Diocesan Holy Land Pilgrimage – October 2016

Bishop Declan is set to lead this year’s diocesan pilgrimage to the Holy Land as part of our celebration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. There has been a fantastic amount of interest and now is the time for those deposits and booking forms to start coming in. Tangney Tours, who are looking after arrangements for our pilgrimage, have reserved hotel and flight for the group and now need deposits to hold the booking for us.

Pictures from our diocesan pilgrimage in 2013 can be found here. It was a real time of deepening prayer walking in the footsteps of Jesus and the apostles, enabling communion in bringing 91 pilgrims together from across the four counties of our diocese, and strengthening mission in sending us back encouraged and enthused as a people of faith, sent to be living stones proclaiming the good news of the Gospel.

The dates, as you can see from the poster, are Monday 24 October until Tuesday 1 November.

All the spaces on the Diocesan Pilgrimage to the Holy Land this year have now been taken. If you were planning to be part of the Pilgrimage, please contact the Adult Education office to include yourself on the waiting list.





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Year of Mercy – 12 Hours for the LORD


On Friday 4 March 2016 we have a wonderful opportunity to join the Holy Father and the Church universally in 12 hours Adoration of the the Blessed Sacrament for the Year of Mercy.  

It will start with Mass at midday and conclude at midnight.  Cover to watch with the Lord throughout this period is required.  

Would you commit to one hour to ensure at least two people are present for each of the twelve hours? Please add your name to the list on the noticeboard in the entrance to the Church.



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St Michael’s and St Bernadette’s Youth Groups battle it out!

Youth Groups from St Michael’s, Shepton Mallet and St Bernadette’s, Whitchurch, Bristol came together last Friday at St Michael’s to battle it out in their first inter-parish quiz challenge.  Six rounds of high pressure questions, a bowlful of chilli and rather a lot of pizza later, saw a winning team emerge! With the winning team comprising of both parishes meant the highly sought-after cup (albeit not solid silver!) had to find its home in both parishes!  A thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all.  



St Michael’s And St Bernadette’s Youth Quiz

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A Polish feast! World Youth Day target edges ever closer!

Last Saturday’s Polish Buffet Supper was a great success.  There were three courses of traditional Polish cuisine.  The food was delicious and plentiful, feeding over 30 hungry guests!  With so many different Polish dishes it was a challenge to try everything! Many thanks to all those who supported the event and a very big thank you to the chef! Do take a look at the photos below. Our three young people are edging ever closer to their fundraising target!

Polish Evening – Sat 30 Jan 2016

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Holy Week and Easter Mass times

Thursday 24 March at St Michael’s Catholic Church, Shepton Mallet

10.30am Stations of the Cross

7.30pm Mass of the Lord’s Supper


Friday 25 March at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Glastonbury

3pm The Solemn Liturgy of the Passion


Saturday 26 March at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Glastonbury

9pm Solemn Vigil of the Resurrection


Sunday 27 March at St Michael’s Catholic Church, Shepton Mallet

9am Mass

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Bishop Declan’s Pastoral Letter for the Feast of the Holy Family


Bishop Declan has written a Pastoral Letter to people of the Clifton Diocese.

To be read and made available in all Churches and Chapels in the Clifton Diocese

on the Feast of the Holy Family 26/27 December 2015


Pastoral Letter for the Feast of the Holy Family

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ

During this Christmas season many families come together from different parts of the country or the world to celebrate the Christmas feast. Friends do likewise and it is good that they do so. However, there are many families who lack the security and stability of family life, often due to causes not of their own making. Sadly there are literally millions of people who have been displaced, seeing their homes and family life destroyed through war and violence. We remember the refugees from Syria and other parts of the world.

Within our own country there are those who have recently seen their homes destroyed by floods. For all these people this must be an experience they would rather not have had. It is into the darkness of life that the light of Christ seeks to shine and to give hope when there is despair and peace when there is cruelty and violence. For this to become a reality, there is a need for a people who are instruments of God’s peace and who thirst for justice and reconciliation. This work cannot be left to politicians and those in public office, though they have an important part to play. It is the responsibility of us all to live the Gospel and transform our world making it into a better place.

Today’s feast of the Holy Family is a reminder that the family is at the basis of the life of the Church and society. It was into a family that Jesus was born. For thirty years he lived anonymously before his public ministry. Those years were a preparation for his journey to Jerusalem, to his death and resurrection – to being the saviour of the world.

Within the family of Nazareth there was a sense of God. We are told that Mary and Joseph travelled up to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover as they usually did. When he was 12, Jesus accompanied them. Later in Luke’s Gospel we are told that Jesus returned to Nazareth and went into the Synagogue as he usually did. What is usual in the life of our own families? Is there the sense of God’s presence? Is prayer and the celebration of Mass and the other sacraments a usual part of our life. For many families it is, but for all families in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, there is the call to deepen our awareness of God’s presence – a God of mercy and compassion.

In one of his General Audiences, Pope Francis said “that on the front door of family life there should be written these phrases: “please”, “thank you” and “excuse me”. These words the Pope said open up the way for a family to live well. They are simple words but not so simple to put into practice. They contain a great power to safeguard the house through a thousand difficulties and trials.

If those words are good for the family, they are good for the whole Church. The Church is called to be a community where all find a welcome, the love of God and the challenge of God to grow and flourish as human beings.

Recently I received two letters which saddened me. One was a vitriolic attack on the entire Muslim population in response to the recent terrorist atrocities. The other was saying that people of the same sex orientation should not be allowed to go to Mass as they are unworthy.

All of us are unworthy. That is why we pray: Lord I am not worthy to receive you under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed. And the word is spoken to all.

Jesus comes to us in the Eucharist. This is the same Jesus who was criticised by some of the religious leaders as the friend of prostitutes and sinners and who ate with them.

At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus who is the Face of God’s Mercy. The Church can only be an authentic and credible sign of Christ when we are a people of mercy. Knowing the mercy of God towards ourselves, we need to share that gift with others.

The Holy Family went up to celebrate the Passover as they usually did. May it be usual for us to be a people of mercy both at home and wherever we find ourselves during our everyday lives in the coming year.

With my best wishes and prayers for a New Year

Rt Rev Declan Lang

Bishop of Clifton



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Christmas Mass times at St Michael’s Church

Thursday 24 December

Family Mass of Christmas at 6.30pm, Carols from 6pm


Friday 25 December

Nativity of the Lord, Christmas Day Mass at 9.00am 


Sunday 27 December

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph Mass at 9.00am


Friday 01 January  

Mary, the Holy Mother of God (New Year’s Day) Mass at 11.00am 


Sunday 03 January

Epiphany of the Lord     Exposition 8.15-8.45am   Mass at 9.00am

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