Clifton Cathedral News Updates

9th August 2020

19th Sunday of the Year

Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water,but as soon as he felt the force of the wind, he took fright and began to sink. (Matthew 14:29-30)

God is to be found in all the circumstances of our lives. In quiet moments we often glimpse something of God’s presence and in times of trouble we instinctively reach out to God. We need the patience of Elijah to detect God’s sound in the gentle breeze, and the boldness of Peter to walk towards Christ when he calls us.

Whoever walks towards God one cubit,
God runs towards them twain.

(Jewish proverb)

If Christ offers us up with his own death in this sacrament, it is that we may die a voluntary and daily death, and merit a daily resurrection. (Austin Farrer)

There is nothing in this world or the next which cannot, and will not, be turned into the valid currency we need to buy the one pearl of great price. That is what is meant when we say that we are redeemed. (H A Williams)

God both represents to us what we are to become and shows us the way to become it. (Don Cupitt)

Solemnity of the Assumption

Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah.She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth.

(Luke 1:39-40)

Two pregnant women who can’t wait to compare notes! This is the picture of Mary and Elizabeth. Yet neither could possibly have known the impact their children would have upon the world. And Mary was to mother her infant into the world to bring hope and reassurance. As model of faith and pattern of the Church on earth, she was finally to behold God at the moment of her death. Where she has gone we hope to follow.

The Mother of Jesus, in the glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise she shines forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come, a sign of certain hope and comfort to the pilgrim people of God.

(Second Vatican Council)


Cathedral open for the celebration of Mass: 

Mass on Sunday will be celebrated at 9.30am and 6.00pm, with daily Mass continuing at the new time of 9.30am. All of our Masses will continue to be livestreamed so that most will be able to participate from their homes. Due to social distancing and sanitisation requirements we will only be able to accommodate up to 120 people at each of our Sunday Masses, and up to 40 for the daily Masses (subject to variation according to families/social bubbles, using the 1metre+ rule).

In light of this, I anticipate that most of our parishioners will be continuing to join in online from home given the restrictions outlined here. But this is a start and a very welcome one.

After the morning Masses Clifton Cathedral will remain open until 11.30am for individuals to spend some time here in private prayer.

Please only arrive a short while before the start of Mass so we can limit the amount of time people are ‘indoors’ for added safety. Also don’t forget to bring your own face mask/covering with you and keep it on whilst inside the Cathedral.


  • You currently show no symptoms for Coronavirus;
  • Should you develop symptoms prior to coming you will NOT attend;
  • You agree to wear a suitable face-mask and use hand-sanitiser as you enter the Cathedral.
  • You agree to adhere to the social distance required (1 metre +)

It should further be noted that at this time there will be no toilet facilities available.

There are no communal items being used so please provide your own Missals and if you normally make your offerings to the church using loose coins or envelopes they may be placed in the collection bags as you leave the cathedral. You can of course donate online at our website or by standing order.

We are making these conditions in line with government and diocesan guidelines to protect the health of the parish community. If you are still vulnerable due to health reasons or shielding we recommend you continue to stay home and join our live-streamed Mass for the time being. As the Archbishops of England have written in a letter to Catholics in England:

With the easing of restrictions on worship with congregations, we tread carefully along the path that lies ahead. Our lives have been changed by the experience of the pandemic and it is clear that we cannot simply return to how things were before lockdown. We remain centred on the Lord Jesus and His command at the Last Supper to “do this in memory of me.” We must now rebuild what it means to be Eucharistic communities, holding fast to all that we hold dear, while at the same time exploring creative ways to meet changed circumstances.

It is important to reaffirm that, at present, the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains suspended.

Please be aware that there will be a limit on the number of people who can attend Mass in our churches. This will determined locally in accordance with social distancing requirements. We therefore need to reflect carefully on how and when we might be able to attend Mass. We cannot return immediately to our customary practices. This next step is not, in any sense, a moment when we are going ‘back to normal.’

We ask every Catholic to think carefully about how and when they will return to Mass. Our priests may need to consider whether it is possible to celebrate additional Masses at the weekends. Given there is no Sunday obligation, we ask you to consider the possibility of attending Mass on a weekday. This will ease the pressure of numbers for Sunday celebrations and allow a gradual return to the Eucharist for more people.

