Blessed Robert Grissold Catholic Church

A Community based on Faith, Altar and the Word

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Welcome to the website of Blessed Robert Grissold Catholic Church in Balsall Common. Here you can find details of the parish, our latest newsletter, services and sacraments offered by the Church and, in our parish archive, the events we have held. As a parish we value your privacy. Please follow the link here to learn more about the privacy policy that covers all catholic churches in the Archdiocese of Birmingham,
Christmas 2019 Services

If you are looking for our mass times for Christmas 2019, click
Father Frank writes
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My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, friends, I trust that you are keeping well. Although we cannot gather for the Mass at the present time, I believe it would be good if we could all be praying together as a community on Sundays, at 9.30 am, the usual time of the Mass praying for one another, for our country and world at this time of disease and sickness. To this end I have suggested below how we might make a Spiritual Communion together. I will say the Mass at 9.30 am on Sundays offering the intentions that have already been requested. I will also offer those intentions that have already been accepted through the week and, of course, it goes without saying that I will be praying especially for our community. Please take the time to read the suggestion below. In this time of quarantine, we might all share in prayer and making a Spiritual Communion on Sunday mornings - joined to the Eucharistic Christ and to one another.

Before the church is opened there are a number of actions that have be performed as shown below in Fathers Frank's comments of the 2nd August 2020.

If you are willing to help with this, especially if you are under 70 can you please get in touch with:
  • Joe Martin for Stewarding (by phone on 01676534916)
  • Louise Perry for cleaning, again by phone
Alternatively, you can use the Contact us form on the parish website by clicking here.

As soon as Father Frank has made a decision when Masses will start we will get in touch with you to make arrangements.
Sunday 2nd August 2020

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, friends,

Cardinal Nichols has announced that Churches are allowed to open and to celebrate Mass as long as they are able to demonstrate that they can comply with the health and safety criteria laid down by the Church and government and satisfy the health and safety demands specified in the Archdiocesan ‘Risk Assessment’ document. I am presently making efforts to progress matters in order that we may open the church as soon as it is safe for us to do so. To this end I invite you to read the following notice concerning the volunteers who would be needed in order to re-open the church:

Volunteer Teams and Responsibilities

In order to re-open the Church we will need to ensure that we have adequate and suitable volunteers to support the process. Members of our teams should be deemed healthy and fit for work prior to commencement of work. As of 1st August the Government advice is that shielding is paused but strict social distancing is still advised for the most vulnerable (people over 70 or those with underlying health issues) and this means that they should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside of their household or support bubble. The advice is that those at high risk should remain cautious as they are still at risk of severe illness if they catch coronavirus. For this reason we should avoid drawing on volunteers from these high risk categories. As I am in the very high risk, 'shielding,' category I understand the justified concern which has been expressed to me regarding volunteering and re-opening for Mass.

Please find below information regarding the volunteers needed to re-open the church:

Volunteer Stewards

Stewarding – at the entry point, exit point and in the church.

Stewards to ensure all use hand sanitiser on entry and exit

Stewards to ensure the rules concerning the wearing of face-coverings are adhered to.

Stewards should know the maximum capacity of the church and ensure this is respected.

Guidance should be given to stewards on hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and actions to take in the event of a First Aid emergency.

Stewards must not physically interact (shake hands, hugging) with parishioners with the exception of an emergency situation.

Toilets will be closed but if they are used in an emergency stewards will be responsible for ensuring that they are cleaned thoroughly and immediately.

Stewards will be responsible for ensuring social distancing and health and safety in the church at all times.

Cleaning volunteers

In order to maintain a COVID-19 safe environment and demonstrate our duty of care to Parishioners, a clear cleaning regime will need to be implemented. The regime will be based on Church usage and must address the following:

Cleaners should be reminded of the required hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene guidance.

Churches must have a thorough domestic clean before and after use. This involves washing with hot soapy water to break down the virus followed by disinfecting the area. Use disposable cloths or paper towels.

Areas of frequent touch will need to be cleaned more regularly throughout the opening times of the Church. This includes door handles, push plates, railings, where people have sat, kneeled etc. Doors should be left open if possible.

Cleaners must wear face coverings, rubber gloves and aprons when cleaning.

Cleaners should be advised to wash thoroughly before socialising with members of their household.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

One extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion will be required to administer Holy Communion at each Mass.


