Welcome to St Mary's

Some Parish news and events


"Behold, Your Mother" Triduum of Prayer 20-22 Feb

This year marks the start of ‘Behold, Your Mother’ when the people of England are invited to dedicate themselves to Mary, Mother of Jesus. The Cathedral will host a Triduum of prayer 20-22 Feb when they will receive the statue of Mary from the Slipper Chapel at the Catholic National Shrine in Walsingham as preparation for the year of dedication. St John’s are providing a coach for the Dowry Tour leaving from North Parade at 8.15am and returning at 2pm on 22 February. The cost of the coach will be £5. Please sign up at the back of the church.
Info: Poster at the back of the church & https://www.behold2020.com/dowry-tour

Restart of St Vincent de Paul Conference!

Restart of St Vincent de Paul Conference!
John Desmond is planning to establish an SVP Conference once again at St Mary’s. This charity aims to help support a wide range of practical needs in the parish from visiting the lonely & the elderly to taking people with some kind of disability to Mass. There will be a meeting in the next couple of weeks but in the meantime if you are interested in joining the SVP, contact John on 07553022059 / jdesmond1@hotmail.com Also, if you know of someone in need of a visit or help, do get in touch.

The God Who Speaks - information and resources

The God Who Speaks:  2020 is the 10th anniversary of Verbum Domini, Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Exhortation on ‘The Word of the Lord’ & the 1,600th anniversary of St Jerome’s death. These dates inspired the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales to dedicate 2020 to focus on the Bible & ‘The God Who Speaks’.

The Clifton Diocese website has a section devoted to The God Who Speaks, with many and varied resources:

You can hear Fr Nicholas King talking about Matthew’s Infancy narratives on the diocesan website https://cliftondiocese.com/the-god-who-speaks/ Since the beginning of Advent we have been hearing St. Matthew’s version of the Christmas story. It gives us a different perspective from St. Luke’s narrative.  Listening to those scriptures may have raised questions for us. Why do we need to know the genealogy of Jesus? Who are these women mentioned within it? Why are dreams so important in the scriptures? What do these narratives have to say to us today? Fr. Nicholas King a Jesuit priest from Oxford and well-known scripture scholar offers us three talks which can help us to explore these very first chapters of Matthew’s Gospel. Each talk is accompanied by a prayer resource and some possible questions to discuss within a group.

You can hear Bishop Crispian Hollis share some of his thoughts on The Joy of the Gospel  https://vimeo.com/386687117

From February another short series of six sessions on the Bible by Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB will be available  and then particularly useful for parishes with RCIA groups , Fr. Denis McBride will be sharing with us his thoughts on John’s Gospel and the three key Gospels for Lent (Woman of Samaria, the Blind Man and the raising of Lazarus).  


Year of Communion: Sharing our Story

Year of Communion

Last Saturday, people from St Mary’s and across the Diocese took part in a day on catechesis called “Sharing our Story”. David Wells taught us about the need to hold onto the virtue of joy in our lives. We looked at John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”, in light of the preceding line: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy”. David described the thief as whatever turns our enthusiasm to cynicism; our joy to misery; our patience to frustration. Like a thief in the night, we will not know what we have lost until it is too late.
In his message of hope, David drew upon the words of the Popes from the past 40 years, to challenge our expectation of what we can achieve as catechists & as a church. 

Parishioners took part in a variety of workshops on topics including the new Baptism programme and Youth Ministry.

*Two books by David Wells are available from the repository: The Reluctant Disciple and The Grateful Disciple, £10.50 each

ST JAMES PRIORY BRISTOL Visitor information

ST JAMES PRIORY BRISTOL – Did you know that this historic 12th Century building is a Catholic church? Situated adjacent to Bristol Bus Station it is open from 10am – 5.00pm Monday – Friday. Tours for groups can be arranged. 0117 9299100.
Holy Mass is celebrated on Sundays at 8am and from Tuesday – Saturday at 1.05pm. Confession is available from 12.30pm Tuesday – Saturday. Abbot David Charlesworth (OSB) is the celebrant.
Eucharistic adoration is on Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm.
There is an excellent Café to meet, greet and eat in as well. www.stjamespriory.org.uk

Report: Dementia Friend Information afternoon and Audit

Report: Dementia Friend Information afternoon and Audit
We had a very informative session with Dementia Friends Champion Fiona Bell. We intend to run these sessions every 6 months to help parishioners understand life with dementia, and to support carers. Thank you to Roberta for providing the great cake.

