Welcome to the Church of

St Mary of the Assumption


Address: St Mary's Presbytery, 3 Todmorden Rd, Burnley, BB10 4AU

Tel no. 01282 422 007

Church entrance on Yorkshire Street, just around the corner from Todmorden Road.

Parish Safeguarding Representative: Mrs Venita Edmondson,

Phone 07711 66 9990






The Government is lifting some of the restrictions imposed on churches to prevent the spread of the COVID 19. However, we are now allowed to open for Services and Masses. Bishop John has urged us to proceed with caution. Fr David used the phrase “Festina Lente”( Make haste slowly) to indicate the pace to go at for our amalgamation. We think the phrase applies to the pace we ought to use as we slowly return to celebrating public Masses and services. We do not feel quite ready to return to Sunday Mass yet. We will be having public Masses Monday to Saturday as detailed above. Fr David has produced a document called “What to expect when you come to Mass at St Mary’s during the Pandemic”. 




Fr David continues to work to his practical and successful ‘Festina Lente’ philosophy and we have gradually added to the opportunities for parishioners to return to worship in church. Each step has been successful including last week’s introduction of Mass at all three churches. Therefore we propose the following plan for weekday Masses for the parish during the coming week.

Mon 10th Aug: St Mary’s 9.30am / Christ the King 7pm

Tues 11th Aug: St Mary’s 9.30am / St John’s 12 Noon

Wed 12th Aug: St Mary’s 9.30am / St John’s 7pm

Thurs 13th Aug: St Mary’s 9.30am and 7pm / St John’s 10.30am

Fri 14th Aug: St Mary’s 9.30am

Sat 15th Aug: St Mary’s 9.30am


We had hoped to be preparing for a limited number of Sunday Masses, but in the light of the return to partial lockdown these plans are on hold. There will continue to be opportunities for private prayer, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Reconciliation



The obligation for the faithful to attend Holy Mass on a Sunday and on a Holy day of Obligation is removed until further notice—even though we are celebrating Mass in public.



St Mary’s church will again be open for private prayer before the Blessed Sacrament on Saturday 15th August from 10.30am to 11.30. During this time the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available in the Sacred Heart Chapel. Please note the change of day from previous weeks. Thank You: We have built excellent teams of stewards over the weeks and they do a really splendid job. Our thanks to them—without your help, none of this would be viable.




The streamed Mass is a cornerstone of the excellent communication that Fr David and the team has led throughout the lockdown. Due to the impact of new work commitments, one of our volunteers is no longer able to help with the live streaming of Mass on a Sunday morning so we now have a vacancy. Our heartfelt thanks to her for all her input.

The role involves a commitment of about two hours every third Sunday morning, so it’s not too onerous! It doesn’t take long to learn the ropes and full training is given, together with an illustrated step-by-step guide and ongoing support throughout.

If you’d like to know more please contact Mike Morris on;

07929 451 566 or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Please note that Fr David will celebrate the 9.30am Mass on Sundays (in private) at St Mary’s and it will continue to be live-streamed. This Mass will be recorded and available to view later on Sunday morning, or early afternoon.



As there are still no Sunday Masses If, in the circumstances, you are able to do this, it will be most welcome. If not, please keep your envelopes until churches re-open and make your donations as usual. To make a donation go to the website.

On the right there is an icon (aside). Click on it and follow the instructions. Please Gift Aid if appropriate.

It’s fully recognised that some people will now be in a worsened financial position and less able to give at the moment so please do not feel obligated. Thank you.


Fr Kevin Tierney will be leaving to go to St Peter's Middleton as Assistant Priest to Fr Peter Hopkinson at the end of July. Fr Kevin has spent over 9 years amongst us at St John’s and latterly at St Mary’s so is a familiar face that we will miss. We are delighted that Fr Damien Louden, currently Assistant Priest at St James the Less, Rawtenstall, will be coming to the parish as Assistant Priest to Fr David in mid-August. We will welcome him.



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There’s a new ‘project’ on our website, which will help us to stay together as a community in the Lord, and an opportunity to engage with others who may be alone in their self-isolation. We know that even in these lockdown days, people often have busy lives but please take just 5 minutes of your day to watch the video from Sister Emmanuel which explains the idea on our Parish website.

In the video she says, priests are often subject to spiritual battle. But our priests are precious and need the protection of our prayers. In this parish, we have four priests who we see regularly, (in alphabetical order) Fathers Benneth, David, Emmanuel & Kevin, plus two others who give invaluable help from time to time - Fr Jennings & Mgr Challoner.

