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:

Mike Morris (Acting Safeguarding Rep), phone 07563 998 334 (only for Safeguarding issues)

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On this Page:

Masses Coronavirus Notices Reasons to Be Cheerful 

Live Streaming of Masses | Prayers and Reflections

Foodbank and Offertory Notices

Other Pages in this section:

Introduction  |  Mass & Confession Times  |  Where to Find Us  |  Virtual Tour of St Mary's 

Sister Churches - Links  |  A Walk Around St Mary's  |   St Mary's Groups  

St Mary's Photo Album  |  St Mary's History  

Parish War Dead

Our Local Primary School (opens in a separate window)

St Mary's RC Primary School

Or search here:







The parish clergy team has reviewed the current arrangements. In the light of the rising numbers of cases, hospitalisations and deaths we decided to leave arrangements unchanged until further notice This means that, to enable people to continue to feel safe in church, we retain the current layout of our seating, continuing to enable social distancing. We continue to request that adults continue to wear face coverings and sanitize their hands before entering church. Thank you for your help and cooperation in these difficult times.


As we are experiencing the great increase in numbers attending Mass in our churches, it is timely to remind everyone that the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days has been suspended since the start of the pandemic. For those who feel unready or unable to return, you may know that the Prayer of Spiritual Communion is recited to include you in our prayers. Here is an example of a Prayer that you may wish to say:

My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament I love you above all things and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since at this moment I cannot receive you sacramentally, please come spiritually into my heart.

I embrace you now as if you were already here and I unite myself wholly to you.
Never permit me to be separated from you, Amen




St Mary’s Church Update

St Mary’s church unfortunately remains temporarily closed. A new architect has been appointed who will to carry out the essential assessments between now and Christmas. He has produced a works schedule which work will start in early January. It should be completed by the end of February ready to open in early March in time for the start of Lent. We will continue to update through the Newsletter and through the Web site.



17th JANUARY 2022


We return to our pre-Christmas programme of Masses and services. With there being only two priests now to serve the parish, there may be unavoidable which we will try to post on the website.


Monday 17th Jan St Anthony

12.30pm Funeral Mass for Brian Bennett RIP at St John’s 7.00pm Christ the King


Tuesday 18th Jan Weekday

9.30am Christ the King      12 Noon St John's


Wednesday 19th Jan St Wulstan

9.30am Christ the King      7.00pm St John's


Thursday 20th Jan St Sebastian

9.30am Christ the King      10.00am St John's


Friday 21st Jan St Agnes

9.30am St John's 


Saturday 22nd Jan St Vincent the Deacon

9.30am Christ the King

Vigil Masses: 6.00pm St John’s        6.30pm Christ The King


Sunday 23rd Jan Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

9.15am and 5.00pm Christ the King

9.30am** and 11.00am St John’s

**9:30am Sunday Mass will be live-streamed



There will be the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Saturday 15th Jan as follows: 10.30—11.30am at Christ the King 5.15—5.55pm at St John’s There is also Exhibit starting 30 minutes before each weekday Mass.




With there only being two priests now to serve the parish, you will notice that we have slightly adjusted our weekday Mass programme. We will continue to review this over the coming months to see if any other changes are needed. Fr Damien and Fr David count on your continuing support and encouragement.

Thank you.



Huge thanks to our stewards who make attendance at church possible as we continue to work at remaining safe whilst in church. Please call Fr David if you would like to join this invaluable team.




At the moment the demand for the Vigil Masses is less than those on Sunday mornings.

So it may ease the stewarding considerations if you choose to attend either of the two Vigil Masses.

Midweek Masses are more lightly attended, and can be used unless your only option is at the weekend.



Exposition: There will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament starting 30 minutes before all of the above Masses.

Exposition and Reconciliation: Every Saturday there will be Exposition and Reconciliation at St Mary's from 10.30 to 11.30am. The Reconciliation will take place on the Sacred Heart altar. Please be guided by the Stewards.

Grateful thanks to Mark our Seminarian for doing such a splendid job in organising very successfully our bookings for the Masses for the Christmas Octave. We are very grateful to him.

We are very grateful to the stewards who have been so faithful and committed through this pandemic and on whom we totally rely to be able to continue to keep the churches open. 

We will review the above programme as we proceed and keep you informed through the website and newsletter.


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Keep safe until you become eligible for the vaccine—the finish line is in sight—be sure to get there!

There’s a great website with super information for you to follow: https://covid19graphics.info/

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Remember! This virus doesn't spread on its own: you, (yes, you), and others spread it when we go outside our households and mix with others in other places.

DON’T RELAX! We pray that the vaccine is successful, but please don’t drop your guard—the virus is still spreading like wildfire!