Counters will be needed to count the collection.

If you are willing to volunteer for any of the teams above and if your age and health permits, please contact: Joe Martin for stewarding and Louise Perry for cleaning or complete the contact form on our website here.

It is important that no one should feel pressured to volunteer or return to public worship until they are ready. The dispensation from the Sunday obligation to attend Mass is still in force. I will continue to post a weekly Spiritual Communion on this website and keep you informed of any developments concerning the parish. At present, the plan is to re-open the church for Mass in September.

This coming Saturday the Church commemorates St Dominic. Tradition teaches that St Dominic was the first to preach and teach the Holy Rosary as a form of meditative prayer. The gift of the Rosary, given to St Dominic by Our Blessed Lady all those many centuries ago, continues to be a most powerful and vital weapon in the spiritual battle for truth and holiness in our own day.

It’s been good to hear that you are joining together in the prayers and readings of the Mass on Sundays at 9.30 a.m. when I offer the Mass. Be assured of my prayers for you daily as I offer the Mass.

If anyone needs prayer or if you feel anyone would feel comforted by knowing that the Church is praying for them, then please contact me - I can offer the Mass for them or include them in the prayers of the Mass.

Please find below an order of service for making a Spiritual Communion.

With all good wishes and every blessing

Fr Frank

Making a Spiritual Communion *

2nd August 2020
Hugh O’Kane (RIP)

Create a prayerful setting through the placing of a crucifix, Bible, statues, icons, etc Then follow this order of service:

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Read the
Entrance Antiphon

O God, come to my assistance;
O Lord, make haste to help me!
O Lord, do not delay.

In silent prayer call to mind your sins then make the following penitential act:

You were sent to heal the contrite of heart: Lord have mercy
You came to call sinners: Christ have mercy
You are seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us:
Lord have mercy


Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.

We praise you,
we bless you,
we adore you,
we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory,
Lord God, heavenly King,
O God, almighty Father.

Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Pray the
Collect (the Opening Prayer of the Mass of the day)

Draw near to your servants, O Lord,
and answer their prayers with unceasing kindness,
that, for those who glory in you as their Creator and guide,
you may restore what you have created
and keep safe what you have restored.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with God the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


First Reading: From the prophet Isaiah chapter 55 verses 1-3.

Responsorial Psalm:
R. You open wide your hand, O Lord,
you grant our desires.

The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all,
compassionate to all his creatures.

The eyes of all creatures look to you
and you give them their food in due time.
You open wide your hand,
grant the desires of all who live.

The Lord is just in all his ways
and loving in all his deeds.
He is close to all who call him,
call on him from their hearts.

Second Reading: From the letter of St Paul to the Romans, Chapter 8, verses: 35, 37-39.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

When Jesus received the news of John the Baptist’s death he withdrew by boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But the people heard of this and, leaving the towns, went after him on foot. So as he steeped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them and healed their sick.

When evening came, the disciples went to him and said, ‘This is a lonely place, and the time has slipped by; so send the people away, and they can go to the villages to buy themselves some food.’ Jesus replied, ‘There is no need for them to go: give them something to eat yourselves.’ But they answered, ‘All we have with us is five loaves and two fish.’ ‘Bring them here to me,’ he said. He gave orders that the people were to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing. And breaking the loaves he handed them to his disciples who gave them to the crowds. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected the scraps remaining, twelve baskets full. Those who ate numbered about five thousand men, to say nothing of women and children.

The Gospel of the Lord.


The feeding of the Five Thousand is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels. This is not just a meal - this event is a revelation of Jesus’ identity and his Messianic mission. The setting for this wonder is a ‘lonely place’ - other translations speak of a ‘desert place’ and the reception of bread and meat, in a miraculous way, in the wilderness, has obvious echoes of Israel’s experience of God.

The Jewish people at the time of Jesus would have been keenly aware that God miraculously supplied manna and meat for the ancient Israelites as they wandered in the desert for forty years. Like Moses in the desert, Jesus’ disciples were aware that it would take a miracle to feed the people. The disciples respond to Jesus’ instruction to ‘give (the people) something to eat yourself,’ by pointing out that all they had is five loaves and two fish - nowhere near the amount needed to feed over five thousand people. Moses, facing a similar dilemma in the exodus, responded in a similar way: “Where can I get meat to give to all this people?.. Can enough sheep and cattle be slaughtered for them? If all the fish in the sea were caught for them, would they have enough?’ Only a miracle would suffice in both instances.

