As christians we hope to grow in our knowledge and love of God, by his grace and goodness. His Son, Jesus Christ, offers us many opportunities for growth and support through His church. We encourage everyone to understand and respond to the graces offered at every point of their lives, and we offer support in various ways for them to do so.
Babies and Children
We welcome infants and children into membership of the church, as adopted children of God and co-heirs of Christ’s kingdom, through Baptism . For babies, the membership commitment is expressed on their behalf by parents and godparents. Older children make their own commitment when they are ready to do so. This commitment is brought to maturity by Confirmation, reflecting the gift of the Holy Spirit to the apostles at the first Pentecost.
The greatest gift of Christ through His church is the Eucharist, a sacred thanksgiving memorial of his life, death and resurrection, in which we are united with Christ himself in the form of bread and wine (Communion). This is the main element of the Mass, but preceded by Bible readings and preaching. The Sunday (and Saturday evening) celebration of Mass is the focus of our parish life. Masses are also celebrated on other days for those able to join us. We prepare children to take part fully in the Eucharist from the age of about seven, when they receive their “First Communion”. Younger children and non-catholics at Mass are given a blessing, if they come forward with those who are receiving Communion.
Throughout this country, Catholic parents are encouraged to have their children educated in Catholic schools, so most parishes have their own primary school. For nearly a century, the parish school was in buildings alongside the church. Since the 1950’s, St Peter’s Primary School has had its own site in Crescent Road, but it is still a vital element of our parish. For secondary education, the parish lies within the catchment areas of St Paul’s Academy, St Columba’s Boys School, St Thomas More Comprehensive School, and St Catherine’s Girls School.
Initiation of Adults
Adults who wish to become members of the church are supported to undertake all the rites of initiation (Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation) on the same occasion, usually at Easter. Their preparation course is known as the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).
The church is a place where many choose to be married. Enquiries about marriage in our parish are always directed to one of our priests. Engagement is a grace filled time, and the priest will help you with your preparations for marriage. This information is designed to assist you with those preparations. And here is a checklist for your preparations: marriagechecklist.
Illness and Infirmity
Parishioners who are ill or infirm are supported with blessings in a rite of anointing with oil, administered by one of the priests. Communion is taken to those who are housebound, in hospital or care homes, by some of the Communion Ministers. Please contact the Parish Secretary (see Who’s who) to arrange visits by one of the priests or Communion Ministers.
Bereaved parishioners are visited by one of the priests, and funerals are held in the church, usually within a celebration of the Mass.
Safeguarding the Vulnerable
In all parish activities, our particular concern is for the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. With diocesan support, we encourage all relevant ministers to undertake regular training, to be aware of our safeguarding policies and latest advice on good practice.