Training for altar service is currently done by our former servers who have gone on to university. Dates are advertised in the bulletin, and in St Hugh’s School to the children who have made their First Holy Communions. In the first instance, you should contact the Parish Office. Trainees are expected to attend at least two sessions of training before they go on the altar, and after that they receive “on the job guidance”, and of course they are expected to serve regularly at Mass and other services as required. There is more information on the application form, which is attached here. We are always happy to hear from people who want to become altar servers, and especially from adults and older children. We are particularly interested in adult volunteers available to support weekday Masses.
After a period of service you may be enrolled into the Guild of St Stephen – for further information see www.guildofststephen.org
Throughout our lives God is seeking a relationship with us – a relationship that is never meant to be static, but always developing, deepening, and maturing. The gift of faith that God has blessed us with – the gift that enables us to recognise, develop, and rejoice in the relationship we have with God – is a gift to be lived ourselves and to be shared with others. Every one of us in that sense is called to be a ‘catechist’ – a person of faith whose example and support helps others to recognise and develop their own relationship with God.
The Church needs and welcomes people who are prepared in a more structured way to accompany others on their particular faith journey. Some individuals, for instance, will be travelling the road to membership in the Catholic Church; others preparing for one of the sacraments; young children will need the help of adults as they explore and celebrate the Good News during the separate Children’s Liturgy of the Word at Sunday Mass. Each person’s journey is different.
Help and initial training is always provided for those willing to help in this way and give generously of their time as a catechist. On-going formation is also available and valuable. Knowledge and expertise are things that grow and develop with time. For those who exercise this role, more important than anything else is love and trust in God, gratitude for his goodness, and a willingness to share with others your own experience of living the faith.
If you would like to know more about what is involved or feel God may be calling you to this task, please speak to Fr. Pat, or to our Parish Link Catechist, David Astin, Tel. 0161 973 9154.
Children’s Liturgy of the Word
This takes place during school term time at the 10.30am Mass on Sunday. There are two groups, one for those aged 4 – 6, and one for the 6+ children. The children process out of church at the start of Mass to go across to the Parish Hall, and return in time for the Offertory. There they have a simplified Liturgy of the Word, concentrating mainly on the Gospel reading. If you would like to help with this important activity, please contact Lucy McGee, Tel. 0161 973 9662.
On the first Sunday of the month during term time, instead of the children going out for their separate celebration of the Liturgy of the Word, they remain in church, and the Mass is geared to their level. They act as readers and sometimes cantors as well. A small group of adults take turns to organise these Masses on a rota basis. Again, if you are interested in helping, please have a word with Siobhan Capey, Tel. 0161 610 7102. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Those involved in this task normally work in pairs on a day and time of their choice. The church is cleaned each week, with Wednesday or Thursday after the morning Mass being a fairly popular time. Prior to the major feasts of Christmas and Easter, a major clean takes place. More helpers are always needed, and the more who volunteer the less frequent the rota turn comes round. If you could offer some of your time for this task, it would be gratefully accepted. Please contact the parish secretary, Julia Hathaway on 0161 973 1694.
We are fortunate to have a team of talented and dedicated parishioners who provide beautiful arrangements to decorate our church and enhance our worship throughout the year. If you would like to join them, please speak to the Coordinator, Bernie Stabler, Tel. 0161 980 7119.
Ministry of Reading
When the Reader proclaims the Word of God at Mass, it is God in fact who is speaking to us, revealing the mysteries of our redemption and salvation, providing us with spiritual nourishment, and revealing His unfailing love for us. Christ himself, in the form of his Word, is present in our midst. The one who reads in church is used by God as a channel through which He communicates with us. If you feel you could fulfil this task, please ring, email or have a word with either Fr. Pat or the Parish Secretary, Julia Hathaway. Help and training will be offered and more readers for the rota would be much appreciated.
Ministers of Communion
These help with the distribution of Holy Communion during Mass, and some who have been given the necessary authorisation and clearance also take Holy Communion to the sick and housebound. More ministers would be welcome at any of our Masses. If you feel you would like to be trained to serve the parish in this way, or if you have already been carrying out this ministry in another parish and would like to do so here, then please speak to Fr. Pat.
Ministry of Music
If you play an instrument or enjoy singing, please let us know. More help is always needed. Organ accompaniment is provided at most of the weekend Masses, and twice per month a music group plays at the 10.30 Mass on Sunday. Apart from Christmas and Easter, we do not have a formal choir at Sunday Mass, but use a group of singers to lead and assist the congregation. Cantors willing to sing the Responsorial Psalm and Gospel Acclamation are always welcome. If you wish to know more about the choir and singers or if you are interested in joining the music group or would like to play organ for one of our Masses, please contact Julia Hathaway (Tel. 0161 973 1694).
Looking after the sacred vessels, the altar linen, the vestments used by the Priest and servers, ensuring the right liturgical colour is selected for the tabernacle veil, lectern hanging and missal stand, putting out what is needed for Mass and tidying it away afterwards – these are just some of the many vital tasks that enable our worship to run smoothly. If you feel able to help in any way, or wish to know more about what is involved, please have a word with Fr. Pat.
Welcomers at Mass
Those who perform this ministry provide a very special service to the parish community as a whole, and particularly to our visitors and newcomers to the parish. We hope that all who come here to worship go away feeling welcomed and valued. If you would like to help in this way, we would be most grateful. Just have a word with those already carrying out this task at the Mass you attend.