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






As we go to print, we have not yet received confirmation from the Diocese that churches can re-open after the current lockdown, for public Masses and other services apart from private prayer and funerals. As soon as we receive permission to proceed with public Masses and other services we will notify you in all possible ways including through the parish web site, at the live streaming Mass, in the newsletter and by word of mouth.

In the meantime, we continue with the Private Prayer and Exposition as in previous weeks. More details here.

We will broaden the things we offer when permitted so keep looking on the website for any developments.

Removal of Obligation to attend Mass: Because of the position the Church still finds herself in, the obligation for the faithful to attend Holy Mass on Sunday and on a Holy day of Obligation remains lifted until further notice.

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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.



Fr David continues to improve, please keep him in your prayers for his full recovery.


Masses in the Parish

Live Stream: We will continue to live-stream the Mass at 9.30am this Sunday, the First Sunday in Advent from St Mary’s. It will be celebrated in private, with no members of the public present. It will be recorded and available to view later on Sunday. Thanks to everyone involved in streaming.

Private Celebrations of Mass:

To enable you to be in Spiritual Communion, please know that the clergy will celebrate a private Mass each day at 9.30 am at St Mary’s and 9 am at St John’s. Private Prayer and Exposition

We are not permitted to hold services but we can open to allow private prayer as follows:


St Mary’s Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10.15 am to 11.15 am

   Saturday and Sunday from 10.30 am to 11.30 am

St John’s Tues and Thurs from 11.30 am to 12.30 pm

   Wednesday and Thursday 6.30pm to 7.30pm

Christ the King Mon 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm



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 through the Newsletter. 



The new regulations mean that there are no longer opportunities to make our weekly offerings. However, you can make your donations online through the parish website. Open the Home page and on the right, there is an icon. Click on it and follow the instructions. Please Gift Aid if appropriate.

It’s fully recognised that some people will now be in a worsened financial position and less able to give at the moment so please do not feel obligated. Thank you.


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Churches Together in Burnley have arranged for local people create and read their own Advent Prayer on YouTube —a new one or two everyday during Advent, from this Sunday 29th November, starting with a contribution from one of our own parishioners.

CLICK ON THIS LINK for 'Churches Working Together in Burnley YouTube Channel.

You can also access them through our own parish website. Christmas is going to be ‘strange’ for us all, but we can focus on Advent prayerfully with a focus on the real message of the season.


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There’s a new ‘project’ on our website, which will help us to stay together as a community in the Lord, and an opportunity to engage with others who may be alone in their self-isolation. We know that even in these lockdown days, people often have busy lives but please take just 5 minutes of your day to watch the video from Sister Emmanuel which explains the idea on our Parish website.

In the video she says, priests are often subject to spiritual battle. But our priests are precious and need the protection of our prayers. In this parish, we have four priests who we see regularly, (in alphabetical order) Fathers Benneth, David, Emmanuel & Kevin, plus two others who give invaluable help from time to time - Fr Jennings & Mgr Challoner.

Once you've watched the video you may wish to make a ‘prayer flower’ by joining with others, maybe some others in your parish group such as the Legion of Mary, SVP, etc, or maybe you can call on six friends, perhaps fellow parishioners, with whom you can join in prayer. On the other hand, if you nearly have a full flower but are maybe seeking another petal or two, or perhaps you’re looking for a prayer flower to join, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will try to put you in touch. When you're ready, choose a priest to pray for, maybe one who celebrates Mass at your church, or one of the above priests chosen at random, or perhaps pray for all six as a group.  



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. 

 Back to guide >>>



Mon 30th Nov St Andrew

Tues 1st Dec Advent Weekday

Wed 2nd DecAdvent Weekday

Thurs 3rd DecAdvent Weekday

Fri 4th Dec Advent Weekday

Sat 5th Dec Weekday

Sun 6th Dec Second Sunday of Advent


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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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Advent is a time to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Generally, we understand this to be his coming on the Last Day and his coming at Christmas, which recalls his historical birth 2000 years ago. It is also about another coming which we tend to forget, namely, his daily coming in the ordinary events and people in our lives.

The 2nd reading speaks of waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus. Waiting for the Lord is an important part of Advent. Waiting can be boring and tedious and seen as a waste of time; but unless you patiently wait you will certainly miss out; miss your turn, miss your opportunity, miss your bus. The waiting can be a time to do something constructive ; listen, think, talk, get to know someone, maybe even pray. It’s important not to squander Advent and not just see it as days we need to tick off as we wait for Christmas. Like any journey the travelling bit is important ~ the journey matters as much as the destination. So we should try to be vigilant and welcome the Lord who comes to us without warning every day in people, places and events we least expect. We are to prayerfully reflect on our daily lives and recognise the Lord who comes to us in various ways.