The manna the ancient Israelites received during the exodus was no ordinary bread, it was supernatural and miraculous. Scriptures tell us that it fell every morning upon the dew and when the dew was dispelled by the desert heat, the manna appeared alone, lying on the rocks or sand. It fell every day except on the Sabbath and only around the camp of the Israelites. Every sixth day there fell a double quantity and though the manna putrefied and bred maggots when it was kept on any other day, on the Sabbath there was no alteration or deterioration. Also, the same substance which was melted by the desert sun, when it was left on the ground, had such a hard consistency when brought into the tents that it stood beating in a mortar and would even endure fire when being made into cakes and baked in pans. No wonder the Israelites called it
man-hu - literally ‘what is it?’ But the wondrous manna given in the Old Covenant was a mere foreshadowing of the incomparably greater supernatural and miraculous manna of the New Covenant.

What is being revealed in the Feeding of the Five Thousand is the new exodus in which God, in Christ, is feeding his people with the new bread from heaven. Jesus’ actions in this miracle foreshadows the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist, for we are told that he ‘took’ bread, ‘raised his eyes to heaven,’ ‘blessed,’ and ’broke’ it and ’gave’ it to his disciples to distribute to the people who ‘ate’ it.

In the miracle of the Feeding of the Five Thousand Jesus is revealing himself as the Messiah - the One who was expected to supply the new manna from heaven. Following the account of this miracle in John’s Gospel Jesus says: “I am the Bread of Life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die.” Jesus points to himself as the true manna - the bread from heaven - the bread which when eaten would nourish man unto everlasting life. This is the Bread of Life which we receive in the Eucharist.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us

Immaculate Heart of Mary, have mercy on us

Saints Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, pray for us

St John Mary Vianney, pray for us.

St Sixtus

St Dominic

All holy Guardian Angels watch over, guard and protect us.

Pray the Creed

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen

Offer up Prayers of Intercession for the Church, for the world, for our community, for the sick and for those who have died - and offer up your own intentions.

A Prayer in time of sickness and disease:

All powerful and merciful God,
our refuge and our shield,
bring healing to all those suffering as a result of sickness and disease.
Guard and protect us from all harm
and assist those whose skill and art can put an end to this affliction.
Through Christ our Lord.

Ask for Our Lady’s prayers, saying the Hail Mary…

Pray the
Lord’s Prayer: Our Father…

Pray the Agnus Dei:

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Make a Spiritual Communion* - asking Our Lord Jesus Christ to come into your heart and feed you with heavenly grace so that you might be one with Him. You can use the following prayer of St Alphonsus Liguori:

My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

Ask for God’s blessing and protection:

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen

Make the sign of the Cross saying:

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Finish with the Prayer to St Michael:

Holy Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defence against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust down into hell Satan and all other evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen


* A Spiritual Communion can be made if one has a deep desire to receive Our Lord and to be one with him - even if one cannot, for whatever reason, receive him sacramentally. Spiritual Communion is an act of love and desire to be united with Christ and is a means of drawing on the life of the Holy Spirit dwelling within our souls.

The Church teaches us that we can receive Our Lord Jesus Christ in spiritual communion if we have a great desire to receive him and to feed on him, the spiritual heavenly bread, through our longing for the Blessed Sacrament. In spiritual communion we invite Our Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts.

In this way we can receive the graces and blessings of the Blessed Sacrament even in those circumstances where we are unable to receive Christ in Holy Communion. And the good news is that we can make a spiritual communion several times a day. Indeed, St Maximillian Kolbe endeavoured to make a spiritual communion - asking Our Eucharistic Lord - to come to him every fifteen minutes - every time his clock chimed.

St Teresa said: “Spiritual Communion is very profitable, therefore do not omit it for by it the Lord learns how much you love him.”

I will post the Sunday Collects, and Readings week by week on the parish website.

I hope this has proved helpful. Please don’t feel bound by these suggestions
- if you have your own better way of staying in prayerful and close spiritual communion with Our Lord then, of course, follow it.

Be assured of my prayers - please keep me in yours. Remember that the Rosary is a most powerful means of prayer.

