Latest Parish Updates

Mary’s Meals

The Parish recently donated 60 backpacks following the May Appeal from Mary’s Meals. Here is a letter of thanks from their Executive Director, Daniel Adams:

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for your generous donation of 60 backpacks and for supporting Mary’s Meals.

Mary’s Meals normally serves nutritious meals in school to children living in 19 of the world’s poorest countries, giving them the energy and opportunity to gain an education that can one day be their ladder out of poverty.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, we are determined that our work won’t stop. We are continuing to safely distribute meals to children at school where possible, or at home for those who are not yet able to return to the classroom.

Your generous donation will ensure children in Malawi can make the most of their lessons and realise their full potential.

It is an incredible sight to see the faces of children beam with joy when they receive the backpacks.

For many, it will be the first gift they will have received and items such as pens, books and basic clothing become their most treasured possessions in the world.

Jack Chilenje, who volunteers at Chimbaluka School in Malawi, says: “Just the porridge alone gives us hope as many of us are finding it very difficult to provide food for our children.

“These backpacks are really telling us all in this community not to lose that hope.”

Together, we are bringing the hope of a brighter future to so many children. I thank you, with all my heart, on behalf of the children who eat Mary’s Meals.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Adams

Executive Director, Mary’s Meals UK



Why not be like Eleanor and help in such a useful project. There will be plenty of fund raising events for Mary’s Meals in the near future and we feel that this is a project that our young parishioners could get involved with once the virus is under control. Ask your Mum & Dad, your teacher or someone at church. Keep an eye out for our next appeal.


Since our humble beginnings, Mary’s Meals, named after Mary the Mother of Jesus, has been built on a foundation of prayer and the many little acts of love from those who support us.

There is further information here if you download the Mary’s Meals newsletter – Marys Meals

MISSIO Annual Mission Mass

MISSIO  The Annual Mission Mass in the Salford Diocese, will take place on Saturday June 19th, at 3p.m. at St John’s Cathedral, Chapel St, Salford M3 5LL. All are welcome. The Mass will also be live-streamed at


The total collection for St Cuthbert’s Parish, raised by the Spring Collection 2021, from the Red Mission Boxes, including the Brown envelopes, was £1,445.69.  Sincere thanks to all members, collectors and direct donors and to all who make their donations by Gift-Aid.

Thank you for your prayers and generous financial support of the Mill Hill Missionaries, working with many of the poorest and most vulnerable communities, in countries across the world, including India, where there are many additional challenges, caused by the Corona Virus Pandemic.  Please find out more about the work of MISSIO at Please contact Norman Shard for enquiries at St Joseph’s, and Bernadette Robinson at St Thomas of Canterbury.

The God who Speaks through Mark – 16th June

As we return to Ordinary Time after Pentecost, the Department for Formation is pleased to offer four online evenings on the Gospel according to Mark. The final one is this Wednesday.

Wednesday 16 June 2021 – The Little People in Mark (with Fr Michael Winstanley SDB)

Each presentation will be from 7.00 to 8.30 pm and will include time for discussion and questions. They are offered free of charge.

To reserve a place on one or all the evenings and to receive the Zoom link in advance, please email


Miles that Matter

Fr. Chris is taking part in this Caritas event! Please donate and go to ; in the search box enter ‘Chris Gorton’ and his name and the charity will come up. The site is secure.

Caritas is proud to have supporters, staff and volunteers who are walking in solidarity and in the ‘virtual’ footsteps of so many people who have fled war and conflict and seek a new life on these shores and in Greater Manchester and Lancashire in particular.
Miles that Matter is running from 1st May until International Refugee Week in June.

If you are interested in finding out more, or wish to participate, please call Rachel Taylor 0161 817 2285 or visit the website


Hanging Baskets

Message from Ken Hogg:

“Many, many thanks to St. Cuthbert Parishioners, who came to my front garden to buy hanging baskets despite the lockdown and restrictions.  We raised an amazing sum of £1,822.00 all in aid of Bolton Hospice, a worthy cause.”

And a big thank you to Ken, of course!



Praying for the unborn and women facing crisis pregnancies

Right to Life

Please follow this link to access the latest pro-life news on the Right to Life website.

Right To Life News


Offertory Envelopes

Have you collected your New 2021/2022 Offertory Envelopes? They are still available at the back of both churches. If you can’t get to church, perhaps someone can collect them for you?

