Friday Mass at Liverpool Parish Church

The Parish of Saint Mary's Highfield Street was for many years a well known Liverpool City Catholic Parish serving a large Inner City Congregation but also serving a number of the local Office Workers through its daily Mass at 1.05.pm. However, due to a falling Congregation as a result of rehousing, and the retirement of the then Parish Priest Father Michael Gaine the Church was closed in 2000.

This left the Office Workers contingent of the Congregation without a local church which enabled them to attend Mass within the constraints of their lunch hour. Fortunately, Saint Mary's had some years previously entered into an Ecumenical Covenant with Liverpool Parish Church,down the road, the church of Our Lady and Saint Nicholas. The Bishop of Liverpool kindly gave permission for a Catholic Mass to be celebrated every Friday in the Parish Church at the traditional time of 1.05 pm.

Consequently, the first Mass was held in 2000, and Father Stephen Pritchard was given the task of saying the Mass each week, which he went on to do for six years. Bishop Tom Williams then decided that the Masses should be shared by a Rota of Priests, and his secretary, Maureen Cooney, was given the task of compiling the Rotas.

The Friday Mass at Our Lady and Saint Nicholas, is now in its fourteenth year, and we would like to thank all the Priests who down the years have volunteered to celebrate the Friday Mass for us. ln particular, we should like to mention Father Stephen Pritchard whose long stint in saying the Mass in the earlier years, helped to get the Friday Mass established, and who continues to support us when he is available. Thanks also to Maureen for all her efforts to find Priests for us, a job which has gradually got more difficult with the growing shortage of Priests.

Finally, our grateful thanks to the successive Rectors of the Parish Church, and its Congregation, for the kindness and hospitality shown to us over the last fourteen years.There can be no greater example of Ecumenism in the City of Liverpool.

Chris Dobbin