Baptism is a sign of God's love. For Christians it is the way in which we are welcomed into the family of the Church. We have a Baptismal preparation programme which helps parents prepare to celebrate the Sacrament... This consists normally of three sessions attended by the parents and wherever possible, the Godparents, as it is beneficial for them to attend the meetings to find out more about their role. At the Baptism there should be at least one Godparent who is a practising Catholic over the age of 16yrs who has been Confirmed(this cannot be one of the child's parents)
The Sacrament is normally celebrated on one Sunday in the month as part of a community gathering. This may take place during the Mass which the family normally attends each Sunday, or in the afternoon at a service attended by a number of families with children to be baptised.
If you have just had a baby or are expecting one, the Parish offers you their congratulations. By thinking about your baby's baptism and getting in touch now, you are giving yourself a chance to sort out in good time any difficulties or anxieties you might have.
For Example: *If you have been out of touch with us for a while * If your Partner is not a Catholic, *If you are a single parent, *If you are not sure about Baptism, *If you don't know anyone who can be a Godparent DON'T WORRY Contact the Parish Office 01634 717582
PREPARATION FOR FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
It is the Primary duty of parents and guardians and of the Priest to ensure that children who have reached the age of reason, about 7 years of age, are properly prepared for the reception of the Sacrament as soon as possible. In this Parish the children are prepared over a period of two years (this includes the Sacrament of Reconciliation) During the course of preparation there will be meetings with the parents of the children concerned. This gives an opportunity for parents of the children to grow together in the love of Jesus Christ. It is the duty of the Priest to see that children who have not reached the age of reason or who are insuffciently disposed do not come to Holy Communion. It is also the duty of the Priest to ensure that special care is given to those children with learning difficulties.
FOR CHILDREN ATTENDING NON-CATHOLIC SCHOOLS- age of children from 7 years old
After Christmas a notice is posted in the Parish Newsletter to say the forms can be collected from the Parish Office in the Priest's house. and returned when completed to the Office. Those forms will be passed on to the teachers who will confirm the start date and time of the classes.
Classes usually start at the end of February and run for 13 weeks. The Reconciliation service will take place in mid May and First Holy Communion will be in mid June. Children will be expected to attend ALL lessons and parents will be required to support their home-work. All classes take place in the St John Fisher room at the same time under the guidance of two teachers. There is always a minimum of two adults present who will have been 'Police Checked' by the Church to ensure their suitability to work with young children
Contact the Parish Office for more in formation - 01634 717582
PREPARATION FOR CONFIRMATION
All who have been Baptised are bound to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. In the case of those coming into Full Communion with the Catholic Church, the Sacrament is is usually celebrated at the time of Reception. In the case of children, the normal age for reception of the Sacrament is not before the child's twelfth birthday.. Catholics are required to be confirmed before their marriage
Contact the Parish Office - 01634 717582 for more details
PREPARATION FOR MARRIAGE
Marriage is a covenant by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of love which is life-long, exclusive and open to having children. All Catholics who wish to marry are bound to get married before a Catholic Priest or Deacon and two witnesses. Any marriage which is contracted 'outside the Church' (for example in a Registry Office, a non-Catholic church or a place specially licensed for civil marriage) is Null and Void, except in the rare case of permission having been given beforehand by the Archbishop. Special permission has to be sought for a Catholic to marry a baptised non-Catholic or an unbaptised person, This permission is sought by the Catholic Priest or Dean responsible for the preparation.
In order to get married, a period of careful preparation is required, and couples must attend our Parish Marriage Preparation Programme or programme in another place outside this Parish approved by the Church. Ate least six months notice is required in order to allow time for proper spiritual prperation to take place and for all the necessary documentation to be assembled. In the case of a couple, only one of whom is a Catholic, the Parish Priest of the Catholic party has to see to the preparation. And so, for instance if the Catholic party lives outside the parish and wishes to get married at English Martyrs, he or she must first approach his or her parish priest of the parish where he or she lives. Contact the Parish Office for more information - 01634 717582
All sick and housebound are visited regularly by the Priests, Deacons, Parish Sister and Special Ministers. However at Christmas and Easter all sick and housebound have the opportunity to receive this Sacrament.
If you know you are going to have an operation or a spell in Hospital, the Priests will only too happy to give you this Sacrament should you wish.
Please inform your Parish Priest or the Parish Clergy and Office if you are taken ill and housebound and wish to have Holy Communion administered to you at your home