With all good wishes and every blessing

Fr Frank


Weekday Spiritual Communion

You can use the format for Sunday’s Spiritual Communion for daily worship and prayer. The Sunday Collect and scripture readings can be used throughout the week but if you prefer you might like to use the Gospel of the day - I will supply the scripture references for these. Also, please don’t forget the supreme value of praying the Rosary daily.

Gospel readings for Week 18 in Ordinary Time

Mon 3 August Matthew chapter 14: 22-26
Tues 4
St John Mary Vianney
Matthew chapter 15, verses 1-2; 10-14
Wed 5
Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary
Matthew chapter 15, verses 21-28
Thurs 6
Feast of the Transfiguration
Matthew 17: 1-9
Fri 7
St Sixtus
Matthew chapter 16, verses 24-28
Canon Sean Mctiernan (RIP)
Sat 8
St Dominic
Matthew chapter 17, verses 14-20

100 Club Draw

John McLellan and Chris Burleigh have just done a Zoom draw for the 100 Club, to ensure this doesn't get overlooked while the church is not open.

The winners of the 2nd draw for 2020 are [drum roll]:

1st No. 60 Anne Stewart £75
2nd No. 22 Ann Dodd £45
3rd No. 102 Tony Cotterill £30

Congratulations to the winners!

A Message from the Metropolitan Archbishops  of the Catholic Church in England   

A Message from the Metropolitan Archbishops of the Catholic Church in England

Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ, Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

On Tuesday we heard the announcement that, from the 4th July this year, places of worship will be able to reopen for prayer and services. We welcome this news with great joy. Since the lockdown began, members of all faiths have faced restrictions on how they have been able to celebrate important religious festivals. Our own experience of Easter was unlike any other we have known. Now, in our churches, and with our people, we can look forward again to celebrating the central mysteries of our faith in the Holy Eucharist. The recent reopening of our churches for individual private prayer was an important milestone on our journey towards resuming communal worship. Our churches that have opened have put in place all the measures needed to ensure the risks of virus transmission are minimised. This includes effective hand sanitisation, social distancing, and cleaning. We remain committed to making sure these systems of hygiene and infection control meet Government and public health standards.

We want to thank everyone within the Catholic community for sustaining the life of faith in such creative ways, not least in the family home. We thank our priests for celebrating Mass faithfully for their people, and for the innovative ways in which they have enabled participation through live-streaming and other means. We are grateful for the pastoral care shown by our clergy to those for whom this time of lockdown has been especially difficult, and, in particular, towards those who have been bereaved. We recognise too the chaplaincy services that have played a vital role in supporting those most in need.

Gaining from the experience of all that we have been through, and bringing those lessons into the future, we must now look forward. 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. A significant number of churches may remain closed as they are unable to meet the requirements for opening for individual prayer. Fulfilling these requirements is a precondition for any church opening after the 4th July for the celebration of Mass with a congregation.

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.

Moving forward, there will still be many people who cannot attend Mass in person. We therefore ask parishes, wherever possible, to continue live-streaming Sunday Mass, both for those who remain shielding and vulnerable, and also for those unable to leave home because of advanced age or illness. When we return to Mass there will some differences in how the celebration takes place. For the time being, there will be no congregational singing and Mass will be shorter than usual. None of this detracts from the centrality of our encounter with the Risen Christ in the Eucharist.

We ask everyone to respect and follow the guidance that will be issued and the instructions in each church. “As I have loved you,” said the Lord Jesus, “so you must love each other.” (Jn 13:34) The lockdown has brought forth remarkable acts of charity, of loving kindness, from Catholics across our communities as they have cared for the needy and vulnerable. We have seen love in action through charitable works, and through the service of many front-line key-workers who are members of our Church. Now we can begin to return to the source of that charity, Christ himself, present for us sacramentally, body, blood, soul and divinity, in Holy Communion. As we prepare to gather again to worship, let us, respectful of each other, come together in thanksgiving to God for the immense gift of the Holy Eucharist.

Yours devotedly in Christ

Vincent Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster
Malcolm McMahon OP, Archbishop of Liverpool
Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham
John Wilson, Archbishop of Southwark

This letter is addressed to the Catholic Community in England; the opening of the Catholic Churches in Wales is devolved to the Welsh Assembly who are still evaluating their position on opening Places of Worship.
The Archdiocese is seeking a voluntary part time Trust Secretary

The Archdiocese is seeking a voluntary part time Trust Secretary to assist the Trustees in good "corporate practices". Details can be found on and on the parish website.