Therefore we are to slow down, wait patiently and use the time of this important season wisely to reflect and pray. At the same time there can be an urgency about the need to invite God more deeply and intimately into our lives. We are to use this time of Advent wisely and create opportunities to reflect and repent and also time to look around us and see God all around us in everything we are and everything we do.




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”.



Artificial Intelligence

We pray that the progress of robotics and artificial intelligence may always serve humankind. 

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Sadly, the need continues for us to support the Foodbank. Here’s how:

Every local Spar shop should have a collection point for non-perishable food. There are two ways to make monetary donations:
     1.Online Donations: Blessed Trinity is supporting the Foodbank. Website: https://tinyurl.com/BlessedTrinityJustGiving. They have raised £4,946 so far! Well done them!

     2. Cash Donations (St John’s only). You may leave a cash donation (in a clearly marked envelope) at the presbytery or contact David H on 07434 763822 and we will see if we can collect. We will pass these on to the Foodbank via the Blessed Trinity website (above).


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

Website if you want to make a money donation:







Two of our parish junior schools became wholeheartedly involved in our Harvest Fast Day—with wonderful rewards. One school baked its way to a wonderful £165, the other raised a super £100 (this shared equally with the school fund). They deserve a huge round of applause! Well done children, parents and staff—great illustration of Christian action! The CAFOD group are very grateful for your continued generosity over Harvest Fast Day and beyond.

You can continue to donate via https://cafod.org.uk/Give

The CAFOD group at Good Samaritan are very grateful for your continued generosity over Harvest Fast Day. But the need is still great, so, after discussion with Fr David, anybody wishing to make a contribution to the Harvest Family Fast Day by cash or cheque can still do so.

Please label an envelope “CAFOD” and leave it in the collection baskets at the rear of any of the three churches.

Online donations can still be made direct to CAFOD by using the following link: https://cafod.org.uk/ Fundraise/Family-Fast-Day

Some people in the parish raise money for CAFOD by keeping a small CAFOD cardboard collection box in their homes, in which they place any small change. If you would like one of these boxes for Advent or at any other time then please get in touch with Anne Marie Coppock on 721701 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We also wish to thank the fantastic fundraising achievements of our students, parents and staff at Blessed Trinity College, who have raised an amazing £825.93 Family Fast Day. Well done one and all!

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With Christmas around the corner, you can find the perfect, unique, ethical gift for someone special in your life, by giving one of CAFOD’s World Gifts. To see the new look selection of life-changing gifts use the following link: https://cafod.org.uk/Fundraise/World-Gifts

Don’t forget to check out the CAFOD webpage on the parish website for more detailed news, including the latest campaigning news and a new action to support CAFOD’s brave overseas partners.

Send a ‘Message to the Brave’ within a Christmas card to show your solidarity for their efforts to protect the vulnerable and the planet. 

You can also keep in touch with Cafod’s activities and prayers with online talks at https://cafod.org.uk/Volunteer/Online-talks



Here are three items in addition to the news.

1) The current online campaign’s petition asking our Prime Minister to stop the UK Government investing in fossil fuel projects in developing countries.

Click on this link to sign the petition.

2) A date for your diary – the next online assemblies for schools (but well worth watching if you’re no longer at school) will take place on 10th December.

Join with students around England and Wales as we pray and reflect together in our next national assembly: Light of the world. Primary assembly - 9.30am and Secondary assembly - 10am.

Our assemblies are always available for teachers to view a day or two in advance, via the Vimeo link in the text below the YouTube video.

For further details on the Light of the World Advent Assembly, click here.

3) November is the month of remembrance and CAFOD has many ways in which to remember our loved ones who are sadly no longer with us.

For further details click on this link.

Thank you for all your support devoted to those most in need in our world.



As we approach the time of year when we remember our deceased family members and friends, CAFOD also remembers its deceased supporters and volunteers through memorial services and Masses. At this time, CAFOD promotes its free will writing service for people who wish to leave a gift for CAFOD’s work in their own wills.

For further details, follow the link: https://cafod.org.uk/Give/Leave-a-gift-in-your-will Don’t forget to check out the CAFOD webpage on the parish website for more detailed news, including the latest campaigning news and online CAFOD petition to our Prime Minister.



Do you work with children and young people in school, in the parish or in our community? If so CAFOD has a range of resources and ideas for the new academic year, just visit the CAFOD Group’s webpage for the link to find them.



CAFOD has joined with the UK Disasters Emergencies Committee to help millions of people whose lives are at risk, as coronavirus spreads across refugee camps and countries suffering conflict. CAFOD was able to respond as first cases hit Northern Syria. You can donate directly to CAFOD at cafod.org.uk/coronavirus to help CAFOD scale up its coronavirus response through our global Church family. 



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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.