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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
 Welcome to St Michael and All Angels
Workshop Easter2018tenth.pdf

Shrewsbury Diocese -

Registered Charity Number 234025

Saints Club Winners April   1st St Veronica                Joan Murdoch   2nd St Margaret Mary         Ann James  3rd St John Chrysostom     Pat Eccles

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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Mass Readings

This Sunday Canon John Marmion will celebrate the three Masses whilst Father Chris is with the Bishop as his Master of Liturgical Ceremonies at a National Catenian event in Telford. Please pray for the Catenians, and for our retired priests, who are both such a big support to our clergy and parish communities.

Prayer Ministry Following the 9am Mass on the last Sunday of each month there will be a prayer team in the Sacred Heart Chapel in St Joseph’s. They are there to help if you need a prayer or want to be prayed over.

World Communication Day: This Sunday let us pray for those who work in media.

Data Protection: the changes in the law at the end of May will affect us as a parish family. To comply (and not get a fine!) some of our procedures need to be amended. Access to the parish office and presbytery has to change. Please be patient as we work through all the necessary processes. Thank you in anticipation of your support.

Pentecost Part 1: As we prepare for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, join the Local Pastoral Area for a time of Pentecost Praise on Thursday 17 May at 7.30pm in Saint Joseph’s Church. All welcome

Back by popular demand! Friday 18th May the Lourdes Youth Group are hosting a Casino Night! Tickets just £5 and available after Mass or from Sister Catherine, the Presbytery or any of the Lourdes Group. Dress Code is Black Tie! All profits in aid of the Lourdes Youth Group fund.

Pentecost Part 2: The annual LPA Vigil Mass takes place at Saint Michael & All Angels next Saturday at 6pm - Bishop Mark will preside and preach. All the parishes of our LPA cancel their Saturday evening Mass so that we can gather together as the Catholic Church in Birkenhead. Everyone welcome.

Deepening our Faith—Knowing Jesus Better The Creed is a six session look at the profession of faith continuing on Wednesday at 7.30pm in Saint Joseph's Parish Centre. Our Alpha course continues on Thursday at 2pm in Saint Michael's Parish Room. Why not seize these opportunities to grow in faith?

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

Bramwell Ave., Brecon Rd., Broxton Ave., Church Rd., Church Terrace, Clarence Rd. & Convent Close.

Saint Joseph the Worker: thanks to all who came to celebrate and say thank you for all the hard work that goes on to keep our parishes running. A special thanks to Toni & Cath for feeding us.

Hospital: If you or any member of your family are admitted to Hospital and wish to be seen by the Roman Catholic Chaplain or receive the Sacraments then please telephone 678 5111 extn 2275 and leave the patients name and ward location along with your request for a visit by the Catholic Chaplain.

Do you shop online? Did you know you can raise money for our parish every time you shop or search online with out costing you anything extra? Have a look and register at saintjosephsparishbirkenhead/

and help raise some extra cash for our parish.

Traidcraft: Produce and items will be on sale this weekend in St Joseph’s. Please support Fair Trade

Saint Joseph's - Social Team: Ann Holmes has kindly agreed to help gather a team of people to build up the social aspect of Saint Joseph's parish. The aim is to bring us together socially and build our sense of community, belonging and ownership of the parish. We still need more volunteers to join the 'Social Team' if you are interested please speak to Ann, a member of the Parish Pastoral Team or a member of the clergy.

Saint Joseph's - Finances: As you are aware Saint Joseph's is struggling financially and we do not have enough money to pay our day by day bills. It takes approximately £230 a day to stand still and keep our head above water (paying our parish priest and any supply priests is not included in that figure). The last Church heating bill alone was in excess of £2500! A huge thank you to those who have come forward with fundraising ideas - we look forward to exploring them, thank you also to those who are considering their offertory contribution - it is very much appreciated. If you have any ideas on how to increase our income please speak to Father Chris or one of the deacons. A couple of areas have been identified to reduce costs, but sadly it’s not enough. Father Chris was ordained as a priest not as a fundraiser or accountant, so it is up to us to support our parish if we want to survive.

Saint Joseph's - Church Cleaning: A big thank you to the one new volunteer who joined the dedicated team last month. We desperately need more volunteers to keep our wonderful church clean and tidy for God and for each other. We would really like to follow the example of other parishes and clean our church once a week, but our small team can only manage once a month. Can you help? Could you spare an hour and a half once a fortnight to help clean our church? No experience necessary! Cleaning does not have to be on Saturday. Thursday and Friday morning or afternoons can equally prepare the church for the weekend. Please come along to church on Saturday 26 May at 10am and play a big part in the life of our parish community (other wise we might have to hand out dusters or a mop as you come into church on a Sunday morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

First Communion - Saint Michael's: next Sunday at the 11am Mass a number of our children will be receiving the Lord Jesus for the first time in Holy Communion. Please pray for them. Please also make the children and their families welcome to Mass and show them the great Saint Michael's hospitality that we are famous for!

Pastoral Letter: This weekend Bishop Mark has written to us about the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress taking place in Liverpool this September. Please make sure you pick up the leaflet he mentions in his letter before you leave church!



Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Stephen Fooley whose Funeral Service will be held in St John’s New Ferry on Friday 18th May



to Oliver Alfie Duffy & Millie Gail Barnett who were both baptised at Saint Joseph’s last weekend. eph’s last weekend.