This alert is being sent out to advise all clergy and safeguarding staff. Please circulate it as widely as possible.

We have become aware of a group of individuals who are scanning parish websites from which they gather information on the parish in order to target the parish priest. As an example, the scammers will identify that the parish was looking to raise money for a significant project such as a major renovation, an individual over social media will then make contact and befriend the parish priest telling him that they are due to come into a significant amount of money and would like to make a sizeable donation to the project.

They will then start asking for money to pay fees etc to get the money released. They will ask that the money is sent via an untraceable means normally a pre-paid card of some sort. In addition to straightforward fraud the individual will also endeavour to get the priest to behave inappropriately on line. If they manage to get inappropriate conduct they will then subsequently use this to blackmail the individual.

Please be aware this going on. Simple Tips
  • If something seems too good to be true then it probably is.
  • Take extreme care as to what information is displayed on parish websites and social media (Facebook, Twitter, What’s App etc)
  • Under no circumstances pay an individual who you meet on line without being very clear who they are. Never pay money other than into traceable bank accounts.
  • This is only one potential scam. Please be aware of emails, texts or calls purporting to come from your bank or a government agency saying you have a refund or are owed some money. These are almost always a scam. No such organisation will ask you for personal details by this means.
  • If you have any concerns report the matter to the Vicar General. For further information visit:
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CAFOD Coronavirus Emergency Appeal

CAFOD launched its coronavirus emergency appeal on 30 April. The effects of coronavirus on developing countries where CAFOD works are likely to be devastating. Families without enough to eat and without access to clean water and healthcare are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus. The poorest and most marginalised communities will be pushed further into poverty. Your prayers and gifts are needed now more than ever to help protect the lives of those in poor communities. While we are not able to hold physical collections in our church, you can donate as individuals at

The inequalities exposed by coronavirus is a matter of justice. We can do something about this crisis. We can use our voices here in the UK to tell our government to take practical, concrete actions to assist developing countries in the coronavirus response. Please help to sign our petition CAFOD coronavirus petition | CAFOD

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Friends of the Holy Land Pentecost Challenge

Dear Fathers, Dear Deacons
I have been asked by the Friends of the Holy Land to send you the following important message.  I would be very grateful if you could bring it to the attention of your parishioners.
As a Patron of FHL, I am kept informed of the wonderful work they are undertaking with a very small team of paid staff and many volunteers both over here and in the Holy Land. Coronavirus is changing the lives of all of us but for so many Christians, especially in the West Bank but also Gaza, Israel and Jordan, it is devastating.  So many are dependent for their income on pilgrimages and tourism which disappeared overnight in early March.  For many they have no government support nor even a health service which can handle this crisis.
So, FHL launched an appeal in March for those impacted in Bethlehem and widened it on 3 April as a Pentecost Challenge to cover the whole of the region. They secured match funding for the first £100,000 and, with a few days to go to Pentecost, are close to reaching the target but are seeking help from your parishioners to get over the line. Perhaps you could include details in your newsletter this weekend. will direct parishioners to the FHL website where more information is available.  You may also wish to view the news story on our diocesan website FHL launch Pentecost Challenge!
Thank you for your support to help those worse off than ourselves, as FHL strive to maintain a Christian presence in the Holy Land and please keep the FHL staff and volunteers plus those in the Holy Land in your prayers.
With my prayers and kindest wishes.
Yours devotedly in Christ
XBernard Longley
Archbishop of Birmingham

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Online Lourdes Pilgrimage

Dear Father, Dear Deacon,
Please find below an invitation for parishioners to join the virtual Lourdes pilgrimage for your newsletters:
You are invited to an online Lourdes pilgrimage, starting Sunday 24 May with Archbishop Bernard’s opening Mass at 3pm live streamed from St Chad’s Cathedral.
The week features daily Mass, liturgy and Rosary ‘processions’. 
Find the full programme on .
Best wishes
Caroline Bletso
Press and Media Relations Officer
Archdiocese of Birmingham
Cathedral House
St Chad’s

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International Day of Prayer for Eastern Christians