Once you've watched the video you may wish to make a ‘prayer flower’ by joining with others, maybe some others in your parish group such as the Legion of Mary, SVP, etc, or maybe you can call on six friends, perhaps fellow parishioners, with whom you can join in prayer. On the other hand, if you nearly have a full flower but are maybe seeking another petal or two, or perhaps you’re looking for a prayer flower to join, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will try to put you in touch. When you're ready, choose a priest to pray for, maybe one who celebrates Mass at your church, or one of the above priests chosen at random, or perhaps pray for all six as a group.  




If you need a paper copy of this Newsletter please contact Fr David tel 422007 with your name and address. He is happy to forward it to you. If you would like to include an item, or make a Mass Offering, please email your request by midday on Wednesdays. Sorry for the inconvenience.




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These daily reflections from the parish clergy team are available on the parish web site each day. The Lord’s Day at Home These sheets, available on the website, are great for providing sacred time at home while the churches are closed. https://www.dioceseofsalford.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/LDAH-Easter-4A.pdf

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Mon Aug 10th: St Lawrence

Tues Aug 11th: St Clare

Wed Aug 12th : St Jane Frances Chantel

Thurs Aug 13th: St Hyppolytus

Fri Aug 14th: St Maximillian Kolbe

Sat Aug 15th: Weekday

Sun Aug 16th: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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We’re all deeply into our new way of life and most of us we need to look for the silver linings. Till things go back to normal, let’s try to cheer each other up. Parishioner Tony Waters, who many of you may know from St Mary’s, has contacted us with a brilliant idea. In the current climate, why not have a series of items on reasons to be cheerful?…we reckon that anything that lightens up some of the doom & gloom has got to be good! We’ll publish them on the website, and in the Newsletter when space allows.

Email us with your suggestions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Here’s one of our latest - on being allowed to ‘play out’ (for exercise)

  • So much unseasonal sunshine
  • People smiling because you are deliberately avoiding them
  • The fresh green of the springtime trees
  • Young families out together for their walk
  • Unexpected meetings and chats

Join the fun—share the joy! Tell us your Reasons to be Cheerful! 😃

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Video Recording Of Sunday Mass For The Parish

Like last week, we will be again uploading onto the parish web site a video recording of this Sunday’s Mass from St Mary’s 

This should be available from late morning/early afternoon on Sunday. Thanks to all those who have helped to make this possible:

Video Recording: http://goodsamaritanparish.org.uk/index.php/view mass 

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Other Live-streamed Masses

The National Shrine in Walsingham; www.walsingham.org.uk 

The Good Shepherd parish in Colne; www.goodshepherdpendle.org.uk.

You can also find the Readings for Mass each day on www.universalis.com

It is also possible that these streams will offer the Triduum services. The latter will coincide with our parish worship (if you see this Newsletter before the weekend is over).



The Lord’s Day at Home

The sheets available on the Web site are great for providing sacred time at home while the churches are closed. There is no sheet for Palm Sunday but please look out for special sheets for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday as well as Easter Sunday http://www.goodsamaritanparish.org.uk/index.php/home-page/home 

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We can’t see God of course but we can see Him with eyes of faith. It is only in Heaven that we believe that we can see God as he really is. Our faith asks us to trust and to believe that God is present in everything. This is of course not easy for us who live in a world that requires answers to everything. Like myself however I am sure you get experiences that happen every now that are just personal reminders that God is very much around in your life. In today’s first reading, Elijah the prophet is on the run, being hunted down by the Queen and has had serious doubts about his faith. God reveals himself to Elijah in the simplicity of the sound of a gentle breeze. Elijah does not however see God as he covers his face but he totally believes that God is near. Thanks to this encounter Elijah is spiritually uplifted and renewed in his mission and his purpose. In today’s Gospel, the disciples are in the boat and are frightened when they are caught in the high winds and rough sea. Jesus comes to his disciples by walking across the water of the angry sea and his presence calms their fears and brings them peace. In these uncertain times of the Covid virus, may we continue to trust in the reassuring and confident presence of Christ who we know is with us always and especially in times of trial. We pray that he may bring us peace and remind us of his unconditional love for us.



Next Sunday, 16th August will mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Fr Michael Ryan, a priest of the diocese of Salford and a very close friend of Fr David. Fr Michael served the diocese for 19 years and died at the age of 47. We did have plans to mark this significant occasion in a bigger way but because of the continuing Covid restrictions, the best we can do is to offer the live-streamed Mass on Sunday 16th August for Fr Michael and his late parents Jack and Fleur.