Two groups took on the audit of our buildings and of our church services. This was to assess what we are doing and what we could do to make the buildings and services more welcoming to parishioners with dementia and their carers. Look out for suggestions in the bulletin of how we can help, and for facts about what dementia is and is not.
*Look out for parishioners wearing Dementia Friend forget-me-not badges at Mass.

Faith in Action Award

Faith in Action is a national Catholic award for young people. The Clifton Diocese is piloting the scheme with young people in different parishes across the diocese. Aim: to explore how the awards could run in every parish, acknowledging & encouraging the service and presence of young people. The awards enable young people to reflect on their role in the Church, deepen their understanding of scripture & Catholic Social Teaching, and grow in their faith. Info: youth@cliftondiocese.com or visit www.cliftondiocese.com and search for Faith in Action.


Adoremus Feedback

Two of our parishioners attended the Adoremus conference: Adoremus-National-Eucharistic-Pilgrimage



An evening of Wine tasting, Fri 14th Feb

200214 Wine tasting
** SOLD OUT ** An evening of Wine tasting, Fri 14th Feb, St Mary’s Parish Centre, led by Vin Madden. £10 per person. 

Monthly Mass for LGBT+ Catholics: Sun 16th Feb

A monthly Mass for LGBT+ Catholics, families & friends.

All welcome. A Clifton Diocese Initiative 3.00pm followed by refreshments & social. St Nicholas of Tolentino Church, Lawford’s Gate, Easton, Bristol, BS5 ORE http://www.tolentino.org.uk

Pondering the Gospel Monday 17th February

Pondering the Gospel, 3-4pm, with coffee/tea at 2.45pm in St. John’s Lower Ground-Floor rooms (at the bottom of the stairs to the lower car park. A small, friendly & gentle group that use a “Lectio Divina” method to ponder the Gospel for the following Sunday. We anticipate developing a deeper understanding of the Bible Reading; this will help build our prayer life with God. It delights us to welcome anyone especially those who have not tried this method previously. Info: Patrick:07966 366731 or Graham: 07889 495419. ”   

Thurs 20th Feb 2020 NEW HORIZONS WALK

Thurs 20th Feb 2020 NEW HORIZONS WALK  A short walk starting in St Mary’s church car park at 10.30 will take place for those who have been bereaved. We shall walk around Victoria Park and stop for refreshments in the Pavilion café.  Please feel free to bring a friend.

Young Catholic Adults Retreat, Downside Abbey 21-23 February

Young Catholic Adults Retreat 21 to 23 February 2020 at Downside Abbey 

“Understanding the World as God’s Portrait: a Retreat musing on the magnificence of the Incarnation”

All young Catholics aged 18 to 35ish are invited to attend this residential Retreat at Downside Abbey. The principal speaker is Sebastian Morello,  formator and lecturer at the Centre for Catholic Formation in London, and known for his intellectually stimulating, and challenging insights, into the Catholic Christian tradition. One of the Downside Monks, Fr. Anselm Brumwell, will also be speaking about “The Biblical Revelation of God”.

The Downside young adult group, developed with Clifton Diocese, now comprises over 180 young people from across the country. These Retreats are therefore a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, and stay in touch with old friends, in the beautiful setting of Downside Abbey. In addition to the talks, you will be able to join the Benedictine Monastic Community in celebrating Holy Mass, the Divine Office and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

The residential cost all meals included is:

£60 in shared accommodation in Retreat House

£80 in En-suite Twin Room in Monastery Guest Wing

Non-Residential Cost all meals included: £50

Contact rinabird@outlook.com for programme and to book

All services are in the Abbey Church, unless indicated otherwise. Meals are in the Main Refectory. Talks and Refreshments are in the Visitor Centre.

Please approach any of the Priests at any time during the Retreat if you wish to make your Reconciliation.

FRIDAY 21 February 2020

From 7pm Arrival at the Abbey Visitor Centre, refreshments and registration

8 pm Compline

From 10pm Adoration in the Crypt Chapel

SATURDAY 22 February 2020

6am Vigils (Optional!)

