repairs during the Spring.

Icon Sharing

Next weekend, the 13th and 14th February, we are planning to hold an Icon Sharing event across the Parish. Fr Chris will explain more but it is a nice way to let people know that we are thinking about them at this time. Some friends of Fr Chris sent a copy of an icon to another friend as a prayer on her father’s anniversary as they couldn’t visit.
This exceptional painting on wood comes from the monastery of Bawit in Middle Egypt. Dated to the 8th century, it represents Christ (easily recognizable by his halo with a cross) and Abbot Mena, the superior of the monastery at the time. The abbot holds a scroll in his left hand; this may have contained the rules of his monastery.
A complete painting on wood
The two painted figures are depicted on a wood support, which is a perfect square. This object was discovered in Bawit in Middle Egypt, where the remains of an extremely large monastery have been found. The French archaeologist Jean Clédat discovered this monastery in 1900 while he was exploring and excavating in the region. His archaeological notes do not, however, indicate the exact location where this painting was discovered. Despite a few large cracks, it is in good condition, thanks to restoration. The work can be considered to be complete, which is rare for a painting.
The two figures
The two figures are depicted in a frontal pose against a landscape. A few traces of vegetation can still be seen at their feet. The background consists of hills with a sunset sky, from which the halos of the figures seem to be rising.
Christ, to the right, is slightly taller than the figure on the left. His halo has a crucifer, and the inscription “Savior” is written near him. Christ has a short beard and wide, lined eyes. He wears a tunic and a scarf, and in his left hand holds a Book of the Gospels, richly adorned with pearls and gems and fitted with metal clasps on the side. In a sign of introduction and as a protective gesture, his right hand is placed on the left shoulder of the father superior, a very important man in the monastery. He can be identified by the inscription placed to the left of his halo, “Apa Mena superior,” repeated directly below, and by the scroll in his left hand. This scroll may contain the rule of the monastic institution. Mena has a gray beard and is wearing a tunic and a scarf. He makes a sign of the blessing with his right hand.
The oldest Coptic icon
A cross, framed by a coronis, or a punctuation sign used in Greek and Coptic manuscripts from the era, is placed between and slightly above the two halos.
The overall work is extremely elegant and serene, and is the oldest-known Coptic icon.

Making an Icon

Here is a short film from Fr Chris about making an Icon. A great way to spend some spare time.

Missio APF – Mill Hill – Red Mission Boxes 

The combined total collection for our Parish of St Cuthbert, raised by the Winter Collection 2020 from the Red Mission Boxes, including the Brown Envelopes, was £413.14.

Sincere thanks to all members, collectors and direct donors and to all who make their donations by Gift-Aid. Your very generous support of the Missions during this challenging time, is greatly appreciated. Missio, the Pope’s official charity for overseas mission, brings hope where there is turmoil, poverty or uncertainty in the world.

Please pray for the work of MISSIO and find out more about how your gifts are transforming lives at” 

Please contact Bernadette Robinson Tel:492805 for Missio enquiries at St Thomas of Canterbury and Norman Shard for enquiries at St Joseph’s, Tel:846352

Children’s Liturgy – Colour and Shape

Fr Chris wants to encourage as many children and their families as possible to look at and enjoy this programme together on a weekly basis. Only about fifteen minutes long, it can been seen as part of their home learning programme in these times of COVID-19 . Just type in Connect Sunday-Colour & Shape to get the current video, then subscribe.

Colour and Shape is a weekly online Children’s Liturgy for young families unable to attend their Catholic Parishes while in Lockdown during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Sunday Liturgies are uploaded here for ease of sharing and viewing, however there is more content and social interaction over on Facebook, where Colour and Shape can be found too.

It is recommended by a number of parents in the Parish who use Colour and Shape with their children.

Please follow this link to Colour and Shape on Youtube: Colour and Shape


Parish Monthly Prayer Meeting

On the first Tuesday of every month at 8.00pm, there is an opportunity for us to come together for half an hour of quiet meditation and reflection.

At the moment we meet on Zoom.

This thirty minute Prayer Evening involves a Reading and a Reflection with some quiet time for personal contemplation and private Prayer. We begin and end with a hymn.

Everyone is welcome whether you belong to the Parish or not.

If you would like to join please email who will arrange to forward you the required link to join in the meeting.

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them.”


Offertory Collection

Although income is significantly down due to the lack of the weekly offertory collection, expenditure on the maintenance of the parish remains much the same. The Parish recognises that many individuals and families will also have been financially affected by the present situation and may not be able to continue contributing or may need to reduce their normal contribution. However, if you are in a position to do so, you may wish to consider one of the following options:

  1. Set up a standing order to the Parish (electronic payments).

If you wish to use this option, which is already used by a number of people in the parish, please contact the parish office by e-mail  at  giving your name and contact telephone number. You have the option to make regular monthly or one-off payments.

  1. Set aside at home your weekly donation.

Each week, perhaps after you have celebrated Holy Mass via the streamed service, you could put aside your donation.  Once you are able to return to church, you can donate the accumulated money. If you routinely use the offertory envelopes, essential for gift aid donations, then please place the money in your envelopes. When you are able to return, you can pick up your envelopes for the year starting April in the church porches.

Thank you for your continuing financial support to our parish.

Parish Draw

The winners for the last quarter of 2020 ( Oct – Dec ) are:-

Book no. 94.     Peter W Hough

Book no. 72.     David Smart

Book no. 99.     Joan Gettins

Book no. 156.    Fred ParkinsonThe four winning numbers were drawn out of a bag by the children of St. Joseph’s school , and each received £50.Congratulations to all the winners!The next draw will start in January 2021, and it is anticipated that this will continue with the reduced numbers until further notice.

