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The High Altar - St Francis Church

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday 25th July 2021

2 Kings 4:42-44;  Ephesians 4:1-6;   John 6:1-15

Taken from the Gospel for 25th July 2021 (John 6:1-15): The Feeding of the Five Thousand.

Jesus went off to the other side of the Sea of Galilee - or of Tiberias - and a large crowd followed him, impressed by the signs he gave by curing the sick. Jesus climbed the hillside, and sat down there with his disciples. It was shortly before the Jewish feast of Passover. Looking up, Jesus saw the crowds approaching and said to Philip, “Where can we buy some bread for these people to eat?” He only said this to test Philip; he himself knew exactly what he was going to do. Philip answered, “Two hundred denarii would only buy enough to give them a small piece each.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, “There is a small boy here with five barley loaves and two fish; but what is that between so many?” Jesus said to them, “Make the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass there, and as many as five thousand men sat down. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and gave them out to all who were sitting ready; he then did the same with the fish, giving out as much as was wanted. When they had eaten enough he said to the disciples, “Pick up the pieces left over, so that nothing gets wasted.” So they picked them up, and filled twelve hampers with scraps left over from the meal of five barley loaves. The people, seeing this sign that he had given, said, “This really is the prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, who could see they were about to come and take him by force and make him king, escaped back to the hills by himself.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, John’s version of the miraculous feeding reminds us of the Last Supper, when Jesus ‘said the blessing’ over the bread. Since John’s gospel has no account of the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, this feeding account is particularly significant. The feeding is also described as one of the ‘signs’ which Jesus works. The first part of the Gospel of John is often called ‘the Book of Signs’ because Jesus works a number of signs which show who he truly is. First there is the sign at the marriage-feast of Cana, where the sign of turning the water into wine is a sign of the messianic banquet. Other signs are the raising of the royal official’s son, a sign of Jesus’ gift of life, and the cure of the blind man in the temple, a sign of Jesus’ gift of light and revelation. Several of the signs are followed by an extended discourse, explaining the meaning of the sign, as this feeding sign is followed by the discourse on the Bread of Life, explaining the significance of Jesus’ gift of himself as the Bread of Life, the Wisdom of God received in the Eucharist.

Why is this miracle called a sign?  What is it a sign of?
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 (unless exempt)
  • 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
        • Brother Cezary
        • Brother Mathew
        • 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.