Dear Fathers, Dear Deacons
I am pleased to forward the attached letter I have received from John Adam Fox, the Chair of Trustee of the Fellowship and Aid to the Christians of the East (FACE), together with a poster and further information regarding the International Day of Prayer for Eastern Christians which will take place on Sunday 17 May 2020.
Around  20 million Eastern Christians will be praying for Western Christians on Sunday; and conversely a similar number of Catholics from Poland, Belgium, Monaco, France, Spain, Switzerland and Italy will be praying for Eastern Christians at the same. 
More information is available via:
I would be grateful if you could arrange to share this with your parishioners via your newsletter and parish website, please.
With my prayers and every kind wish.
Yours devotedly in Christ
XBernard Longley
Archbishop of Birmingham

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Bethany Food Bank Appeal

Please find below information about an appeal from G&T SVP. Can you please bring it to the attention of all the parishioners you are in contact with, and if they can donate any food etc it would great. It can be delivered to Lesley Murtagh at 36 Arden Close Balsall Common. If they can't get there if they let Joe Martin know he will go and collect it and take it around. There is also a collection box in Tesco in the Village. Please help us to help disadvantaged families in the area.

The Bethany Food Bank Appeal has produced a weekly newsletter showing their progress. You can find there below:

Easter Music during our Lockdown

Some of our parish musicians have recorded music to celebrate Holy Week and Easter. Even though we are unable to worship together as a parish, it's hoped that these will remind us of the importance the Easter Tridium in our lives. The first set are from Lesley and Katie Ritchie. Lesley is the Head Teacher of St. Augustine's catholic primary school in Kenilworth and sings and plays in our music group. She made these videos for the children who attend her school.

Songs from the Head Teacher's Living Room

Maundy Thursday

Fit My Video Tag

Good Friday

Fit My Video Tag

Holy Saturday

Fit My Video Tag

Easter Sunday

Fit My Video Tag
The next songs are from Hannah, Ellie and Ian Clarke. Ian and Ellie lead the Church Choir and Hannah is studying Music at Leeds University. They had been busy preparing some Easter music for the last week or so, quite unaware of Lesley and Katie's pieces! Their pieces consist of two old favourites: 'This is the Day' by Thomas Morley and 'Alleluia', a canon by Tim Brace and a new piece of choral music, composed for Easter by Hannah Clarke, called 'The Lord is truly Risen'.

Songs from the Music Room

by Tim Brace

Fit My Video Tag

This is the Day
by Thomas Morley

Fit My Video Tag

The Lord is truly Risen
by Hannah Clarke

Fit My Video Tag
Balsall Common Coronavirus Community Help

Please be aware of the following service available in Balsall Common. Please use the phone number or email address if you need any support.

covid support

Mass can be streamed directly from the internet. A number of churches in England and Ireland are available. Please visit this link to find out more.
Important notice from the Archdiocese concerning Safeguarding for all those supporting others in the community through this crisis

Email sent on behalf of Alan Hassall, Head of Safeguarding


In light of the current COVID-19 outbreak and need for some households and those in certain high risk groups to self-isolate, we are aware of the good work that parishes may be undertaking to support parishioners through this crisis. I email today because there have been some questions about whether those volunteering need to have DBS checks so I wanted to provide some clarity.

The laws still apply as usual and so those working closely with those who are ill, elderly or disabled would still require DBS checks. However, where you are providing basic support such as dropping off food etc and this is not because the person themselves would be unable to do this but simply because they are following advice to self-isolate, then this would not require a DBS check. I would advise that volunteers keep minimal contact both for safeguarding and virus control measures and do not enter houses but leave shopping etc on the doorstep. Doing such activities in pairs can also offer reassurance, although again follow virus control guidance. Any payments for shopping etc must be very carefully managed and recorded.

Where parishioners have more complex needs and these are tasks which they are themselves unable to do, irrespective of the request to self-isolate, then, as with such activities under normal circumstances, a DBS check would be required. Volunteers who already have such a check (eg Parish Visitors) should be used to assist these groups.

We absolutely want to support the good activities in parishes to help those in need at this time and we can take a common sense approach as long as we stick to these safeguards, remember there could be some unscrupulous individuals who may wish to exploit such opportunities which is why the above needs to be followed. Think carefully about who is being asked do what and make sure everyone knows the expectations.

I hope this offers some clarity.



Alan Hassall

Head of Safeguarding
Archdiocese of Birmingham
Cathedral House
St Chad’s
B4 6EX

The UK government has moved into Stage 2 of its response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Diocese has provided guidance on changes we need to make to safeguard the health of our parish. Please click on this
link to learn more. These changes will be made with immediate effect and will be in place for the foreseeable future.
Diocesan Liturgical Guidelines in the light of the Coronavirus Pandemic


Therefore there will be no Sunday or weekday Masses open to parishioners at Blessed Robert Grissold church from Friday 20th March 2020 until further notice.

