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An Easter Message from Fr John

posted 25 Apr 2020, 08:32 by admin saintmatthews

From Fr John


Just a note to let you know how I’m doing.

 I’m so glad to be able to tell you that I’m actually doing very well, thank you. I had an outpatient’s appointment at Royal Bolton Hospital on Thursday 9th April and all of my obs were fine. Oxygen levels back up to 98. Like you, I’m in lockdown and following a G P telephone consultation on Wednesday 15th April will remain off duty on sick leave until 25th April giving my body a month to recover from the date of my hospital admission 25th March. I am not infectious or contagious since 48 hours after the fever left me, which is now may days ago.

I’ve been cleaning, hovering, doing a bit of DIY and from Tuesday started my walks again with Teddy and Andy. It’s been lovely seeing people again and having a brief chat, obviously observing social distancing. So, once again, many thanks for your continuing prayers, love and support. I’m well on the mend.

Thank you also to Fr Anthony and Mark for their splendid work during lockdown. The streamed celebrations of Mass and Stations and the colourful, informative News Sheets are first rate. We are very blessed to have their ministries in our parish.

Many thanks also for your best wishes and Get Well Cards. They have been a great support to me in all of this.

And very many thanks to the ‘Messy Girls’ who through the Messy Church App were able to keep in touch with me all through my hospital stay and from my return from hospital. Your love, kindness and fun have been first rate!

One of the important passages of scripture that has kept me going through all of this is from Genesis 1 verse 31. “God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good!

As I valued the other three patients in my bay on D3, and the love and care from the Doctors, Nurses and Support Staff, some who had a very deep Christian faith,  some who had a very deep Muslim faith and some with no faith and yet the same genuine care and concern for us – that verse very much became my daily prayer and reflection. “God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good!”

Although closed for worship, although all of our normal structures (apart from the texts and structure of the daily offices and Mass, for which I am grateful) have vanished – yet St Matthew’s is still very much here at the centre and heart of the community. People caring for and looking after one another, people praying for one another, still teasing and having fun with one another. Making sure, through telephone calls and social media that people are not forgotten.

The theme for this year’s Spring Harvest which is going on in a virtual way this week is ‘unleashed’.  In a sense, the fact that we are unleashed from normal structures has been imposed upon us. But, as your Parish Priest, I am proud to see that St Matthew’s is making the very most of this situation.

Yes, there is the worry of finance which is important. But that hasn’t made this situation fearful for St Matthew’s.

St Matthew’s has demonstrated itself as a praying church, as a caring church, as a church reaching out into the community, indeed as a church unleashed.

In the Office of Readings for Holy Saturday, the second reading is “from an ancient homily”.  The preacher puts these words into Our Lord’s mouth,

“Awake sleeper, I have not made you to be held prisoner in the underworld. Arise, work of my hands -you who were fashioned in my image.

Rise, let us go hence, for you are in me and I am in you, together we are one undivided person,”

God Bless you all,


Fr. John