If you would like to take part in the Parish Draw please contact for further details.

Parish Office

The Parish Office has now relocated to St Thomas of Canterbury church.Please note the following key points:a) Postal Address: Mail is being redirected from Horace St. New address to be confirmed.b) Telephone: 01204 497068 (New)
(calls redirected here from the old office number) c) E-mail: relocation has been a major task and we have yet to complete all the necessary adjustments to working practices. Apologies for any short term disruption to communications.

The Right To Pray Together In A Crisis – Message from Bishop John

In the hope of generating a Faith-wide response, I have been asked, on behalf of the Greater Manchester Faith Leaders, to publicise the statement below as widely as possible among the Catholic community, asking that we alert our local M.P.s about the importance, and safety, of places of worship, and that they remain open in any future lockdown, being considered in a different category from non-essential shops, gyms and theatres. We hope that by circulating this statement through our different Faiths, and asking for a national response, all M.P.s may be made aware of the importance attached by so many to the need to gather for public worship.

Places of worship are essential.  Acts of communal worship should be allowed in them in any future Lockdown or tiered system of restrictions.

We recognise that the current national measures are a matter of public health.  They  are to promote the flourishing, well-being and protection of the population.

We believe that Places of Worship play a positive and fundamental role in this strategy.  We provide food-banks and communal support for people who are clinically vulnerable, socially isolated or in any form of need.  But we also observe regular acts of worship, according to current guidelines for physical distancing and hygiene.  These contribute positively to the mental, spiritual and emotional health of those who take part, whilst not endangering their physical health in any way that can be measured.

Acts of communal worship, especially for people within our communities, are an essential part of our identity.  The Freedom and Practice of Religion is recognised, in the UK and across the globe, as a core Human Right.  It says so in our Equalities legislation.  It cannot simply be put alongside any “right” to shop, to eat out, or to attend a leisure facility, healthy though these are.  Places and acts of worship should not be reckoned alongside non-essential shops, gyms or other indoor meeting-places.  They are altogether different – and provide people with the energy, hope and inspiration they need to keep going, especially in these dark and challenging times.

The nation’s health is enhanced, not threatened, by acts of religious worship.   As the Government plans ahead, we look forward to seeing them included and promoted, not suspended and forbidden.  Please respect what they mean and what they are for those who take part in them.

Rt Rev John Arnold

Bishop of Salford

Please find below the contact details of two MP’s who represent the constituencies within our Parish.

Chris Green – Bolton East

Phone: 020 7219 8685


Constituency Address

Phone: 01942 409132 


Mark Logan – Bolton North East

Phone: 0207 219 3000


A Ten Minute Worry with Jesus

Please watch this reflection from Fr Chris on well being and mindfulness centred on our Faith.

A Ten Minute Worry with Jesus

Evening Prayer Requests

If you have any special prayers, reflections or intentions that you would like to suggest for our Evening Prayer sessions then please contact Fr Chris directly with your requests and suggestions.

Children’s Liturgy Resources

Please find attached some useful information about resources available to help our Children with their liturgy at home.

Children’s Liturgy Resources

Coffee Morning

Every Thursday at 10.30am (after mass) there is a virtual Coffee Morning hosted by Anne-Marie on Zoom. If you would like to take part then please email Anne-Marie and she will send you an invitation and link to

Urban Outreach – Thank you

We want to say how grateful we are for your generous food donation towards the work we do here at Urban Outreach. The food you have given will help us with our much needed work across Bolton. We are busy preparing ourselves for the impact of the changes to the Government’s Furlough Scheme and any fallout that that may bring along with the expected continuing economic downturn. Our projects are now needed more than ever as more people will find the need to turn to us for help. Throughout the month of June we distributed a total of 2627 food packages which fed 4393 individuals. The food given weighed the equivalent of 75 small cars! We also distributed gas and electricity packages supporting 34 households. As ever we felt privileged to walk alongside these people in their time of crisis. This was only possible through the generosity of our supporters and volunteers. Thank you for your continued support for all that goes on here at Urban Outreach. Impacting Bolton is definitely a town wide effort and one that cannot be done without everyone getting involved.

Your support is appreciated by us all. God bless, Dave Bagley Chief Executive




‘Family is Sacred’ Zoom Course

Running alternate Wednesdays, 7:30pm-9:00pm. You are encouraged to attend all sessions but please note, these are also standalone if you are just able to commit to some. The course is designed to enrich and support marriage and family life and the building up of the Domestic Church. There will be input from various speakers followed by small group discussion and Q&A. All Welcome! Register your free place by emailing

21/10/20              Man & Woman – Equal in dignity, but distinct in attributes
4/11/20                Man & Woman – Communication & Sexuality
18/11/20              The Sacrament of Matrimony – A reflection of the Love of Christ
2/12/20                The Sacrament of Matrimony – A reflection of Christ’s faithfulness & fruitfulness
16/12/20              Fatherhood & Motherhood – The challenge of Authority
13/1/21                Fatherhood & Motherhood – Mutual complementarity
27/1/21                The Importance of Family Life – The human significance
10/2/21                The Importance of Family Life – The religious significance
24/2/21                Love and the Importance of Home
10/3/21                Love and how we understand work
24/3/21                Family & suffering
7/4/21                  The mission of the family

Family is Sacred Course All Dates Poster