Had it not been for Covid-19
we would be gathering in Glasgow, Scotland, for our World Congress

instead join us for our Centenary Mass Celebration

This year Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea) is celebrating 100 years of support to seafarers, fishers, and their families.
To mark the beginning of our centenary year we are holding a live-streamed Mass celebrated by Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow.

We would be delighted if you could join us online to share in this very special celebration.

Date: Sunday, October 4th - Time: 3pm UK Time

The Mass will be streamed live at We hope you can join us.

With every blessing, All at Stella Maris


A Pastoral Letter On Testing Times and an Invitation to go to Saint Joseph, Sunday 27th September 2020 

My dear brothers and sisters,

As 2020 dawned, few of us could have imagined the testing times that lay ahead. Times unprecedented in the long story of this Diocese, when in response to public health measures the doors of our churches were closed. During those long weeks between March and June, we saw many initiatives to reach out to the most vulnerable and isolated: we did not forget the poor.i Amid many restrictions, priests devotedly ministered to the dying. We prayed for the souls of those who had died and for all who mourned the loss of loved ones. During those same months, many remained close to the Church in prayer, not least by the livestreaming of Masses. Some of our churches recorded the largest attendances in their history, albeit virtual attendances. At the Cathedral alone, tens of thousands would share via the internet in the celebration of Easter and Holy Week. Yet, we felt deeply, the loss of the public celebration of the Mass and being unable to fully participate in the Eucharist that is the living heart of our faith.

The long-awaited return came at the beginning of July, with the gradual re-opening of our churches dependent on each parish putting in place stringent, public safety measures. This was an enormous undertaking and must surely stand among the most remarkable achievements in the history of the Diocese. Today, I wish to record the gratitude of the whole Diocese for the work of clergy and parish volunteers together with diocesan officers that enabled us to return with joy to the Holy Eucharist. Alongside key workers in our health and essential services, your generosity deserves to be long remembered.

Times of trial and upheaval can lead people to deeper faith and commitment or tragically to fall away. Like the two sons described in the Gospel, our faith is proved not by sentiment, it is proved by what we do. This is the simple question Jesus asks at the end of Gospel: “Which did the father’s will?”.ii Faithfulness in carrying out our duties and protecting the gift of faith leads me to turn to the example of a man who, through testing times, did all the Lord asked of him. This man is Saint Joseph, to whom the Eternal Father entrusted the care of His only Begotten Son together with His Blessed Mother Mary through the most bitter trials of poverty and exile. To Saint Joseph the whole Church is now entrusted; and we look to him especially as a guide in the life of prayer, so we may be attentive to what the Lord asks of us. 

Saint Teresa of Avila wrote, “If we cannot find a guide to teach us how to pray, let us take this glorious saint as a master and we will not go astray”.iii How much we need the prayer and example of Saint Joseph! Accordingly, it is to Saint Joseph that I want to entrust the recovery of all the communities of our Diocese from this testing time. Today, I wish to invite the whole Diocese to celebrate a year of prayer dedicated to Saint Joseph from October until the beginning of Advent next year.

The 1st October marks the beginning of the second decade of my service as Bishop of Shrewsbury. On 21st October we will be remembering the first anniversary of the death of Bishop Brian Noble who guided the Diocese through many challenges. We have been warned to anticipate challenging months ahead and so will ask Saint Joseph’s help to discern how best we can each respond to the challenges of our time. Pope Francis reminds us how Saint Joseph responded to his calling “to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church … by being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and attentive to God’s plans not simply his own”.iv In a similar way, says Pope Francis, we are invited to protect with love all that God has given us. This will be the happiest challenge of the year ahead, that will lead us to “Go to Joseph”in order to ask his prayers and learn from his example. The Joseph of the Old Testament, whose story is recounted in the Book of Genesis, helped his people in time of famine with the earthly grain that Pharaoh had entrusted to him. In the Gospel, Saint Joseph would be entrusted with the care of Him who is the true Bread come down from Heavenvi and to guard the Holy Family on earth amid every danger. May Saint Joseph help us in testing times, to protect the gifts of faith and grace God has entrusted to us. In imitation of Saint Joseph’s faithfulness, may we do what the Lord asks of us, above all, when we come together in the Mass to do what the Lord Jesus commanded us to do in His memory.vii

Entrusting each of you to the prayers of Saint Joseph,

+ Mark

Bishop of Shrewsbury

i Cf. Gal. 2: 10

ii Mt. 21: 31

iii Book of Her Life, Chapter 6

iv Homily at the Mass for the Inauguration of his Pontificate 19th March 2013

v  Gen: 41:49

vi  Cf. Jn. 6:42

vii Cf. I Cor. 11:25


Laudato Si’: How far have we come in five years?

