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St Michael and All Angels


Did you know …………St Michael and All Angels was one of the first Vatican II-inspired churches in the Diocese, designed to focus the attention of all who entered on the central altar. Its design was also a response to the need to provide a landmark at the end of a long axial avenue through the centre of the planned settlement of Woodchurch. The form of the building with its open plan, high tent-like roof clad in aluminium, and horizontal base of ribbed concrete was a bold and innovative statement that symbolised the progressive spirit enshrined in the new liturgy. It is a Grade II listed building.

The parish of St Michael and All Angels was founded to serve the Catholic community of Woodchurch and Prenton in 1952, and for the first four years, the Mass was said at the chapel of Landican Cemetery. After the opening of the school buildings at Woodchurch in 1956, the school hall became the centre of parochial activity until the opening of the church in September 1965. The building was awarded an RIBA Bronze Medal in 1967.

The church was designed by Richard O’Mahony of the F. X. Velarde Partnership, and was commissioned in 1962. The site of the church at the end of a wide avenue almost one mile long through the planned settlement of Woodchurch, led to the concept of a building with a certain dominance, placed symmetrically on the axis of the avenue.

Dominance is achieved by the lines of the great tented roof, which springs from the four corners of the nave in a series of folded planes that culminate in a point above the altar. The roof, which is steel framed and clad in sheet aluminium, rises to a height of 26 metres and is louvred on the west face to throw light onto the sanctuary below. A horizontal slot in the east face of the roof casts light into the Blessed Sacrament chapel. The enclosing walls are of ribbed reinforced concrete, with the roof lifted above a horizontal clerestory to provide a sensation that it is floating.

On entering the church, attention is centred on the altar, set in a spacious sanctuary and lit from above. The congregation gathers on three sides of the altar, the main nave, and two transepts of unequal size, one used by the choir, and the other now a day chapel. Behind the sanctuary, and separated by a textured concrete screen within inset glass blocks is the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, whose altar supports the tabernacle. The tabernacle, which is of silver, was designed by the late F. X. Velarde, and was made so as to be clearly visible on entering the church.

The altars, font and lectern are constructed of Mourne granite, with polished tops but left matt on the vertical surfaces. A black brick tower to the west of the day chapel, framed by glazed slots in the roof, was intended to act as an organ loft, but the organ was never built. Instead a nineteenth century organ in a discordant Gothic organ case was introduced in the 1990s. A small concrete base projects from the lower part of the tower's north wall and is surmounted by a life-size sculpture by Norman Dilworth entitled 'Mother and Child' with gold-coloured, textured, abstract backdrop panels behind.

The church was designed to accommodate 650 people, and is the largest Catholic Church in Wirral. The contractors were Mohin of Bebington, and the cost excluding fees was £75,000. All the sanctuary and sacristy furniture and fittings were designed by the architect and cost a further £6,900.

Sources of information –

“Taking Stock – Catholic Churches England and Wales” Website

“British Listed Buildings” Website  

-edited by John Birch

Local Pastoral Area Web Site

 St Joseph, Birkenhead.



I am the bread of life.

Whoever comes to Me

will never hunger,

and whoever believes in Me

will never thirst.



Are you human?



0151 232 4134




St Michael and All Angels

New Hey Road


CH49 5LE

Parish Priest

Fr. Chris Matthews

Deacons:   Patrick Regan &

        Paul D’Ambrogio

Sister:       Mary Hill CSN


and All Angels



Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind... and love your neighbour as yourself









Word and Communion



Word and Communion






Word and Communion




Word and Communion

Vigil Mass

Regular Services

Morning Prayer of the Church (at both churches):  9.00am, Monday to Friday.

Charismatic Prayer (St Joseph’s) Friday 7:30 – 9:00pm. ———————————————————————————

Holy Hour  (St Michael’s)  1st Friday of the month at 7pm

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament   

(St Joseph’s) Saturday 11am to 12 noon

(St Michael’s) Weds 8.30am to 9am

Sacrament of Reconciliation   

(St Joseph’s) 11am -12noon on Saturdays.   

(St Michael’s)  5.15-5.45pm on Saturdays.

Syro-Malabar Rite Mass

every 2nd & 3rd Sunday of the Month  at 3.30pm in St Joseph’s Upton


Usual Mass times

Check newsletter for variations

Holy Family 2017[963].pdf

Download Full Newsletter with mass times

The Church under construction 1965

Ladies Group

Welcome Ministry

Minister Rotas

Saturday Mass Sunday Mass
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Shrewsbury Diocese -

Registered Charity Number 234025

Saints Club Winners December   1st St Matthew                                Tony Evans  2nd Our Lady of Perpetual Succour    Ken Whatling  3rd St Anthony of Padua              Mary Hawksworth   4th St John the Baptist                      Kate Davies

St Michael & All Angels

Catholic Primary School

Headteacher: Mrs S Ralph

New Hey Rd

CH49 5LE

0151 677 4088

Music Ministry

St Vincent De Paul

Photo Gallery

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Coughs and snuffles! If you are suffering from a cold, cough, flu or similar please think carefully before receiving from the Chalice to help prevent cross contamination. The priest has to receive from the Chalice for the validity of the Mass (Father Chris uses his own Chalice at Sunday Masses), but you do receive the fullness of the sacrament under both species (Host or Precious Blood). Please also remember that 'self intinction' (the dipping of the Host into the Precious Blood) is not permitted in England and Wales (neither is the straw, spoon or pipet!).

