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The High Altar - St Francis Church

Sixth Sunday of Easter
Sunday 9th May 2021

Acts 10:25-26. 34-35. 44-48;   1 John 4:7-10;   John 15:9-17

Taken from the Gospel for 9th May 2021 (John 15:9-17): Loving like God.

Jesus said to his disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete. This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you. A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do what I command you. I shall not call you servants anymore, because a servant does not know his master’s business; I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father. You did not choose me; no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; and then the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name. What I command you is to love one another.”

Like so many of the great discourses of Jesus in the gospel of John, today’s reading is not a shorthand record of Jesus’ words, but will have been written up after the event. Most probably there were several slightly different versions of what Jesus said at the Last Supper. In any case, one can see that the author has in mind two different contexts: Jesus’ own historical situation at the Last Supper and the situation of the early Church, where the disciples are being tested hard in their mission. They need encouraging by Jesus’ own example of his sacrifice and by his promise of real friendship; they are friends, not servants, specially chosen by Jesus to bear fruit that will last. So we too are welcomed as friends, chosen and commissioned by Jesus to go out and bear fruit, but reminded that we must be prepared to pay the price. There is no fruit without pruning. Jesus had just given the example of service by washing the feet of his disciples. If we are to share the joy of Jesus we must be ready to join him also in laying down our lives for our friends.

Do we ever have to make hard choices for Christ?

Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB.

Special thanks to the Trustees of The Wednesday Word. The full version is available here.


St. Francis’ Church Welcomes You

We are delighted to be open for worship and to have you here. Everyone joining us is asked to...

Worship Safely

  • Scan the QR code with your NHS COVID-19 App to check-in, or Sign in with a Track and Trace card available at the entrance to the Church
  • Sanitise your hands
  • Keep social distance (one meter plus)
  • Wear a mask throughout the service (unless exempt)
  • Use the cleaning wipes provided to clean your area before you leave the church
  • Deposit the used wipes in the bins
  • As always, many thanks to our stewards.


    For Catholics Who Wish To Receive Communion

    • During the pandemic, receiving communion on the tongue is discouraged
    • Please receive holy communion in the hand without kneeling down
    • The priest may only administer communion on the tongue if he sanitises his hands after each reception
    • If you feel that you can’t receive in the hand, you may wait to receive on the tongue after Mass
    • The maximum capacity of this church is 88. Our apologies to anyone who may not be able to attend after that number is reached.


      Sunday Mass Times

      • Saturday 6:30pm - Vigil Mass
      • Sunday 8:00am
      • Sunday 9:45am - Family Mass
      • Sunday 12:00pm - Polish Family Mass
      • Sunday 4:30pm - Polish Mass

      Saturday and Weekday Mass Times

      • Saturday 12:00pm
      • Monday 12:00pm
      • Tuesday 12:00pm
      • Wednesday 12:00pm
      • Thursday 12:00pm
      • Friday 12:00pm


      Confession - The Sacrament of Reconciliation

      • Friday 11:00am - 12:00pm
      • Saturday 11:00am - 12:00pm
      • Saturday 4:00pm - 4:30pm

      • About Us

        Welcome to one of Chester’s oldest Roman Catholic Churches, St Francis of Assisi. Set in the heart of Chester City Centre, near the Grosvenor Museum and Race Course, it was originally built for the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. The construction of St Francis Church began in 1862 and was finally finished in 1875. It is now a thriving city Catholic Church serving a wide community over the Chester area.


        Contact Us

        The Brothers

        • Brother Jinson (Administrator)
        • Brother Michael (Guardian)
        • Brother Loarne
        • Brother Adrian
        • Brother Jim
        • Br Cezary Szczesniak - with us for a year from September 2020
        • Br Mathew - from India
        • Email

          • stfrancis.chester@gmail.com
          • Telephone

            • 01244 351331
            • Postal Address

              • St Francis of Assisi RC Church
              • Grosvenor Street
              • Chester
              • Cheshire
              • CH1 2BN

              • 'Open Churches Vital for Resilience during Lockdown'
                Cardinal Vincent Nichols

                Monday, January 4th, 2021 @ 9:23 pm

                With the announcement of a new lockdown for England to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said:

                “The regular practice of our faith in God is a well-established source of both personal resilience and dedicated service to those in need. Such resilience and enduring service are vital in these difficult circumstances.

                “I am glad that no measures have been introduced that would obstruct or curtail this essential source of energy for the common good. Catholic parishes will continue to serve the needs of their local community."

                The latest lockdown restrictions came into force on Tuesday 5th January 2021.

                The full statement and Government Guidance can be read at: www.cbcew.org.uk


                Shrewsbury Cathedral Online Services

                Here is a link to the online masses and services:  Shrewsbury Cathedral Webcam

                Prayer for an Act of Spiritual Communion

                • My Jesus, I believe that you are in the Blessed Sacrament
                • I love you above all things, and I long for you in my soul
                • Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart
                • As though you are already there, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you;
                • Never permit me to be separated from you, Amen.