Parish Focus

On the First Sunday of Advent, those parishes who have started on the Hope in the Future journey gave thanks to God for all the ministries and activities which express our desire to be a people of service to the parish community and beyond. There were some great ideas from across the diocese.

We have just a few to highlight here:

The Parish of our Lady and St Gerard Majella in Lostock Hall had Afternoon Tea for all their volunteers as a thank you for all their help and as an introduction to them of Hope in the Future, they had over 130 attend!

St Boniface’s, Lower Broughton launched Hope in the Future as a celebration of St Boniface’s past, present and future. The B you see in the photo is in three sections, two people carried each part up to the altar with a corresponding symbol and read a prayer and gradually the B was assembled. The three B’s were for:

Boniface representing the parishes foundation and background and general community;

Body and Blood for the actual work and participation for the mass;

and Be for the future.

St John Fisher Parish in Kearsley launched Hope in the Future on the same day as their Christmas Fayre. They are following up in the next few months by arranging events to reach out to others including a carol service at Forest Bank Prison. Additionally rather than sending Christmas cards parishioners are asked to just send one to go on a publically displayed tree, and have a donation box for the money saved on postage and cards. The money saved will be donated to the Salvation Army to give a homeless person a meal and a bed for Christmas Day.

Hope in the Future launch at St Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton took the format of a Jigsaw that was created by pupils from the Primary School. Each piece of the jigsaw represents one of the parish ministries:

Formation – Children
Formation – Adult

A representative from each ministry brought a piece of the jigsaw to the altar and placed it on the image of the San Damiano cross to symbolise the unity in the parish.

St Mary’s Bamber Bridge chose to focus on trees, which are very much part of the tradition of Bamber Bridge. To celebrate the life of St Mary’s they created “The Brownedge Parish Tree”. It will follow the idea of the “Jesse Tree”, a tree which grows in life during Advent until it flourishes into a Christmas tree. The Brownedge Tree will be decorative tree which will be adorned with fifty small crosses, each labelled with a different group or aspect of parish life. Parishioners were asked to place the crosses onto the tree at Sunday Masses for the First Sunday of Advent, thus creating “The Brownedge Parish Tree”.

The Good Shepherd Parish Pendle saw over 70  parishioners taking part in the processions in their three churches. They also came up with some inventive ‘symbols’ of their ministries/areas of activities within the parish.

The Parish of Christ the Redeemer in Bolton created a visual representation of the many ministries and groups in their parish. If you would like to make one for your parish you can download and edit a template from here. Why not print and display on your parish notice board to celebrate the Missionary Activity already taking place in your parish?

This page is an opportunity for parishes throughout the diocese to highlight and share some of the good work they are undertaking. If you would like to share the work of your parish please send the details to

“God has created me to do him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for nothing.”

Blessed John Henry Newman