Edward de Quay, Project Manager for the Bishops’ Conference Environmental Advisory Group, looks at how Catholics in England and Wales have responded to Laudato Si’ and how each of us can be part of that response.

Background to the Season of Creation

During this season we are encouraged to pray and engage in community events in order to deepen our relationship with our God, our neighbour and the earth we share.


The Missionary Society of St. Columban, commonly known as the Columbans, is marking the upcoming Season of Creation with a podcast series on the beauty of biodiversity and the threats it faces.

Saints, Scholars and Spiritual Masters. A series of online talks on Thursday evenings at 7.30 pm, starting on 3 September organised by the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst.   For details and t0 register:



Here am I, send me (Is 6:8)

Malawians encouraged to be evangelizers to the ends of the earth




The Blessed Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne

On 17 July we commemorated the 16 Blessed Carmelite martyrs of Compiègne, Mother Teresa of St Augustine and Companions, who were executed on 17 July 1794 during the French Revolution.

The Sisters had refused to comply with the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, a law passed in 1790, which subordinated the Catholic Church to the revolutionary government, confiscated all Church land and banned religious orders.  The Carmelites of Compiègne resisted the suppression of their monastery and so were arrested in June 1794 and imprisoned at the former Visitation convent of Compiègne, where they offered themselves daily for the peace of France and the Church.  On 17 July they were tried in Paris, convicted of treason and sentenced to death by guillotine.  Providentially, they were wearing their outlawed religious habits, since their only secular clothes were being washed on the day of the trial.

The Sisters were then transported in tumbrels among a group of 40 condemned prisoners to the place of execution at the Place du Trône, Paris.  On the journey, the Sisters chanted the combined Offices of Vespers and Compline. This included the Miserere, the penitential Psalm 50: “Have mercy on me, O God, in your kindness…” and concluded with the Salve Regina. Eyewitness accounts report that the usually hostile crowds along the route were strangely silent.

 On reaching the place of execution, Mother Teresa intoned the Te Deum, and then the Veni Creator Spiritus. Then all of the Sisters renewed their vows and Sr Constance, the youngest and still a novice, joined in, thus making Profession before mounting the scaffold.  Sr Constance was the first to die, after kneeling for the blessing of her Prioress, and kissing a small staute of Our Lady. As she approached the guillotine, she intonedLaudate Dominum Omnes Gentes(Psalm 117) : “O praise the Lord, all you nations; acclaim him all you peoples. Strong is his love for us; he is faithful for ever.” This was taken up by all the Sisters, who continued to sing, with diminishing voices, until all had died.  Usually executions were accompanied by shouting and cheers but there was only silence.

Sr Constance waved aside the executioner and his two assistants and approached the guillotine unaided.  It is likely that the executions continued in order of religious profession.  We know that Mother Teresa was the last.  The 78 year old Sr Mary of Jesus Crucified was heard to say to the executioners “I forgive you, my friends.  I forgive you with all that longing of heart with which I would that God forgive me!”  The bodies of the Carmelites were buried in a Mass grave.

Many believe that the sacrifice of Mother Teresa of St Augustine and her community brought about the end of the ‘Reign of Terror’, which happened just 10 days later on 27thJuly 1794.  Their story has captured the popular imagination, inspiring a novella by Gertrud von le Fort, a play by Georges Bernanos and an opera by Francis Poulenc. They were beatified by Pope St Pius X on 27 May 1906.

There is a British connection with the Compiègne Martyrs.  The English Benedictine community of Cambrai were ejected from their monastery in 1792 and imprisoned at Compiègne.  From June 1794, the Carmelites joined them, although they were detained separately.  The Benedictine community testified to the holiness of the Compiègne sisters and believed that the Carmelites’ martyrdom saved their own lives.  It may also be that their English nationality prevented them from being executed for treason.  They remained in prison until April 1795, and were then banished to England, where they eventually settled at Stanbrook Abbey.  Their only ‘possessions’ were the secular clothes of the Carmelites, which they wore.  The surviving pieces of cloth and one espadrille are now venerated at Stanbrook as relics.

More about the Compiègne Martyrs:

Catholic Encyclopedia
The source for the details of the execution recounted above is To Quell the Terror: The True Story of the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne by William Bush (ICS Publications, Washington D.C., 1999)


De Foucauld, Dorothy Day, and Madeleine Delbrêl

Living alone in a desert for decades, hundreds of miles away from your friends and family, and eventually being accidentally shot dead doesn’t sound like many people’s idea of a good time. Given that Charles de Foucauld is to be canonised in the near future, we have to believe that it is God’s idea of a good time. 

In light of the news that he’s due to be raised to the altars, it’s worth looking again at de Foucauld’s life and ministry. Christopher Lamb has adeptly summarised de Foucauld’s life story, and the lessons he can provide for inter-religious dialogue. An intriguing aspect of de Foucauld’s legacy - and one, in my view, that bears closer examination - is his influence on the two outstanding ‘social catholics’ of the twentieth century - Dorothy Day and Madeleine Delbrêl. 



