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The High Altar - St Francis Church

The First Sunday of Advent
Sunday 28th November 2021

Jeremiah 33:14-16;   1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2;    Luke 21:25-28. 34-36

Taken from the Gospel for 28th November 2021 (Luke 21:25-28. 34-36): Liberation is Near at Hand

Jesus said to his disciples, “There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand. Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.”

The first Sunday gospel of the year (and the liturgical year begins in Advent) is also in a way the last gospel of the previous year. It comes at the end of Jesus’s ministry, when he is preparing his disciples for their own ministry - in succession to him. Jesus is speaking to them on the Mount of Olives, looking down on the white city of Jerusalem, glittering in the sunshine. The city is soon to be destroyed by the Romans, with dreadful horrors of famine, massacre, burnings and executions. This is seen as a foretaste of the end of the world when Jesus, the Son of Man, comes to save his people. We do not know when this will happen, and, more importantly, when it will happen for us, when we will meet the Son of Man and be judged and saved by him. But our Christian faith is a guarantee that it will be a moment of God’s mercy, whenever it occurs. We must look forward to it, and have it ever present before our mind. But we would be fooling ourselves if we think that there are no struggles and trials and hardships to be undergone on the way. Why is the passage appointed for the first Sunday of Advent, the turning-point between the years? Because the birth of Jesus at Christmas, for which we are beginning to prepare, is a significant move towards the fulfilment of the promises of salvation, the coming of Christ as a baby – with all the budding potential of a baby..

What does Jesus really mean by these prophecies of catastrophic turmoil in the universe?
How does Jesus want us to face turmoil and troubles in life?

Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB.

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


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.

St. Francis’ Church Welcomes You

We are delighted to be open for worship and to have you here. Everyone joining us is asked to please follow the new Covid guidelines listed below.

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

  • Contact Us

    The Brothers

    • Brother Jinson (Administrator)
    • Brother Michael (Guardian)
    • Brother Piotr
    • Brother Loarne
    • Brother Adrian
    • Brother Jim
    • Email

      • stfrancis.chester@gmail.com
      • Telephone (Not To Be Used For Business Calls)

        • 01244 351331
        • Postal Address (For Business And Personal Use)

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

          • St Francis Church Repository Gifts & Cards

            Our repository is now open and you will find a new range of Christmas gift ideas and cards. All purchases go towards the upkeep of the Church and helping our Parish community.

            There is a wonderful selection of beautiful gifts, cards, pictures, candles, rosary beads and ornaments for sale at very reasonable prices.

            Why not come along and have a look and buy someone special a present!


            New Covid Guidelines

            Following the statement from the Catholic Bishops of England on Thursday 15th July 'Sunday - It Is Our Day' (link available here) and advice from our our Bishop Mark, I humbly request all those who come to St. Francis Church respect the following guidelines;

            • We encourage the use of face masks
            • Use the provided sanitiser for your hands
            • Respect social distance wherever possible
            • Use the cleaning wipes provided to clean your area before you leave the church
            • Deposit the used wipes in the bins
            • However, please note that these recommendations are no longer mandatory. As always, many thanks to our stewards. Help yourself and others to be safe.

              Br Jinson
              20th July 2021


              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.


                '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.