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.”

Litany of St Joseph

On Saturday, 1st May, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, the Holy See added seven new invocations to the Litany of St. Joseph. An unofficial translation is attached. Bishop John has added two further invocations to be used within the Diocese to reflect St. Joseph’s role as one of the Principal Patrons of our Diocese and our Diocese’s commitment to caring for Creation as our Common Home.


Pope Francis’ recent short but powerful letter on St. Joseph can be found here Apostolic Letter Patris Corde of the Holy Father Francis on the 150th Anniversary of the proclamation of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church (8 December 2020) | Francis (

In one of the footnotes, Pope Francis writes:
Every day, for over forty years, following Lauds I have recited a prayer to Saint Joseph taken from a nineteenth-century French prayer book of the Congregation of the Sisters of Jesus and Mary. It expresses devotion and trust, and even poses a certain challenge to Saint Joseph: “Glorious Patriarch Saint Joseph, whose power makes the impossible possible, come to my aid in these times of anguish and difficulty. Take under your protection the serious and troubling situations that I commend to you, that they may have a happy outcome. My beloved father, all my trust is in you. Let it not be said that I invoked you in vain, and since you can do everything with Jesus and Mary, show me that your goodness is as great as your power. Amen.” (10)


As coronavirus brings devastation across India, CAFOD is working with experienced local Church agency, Caritas India, to provide vital support to poor and marginalised communities. Donations to CAFOD’s Coronavirus Appeal will help Caritas India distribute PPE kits to frontline health workers, promote COVID & vaccine awareness campaigns, and set up safely run isolation & quarantine centres.

You can donate onlinehere:

Please keep praying for the people of India and all those affected by the pandemic.

Diocesan E-News for May

Please follow this link to read the Diocesan E-News for May

May E-News


Divine Renovation

Recently at mass Fr Chris spoke about Divine Renovation.

“Divine Renovation is the answer to a question that parishes across the world have grappled with for decades. How do we continue to bring people to Jesus Christ in a society and culture are constantly moving away from that relationship. From declining numbers to passive experiences of church, the obstacles for parishes are real. What would it look like if a parish was full of missionary disciples on fire for mission? What could a pastor accomplish if they had the energy and capacity to lead? These are the questions that our books, podcasts, resources, and coaching help parishes wrestle with. “

Please follow this link to find out more about Divine Renovation.

Divine Renovation


Encounter: Friday 17th September 2021. Save the date!

Encounter is a follow up event to the highly successful Adoremus Youth Event held in September 2018. Adoremus was the name of the National Eucharistic Congress.

The event will include Mary Bielski, One Hope Project, Shrewsbury Youth Service, Salesians, Animate Youth Ministries, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, young person testimonies and input, and more to be confirmed.

The event will be aimed at those in year 8 to year 13.

More information will follow.

Confirmation Course – A Reminder

Just a note to remind families on the Confirmation course to check their emails as a letter has been sent through with dates for a meeting and a Zoom link.

Remembering Everyone at this time

If you know someone who doesn’t have access to mass and night prayer online please can you let me know their contact details so that I can send them a card to know that they are being remembered and in our prayers.

Thank you, Fr Chris


We have sent to CAFOD the sum of £456.58, the amount received in response to the Lenten Appeal.

Thank you very much for your continued generosity. Many thanks also to those who donated directly to CAFOD.

This year CAFOD is working especially to bring clean water to many deprived areas, as well as helping Covid relief in the poorest communities of our world.

SVP – A Thank You

Members of the SVP acknowledge with thanks the recent anonymous donation of £50 made via the church collection at St Thomas of Canterbury.

Remembering our Other Charities

Please remember Urban Outreach, Cornerstone and Caritas. Your support for the tremendous work that they do is gratefully appreciated.


Year of St Joseph and the Family

Although it may not be frequently mentioned, St Joseph is a Principal Patron of our Diocese. We celebrating his feast day on 19th March and we need to mark this year because Pope Francis has dedicated this year to St Joseph and the Family.

In this Diocese we will mark The Year of St Joseph and the Family together from 19th March 2021 – 19th March 2022.

To help you to do this in your parishes our Formation Department have produced a number of resources in a PDF which you can find on this page

New Offertory Envelopes

New Offertory Envelopes are now available to collect from the back of church at both St Joseph and St Thomas of Canterbury.

Thank you for your generosity and support.

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


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

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.


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 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.