Sunday 12 July is Sea Sunday where we have the opportunity to remember seafarers and raise money to support the vital work of maritime charities such as The Mission to Seafarers..  Here are some interesting articles from Apostleship of the Sea and Mission to Seafarers.  You will find a prayer from the Vatican in honour of our Seafarers on our Prayer Resources Page

Sea Sunday Message

The Sea Magazine - Summer


PACT - Prison Advice and Care Trust

Dear Friends of Pact,

Prisons are in lockdown. This means that every prisoner is spending a minimum of 23 hours a day locked in their cell. Prison Visits Halls are closed and all prison visits have been cancelled and we don’t know when they will start again - so the men and women currently serving prison sentences in England and Wales are both in lockdown and in isolation, with many struggling to even make contact with their families and friends.

Most prisoners will tell you that their moments of hope - something they look forward to week after week - are visits from their families. We are doing our best to support people in prison, as well as their families and loved ones on the outside, to stay positive, stay hopeful and stay connected. But we won’t lie to you: it’s tough, very tough. 

It’s not just on the inside that Pact’s services are vital. We are also there to support people as they leave prison.Those leaving during the current situation are finding themselves in a very different world from the one they knew.The ‘discharge grant’ (the amount of money that is available to everyone leaving prison) is still just £46 and is expected to see someone through the first week after release, allowing time for Universal Credit and other benefits to become active. But with things as they are, this grant is simply not enough. People are finding themselves unable to meet the most basic needs of food and shelter.

Jack’s story

A few weeks ago, Jack* was released from prison into a world he no longer recognised. After spending 23 hours a day in his cell (to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the prison) he was looking forward to his freedom. But instead he was faced with a country in ‘lockdown’. It was going to be extremely tough. Jack had to go straight to his Probation appointment so he used some of the discharge money to travel the distance across town. After his appointment he used some more of the grant to get to the temporary accommodation that had been arranged for him. At his accommodation, Jack received a parcel from a food bank.

Paul* is one of Pact’s ‘Through the Gate’ mentors. He had been supporting Jack through the last few weeks of his sentence and had hoped to meet him at the prison gate on release unfortunately, the lockdown restrictions meant that this wasn’t possible. But Paul had given Jack his phone number and told him to get in touch.

Jack called Paul to ask for some support: he only had the clothes he was wearing and a handful of possessions in a carrier bag - he really needed underwear and a change of clothes if possible. Although Jack felt uncomfortable about asking, he shyly mentioned this to Paul. He also told Paul that he’d have to use what was left of his discharge grant to collect his prescription which had been sent to a chemist in the next town. He was worried about how he was going to make it through the week.

Paul listened to Jack and, together, they came up with a plan. Paul contacted the chemist and arranged for Jack’s prescription to be moved to a nearby chemist so Jack didn’t have to travel. Together, they found a local charity who confirmed that they would  be able to help Jack. Although they couldn’t meet Jack in person (because of social distancing measures) they arranged for him to receive some underwear and a clean set of clothes - along with another package from the food bank. This gave Jack some hope. He felt that he could make it through the week. He told Paul that he’d been “a lifeline” to him in those first few days. Now, he is looking forward to the future and a time when the restrictions are eased.

Jack is just one of the people released from prison every week with just £46 in their pocket and a series of hoops to jump through in order to begin their new life. It was tough before the lockdown began: now it is even harder. 

Pact are working hard to continue to support worried families, people in prison, and people leaving prison, who now face a very uncertain future. We urgently need funds to expand our independent Helpline, continue advocating on behalf of the people we serve, and to carry on our remote befriending services for prisoners’ families. We also need funds to support the Pact team in enabling people to access emergency assistance - just like in Jack’s story.

These are unprecedented times. We are all facing challenges and increased uncertainty as a result of the current Coronavirus pandemic. For Pact’s service users, the impact of this crisis is likely to be more significant and longer lasting than for many others. That’s why we’re launching our COVID-19 emergency appeal.

We can’t do it without you. Your gift today, no matter how large or small, will help. Perhaps you could match the discharge grant of £46? A gift of £22 enables us to answer a call on the Helpline from worried family members and a gift of £84 can provide one-to-one befriending support for a prisoners’ family with one of our specially trained volunteers. Every gift helps. Every single pound keeps Pact services running at this incredibly difficult time. If you are eligible for Gift Aid, let us know, we can claim an extra 25% of your gift from the Government.

You can donate to Pact’s work right here:

Together, we can make a difference.