Canon Bosco MacDonald

Cathedral Dean


Mass Intentions

Sunday 9th August – Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Chanel Stevens & Caroline Hostein

Monday 10th August – St Lawrence – Mary Graystone RIP & Moises Castroverde

Tuesday 11th August – St Clare – Special Intention

Wednesday 12th August – Noah’s Camp

Thursday 13th August – Peter Baker RIP, Margaret Mawditt RIP

Friday 14th August – St Maximilian Kolbe – Bishop Mervyn Alexander RIP

Saturday 15th August – Alice Arnold RIP

Sunday 16th August – Solemnity of the Assumption – People of the Parish


Every Mass is a public official act, even though it might be offered without elaborate ceremonial. Strictly speaking, a “private Mass” in the sense of a private affair is impossible. The entire Church together offers the sacrifice with and through the priest.

Mass Intentions for other days can be requested either by sending an e-mail to or ring 07765 086525, Monday-Friday 9am-1pm.  Please note that Cathedral House continues to be closed.

Prayers: Please pray for the sick of our parish and for all who are unwell: Edmund Richardson, Gabriele Green, Jane Cooper, Ann Fletcher, William Gregory, Judy Haworth, Eliza James,  Lorretto Coyle, Ken Wright, Adam Walker, Sheila Daly, Andy Dawes, Chris Vigars, Pat Kissane, Dolores Kennedy, Sylvia Hambidge, Allan Liversedge, John Hunt, Dinah McAlees, Jo Cotton, Frances Danks, Stella Bateman, Steve Bell, Denise Horobin, Stephen Ellis, Mary Burke, Trevor Williamson, Jeff Dahm, Una Dean, Stella Bateman, Jo Cotton,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Those who have died recently especially Constance Wernberg RIP

And for all those whose anniversaries occur around this time: Bishop Mervyn Alexander, Fr Denis Marmion, Tim Henning, Roy Waldron, Laura Tarling, Alex Kitchener, Frank Taylor, Doris Barrington, Charlotte Rich, Mary Wehner, Bridget Shand, Christopher Sharples, Michael Joe Flanagan.


Some statistics from Clifton Cathedral Livestream Service

The total number of visitors since we started to livestream in March 2020 is 309,204 from 110 different countries of the world.  Of those, 47,072 have stayed for up to an hour, suggesting that these are people who are joining us for Mass. We tend to have an average of 200 people joining us for weekday Masses and anywhere between 1500 to 2000 on a Sunday. To date £4,400 has been raised to pay for the permanent installation of livestreaming at the cathedral. If you wish to donate visit quoting livestream.  Many thanks for your support and generosity.  


Cathedral Retreat 2021

The cathedral retreat for 20121 will take place between 3-5 September 2021 at the Ammerdown Centre near Radstock and will be led by Fr Denis McBride. The price for the weekend, including all meals and refreshments will be £220 per person. With all else that is happening in our lives this probably seems somewhat remote but it is necessary to think ahead to next year. Fr McBride is a very well-known and stimulating spiritual director and previous retreats he has done for us have been very well received. Numbers are more limited than usual because of social distancing so early booking is recommended. For further information and a booking form please contact either Mary Manners at or Roger Bird at

Foodbank Appeal 

Many thanks for your further donations to support the important work of the Bristol NW Foodbank. We’ve now raised a total of £3205 since March. Thank you as always for your wonderful support! If you are able to make a donation to help us reach our next target of £3250, our Justgiving page is

CAFOD: Beirut Explosions

Lebanon is a small country, half the size of Wales, struggling to host well over a million Syrian refugees on top of more than 400,000 Palestinian refugees already living in the country and  –  despite high levels of poverty and employment among its own population. On 4th August two explosions ripped through Lebanon’s capital, Beirut killing over 100 people and leaving more than 4,000 injured.  Rescue workers are still searching for many more missing people. For further information and how you can support visit


Prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament:

Deacon Paul will be praying the Rosary from the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of Clifton Cathedral, livestreamed for parishioners to join in on Tuesday and Deacon Kevin will lead the Rosary on Friday. This will take place at 5.30pm and will include Exposition and Benediction. All welcome.


A number of parishioners have asked how they can continue to support the Cathedral financially whilst unable to attend Mass. The donation ‘button’ that has been added to the Clifton Cathedral website at enables donations to be made using credit and debit cards and via PayPal. Cheques can be posted to: Clifton Cathedral House, Clifton Park, BS8 3BX. Any parishioners wishing to set up a standing order or make a payment directly to Clifton Cathedral are asked to e-mail

Updates: New information and updates will be added here, on the ‘News’ page of the Cathedral website.