Parish Groups

“Christian joy is a gift of God flowing from a good conscience.
— Philip Neri

Extraordinary Ministers Communion and Ministers of the Word

RCIA –Rite of Catholic Initiation of Adults

Are you thinking about becoming a Catholic?
Are you interested in what the Catholic Church teaches?

At Saint Philip Neri Parish Birkenhead we have a full programme of instruction where you can discover what it means to be a Catholic Christian in today’s modern world.

We meet informally in comfortable surroundings using video presentations and small discussion groups.

Through the implementation of this ancient rite of Christian initiation, candidates are supported on a journey of faith through to full communion with the Catholic Church.

So, if you are not yet baptised, baptised but not as a Catholic or baptised as a Catholic but not yet received first Holy Communion or Confirmation and want to know more, then perhaps we can help.

Contact the Parish Office to arrange an introductory meeting with Canon Niall or Deacon John to discuss your needs. 

St Vincent De Paul

Aiming to tackle poverty in all its forms through the provision of practical assistance to those in need.

The motto of the SVP is “Turning Concern into Action” and the Conference based at St Joseph’s Church works very hard to carry out this mission. Sadly, many neighbouring parishes no longer have an SVP conference so the areas we cover are continually widening. There is also an ever-increasing need for our services, more often than not to provide material support through, for example, the provision of white goods or furniture and assistance with food and fuel costs. We still find time to visit the sick, elderly and lonely in their own homes, care homes or hospital. Help can also be given with shopping, collecting medication and transport to church or other places. Our Conference also supports the work of the Society in poorer parts of the world through the twinnage programme. We try to involve parishioners in many of our activities with our Strawberry Teas having always proved particularly popular with the housebound.

If you wish to learn more about our work, need our help or are considering joining our Conference please approach any of our members or contact us through the parish office.

Liturgy Team

We want our liturgies to bring our parishioners in contact with God and be a source of uplifting, meaningful prayer and hope for them.

God always wants us to draw closer to Him in prayer.

Liturgy is how we pray together and good liturgy fosters “full and active participation” in the life of the Church.  It enhances and supports us in living out our Christian faith.

Our Parish Liturgy Team is here to help us all enrich the time we spend together in prayer, so that it can truly be ’the source and summit’ of all that we seek to be as a Christian community.

Its members include:
the musical directors for each of our two churches – Stella at St. Joseph’s and Jim at St. Michael’s.
the leaders for the Ministry of the Word – Lynn at St. Joseph’s and Deacon John at St. Michael’s
others with particular skills in this area.

Members of the team organise music and Ministers of the Word for regular Sunday worship. In addition, the team provides input for services and events and prayer material for significant parts of the Church’s calendar


Sister Catherine Bibby
Deacon John Birch
Deacon Gerard Boyle
Tony Evans
Jim Gallacher
Lynn Ireland
Stella McGann

Members of the Team can be contacted via the Parish Office.

Singing in Praise

The Music Groups of our Parish

St. Michael & All Angels’ Music Ministry 

Our objective as a music ministry is to enable the wholehearted, active participation of the congregation of St. Michael & All Angels by leading it in tuneful praise when glorifying God’s presence during various liturgies, the most important of these being the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Our aim is to encourage the participation of the church assembly in singing God’s praises by using music written in a variety of styles and chosen to reflect the cultural and generational diversity of those present.       

Currently, our group of singers and instrumentalists provides the music for Mass each Sunday morning.  New members are always welcome, whether vocalists or musicians. So, if you feel like joining us, please come and see us after Mass, or alternatively use the contact instructions given below.   

Contact Jim through Parish Office 

St Joseph’s Choir

St Joseph’s Choir has been steadily growing and developing over the last few years. A regular group of sopranos, altos and men sing at Sunday morning Masses and other services throughout the year. This group is augmented by a number of other singers to create a choir of about 25 singers, which regularly sings at large Diocesan events.  A section of the choir also sings at funerals and weddings in both churches in the parish, and in other churches in the area. Donations following these events have raised money for the parish funds, and missionary work in Zambia. We are fortunate in having two excellent musicians who accompany the choir on piano and organ.  The choir is a lively group which enjoys music, and the sense of belonging to and contributing to the wider parish community. New members are always welcome.


Contact Stella through the Parish Office

Ladies Groups

St Michael’s Ladies’ Group

We are a group of Ladies from the Parish that meet on a regular basis, usually on the first Thursday of the month in St Michael’s Meeting Room.
Our meetings are very varied, from talks from Members of the clergy and representatives of different charities, to theatre trips, meals out, musical evenings and craft sessions.
Details of all our meetings can be found in the Church Newsletter.

New members are assured of a very warm welcome.

Contact Sally via the Parish Office

St Joseph’s Ladies’ Group

St Joseph’s ladies group meet on the first Wednesday  of the month at 8pm at St Joseph’s parish centre.there are approximately 36 members.We have visiting speakers and demonstrations such as paper crafting,pottery moulding,flower arranging cake decorating. The Ladies meet for meals out including trips on the barge at The Mill in Chester, Italian and Greek restaurants and parties at the parish centre. 