Andy Keen Downs CEO Pact

PACT Fresh Start


Amazing video by Bishop John Arnold re Global Caring 

‘Laudato Tree’: healing the planet, empowering its peopleWith the backing of Pope Francis and a gift of 1000 trees from Cardinal Turkson, the ‘Laudato Tree’ initiative to help build the Great Green Wall in the Sahel is a prime example of “ecological conversion in action”.By Linda Bordoni

Planting seven million trees across 8,000 km land, through the 11 countries of the arid Sahel region in Africa is the aim at the heart of an initiative to combat desertification and ward off drought, famine, conflict and migration.That’s the goal of the “Laudato Tree” initiative Pope Francis upheld during his 10 May Regina Coeli address, thanking the young people working to make it happen.


Sunday 21st June is Day for Life. Sunday is the day in the Church’s year dedicated to raising awareness about the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition. The Church teaches that life is to be nurtured from conception to natural death.

Helplines and information can be found at


Drowning Prevention Week (DPW), this year is running from 12-19 June. The aim of the campaign is to help everybody across the UK and Ireland to #BeALifesaver and take charge of their own destiny to enjoy the water, safely.


Latest Catholic Bishops Conference News







Church promulgates new decrees for Causes of Saints

With the approval of Pope Francis, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints publishes decrees advancing the causes of various holy men and women, including Venerable Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus; Blessed Charles de Foucauld, a French hermit who was martyred in North Africa; and Venerable Pauline-Marie Jaricot, a French laywoman who founded the Society of the Propagation of the Faith and the Living Rosary Association.


World Communications Day 2020 falls on 24 May as much of the world remains in lockdown as we attempt to recover from the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The way we communicate in situations of self-isolation and separation has shifted from hand shaking, hugging and close contact to encounters though phone, tablet and computer screens. The virtual has replaced the physical.




Link to St Anne's Primary school newsletter

St Anne's Primary newsletter


29th April 2020

  • Pope's message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Pope Francis sends a message to mark the 57th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, celebrated on 3 May.

  • This week's update from Catholic Bishops Conference of E&W

View this email in your browser

  • A message from Bishop Mark Davies to the people of Shrewsbury Diocese

Message from Bishop Mark Davies

14th April 2020

  • Holy week updates from the Catholic Bishops Conference including Pope's Easter Sunday Urbi et Orbi blessing and Easter message from Cardinal Vincent Nichols

Catholic Bishops Conference Holy Week

7th April 2020

  • You can access over 600 editions of Diocesan newspapers on line at the following site this includes Archdiocese of Liverpool, UCM(Union of Catholic Mothers) and Reach (Catholic Schools Paper)


  • Vatican Museum

Beauty creates communion. It unites onlookers from a distance, uniting past, present and future. Pope Francis has recalled this on a number of occasions. The Church has always translated the universality of the Good News into the language of art. From this premise, this dramatic moment in history characterized by uncertainty and isolation, gives rise to this initiative which is a partnership between the Vatican Museum and Vatican News: Masterpieces from the Vatican Collection accompanied by comments from the words of the Popes.

1st April 2020

Letter from Bishop Mark - Deacon Peter Bravey RIP - dated 31 March 

I write with the sad news of the death over-night of Deacon Peter Bravey who served for many years at Saint Mary's, Crewe. May he rest in peace.

Please remember Peter in your prayers and Masses together with his wife Margaret and his son Ian and all of his family.  I will offer Requiem Mass for his eternal repose at the Cathedral on Thursday morning at 10.00 am.  The Mass will be livestreamed.

With every good wish


The Bishop of Shrewsbury

1st April 2020

Bishops Conference of England and Wales

Regular updates during COVID19 Social Distancing and Isolation

29th March 2020

  • Pope at Urbi et orbi: Full text of his meditation


  • Re-Dedication of England   Walsingham Shrine acitivies

           The Rededication

25th March 2020

  • Following the instructions from the Government on 23rd March we will not be opening the church for private prayer.  Our Mass and prayer resources page is kept up to date with the latest links to masses and prayers from Shrewsbury, Bishops Conference of E&W and from the Vatican.  I hope you find it useful and a comfort in these unprecedented times.
  • Please continue to let us have your prayer intentions via E mail  Fr Tony Grace will be saying a private Mass on a daily basis and will include your intentions.
  • As it is currently impossible to make donations via your regular offertory envelopes to support the upkeep of the church you can find our bank details on the How do I? page of our website.

18th March 2020

The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, having consulted the Ordinaries of the Dioceses, has agreed that the cessation of public liturgies should begin from Friday evening 20th March 2020. Because of the situation the Church finds herself in, the obligation for the faithful to attend Holy Mass on a Sunday or Holy day of Obligation is removed, until further notice. 

Letter from the Catholic Bishops Conference about Masses

 Links to masses being live-streamed are now available on Mass and Worship times page 

Behold 2020 Rededication of England