READ ALL ABOUT IT! We have discovered a really good and informative website with simply worded but high-quality guidance. It has 18 different sheets like the one aside. It runs from what to do if you have symptoms, to looking after children who are going to school. Please look at it, use the information and pass it on to family friends and neighbours. It is also available in several languages so pass it on to people who speak and understand their own language best.

🌐THE WEBSITE IS: https://covid19graphics.info/

This virus is killing people and leaving others with long-term health problems.

Take no risks, stay safe. We are all responsible for this!


HANDS: The virus travels through touching things that an infected person has touched. If you then touch your nose, mouth or eyes, you may transfer the virus into your own body. So wash your hands, for 20 seconds, every time you have been in contact outside your home.

FACE: You are legally obliged to cover your face in all shops, hospitals, church and other places. It prevents you spreading the virus to others, with some exceptions.

SPACE: When a person coughs or sneezes it is though that the minuscule droplets travel up to two meters. So you keep safe by keeping apart from others. Unfortunately, there are many people who seem to disregard this, so they offer a risk to others, especially indoors.



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So, please keep safe, and protect your loved ones and all those around you.

Remember, this virus kills people, and others have become seriously ill,

often with long-term adverse impact on their lives.

These comments are a brief summary of the full guidelines.

If they worry you, please read the full Government Guidance here.


You will see that the problem of the virus spreading and we have had extra restrictions coming in.
This testing programme is to help the authorities to know how widespread it is, and learn how to manage and control it better. It is continuing for these reasons, in spite of problems we are seeing elsewhere, so please don’t be put off from being tested. It’s free and available on Centenary Way near the Gala Bingo, Saturday to Wednesday, between 10.00 am and 3.00 pm. No booking needed. Just turn up. No injection—they just take a swab. Waiting times vary but queues keep moving.

Our thanks to the staff and volunteers who run the service.









Many people will know about the teenage boys who have been creating a nuisance on the St Mary’s site. Perhaps most worryingly, they have been scrambling up the scaffolding and onto the church roof, which literally puts their lives at risk. They have thrown stones at people who have asked them to stop, and threatened to do damage to them and their vehicles, and have broken all windows in the Parish Rooms. They also misbehave around the Vincent Farrell Centre which has only recently been renovated after a serious break-in involving a huge amount of damage.

We have had visits from the police this week. They have told us that they had problems with staffing and have only got three calls recorded. Recorded calls is one of the things that helps them decide on which situations they give priority to. They agree that these are very serious incidents, especially the risk to the boys and to our priests and parishioners, and the large number of older people who live in the immediate vicinity at Townfields and in the Convent, as well as their visitors and workers who use the car park.

The first advice from the police is to not become directly engaged with the youths.
They have however said that we should telephone them with all incidents. If they involve danger to people or actual damage to property we should ring 999. and have it treated as an emergency. If there is unthreatening verbal abuse, the threat of damage to property, phone 101. If in doubt, call 999. In all cases, you should ask for an incident number, or it will not be formally recorded. It is only by notifying the police about the problem that they will be able to give it a priority, and possibly send a response unit. So please, make the call if you see or experience anything anti-social.
Our aim is to protect the children and ourselves. The police share this view and will bring parents, social services, schools, parents and the full team together to try to engage with the boys and try to introduce safer, more responsible behaviour. Your call can lead to actually helping these boys, too.
In addition to the telephone calls, the police strongly recommend getting in touch with ‘Stay in the Know’. This adds to the record of the incidents and is particularly focused on bringing the Neighbourhood officers—the parish’s PCSO’s into the activities. To do this you

  • send a text message to the PCSO on 07966 887524, or

  • email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (‘Our’ PCSO is David Cozens).
    You won’t get a personal reply, but you should receive an automatic response.
    Please do act! Make the calls! These boys, our priests, our parishioners, our neighbours and everyone working or visiting the care homes are endangered.
    You can help prevent it, and bring the necessary care to these children. Thank you.



Carmine Rea, the seminarian has been really enjoying his short placement with us and leaves us on Wednesday. We thank Carmine for what he has contributed to the parish and we promise to keep him in your prayers.



Pope Francis has called Universal Synod themed as above which is taking place in every Catholic diocese across the world. We want to hear from as many people as possible, those involved in the church and those who are not. You can take part by completing an online submission following this link: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/3D3FXJ2 

Please share this link with family and friends. We have until 1st March 2022 to make our submissions then, after national and continental gatherings, the Synod of Bishops will gather in Rome in 2023 to reflect on what has been heard. Please remember the Synod in your prayers. Your contribution is invaluable and will make a considerable difference to the future of the Church in our diocese and across the world.

The Diocese encourages us all to participate, and have produced a range of resources which are available at http://www.dioceseofsalford.org.uk/faith/synod. Our own website carries more details.