7.10am Lauds, followed by breakfast until 8.15 am

8.35am Mass

9.30am, or after Mass, refreshments

10am Talk by Sebastian Morello, Formator and Lecturer at the Centre for Catholic Formation, “Greek wisdom as a preparation for the Incarnation”

How the Hellenistic tradition providentially prepared those outside the Old Covenant for the great event of history, the Incarnation

11am Break

11.15am Talk by Sebastian Morello “The Word enters history”

Assessment of how analogies drawn from a philosophical understanding of the relationship between Creator and creation can help us better grasp the magnificence of the Incarnation

12.15pm Break

12.30pm Midday Office

1pm Lunch until 2 pm

2.30pm Talk by Sebastian Morrello “The Incarnation and the Christian life”

What is entailed by our life as a new creation through baptism, and how the Christian can be understood as an extension of the Incarnation

3.30pm Break

4pm Question, answers and discussion

6pm Vespers

6.30pm Supper until 7.30 pm

8pm Vigils

9pm Social time, including film, in the Visitor Centre. We will be running a small drinks bar during the evening.

From 11pm Adoration in the Crypt Chapel

SUNDAY 20 October 2019

7.30am Lauds, followed by breakfast until 9 am

10am Mass

After Mass, refreshments

11.15 am Talk by Fr. Anselm Brumwell, Sub-Prior of Downside Abbey “The Biblical Revelation of God”

12.15pm Break

12.30pm Midday Office

1pm Lunch until 2pm

2 pm Q&A

3pm End of Retreat.

Lent talk & film: St Oscar Romero, 5th March

Righting the Wrong – a documentary film on St. Oscar Romero
St. Mary’s Parish Centre, Burlington Street, BA1 2SA 
Thursday, 5th March at 7:00 pm
This documentary provides an excellent overview of Romero’s life and martyrdom. It goes on to describe the long drawn out process after his death leading finally to his canonisation by Pope Francis in October 2018. The Romero Trust shares the view that this is the best Romero film currently available.
The film by Patrik Soergel and Gianni Beretta, produced in Spanish with English subtitles by Swiss-Italian television, lasts for 80 minutes.
We thank Julian Filochowski of the Romero Trust for bringing this documentary film to Bath. Julian will be pleased to update us with his views on the current situation in El Salvador in a question and answer session following on from the film.

We would be grateful for donations towards the work of The Archbishop Romero Trust in El Salvador.

Please be aware: there is no official rating for the film but it does deal with sensitive issues of violence and death. Therefore we would suggest it is suited for those aged 15+.


Worldwide Marriage Encounter 6th - 8th March

Worldwide Marriage Encounter

For the past 50 years Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering marriage enrichment retreats all around the world. Focused on couples who want to enrich their relationship and gain a deeper understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage, the retreat offers a unique experience. It’s a chance to explore your relationship at a deeper, more intimate level, regardless of how long you have been together. Thousands of couples in the UK have benefited from a Marriage Encounter weekend retreat, the next retreat is 6th – 8th March in Swindon, why not find out more at wwme.org.uk

Signed Mass with the Catholic Deaf Association Sunday 8th March

Every Second Sunday of the Month at 3pm followed by refreshments
At St. Nicholas of Tolentino RC Church, Lawford’s Gate, Bristol, BS5 0RE


Quiet Day: Finding Stability in Times of Change Sat 21st March

Quiet Day: Finding Stability in Times of Change

Saturday 21 March   10-3.30    St Luke’s Church, Bath

At a time when change is often feared, stability can be elusive, and busyness interferes with listening to God, this quiet day offers an opportunity for space and reflection.

The day will be led by Richard Frost, Anglican Reader (lay minister), Benedictine Oblate (lay member of a monastic community) and author of Life with St Benedict published by BRF. Richard also writes a blog at workrestpray.com.

There will be 3 short talks and periods of silence together with guidance on how to use the day. Reflecting Benedictine spirituality, the day takes the principles of three monastic vows: obedience (listening to God), conversion of life (change) and stability to explore how people can relate those principles to their faith, work and other aspects of life in very practical ways.

The day is open to anyone. No prior knowledge of monasticism is needed!

Please book a place (a donation to cover costs will be requested) by contacting Richard directly at richardnfrost@outlook.com or 01626 870288.

Short Course on Matthew's Gospel continues 25th March

SCRIPTURE: A short series exploring St Matthew’s Gospel at Emmaus House, Sleep Lane, Whitchurch, Bristol. As we read St Matthew liturgically, John Huntriss will deepen our understanding of the Jesus we encounter in St Matthew’s Gospel. This short time together will invite participants to familiarise themselves with Matthew’s Gospel as they journey through the liturgical year. Details are on the notice board.
Mon 4th Nov Introducing St Matthew, the Evangelist
Wed 27th Nov Matthew’s Infancy Narrative 
Wed 25th March – Matthew’s Passion & Resurrection Narratives
Wed 6th May – The healing & teaching / Ministry in Matthew
All sessions 7.30pm-9pm