Priests will celebrate the Mass privately. Mass intentions already accepted will be honoured and offered. ONLY PRIESTS MAY BE PRESENT FOR THE CELEBRATION OF THE MASS

The obligation for the faithful to attend Holy Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation is removed until further notice. All the faithful are asked to make a Spiritual Communion during this time. To help with this there will be live-streaming of Masses on the Diocesan website
here. Please visit this website regularly for further updates.

As a Catholic community we should treasure the power of prayer during these challenging times and pray for the world and its needs; pray for our country at this time of uncertainty and sickness; pray for families and communities to which we belong; and pray for ourselves.

Merciful God,
come to the help of your people.
Be our shelter in this time of peril
and strengthen the bonds of our community.
Bring healing to all who suffer the ravages of disease
and assist those whose skill and art
can put an end to this affliction.
Through Christ our Lord.

The UK government has moved into Stage 2 of its response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Diocese has provided guidance on changes we need to make to safeguard the health of our parish. Please click on this
link to learn more. These changes will be made with immediate effect and will be in place for the foreseeable future.

Parish Events

Looking for the rest of the Parish Event List? We have archived the list from our old site but you can still view them here.
17.03.2020Solemnity of St JosephOn Thursday at 10:00 am we celebrate the Feast of a very great saint of the Church: St Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This Mass will be followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until 11:00am.
15.03.2020Coronavirus Diocesean response - please readPlease make every effort to read about the changes that the Diocese have asked us to make in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. You can click the link to the left or use the one at the top of this page.
15.03.2020100 ClubThank you to all who have renewed or taken out a subscription this year. The first draw of 2020 will take place after Mass today. Prizes are 75, 45 and 30.
15.03.2020Please pray for Eleanor Rose Orme Please pray for Eleanor Rose Orme who is to be baptised here today, for her parents and godparents, her friends and family - that together with them we will grow ever more faithful to our baptismal promises.
12.03.2020Mass and Stations of the CrossThere will be a Mass at 10:00am on Tuesday 17 Mar morning (Feast of St. Patrick) followed by Stations of the Cross.
12.03.2020Parish meetingThere is a parish meeting next Thursday 12th March in the parish room after Mass to plan events for the coming year. All are very welcome to attend
11.03.2020First Holy CommunionsMeeting in the parish room on Wednesday 11th March at 4.30pm for parents who would like their children to make their First Holy Communion this year. Contact Chris Mitchell if any queries - 07742288722
08.03.2020Please pray for Brian Bernard Stokes Please pray for Brian Bernard Stokes who is to be baptised here today, for his parents and godparents, his friends and family - that together with them we will grow ever more faithful to our baptismal promises
08.03.2020Thanks from Solihull Cooperative Funeral CareOur visitors from Solihull Cooperative Funeral Care were overwhelmed by the welcome and support which they received here last Sunday and by your generosity. With your help they raised 165.00 for Dementia UK. They have asked me to pass on their thanks.
08.03.2020Thanks from Father FrankFather Frank would like to thank those who are responsible for cleaning the church.
06.03.2020World Day of PrayerWomen's World Day of Prayer on Friday 6th March at 10.30am, St Swithin's Church, Barston. Prepared by the Christian Women of Zimbabwe. All welcome, please contact Louise Perry if you can take part in the service.
04.03.2020Get-togetherGet-together on Wednesday 4th March at 11.30am in the parish room for soup and dessert. All welcome.
01.03.2020Kneelers - Safety ConsiderationsFollowing a recent incident in the church, a risk assessment and inspection of the kneelers has been carried out (by the Parish Maintenance Committee). While the kneelers are in good condition and did not require repairs, the inspection concluded that keeping the kneelers in the 'down' position is more hazardous than in the upright position. The Committee would like to remind everyone to take care when entering and exiting the pews.
01.03.2020Second CollectionThere will be a second collection on Sunday 1st March for Cathedral Maintenance
01.03.2020March 'Prayer Calendar' for VocationsWe have been invited by the Deanery again, this year, to contribute a month of prayer for vocations to the priesthood. We are each asked to choose one day in March and to commit to saying on that day, a prayer - short or long - for increasing numbers of vocations. If you would like to support this, please sign your selected day on the sheet at the back of church. We hope to have one or more people praying this every day of the month. For further details, see Bysshe Gibbs.
