A message from Fr Stephen

Dear Friends,

It was truly wonderful to see so many people at our Ash Wednesday services at the end of last month: marking the beginning of Lent in church, being reminded of our mortality and God’s everlasting love is something that grounds us in our Christian faith and in our shared humanity.  Please, even if you were not able to attend on Ash Wednesday, endeavour to observe Lent properly.  If we exclude Sundays, there are 40 days in Lent for us and all Christians to Fast, Pray and Give Alms. 

If we wish to be a healthy church, we must observe practices that will make us and keep us healthy - observing the seasons we have been given, with their own special emphases, enables us to grow in our vocation to be the Body of Christ.  The old practice of “giving something up” has much to recommend it and certainly doesn’t prevent people from “doing something more”.  If we Fast from something we enjoy, whether it be certain a food, drink or activity we will regularly be faced with the decision to give into temptation or not to.  It may sound trivial if all it is is a chocolate biscuit we’re avoiding (or giving in to), but the brief pang of temptation avoided is a small step in a spiritual exercise that reminds us of the temptation of Jesus and of greater temptations we and others may face.  Avoiding the temptation may require a diversionary activity, like a prayer, to keep us on track.  There is so  much that we don’t need and Lent is a time to remind ourselves that we depend wholly on the goodness of God. So please Fast from something.

Extra events are planned throughout Lent to help us develop our discipline of Prayer.  Monday afternoons in St Paul’s, Wednesday evenings in St Mary’s and Stations of the Cross on Fridays, together with the regular round of Masses and daily prayer (9am and 4pm in St Mary’s Monday to Friday) are there for us all.  Prayer is the oxygen of Christian life. Our Fasting and Praying naturally draws us towards other    people and their needs: Giving Alms is the third essential element to a good and holy Lent.  This year, we will be collecting for Barnados to support the work they do with vulnerable children in the UK.  Extra collections will be  taken every Sunday, but you can give at other times too.

“Hear us O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we have sinned against thee.”


Fr Stephen


Lent, Holy Week and Easter

The following extra devotional services will be offered throughout the season of Lent:

  • Monday, 2pm, quiet Reflections in St Paul’s Blessed Sacrament Chapel
  • Wednesday, 7pm, Lent Course in St Mary’s with a variety of speakers.  Using the Our Father as the base text, we shall follow the theme “Caring for God’s Creation”
  • Friday, 12noon, Stations of the Cross in St Mary’s, except 13 March
  • Mass will be celebrated at 12noon in St Mary’s on Mondays as normal (11am on 2 March and 6th April in Churchfields House), 10am on Tuesdays in St Paul’s and 9:45am on Fridays in St Paul’s.


Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, 5th April.

  • Mass at 9:30 in St Paul’s and 11am in St Mary’s as normal, with Palm Procession and Passion Gospel.
  • Chrism Mass with Bishop Tony at 6pm in Horbury Parish Church.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  Lifts can be arranged if necessary.
  • Monday 6th April, 11am Mass in Churchfields and 2pm Stations of the Cross in St Paul’s
  • Tuesday 7th April, 10am Mass in St Paul’s
  • Wednesday 8th April, 7pm Mass in St Mary’s
  • Maundy Thursday 9th April, 7pm, Mass of the  Lord’s Supper and The Watch in St Paul’s
  • Good Friday 10th April, 10am, Building the Easter Garden - for children and families, Easter Egg Hunt and Hot Cross Buns - in St Mary’s.  At 11am there will be a “Walk of Witness” from St George’s to the Town Centre.  The Liturgy of the Cross will be observed at 2pm in St Mary’s.

Please make every effort to be in Church for Palm Sunday, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday and for the Liturgy of the Cross on Good Friday: together, with Easter Sunday, they form the very heart of our Christian faith and are days of obligation for Christians.

The Day of Resurrection:  Easter Sunday

  • Easter Vigil - we’re invited to join Cudworth Parish on Saturday 11th April, 7pm, for the Vigil
  • Mass of the Resurrection will begin at 9:15 at St Paul’s and 11am at St Mary’s
  • Easter Week service times will be printed nearer the time.


Some Dates for your diaries


  • 2 March - 7pm, Benefice Standing Committee at St Thomas’
  • 5 March - 11am PEP Group in St Paul’s
  • 9 March - 7pm, PCC Finance Meeting at St Paul’s
  • During the week beginning 9th March there will be heritage events in St Mary’s concerning the Barnsley Pals’ Colours.  Look out for details.
  • 22 March - Mothering Sunday, Mass at usual times
  • 29 March - 10am Benefice Mass at St Thomas’s Gawber
  • 30 March - 7pm, Annual Meetings at St Paul’s - Churchwarden, Deanery Synod and PCC nomination papers will be available in both churches.  The Electoral Role will also be revised during March



  • 2 May Tour de Yorkshire
  • 8 May  75th  Anniversary of VE Day
  • 25 May National Pilgrimage to Walsingham
  • 20 June Parish Summer Fair
  • 27th June Fr Jay’s ordination to the sacred Priesthood
  • 29th June  Fr Jay’s First Mass



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