Latest Parish Updates

‘Streets of Light’ this Christmas

This Christmas we want to light up our streets with a message of hope.

We are inviting local people to decorate one or more of the windows in their home, business or school and then leave the lights on and curtains open from 4pm till 9pm each day from Sunday 13th – Sunday 20th December.

The design can be anything you like, you just have to include one or more of the key words: Light, Hope, Love.

Cut paper and shapes and light up your window!

Please use the form below to let us know that you are taking part. We will then create a virtual map that we will promote on our Facebook page and website so that we can explore the Streets of Light in Bolton.

(Home addresses will be street name only for data protection).

Streets of Light Bolton 2020 – Registration

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


Joshua and Woolly’s Special Advent Calendar

Starting on Tuesday 1st December you will be able to join Joshua and Woolly as they open a new window on their Advent Calendar.

Please watch this introductory video and then join them with Fr Chris each day from 8.30am.

Pastoral Letter

Please watch Bishop John deliver his Pastoral letter for the Feast of Christ the King. Here is a copy of the written Pastoral letter.

Pastoral Letter 19 – Christ the King 2020

Advent at Home – Preparing the Way

Please follow the link below to find resources from the Diocese Department of Formation to guide us on our journey through Advent.


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.

Refurbishment of St Joseph’s Church 

Work to refurbish St Joseph’s Church will begin in the New Year to include the creation of a new meeting room as St Joseph’s house and halls will be demolished early in the New Year. The following works will be undertaken at both churches.

St Joseph

  1. Instal Disabled WC and small kitchenette in the former baptistery area in the narthex
  2. Move the main dividing screen forward a little to create an enlarged meeting space
  3. Reconfiguration of the confessional area and altar servers’ sacristy

St Thomas of Canterbury

  1. Relocate the Parish Office into the office adjacent to the Choir area
  2. Reconfiguration of the confessional area and altar servers’ sacristy

Mass at Christmas 

Christmas- Do You Hope to Attend Mass (Subject to Official Restrictions)

We hope and pray that it will be possible celebrate public Masses at Christmas. If that is the case, we must plan on the basis that the restrictions on numbers will continue to apply and a system of pre-booking is likely to be needed. If you know that you and any of your extended family plan to come to Mass, please help us by completing and returning the slip below.

If permission is granted to open the churches for communal worship at Christmas we wish as many as possible to be able to attend. This includes relatives and friends who may be visiting and especially families with children.

The official capacity of our churches is currently as follows:

St Joseph – 90   St Thomas of Canterbury –100

Possible Schedule of Masses and Services

The schedule set out below is just a provisional guide. The number, time and format of Masses and any services will only be finalised when the Government guidelines are known.

Younger Children

It may be that some families will find it acceptable to bring children simply to see the crib, receive a blessing and a token gift. This would also help to reduce the likely pressure of numbers at the Masses. Therefore we are provisionally proposing to hold a session especially for children at each church on Christmas Eve afternoon.

Indication of Likely Attendance

To help with planning, please use the form below 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 (including visiting friends) must not exceed 6 persons.

Allocation of Places

A decision on the schedule of Masses and Services will be made as soon as the Government announces the extent to which community worship is permitted (presumably late November/early December). Places at each Mass will then be allocated and information issued regarding the collection of tickets.



Christmas 2020 – Application for Ticket(s) to attend Mass

Please indicate the number expecting to attend (places cannot be guaranteed)

Provisional Times                                                                                        NUMBER
Christmas Eve Adults Children
1.30pm-2.30pm St Joseph  Open time for families with children
2.30pm-3.30pm STOC         Open time for families with children
5.30pm St Joseph                Vigil Mass
8.00pm STOC                      Vigil Mass
Christmas Day

10.30am STOC                    Mass


IMPORTANT-Please give contact details

Name __________________________________________

Address _______________________________________________________________

E-mail address____________________________Telephone____________________


PLEASE RETURN TO:  St Cuthbert’s Parish Office, 71 Hobart Street, Bolton BL1 3PU

Or e-mail to :

Please return as soon as possible.


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

Parish Draw

The winners of the latest Parish Draw are:

Book no. 50.    Glenys Hutchinson
Book no. 70     Kevin Egan
Book no. 121.   Victoria Ramwell
Book no. 43.    Pauline O’Rourke

The four winning numbers were drawn out of a bag by children at St. Joseph’s school and each received £50.

Congratulations to all the winners!

The final quarter Parish Draw ( Oct – Dec 2020 ) has now started, and it is anticipated that this will be drawn in time for Christmas with again four winners each receiving £50.

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

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

Missio APF – Mill Hill – Red Mission Boxes 

The total collection for St Cuthbert’s Parish, raised by the Summer Collection 2020, from the Red Mission Boxes, including the Brown Envelopes, was £669.79. Sincere thanks to all members, collectors and direct donors and to all who make their donations by Gift-Aid.

Fr Tony Chantry, Missio National Director, has sent this message;

“Thank you from Missio and the Mill Hill Missionaries. Through your Red Mission Box or regular gifts, you are a missionary, helping to spread God’s word and share God’s love for all his people. Thank you for your prayers and your gifts for our

brothers and sisters across the world, especially during this difficult time of the Covid-19 Pandemic. As a member of the Red Box family, you will be held in prayer, at Mass each day, by the Mill Hill community and at Missio’s chapel in London. You can find out more about how your gifts are transforming lives”

The next collection at St Thomas of Canterbury, by collectors and/or by using the Brown Envelopes will be during the Autumn, if circumstances allow. Please contact Bernadette Robinson on 01204 492805 for Missio enquiries at St Thomas of Canterbury and Norman Shard for enquiries at St Joseph’s on 01204 846352


Diploma in Pastoral Ministry and Leadership – Funding Available

Once again this year the Diocese, in partnership with the Archdiocese of Liverpool and Wrexham Diocese, are offering a Diploma in Pastoral Ministry and Leadership. The Diploma is a combination of Online Learning and a series of leadership workshops, leading to a Loyola University Chicago Certificate and a series of Liverpool Hope CPD Awards.