Contact Liz Brookes via the Parish Office

The Parish Pastoral Council
of the
Parish of St Philip Neri


The purpose of the Parish Pastoral Council is setting and ensuring clarity of vision, ethosand strategy in consultation with the Parish Priest. It has a role in building and advising on the direction of the Parish.The Parish Pastoral Council is a discretionary body rather than a Diocesan requirement.
The Council is very much welcomed and encouraged by the Parish Priest. The Council exists to make a major and practical contribution to Parish affairs especially the lay voice.
It is made up of:
* Ex officio members, i.e. those who are engaged in pastoral ministry in the parish (Priests, Deacons,)
* Chair who is appointed by the Parish Priest
* Vice Chair who is elected by the members of the Parish Pastoral Council.
* Secretary who is appointed by the Parish Priest
* Members appointed by the Parish Priest, in consultation with the Parish Clergy Team and the Chair/Vice Chair.
Members are appointed initially for a period of four years, with the possibility of reappointment for one or more terms, according to the needs of the parish.
The Council meets six times a year
If a new Parish Priest is appointed then the composition and membership will be reviewed within six months.
The Council is not directly involved with practical matters. These will be carried out by designated Teams across the Parish and groups within each Church.
So for example:
The Council may decide it wishes to have additional liturgies during Lent or Advent but it is up to the Liturgy Team to decide on these with support from others as necessary.
The Council may decide that it wishes to have a Parish Christmas Party but it is up to the Social Team to organise this.
The Council may decide it wants to make more use of Social Media and develop its online presence but the task will be passed to the Communications Team.
The Parish Council recognises the need to reach out to the whole community both through the two Churches and more generally. It seeks to involve a wider range of parishioners in this work whilst remembering that many churchgoers in the Parish need help and support.

Meet the Clergy Team

Reverend Canon Niall Mullaley

Welcome to our Parish website. My name is Canon Niall Mullaley and I am the Parish Priest of this Parish dedicated to Saint Philip Neri in Birkenhead. My family are originally from Manchester, but as my father was in the Royal Air Force, I was born on an RAF Station in Shropshire, and moved a lot when I was younger. I trained for the priesthood at St Mary’s College, Oscott in Birmingham and was ordained by Bishop Joseph Gray at our Diocesan Cathedral in Shrewsbury on the 25th January 1986. I have served as a priest in Northwich, Great Sutton, Wythenshawe Hospital, Wallasey, Partington, Ellesmere Port and since September 2021 here in Birkenhead. It is good to be part the team and parish family here in Saint Philip Neri Parish and Birkenhead as we seek to support each other in living the Gospel of Jesus

Reverend Deacon Gerard Boyle

I have been a member of St Joseph’s Parish all of my life, except for a few years when living in Bristol. My Wife Margaret and I married in St Joseph’s Church in 1984. We have been blessed with three wonderful sons. I worked for many years in Export Sales and Marketing. In July 2002 I was Ordained to the Permanent Diaconate by Bishop Brian Noble and have been serving the Parish in that role for coming up to nearly twenty years. Following my ordination, I took up the role of College Chaplain, ministering in The Catholic High School in Chester and for the last fifteen years in St John Plessington Catholic College in Bebington. I also have Diocesan Responsibilities as Assistant Master of Liturgical Ceremonies as well as serving on the Commission for Liturgy

Reverend Deacon Les Arch

I am married to Mary and we have three children who have blessed us so far with 3 grandchildren who continue to keep us young. The new look (bald) is the result of Alopecia and not a razored look on my part hence the new photo. Along with Patrick Reagan and three others I was Ordained to the Permanent Diaconate on the 7th July 2007 by Bishop Brian Noble at Shrewsbury Cathedral. I have been part of parish life at St Joseph’s for close to 35 years (2021) nothing compared to the other deacons, and served as a Foundation Governor at the school until 2020. Since 2012 I have been appointed (with a break in 2019) as a Chaplain for Wirral University Hospital Trust, a part of my ministry, I find so rewarding even during the “Covid” time that I had no idea I would be suited. I am honoured that so many parishioners have recognised and welcomed me as part of the life of the church life in both St Michael & All Angels and Saint Joseph’s which made the transition to becoming the Parish of St Philip Neri so smooth for me.

Reverend Deacon John Birch

I was born in Birkenhead and have been a member of the parish since 1963. I am married to Norma and our wedding was in Saint Michael and All Angels Church. We have three grown up children and three grandchildren. After taking early retirement from work as an Engineer and Senior Consultant in the Water Industry I studied to be a Deacon for four years at St Mary’s College, Oscott in Birmingham. I was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate in July 2018 in Shrewsbury Cathedral by Bishop Mark Davies. Also, I have been a Foundation Governor of Saint Michael and All Angels Primary School for thirty years. I regard it a privilege to assist at Mass and serve the parishioners of our newly amalgamated parish of Saint Philip Neri.

Reverend Deacon Patrick Regan

Sister Catherine Bibby F.C.J.

I am a religious sister in the order Faithful Companions of Jesus. I was born in Leeds and lived there until I qualified as a teacher. I taught in Leeds until I became a Sister and since then have taught in schools in Brussels, Middlesbrough, Jersey and for 25years in Upton here on the Wirral. I taught Maths and R.E. at Upton and was also Chaplain there. I loved teaching especially teaching Maths. I also qualified in Massage, Reflexology and Indian Head Massage. As a hobby I went to classes in Sugarcraft and have made many wedding cakes, christening cakes, birthday cakes, and celebration cakes for friends and relatives. I have lived here on Wirral since 1981 and love it. In 2008 I celebrated my Golden Jubilee of Religious Life with a special Mass and celebration here at St Josephs in our Parish of St Philip Neri. Since retiring from school I have been on the Parish Pastoral Team, Eucharistic Minister, Choir member, Flower Arranger and Liturgy Team member. For many years I took youth to Lourdes to help with the sick there. There is always something to do in a busy Parish -- life if never dull!!