St Francis Xavier's

Fr Denis Blackledge SJ on the altar of St Francis Xavier's
On Tuesday 2nd October, St Francis Xavier's church in Liverpool celebrated its first Mass dedicated to remembering all victims of abuse. This was seen as an opportunity to raise awareness, as well as offering support and comfort.In August, Pope Francis had published a Letter to the People of God in which he unequivocally condemned both the abuse of minors and the failure to hold perpetrators to account.The Holy Father invited the Church to a penitential exercise of prayer and fasting: “...
Fr Pearsall SJ with visitors in the organ loft
Last weekend saw the national celebration of Heritage Open Day – the largest festival of history and culture in the UK, bringing together over 2,500 organisations, 5,000 events and 40,000 volunteers. Every year for four days in September, places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history.This year two of our Jesuit churches participated: St Francis Xavier’s in Liverpool and the Holy Name in Manchester.The Holy Name has just reopened following...
Fr Denis (second left) with director Ashley Pearce, Sean Bean, Colin McKeown of LA Productions and Jimmy McGovern
A British Jesuit commissioned to help one of television's tough guys to portray a sensitive, vulnerable north country Catholic priest says the experience was "very satisfying", with the production team keen to be authentic and showing immense trust. His account of the experience is the cover feature in the spring edition of Jesuits and Friends, which is now available from Jesuit parishes, schools, chaplaincies and spirituality centres throughout Britain. It is also available to download.The...
The new website of the Friends of SFX
Five years after they were originally established to keep past and present parishioners in touch, the Friends of SFX (St Francis Xavier’s) in Liverpool have launched their new website. Now with members from as far apart as North America and Asia, their regular mailings include recollections of times past in this busy inner-city parish as well as news from its many and varied members.The fortunes of SFX Church have always mirrored those of the city of Liverpool itself. In 1848, when the Jesuits...
The organ at SFX
The Friends of St Francis Xavier's Church Liverpool are organizing its participation in the national heritage open day this year.St Francis Xavier's Church is a Grade II* building, decorated in gothic revival style. It is full of intricate stonework, beautiful stained glass from 1850 to the present day, and artefacts which reflect the history of Liverpool. The Jesuits have served the church for the whole of its 216 years existence.SFX is two churches in one: the original designed by J J Scoles...
There will be two special masses for Jesuit friends and alumni on the feast of St Ignatius this year, one at Farm St Church in Mayfair, and one at St Francis Xavier’s in Liverpool.The St James Consort conducted by Chris Martin, who played for the St Ignatius Day mass at Holy Name Manchester last year, will be performing again this year at SFX. Mass will be  followed by refreshments - a lovely opportunity for alumni from around the world and the UK to meet and chat.The recently...
The window depicting St Ignatius Loyola has been re-installed in the Church of St Francis Xavier (SFX) in Liverpool. The restoration of the stained glass window was made possible due to the parish’s successful application for Lottery funding. It was severely damaged during the Second World War (photo below).Over the past couple of years, the Friends of SFX and others have saved and donated £3,630 towards this project. The bid under the Lottery Fund’s Shared Heritage Scheme asked for a further £...
The organ in St Francis Xavier's Church (SFX) has been awarded a Grade 1 certificate by the British Institute of Organ Studies (BIOS). Describing it as “an instrument of importance to the national heritage”, it said it should be preserved “for the benefit of future generations”. Originally built by Gray and Davison in 1849, the organ of SFX Church was rebuilt by William Hill and Sons of London in 1907. While the case was retained, it was enlarged with four manuals and moved forward. The...
The restoration of the stained glass window of St Ignatius in St Francis Xavier Church in Liverpool (SFX) is underway following the parish’s successful application for Lottery funding. Over the past couple of years, the Friends of SFX and others have saved and donated £3,630 towards this project. The bid under the Lottery Fund’s Shared Heritage Scheme asked for a further £5,500 in order to pay for the restoration and supporting work, making the total budget £9,310....
The Youth Group of St Francis Xavier's Parish in Port Mourant, Guyana (part of the British Province) recently spent a weekend in Camp Kayuka. One of its members, Ashli Rankin, says it was both uplifting and a mind-opening experience where strong bonds were forged.The motto “those who have ears to listen” provided an anchor for the rest of the activities during the weekend. The group-building exercises which dared you to be honest with God, yourself, and...

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