The course starts in January 2021 and ends in December 2023. The full Diploma costs £2500, which is payable over three instalments. An increasing number of parishes are willing to part-fund students towards the Diploma.  Funding, up to a third of each year’s fees, is available for a limited number of candidates with the support of their parish priest. 

More information can be found on the website below. Here you will find testimonies from past students, information booklets on the modules, application forms and an online form to book on one of the Zoom information Webinars
The Zoom information Webinars are at the following dates and times:

  • Tuesday 27 October: 10. 30am – 12. 00pm
  • Thursday 29 October: 7. 00pm – 8. 30pm
  • Wednesday 4 November: 7. 00pm – 8. 30pm
  • Saturday 7 November: 2. 00pm – 3. 30pm
  • Tuesday 17 November: 7. 00pm – 8. 30pm

Please do not hesitate to contact Fr. Paul Daly or John Griffin for further information.


‘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

Directory for Catechesis Reflection – #8

The next installments for Directory for Catechesis reflections can be found here, andprevious installments can be found here.  Each week we will share a reflection in the weekly bulletin.

  1. At the service of the profession of faith
  1. (continued from last week) The time of inquiry and maturation is necessary to turn initial interest in the Gospel into a deliberate choice. The Christian community, cooperating with the work of the Holy Spirit, welcomes the interest of those who are seeking the Lord and carries out a first form of evangelisation and discernment through accompaniment and the presentation of the kerygma. This ‘precatechumenate’ is important for the reception of the proclamation and for an initial response and conversion. It already brings with it the desire to get away from sin to follow in the footsteps of Christ.

The ‘Precatechumenate’ or the Inquiry Stage, in the RCIA, is not the first few teaching sessions of the programme,, the ‘Basics’ before we move on to the ‘heavy stuff’. If we look at it as about a movement in the heart of the enquirer, it’s about the movement from ‘wondering whether to become a Catholic’ to ‘wanting to become a Catholic.’ If an attendee tells their friends they are coming to RCIA because they are ‘wondering whether’ that, to me is a sign of inquiry. If they ‘want to’ and the signs as mentioned in the RCIA are present, then they can and should be admitted as catechumens.
These signs are; ‘an initial conversion and intention to change their lives and enter into a relationship with God in Christ. …evidence of the first stirrings of repentance, a start to the practice of calling upon God in prayer, a sense of the Church, and experience of the company and practice of Christians through contact with a priest of some members of the communion’ RCIA 42.

What does this say to us about preparation for the other sacraments?

Those who have already met Jesus Christ feel the growing desire to get to know him more intimately. In the Christian community catechesis, together with the liturgical ceremonies, works of charity and experiences of fraternity, initiates them in knowledge of the faith and apprenticeship in the Christian life.  The disciple of Jesus is ready for the profession of faith when, through the celebration of the sacraments of initiation, he is grafted onto Christ. This stage corresponds to the catechumenate and the prior of purification and illumination in the RCIA.
Pastoral action nourishes the faith of the baptised and helps them in the Christian life’s ongoing process of conversion. The beginning of this stage corresponds to mystagogy in the RCIA.
As I read these words I am inspired by………………………………….
As I read these words I am struck by……………………………………
As I read these words I am challenged by…………………………..
As I read these words and look at my own discipleship I…………………………….


Online Talks from Christian Heritage Centre, Stonyhurst

We have been asked to share the following two talks from the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst. Please share these with anyone who may be interested.

“Newman 101: Why Newman Matters” – an online colloquium celebrating the 10thanniversary of beatification and 1st of canonisation. Leading Newman scholars will present short papers on different themes from Newman’s legacy. 4pm on Saturday 31st October. Visit for more information and registration.

God who Speaks – Series of Online Talks

The God who speaks: Following the success of the zoom presentation, The God who speaks through Creation, by Sr, Margaret Atkins, CRSA, the Department for Formation is delighted to announce four further talks:

Wednesday 28th October The God who speaks to us today: Contemporary Challenges through a Biblical Lens, by Father Joe Evans, priest of the Opus Dei prelature, Scripture specialist, and based at Greygarth Hall, Manchester.

Wednesday 25th November The God who speaks in the Gospel of John, by Fr. Michael Winstanley, SDB, Salesian priest and Scripture Scholar, based at the Salesian community in Bolton.

Each evening begins at 7pm and will include time for questions.

To book a place please email indicating which evening (or all four) you wish to participate in.

In 2021 we hope to arranged the remaining four evenings either via zoom or, if circumstances allow, in the originally scheduled venue, the Hidden Gem.

Hope in the Future Prayer Cycle: September – November 2020

The Hope in the Future prayer cycle for September – November 2020 can be found in a word document format by clicking here.  Please join us in praying for those around our diocese.

Caritas September Beacon

Caritas has published its latest Beacon newsletter which we would be grateful if you would share in your parish communities. The newsletter can be found by following this link:


Upcoming Series of Free Online Talks at the Christian Heritage Centre

The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst will be offering a series of online talks,“Saints, Scholars and Spiritual Masters”, over the next few months.

Exploring some of the great figures of Western spirituality with well-known experts, the series is free to attend online.

It will take place at 7:30pm on Thursdays, beginning on 3rd September and running through till 10th December.

Simply register to receive a link, either online at or by emailing


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.