Alpha We are launching our Alpha Course on Wednesday 31st January in the Parish Centre. This is an opportunity to chat and discuss, it is not about converting but rather getting to know. Do you have a friend, colleague or family member who you think might want to come to know Jesus. Join us and bring a companion to eat, watch a video and discuss from your point of view what you encounter.

First Communicants who do not attend Our Parish Primary Schools Mary Arch has kindly agreed to lead some sessions for those children over the age of 7 who wish to make their First Holy Communion. The meetings begin on Tuesday at 4pm in the Parish Centre this week. Please collect an application form after Mass if you wish your children to join the programme of preparation.

Father Chris writes ... I invite all our Ministers of the Word from both parishes to meet with me in Saint Joseph’s Church at 1pm on Saturday 27 January.

Women’s World Day of Prayer: An annual ecumenical time of prayer and reflection takes place across the Prenton churches. This year Saint Joseph’s will host on Friday 2nd March at 1.45pm this gathering. The event is open to all, please consider joining us. If you would like to take part by reading or an action, then please contact Mary Heaney on 0151 608 4225.

Churches Together In Saint Joseph’s parish we are praying this week for those in the following roads:

Mellor Rd, Mendip Close, Mendip Rd, Milton Rd, Milton Rd East, Mossley Rd & Mounsley Rd.

Our Mission Together This weekend in St Joseph’s we will be hearing a little more about our progress in Our Mission Together. Please pick up a copy of the Stewardship Newsletter that has been sent to every parish in the Diocese.

Come and Be Sociable Do you enjoy knitting, sewing, quilting, crochet, card making, embroidery or any other craft? Would you like to learn a new craft or share your expertise with others? If you want to find out more then come along to our new craft group at St. Joseph’s Centre, Greenbank Road on Wednesday mornings from 10:00 – 12 noon. Bring your craft work with you and enjoy a relaxing morning over a cuppa with friends. For more information contact Mary Arch.

Adult Catholics Together Spiritually A Recovery of Mercy : the radical experience of Grace through all our addictions is the theme for the next Day of Reflection for 'ACTS' ('Adult Catholics Together Spiritually') being held on Sat 17 February 2018. If you are aged between 18 - 35 please join us when we will be led by Damien Prescott, the Director of 'Olive Branch Recovery Communities'. The day will start at 9.30pm at Wistaston Hall, Crewe CW2 8JS and finish around 5pm. Payment by anonymous donation (suggested cost £20 & £15 for unemployed/student). If you would like to join us or wish to know more about it please contact Siobhan Cartwright at tel: 0161 477 2783 / 07761138947. Wistaston Hall is accessible by public transport but please contact Siobhan to discuss the possibility of getting a lift if required.

Anniversaries If you are celebrating a significant wedding anniversary this year and would like to receive an invitation from the Bishop to participate in the Annual Diocesan Mass for the Celebration of Marriage at Our Lady & St Christopher’s, Romiley, on Saturday 10th February at 12 noon, would you please let us have your names, addresses and the number of years of marriage you are celebrating. All married couples are welcome to this Mass but invitations from the Bishop will only be sent to those celebrating significant anniversaries this year.

Church Cleaning Saturday 27th January is the next day for cleaning St Joseph’s church. We need more help. Can you please spare the time?

Saints Club Over the last couple of years the number of members of the Saints Club has declined. Therefore we have had to alter the money prizes to three payments. All profits go to parish funds. If anyone is interested in becoming a member of the Saints Club please see Chris (on Saturdays) or Pat (on Sundays), usually hovering at the back of church. There is a full list of the “spare saints” on the noticeboard. If your favourite saint is not on the list and is not already allocated we can easily add them to the list.

School Governors Governors are appointed by the bishop to represent his education policies in his schools. They preserve and develop the Catholic ethos.

What do they do?

hold the Headteacher to account, oversee the finance and performance of the school and manage the school’s admission criteria. They recruit the senior leadership team.

How much time involved?

This will take 10-12 hours a month, which includes attending governors meetings and serving on at least one committee.

Who can be a governor?

You must be 18+, be a practising Catholic and be prepared to show commitment.

How do I apply?

Contact the diocese at the Curial Office in Park Rd South, Birkenhead, and nominate yourself.




Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Vera Montgomery, Father Peter Montgomery’s mother, whose requiem will be celebrated on Thursday 25th January at 12 noon in St Ann’s, Cheadle Hulme.