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The High Altar - St Francis Church

Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday 26th September 2021

Numbers 11:25-29;   James 5:1-6;   Mark 9:38-43. 45. 47-48

Taken from the Gospel for 26th September 2021 (Mark 9:38-43. 45. 47-48): Helps and Hindrances

John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw a man who is not one of us casting out devils in your name; and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him.” But Jesus said, “You must not stop him: no one who works a miracle in my name is likely to speak evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us. If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink just because you belong to Christ, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward. But anyone who is an obstacle to bring down one of these little ones who have faith, would be better thrown into the sea with a great millstone round his neck. And if your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life crippled, than to have two hands and go to hell, into the fire that cannot be put out. And if your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life lame, than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye should cause you to sin, tear it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell where their worm does not die nor their fire go out.”

This part of Mark’s Gospel is a collection of sayings about following the Lord, and in this Gospel we are presented with a rich insight into two distinct areas of discipleship. The first little story tells us that we must accept good wherever we can find it, not only in our own group and where we expect it to be. It is the same lesson that is presented in this Sunday’s first reading. The Spirit of God is at work not only in Catholics, not only in Christians, not only even in explicit believers. As the Second Vatican Council taught so strongly, the Holy Spirit is at work too in those who are seeking the Kingdom under signs and symbols. They can even be better people and better Christians than we who sometimes rely too comfortably on our membership of Christ’s Church! Secondly, the gospel provides some striking and urgent sayings about ‘obstacles’, literally trip-stones which makes people fall over. These vivid and dire warnings are about leading other believers into evil and about the trip-stones in ourselves, the disordered desires, that lead us into evil. Jesus’ sayings here must be taken with the utmost seriousness – but not literally (Jesus is speaking graphically to make us listen, and is not advocating self-mutilation!).

What are the qualities of the Kingdom that we need to become models of Christ for other peoples?

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 please read the following recommendations.

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.


      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 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

              • '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.