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The High Altar - St Francis Church

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday 24th January 2021

Jonah 3:1-5, 10;  1 Corinthians 7:29-31;  Mark 1:14-20

Taken from the Gospel for Sunday 24th January 2021 (Mark 1:14-20): The Call of the Disciples.

After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. “The time has come,” he said, “and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.” As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake - for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.” And at once they left their nets and followed him. Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending their nets. He called them at once and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him.

After spending a few minutes considering this Gospel, continue by reading Fr Henry Wansbrough’s reflection.  What is going on? We had last Sunday the story of the first two disciples joining Jesus. One of them was Andrew, the other unnamed. Now we get another story, in another place, of other first disciples being called. So the Church underlines, two weeks running, the importance of Jesus’ new community. The first thing he does is call disciples. He can’t do everything on his own, and that is the point of the Church. He calls disciples to make a new people, a new Israel - old, young, middle-aged: we all have our part to fill in Jesus’ play. Tired old people, busy parents, lively youngsters - each of us can make a unique contribution, especially since Jesus has chosen us himself. An odd choice, some of us! What did he want ME to do in the new family of Jesus? The two different versions of the calling of the disciples show that at least two different people told this story. When two people tell the same story, there are bound to be variations. The place didn’t matter, or the order in which the disciples were called. The point of the story was the call, the response and the companionship, the working together with the Lord.Do you enjoy more being on your own or linking up with others? What is Jesus calling you to do? - Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB.

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


'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


St. Francis’ Church Welcomes You

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

  • Wear a mask (unless exempt)
  • Sanitise your hands as you enter
  • Complete the track & trace: either by scanning the QR code, or by registering your name, number & today’s date on the slips available at the entrance to the Church
  • Maintain strict social distancing inside the church
  • We don’t want to see you go, but please leave the church promptly at the end, to allow our wonderful cleaners to do their job before the next Mass! Thank you.


    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 (a logistical nightmare!)
    • 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 Jarek
        • Brother Loarne
        • Brother Adrian
        • Brother Jim
        • Br Cezary Szczesniak - with us for a year from September 2020
        • Email

          • stfrancis.chester@gmail.com
          • Telephone

            • 01244 351331
            • Postal Address

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

              • 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.