Fr Michael was very fond of a cup of tea so in addition to the Mass perhaps we could unite with Fr Michael’s friends and his brother Simon and family and have a cup of tea in his memory at some point on Sunday. At the Mass Fr David will be using Fr Michael’s personal ordination chalice with which he is entrusted. Fr Michael was a very wise man and had a really mischievous sense of humour. With both of these qualities and many others, he kept Fr David on the right path and so he is much missed. It seems appropriate we should be celebrating Mass on his 10th Anniversary in St Mary’s church on the feast of the Assumption. Thank you for your understanding and support with this occasion.





These words from the Holy Father should help us while the Sacrament is not currently available:

“Do what the catechism says. It’s very clear. If you don’t find a priest to go to confession, speak to God. He’s your Father. Tell Him the truth: ‘Lord. I did this and this and this. Pardon me.’ Ask His forgiveness with all your heart with an act of contrition, and promise Him, ‘afterwards I will go to confession.’ “You will return to God’s grace immediately. You yourself can draw near, as the Catechism teaches us to God’s forgiveness, without having a priest at hand.”

“The greatest miracle accomplished by Jesus for Simon and the other disappointed and tired fishermen, is not so much the nets filled with fish, but to have helped them to not fall victim to disappointment and discouragement in the face of setbacks. He opened the way for them to become heralds and witnesses of His word and of the Kingdom of God”.

- Pope Francis Feb 2019 



The Maritime World We pray for all those who work and live from the sea, among them sailors, fishermen and their families


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Sadly, the need continues for us to support the Foodbank. Here’s how:

Every local Spar shop should have a collection point for non-perishable food

There are two ways to make monetary donations:

Online Donations:

Blessed Trinity are supporting the Foodbank. Here is the website https:// tinyurl.com/BlessedTrinityJustGiving. They have raised £3516 so far! School is closed this week, but the site will still work. This week these donations have stayed the same, so if you can, perhaps you will make an extra gift to this very necessary and worthy cause.



CAFOD has joined with the UK Disasters Emergencies Committee to help millions of people whose lives are at risk, as coronavirus spreads across refugee camps and countries suffering conflict. CAFOD was able to respond as first cases hit Northern Syria. You can donate directly to CAFOD at cafod.org.uk/coronavirus to help CAFOD scale up its coronavirus response through our global Church family.




David Ross, a parishioner, is plodding on through this challenge and assuring all generous sponsors that their donations to Mind are not wasted - he has just reached 16 of the required 40 runs, and 60 of the 100 miles. He updates his JustGiving page each Sunday with a brief progress report, visible at: undefined.

Plenty of running days left before the end date, 13th September, the date when the real event was due to happen.



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The present church building dates back to 1849, but its history dates back far beyond, to the days when the Catholic Church was persecuted in England, to secret masses at Towneley Hall and the time of priest holes.

There eventually came a time towards the end of the 18th Century when Catholics were tolerated and in the early 19th century a chapel was built at Burnley Wood, which became the direct predecessor of today's St Mary of the Assumption church.

During the 19th and into the 20th Centuries the parish grew, and nowadays St Mary's is a lively and outgoing parish with lots going on - see our Parish Groups page.


Saturday Vigil 6:30pm
Sunday Mass10:00
For other Masses, please see the Latest Newsletter


Mon - Weds - Fri:  12:00 - 12:30
Saturday Morning: 10:00 - 11:30am


St Mary of the Assumption, Burnley.

Entrance on Yorkshire Street, just around the corner from Todmorden Road.

Click here for a map 

Take a virtual tour of St Mary's church by clicking here.

 With thanks to the former St Mary's Gem Church website (now defunct)

A Walk Around St Mary's (opens in separate page)

Church History in Outline, including  former Parish Priests (opens in separate page)

A Short History of St Mary's, Burnley -

a comprehensive booklet by Margaret Durkin, BA, to mark the church's first centenary in 1949

(opens in separate page)

NEW! Added 26th Aug 2019 -

Silent Film of Canon Morrissey's Funeral, 1903

A Mitchell and Kenyon Film - when the page opens, click on the "Watch for Free" button - fascinating!

Parish War Dead (opens in separate page)

Links to our sister Churches in the Burnley Catholic Community:

  Christ the King

  St John the Baptist

 Magnifying glass original (amended here) by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.  With thanks.