When we’ve left our gift may we, like the Magi, go home by another way—having encountered the holy, may we guard and protect it, trail its light behind us as we go,. May we ourselves become the star, leading the way to Emmanuel. Amen



The Brownies Group which was based at St John’s before the pandemic is looking for new members from across the parish! If you are aged between 7-10 come along for some fun, games, crafts, badges and much more. We meet Tuesday’s 6.00pm -7.30pm (term time only) in St John’s Parish Hall. For more information contact Catherine Scott on 07773 488513, or check out the website at www.girlguiding.org.uk

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The Cafod Group sent a letter to our MP giving our views on what our government should to. We look forward to his reply.

There’s a feature in the Burnley Express: https://www.burnleyexpress.net/news/politics/burnley-christians-urge-action-at-cop26-to-protect-the-earth-3442415

Thank you to everyone who signed the letter, and to Paul for coordinating things.



Loving Father, we acknowledge that, either through ignorance or greed, the Earth, our common home, is damaged. That damage is felt most by people who have done little to cause it. Industrialisation has exploited natural resources, endangering wildlife, causing climate change, and resulting in disasters and global warming. Father, forgive us, and guide us in the right way. Send your Spirit to encourage and strengthen our world leaders as they meet at COP26. Cause them to discern the way that we must now go, agreeing the changes and decisions necessary to begin to repair the damage done and to prepare a healthy and secure world for future generations. And we ask Mary, our Mother, to intercede for us, and with us, in our need. Amen.



A disturbing detail emerging from this tragedy of the killing of Sir David Amess, a devout Catholic, was that he was denied the comfort of a Catholic priest as he lay dying, because of the police cordon.

To most of us, it is vital to have a priest minister to us at our hour of death. There is a petition asking that this access be given. To sign PLEASE CLICK HERE 



The Universe Catholic Weekly is thrilled to announce that we have launched our new online newspaper with the full support of our first subscriber, His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

Order your Digital copy by going to www.universecatholicweekly.co.uk or call us on 0743661 7650 and ask for Michelle. Special offer: Only £20 for 3 months.



Our individual church bank accounts were closed at the end of November.

Please could those who contribute to St Mary’s or St John’s by Standing Order, please kindly contact your bank and inform them that the payment should now be made as follows:

Name: The Salford Diocesan Trust :The Good Samaritan Parish

Sort Code: 205558

Account number: 50404640.

Many thanks.




Please look at the Caritas page on the parish website (click on "Home" then "Caritas"), to see some further material that has just been added on this terrible evil activity.



Our live stream is a vital, and sometimes the only connection for many of the people in the parish, who, for whatever reason cannot get to Mass on Sundays. We need someone to help out on the live stream team for an hour or two every other Sunday. Full training and lots of support given. It's not too hard and it's a new skill, a new insight into how we live stream services. In addition, from time to time we

need help with weekday services, (eg funeral Masses, weddings, etc) which is again an invaluable service to many at home and abroad - even if you cannot commit to a Sunday, are you sometimes available during the week on an ad hoc basis?

If you think you may be interested and would like to know more, please contact Mike Morris on 07929 451 566 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lilies, White, Belladonna, Easter Lilies, Fragrant



have had a request via our website for a photo of a WWI soldier who features there. His name is John William Welsby and he was KIA on 3rd June 1917. If you do have one please call Barbara on 01282 424967 who will either put you in touch or act as go-between, Thank you


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The conference would again like to thank everyone who has so generously supported us and donated funds during the COVID - 19 pandemic. In spite of the restrictions we have again been able to support a family with help towards funeral costs, a family needing washing machine repairs, a homeless person with support for travel and accommodation, a further donation to the SVP Sudan appeal for the baby feeding programme.

We have tried to keep in touch with homebound parishioners by telephone and have taken out cake boxes with a buffet meal at Eastertime.

Sadly during the last 12 months, three of our members have died. Pat Fleming, David Hartley and Elaine Cartmell. May they rest in peace. We keep you all in our prayers and hope you have had a blessed Easter.

More helpers very welcome from all parts of the parish.


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In our parishes, we want to keep ourselves & families safe & wish for the protection of the whole community. It is so important that we vaccinate everyone, so we can enjoy our lives & town again.
An example of this took place on Tuesday evening 6th April, a drop-in clinic at St Peter's Health Centre was able to offer the 'jab' to those who are hard to reach & have complex needs in our community. The doctors, medical staff & volunteers at the centre were working jointly with 'Church on the Street', Building Bridges in Burnley & myself to make this happen. The response was very successful.
If you know of anyone who hasn't received the vaccine & would like to, information is available on the NHS website or e-mail; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thank you.