26.02.2020Ash WednesdayLent begins this week with Ash Wednesday with the Blessing and Imposition of Ashes. The Church orders the season of Lent to our preparation for the celebration of Easter. The forty days of Lent run from Ash Wednesday up to, but excluding, the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Maundy Thursday. We are encouraged to participate fully in the Lenten preparation for Easter, approaching the Sacrament of Penance and making our confession during this season. The season of Lent also presents us with an opportunity to reflect on our prayer life and to give ourselves over to meditation upon the scriptures or some other spiritual reading.
23.02.2020Thank youThe sale of Christmas Cards, Advent Calendars and Candles in 2018 and 2019 amounted to 139.70. Proceeds went to HCPT Group 83. Thank you for your support, it was much appreciated.
23.02.2020Lately deadPlease pray for the Repose of the Soul of Columban Father Joe Flanagan, who died recently in Ireland. Fr Joe celebrated Mass for us here on many occasions before we had our own Parish Priest. And also, for Peggy Anderton, a neighbour, friend & supporter of Group 83
23.02.2020Walk with MeWalk with Me Booklets for Lent 1 each will be available this weekend. Please put your donation in the wall box. Thank you
16.02.2020Warwick Deanery Parish Visitation 2020This weekend we welcomed Bishop William Kenney for the Warwick Deanery Parish Visitation to our parish. Click on the link to learn more about it and read the parish report presented to the Bishop
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The dedication for this week is for Jo Nijst
We would like to thank those who donated the four consecration candles put up in the church. These are in memory of the following. Bridge and Perry family, Cotterill family, McLean family, Daniel Mark Lester and Amy Pullen
Father Frank is on holiday this week. There will be a Eucharistic Service at 10.00am on Tuesdays while he is away. There will be no Mass with the Anointing of the Sick in July and no First Friday Mass in August.
We pray for Eve and for her family, godparents and friends as they gather, after Mass today, for her Baptism.CAFOD Collection
Thank you so much for the generous CAFOD donations collected in the last two weeks. An exceptional total of 382 was raised and that is without the Gift Aid extra reimbursement which will make the final total well in excess of 400. Thank you especially to all who took the time to fill in their details
The dedication for this week is Richard Brennan
Thank you to Paul Ryan for his generous donation of time and materials in repairing the gulley in the car park. If anyone would like to talk to Paul about driveways, paving or landscaping please call him on 07831 386621
Please note that this week's Tuesday Mass is earlier than usual and will be at 9.30 am to allow Fr Frank to attend the monthly Deanery Meeting of clergy
The dedication for this week is Francis Clements
The meditations and instruction on prayer in the Christian spiritual life continue on Wednesday during exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
There is a serious food crisis in Ethiopia. Extreme weather shifts, part of the El Nino effect, mean severe drought has left millions of people in need of emergency food aid. 400,000 children are already suffering from malnutrition and we need to act now to prevent a far more terrible crisis. Please give to the collection today for CAFOD's emergency humanitarian response. And please pray for those who are suffering.
A huge thank you to all those who worked to make the Consecration of our church such a blessed occasion yesterday. There will be a more in depth write up of the mass and celebrations soon!
Pictures of the consecration celebration are now available by clinking on the link or accessing the Parish Archive via the menu.
This is a very special year in the life of our parish, as our church will be consecrated on 9th July by Archbishop Bernard Longley. Preparations are already underway, both for the consecration service itself, and for various fund-raising activities. Updates on our progress so far are published in our Easter newsletter available online (along with our weekly Sunday bulletin) on this website For more details of how you can be involved, please speak to Joe Martin or Ian Clarke, or email
The breakfast talks continue throughout Lent at the Methodist church hosted by local churches. This week (29th) the speaker is Rev Dr Stuart Jennings "The Godliness of the Puritans". Saturday 7th March at 8.30am, Blessed Robert Grissold is hosting the Lenten breakfast at the Methodist church. Cost 2.00 and consists of cereals, croissants, and toast followed by the Lenten talk. The theme this year is "Moving forward by looking back". New visions for the future of Christianity. Speaker Mr Peter Larkin "The drama of Catholicism". All welcome.
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