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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

Thank you to all those who sang, played, read and came along to the ‘Pentecost Praise’ event last Thursday. It was a great evening as we sang and prayed together and asked for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit to renew the Church in Birkenhead.

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

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 are changing. Please be patient as we work through all the necessary processes. Thank you in anticipation of your support.

Deepening our Faith—Knowing Jesus Better The Creed is a six session looking 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. See you there??????

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

and help raise some extra cash for our parish.

Saint Joseph's - Social Team: Ann Holmes has kindly agreed to help gather a team of people to build up the social side of Saint Joseph's parish. The aim is to bring us together socially and rebuild 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 - Church Cleaning: Next Saturday at 9.30am the Cleaning Team will be doing the monthly clean of our church—why not come and join them? Can you help? Could you spare an hour and a half once a fortnight to help clean our church? No experience necessary! If you are interested in joining the Saturday Cleaning Team or starting a Friday Cleaning Team, then please come along to church next Saturday (26 May) at 10am and find out how you can play a big part in the life of our parish community (other wise we might have to hand out a mop ’n’ bucket as you come into church on a Sunday!)

100 Years: On the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 16th July, the Carmelite Monastery in Grosvenor Place, Birkenhead, will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of their foundation in Birkenhead. Bishop Mark will be celebrating Mass there at 7pm. All are warmly invited to this Mass and to the buffet afterwards.

Saint Michael's Ladies' Group Our next meeting will be on Thursday 7th June at 7.30. We will meet at Saint Bartholomew's Church in Thurstaston for a talk and guided tour of this beautiful church, then those that wish can go onto the Cottage Loaf Pub for a drink. A suggested minimum donation of £2.00 is required. All welcome.

Upton Hall School are holding their open evening on Thursday 21st June 5:30pm—8:00pm.

News from Saint Joseph's Primary School: PTA Quiz night at Saint Joseph's school, 7.00pm, 22nd June. Why not enter a team? PTA Summer Fair Friday 29th June, 3.30-5.30pm.

A Vacancy has arisen for a Support Worker to assist the Diocesan Clergy Welfare Officer. The successful applicant will support the Welfare Officer assisting in visiting and participating in the care of sick and retired priests in their own home, or community setting. Also in an administrative role, booking appointments and dealing with the day to day administrative tasks which support a safe, confidential person-centred service for retired and sick Priests in the Diocese of Shrewsbury. The work will be facilitated, supervised and supported by the Welfare Officer. For further information please visit our website or send CV to Closing date Friday 8 June 2018.

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 patient’s name and ward location along with your request for a visit by the Catholic Chaplain.

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). 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. It is up to us to support our parish if we want to survive.

Joint Parishes Newsletter: next Sunday is the last time you will see this newsletter in it’s current form. We are changing the way we do the newsletter, no longer having the pre-printed ’Sunday Message’ and so save ourselves almost £2000 a year!

First Communion - Saint Michael's: Today 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 !

Pastoral Letter: Last weekend there was an important Pastoral Letter from Bishop Mark. If you weren’t at Mass or couldn’t hear it for any reason, there are copies available at the back of church along with copies of the leaflet mentioned in the letter. Please help yourself to a copy.

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

Berkeley Ave, Borough Rd, Boswell Rd, Carlton Rd, Charlecombe Street, Chestnut Grove & Church Mews.



Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Brenda McKay whose Requiem Mass will be held in Saint Michael’s on Thursday 24 May at 12.30pm. May Brenda and all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.



To Joseph Owen Iveson and Liam Alexander Iveson who were baptised at Saint Joseph’s last weekend.