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Until we get back to normal activities, 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.

Items in the Newsletter: If you would like to include an item, or make a Mass Offering, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) your request before midday on Thursday.



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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 here, are great for providing sacred time at home while the churches are closed. 

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“I used to have an open mind, but my brain kept falling out!”

Here’s one of the Quotes sent from a parishioner on the website. There are many more—and Quips!

Have a laugh! Enjoy the wisdom! Send us one of your own favourites!



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).



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The Scriptures quite often turn to the im- age of bride and groom to describe the relationship between God and his people. In describing the joy which the Lord God finds among his people, it uses the image of a wedding feast. Because of all the powerful memorable and well-known imagery, it was no surprise really that Jesus should begin his public ministry, and perform his first miracle at a wedding feast. The symbol of changing water into wine was changing old into new. He was to make everything new by what he proclaimed and did in his ministry. In this first sign, we see something of the warmth of the heart of God, as well as his compassion his generosity and his love.

Mary’s intervention by involving her Son Jesus saved the day from being an unforgettable disaster. It also points the way for Jesus to unveil, albeit to just a few people, who He really is. Today we are reminded of the faithfulness of God for his people, in the way Jesus changed water into wine at Cana which also renews us in his love. May the Lord give us the grace to believe always what is true, to hope in his mercies and also to love as he commands.


Pope Francis’ Prayer Intention For December

Catechists: Let us pray for the catechists, summoned to announce the Word of God: may they be its witnesses, with courage and creativity and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer Intentions in Ordinary Time

● A deeper understanding between Christians and Jews
● Those who suffer persecution oppression and denial of human rights
● Europe

● Seafarers

The Bread of Life—A Prayer

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; Amen.


Pope Francis’ Prayer for grandparents and the Elderly

The special day which Pope Francis declared for grandparents and the elderly (last Sunday) caught us a bit unawares! So here’s a little catch-up.

A comment from Pope Francis: “How precious is the family as the privileged place for transmitting the faith! Speaking about family life, I would like to say one thing: today, as Brazil and the Church around the world celebrate this feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, Grandparents Day is also being celebrated. How important grandparents are for family life, for passing on the human and religious heritage

which is so essential for each and every society! How important it is to have intergenerational exchanges and dialogues, especially within the context of the family.”

And an extract from the Prayer for this special group of people: “I thank You for having given me a family and for having blessed me with a long life. I thank You for moments of joy and difficulty, for the dreams that have already come true in my life and for those that are still ahead of me. I thank You for this time of renewed fruitfulness to which You call me.”


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”.



“The faith Christ taught us is what we see in Saint Joseph. He did not look for shortcuts, but confronted reality with open eyes and accepted personal responsibility for it. Joseph’s attitude encourages us to accept and welcome others as they are, without exception, and to show special concern for the weak, for God chooses what is weak (cf. 1 Cor 1:27). He is the “Father of orphans and protector of widows” (Ps 68:6), who commands us to love the stranger in our midst. I like to think that it was from Saint Joseph that Jesus drew inspiration for the parable of the prodigal son and the merciful father (cf. Lk 15:11-32).”

Send Your Holy Spirit:

Heavenly Father, You have created each of us to love You and your people.
You have chosen some to serve by responding to the particular call to the priesthood and religious life. Send your Holy Spirit to stir the hearts of those You have designed to follow this path of spiritual leadership.
We pray this petition, faithful and most gracious God, in the name of your Son,

Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

-Pope John Paul II

“An obedient father: As he had done with Mary, God revealed his saving plan to Joseph. He did so by using dreams, which in the Bible and among all ancient peoples, were considered a way for him to make his will known.”

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Foodbank - a little extra for Christmas?

Factors have sadly increased the need for the Foodbank, so the appeal has to continue. There are lots of places where you can drop off actual groceries—non- perishables please unless it’s oranges. All the ‘big’ supermarkets and Spar shops have drop-off points, as do Barclays, Lloyds, and Nationwide banks in the town centre. Why not choose a few extra pieces with your weekly shopping, if you can afford, and help families in great need.

You can also contribute online (via Blessed Trinity at https://tinyurl.com/ BlessedTrinityJustGiving by making one-off or monthly payments. Congratulations to Blessed Trinity—their Just Giving webpage has passed the £10,000 marker!! Well done young’uns!! You can donate cash at St John’s Presbytery, drop it off in a clearly marked envelope. This led to £108.00 being donated during October.

Thank you all for your great generosity.

Thanks and God bless to everyone who helps with this vital work.



World Gifts –The new World Gifts catalogues are available at the back of our churches. They offer an opportunity to give life-changing Christmas presents for people living in poverty. You can also see and buy online: https://worldgifts.cafod.org.uk/   


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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.