Parish Bulletin 5th December 2021

St Teresa & St John Southworth Churches, Cleveleys

Fr Chris Cousens—Phone: 853340

Rev Bernard Ward (Deacon) (Tel: 858346) 

Enquiries for St John Southworth: Phone: 853340

5 December 2021


Lancaster Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees Registered Charity Number 23433        

Sunday : 2nd Sunday of Advent

Contents:  ​Gospel


Reflections for the coming week

Gospel Luke 3:1-4

In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Ceasar’s reign, when Pontius Pilate was a governor of Judaea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the lands of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the pontificate of Annas and Caiphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechaeriah, in the wilderness.  He went through the whole Jordan district proclaiming  baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the sayings of the prophet Isaiah:

​A voice cries in the wilderness;

​Prepare a way for the Lord,

​Make his paths straight.

​Every valley will be filled in,

​Every mountain and hill be laid low,

​Winding ways will be straightened

​And rough roads made smooth.

​And all mankind shall see the salvation of God.

Gospel Reflection  :  Prepare The Way

Everything we do can prepare the way for God, for God makes his home among us, and Jesus is born to dwell within each of us. In love and in friendship there is the meeting-place of God and people, as in the love and the promise of Mary there was the space for God to become one of us. 

In our human love we prepare the way for the love of God; in our human forgiveness we prepare for the forgiveness of God; in our human compassion we prepare the way for the compassion of God.

Our human work to help people’s lives prepares the way for the justice of God, and our human way of reconciliation prepares for the grace of reconciliation between God and his people.

In our daily love, forgiveness and compassion we are sharing in the very life of God.

Without our cooperation, there can be no justice of God, no reconciliation of God, no speaking of the word of God, for without our voice the word of God is silent. 

We Remember In Our Prayers  Christine Dempster whose Funeral Service is at St. Teresa’s this Wednesday, 8th December, at 12.15 pm, and Cyril Ireland whose Funeral Mass is at St. John Southworth church on Friday, 17th December, at 11 am. We remember them and their families, and all those whose anniversaries are at this time. May they be in God’s peace.

We Welcome Into The Family Of The Church  Indie Summer Southworth and Xavier Ellis Southworth whose Baptisms take place at St. Teresa’s this Sunday.

News From CAFOD  :  Emma Nolan and Patrick Gardner, our very helpful and supportive CAFOD workers in our Diocese, have sent us this message.  ” Thank you so much. In a difficult year for many parishes, your gifts, your prayers and your witness as part of our global family, were truly appreciated. At the meeting of world leaders at Cop 26 in Glasgow, Catholic parishes, alongside the poorest communities in the world, reminded world leaders of the impact that climate change is having on the least responsible for the climate crisis. Parishioners hosted meetings, signed petitions and ensured that MPs listened to your concerns. Thank you for adding your voice to those of our poorest brothers and sisters.

CAFOD will be celebrating their 60th anniversary in 2022, and we will be in touch in the new year to discuss how we can share the achievements parishes have made possible in that time”.

The Times Of Our Christmas Masses are now planned, and hopefully will remain, unless the emerging situation with the new strain of Covid virus determines new, or repeated, regulations. We certainly pray that it won’t. 

St. Teresa’s Church  (St. George’s Ave., Cleveleys)

Friday 24th December  :  ​Christmas Eve Family Mass,  6.30 pm

                                         ​​Christmas Midnight Mass,  12.00

Saturday 25th December   Christmas Morning Mass,  9 am  and  10.30 am

Sunday  26th  December   Boxing Day Mass,  9 am  and  10.30 am

St. John Southworth Church  (Northumberland  Avenue,  Cleveleys)  :

Saturday 25th December   Christmas Day Mass  10 am

Sunday 26th December   ​Boxing Day Mass  5 pm  

Christmas Extra : We are warmly invited to join two events organised by our Churches-Together-In-Cleveleys :

‘Lancashire Sings Christmas’ is the annual event where we listen to the Radio Lancashire broadcast together and join in the carols at the appropriate times. This takes place on Thursday, 16th December, 7 pm – 8 pm at The Golden Eagle, North Drive, Anchorsholme. For more information please contact Bernard (Tel. 858346)

‘Carols In Cleveleys’ is the event when we join with local churches to sing carols and share Christmas joy together. This takes place outside the TSB Bank on Victoria Road, Cleveleys (weather permitting), 11 am – 11.30am on Saturday, 18th December, and then at St. Andrews Church, just nearby, 12 – 12.30pm.

