Sacraments of Initiation
"Holy baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other Sacraments.
Through baptism, we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, we are incorporated into the Church and share in her mission;
"Baptism is the Sacrament of regeneration through water in the Word." Catechism 1213.
Baptism in faith enables us to grow in hope and love.
Children who are over 7 years of age, young people and adults are normally fully initiated after a period of preparation on the RCIA Course, at the Easter Vigil - which is usually celebrated at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday, the eve of Easter.
Babies are usually baptised on Sundays in church. Bishop John has asked that parents desiring to have their child baptised should show commitment to their faith by attending Sunday Mass for a number of weeks prior to arranging the baptism.
At St Mary's, Registration takes place in the sacristy on the first Sunday of each month after the Sunday morning Mass, The Baptism Team will help you complete an Application form and arrange the details for the Preparation Evening, which is held in St Mary’s Presbytery on a subsequent Tuesday evening. At a later date the Baptism appointment for your child will be arranged with one of the priests. If you would like to discuss Baptism further then please contact 01282 422007.
At Christ the King, Registration takes place in the sacristy with one of the catechists after the morning Mass on the third Sunday of each month, when the parents will be helped to complete an Application form. The preparation meeting for parents will take place in Christ the King presbytery at 12.30pm on this same Sunday. At a later date the appointment for your child's Baptism will be agreed with one of the priests. If you would like urther information about Baptism then please contact 01282 422007.
At St John's, Registration takes place in the room through the sacristy with David Hartley, the Parish Administrator after any of the Sunday morning Masses. You will be helped to complete an Application form and be given the details for the Preparation Meeting. After this meeting, At a later date the Baptism appointment for your child will be arranged with one of the priests. If you would like to discuss Baptism further then please contact 01282 423824.
"As I have done to you, go and do the same yourselves"
"It is evident from it's celebration that the effect of the Sacrament of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as one granted to the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. Catechism 1302
From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:
-It roots us more deeply in the divine filiation; which makes us cry "Abba Father."
-It unites us more firmly to Christ
-It increases the gift of the Holy Spirit in us.
-It renders our bond with the Church more perfectly.
-It gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, "to confess the name of Christ, boldly and never to be ashamed of the cross." Catechism 1303.
Confirmation is a wonderful sacrament which enables us to walk with the Lord and bear witness to Him. We do this by using the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
To value what we believe through faith.
To be able to grasp the truths of our faith.
To judge how best to act and point to God.
To seek courage to stand always in faith with Christ.
To see the circumstances of our lives, as opportunities to reveal the Word.
To serve God in love.
7. Fear of the Lord
To love God always and serve.
How to be confirmed?
The Holy Spirit is our helper and guide.
There has been a recent change in diocesan policy as regards the age at which baptised Catholic children/young people prepare for and receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. As from now, children currently in Year 6 will be invited to begin a voluntary two year spiritual course to help them get ready for Confirmation .This will include retreats and diocesan celebrations.There will then be a compulsory 12 week course of preparation leading up to their Confirmation after Easter in Year 8.
Adults who have taken part in the RCIA Course are normally Confirmed at the Easter Vigil Mass.
If you have been baptised in another Christian denomination and would like to become a Catholic and be confirmed, then please contact one of the priests on 01282 422007.
"At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ's Body and Blood. Faithful to the Lord's command, the Church continues to do, in his memory and until His glorious return, what he did on the eve of his Passion. "He took bread... he took the cup filled with wine. "The signs of bread and wine become, in a way surpassing understanding, the Body and Blood of Christ. They continue also to signify the goodness of creation. Thus, in the offertory, we give thanks to the creator for bread and wine, fruit of the work of human hands but above all as fruit of the Earth and of the vine, gifts of the Creator.
We gather to celebrate the Eucharist as God's family especially on Sundays, because this is the day that the Lord rose fom the dead. However Mass is also celebrated daily in our three parishes. Please see the parish newsletter and the church notice board for times.
Adults who have taken part in the RCIA Course normally receive Holy Communion for the first time at the Easter Vigil Mass.
Children on the Sacramental Programme receive Holy Communion at the end of their programme of preparation, which runs from September to June.
Children's Liturgy, also known as "Little Church"- when the children go out together to celebrate an age-appropriate service of God's Word. At St Mary's, this takes place at the 9.45am Sunday Mass. At St John's this takes place at the 6.30pm Vigil Mass (Saturday) as well as the 9.30am Sunday Mass. As regards Christ the King, this takes place at the 10.15am Sunday Mass.