We Are Now In A Newly Created Deanery, A New Group Of Local Catholic Churches.  Our own previous Deanery, comprising the churches of Poulton, Thornton, Cleveleys and Fleetwood, has now been merged with all the churches of Blackpool. The new Dean is Fr. Peter Sharrock who is Parish Priest at St. John’s, Poulton. We pray for him!

Keeping Advent In Mind : Each Thursday, 7.30pm – 8.30pm, a group from different parishes meets online to discuss the Sunday Readings, to deepen our understanding and appreciation of how faith enriches daily life. Anyone is welcome to join – we are not experts, and we take the Readings but not ourselves seriously! Please email Martin Bennett at for the link, or for more details. (It is Martin who each week kindly provides the daily reflections which are put with the Bulletin on our parish website,

Daily Reflections for this week

Monday (Jean Vanier)

Jesus was sent by the Father not to judge us and even less condemn us to the prisons, limitations and dark places of our beings, but to free us, by planting the seeds of the Spirit in us. To grow in love is to allow this spirit of Jesus to grow in us. Growth takes on another dimension when we allow Jesus to penetrate us, to give us new life and new energy.  

Scripture (Baruch 5: 1-2, 6-9)

Jerusalem, take off your dress of sorrow and distress, put on the beauty of God’s glory for evermore, wrap the cloak of God’s saving justice around you, put the diadem of the glory of the eternal on your head. Though you left on foot with enemies for an escort, now God brings them back to you like royal princes carried back in glory. For God has decreed the flattening of each high mountain, the everlasting hills, the filling of the valleys to make the ground level so that Israel can walk in safety under the glory of God; for God will guide Israel in joy by the light of his glory with his mercy and integrity for escort.

Tuesday (C.S.Lewis)

Now what sort of ‘hole’ has man got himself into? He had tried to set up on his own, to behave as if he belonged to himself. In other words, fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his arms. This process of surrender is what Christians callrepentance. Now repentance is no fun at all. It is something much harder than simply eating humble pie. It means unlearning all the self-conceit and self-will that we have been training ourselves into for thousands of years.

Scripture (John 8:31-36)

To the Jews who believed in him, Jesus said “If you make my word your home you will indeed be my disciples, you will come to know the truth and the truth will set you free. In truth I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave. Now a slave has no permanent standing in the household, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free. 

Wednesday (St. John of the Cross)

Mary Magdalene, in spite of her past, paid no heed to the crowds of people, prominent as well as unknown, at the banquet. She did not consider the propriety of weeping and shedding tears in the presence of our Lord’s guests. Her only concern was to reach him for whom her soul was already wounded and on fire, without any delay and without waiting for another, more appropriate time.

Scripture (2 Cor. 1:18-22)

As surely as God is trustworthy, what we say to you is not both Yes and No. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed to you by us, was never Yes and No: his nature is all Yes. For in him is found the Yes to all God’s promises and therefore it is through him that we answer “Amen” to give praise to God. It is God who gives us a sure place in Christ and has both anointed us and marked us with his seal, giving us as pledge the Spirit in our hearts.

Thursday (Council of African Churches)

We are not required to wait for a distant ‘heaven’ when all problems will be solved. What Christ has done, he has done already. We can accept his work or reject it; we can hide from it or seek to live by it. Our task is to work for the expression of God’s reconciliation here and now.

Scripture (Isaiah 57:14-15)

Then it will be said: Level up, level up, clear the way, remove the 

obstacle from my people’s way, for thus says the High and Exalted One who lives eternally and whose name is holy, “I live in the holy heights, but I am with the contrite and the humble, to revive the spirit of the humble, to revive the heart of the contrite.”

Friday (Pope Paul VI)

Is the Christian life happy or sad? Does the fact that we are Christians make us happy, or does it pile up limits, duties and burdens on our shoulders? Jesus, as a man, experienced the simple, everyday joys of life. The depth of his inner life did not lessen his sensitivity nor make his vision of the world any less realistic. The simple human joys are so real for Jesus that they speak to him of the joys of the kingdom of God.

Scripture (Philippians 1:3-9)

I pray with joy remembering how you have helped to spread the Good News. I am quite certain that the One who began this good work in you will see that it is finished in the Day of Christ Jesus comes. You have a place in my heart, since you have all shared together in the grace that has been mine, both my chains and my work defending and establishing the Gospel. It is my prayer that your love for one another may grow more and more with the knowledge and complete understanding that will help you to come to true discernment. 

Martin Bennett

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