A lot of ministries, volunteering, and spiritual activities take place in St Peter’s on a regular basis. Below are some of them.
The Parish Council exists to assist the parish priest in all matters relating to the pastoral life of the parish. Its decisions are usually communicated to the parishioners. If you would like a matter raised at its meeting, please bring it to the attention of the parish priest or of any council member.
The parish Finance Committee assists the parish priest in the administration of the goods of the parish, such as the parish properties and finances. Its members are drawn from the lay faithful who have expert knowledge in those fields relating to the goods of the parish, one of whom chairs the committee. The committee is currently chaired by Sue McLellen.
The purpose of this ministry is to catechise the members of the parish community in the beliefs, teachings, and practices of the Catholic Church. The catechists who deliver this catechesis are volunteers who have received adequate catechetical training. The categories of their ministry, with the corresponding coordinators, are given below.
- Baptism Preparation: In a session that lasts about an hour, a team of catechists prepares parents and godparents for the baptism of their children. Members of the team are Margaret Grundy and Mary Faithfull.
- First Holy Communion: St Peter’s is blessed every year with children who receive their First Confession and First Holy Communion. The programme that prepares the children for these sacraments usually starts in September and ends with the reception of the sacraments during the following Easter season. A team of catechists that handles this ministry is led by Linda Graham.
- Confirmation: The parish also prepares children from 13 years upwards for the sacrament of Confirmation, often in conjunction with the sister parish of Marychurch. The programme is coordinated by Teresa Crabtree.
- RCIA: For baptized adults Catholics who did not receive either First Holy Communion or Confirmation as children, and for non-Catholics who want to be admitted into full communion with the Catholic Church, the parish annually organizes the RCIA programme, beginning from October. The candidates receive the sacraments during the Easter Vigil ceremonies. The programme is run by a team led by Teresa Crabtree.
This ministry deals with the liturgical life of the parish. Its purpose is to make our community worship of God organised, inspiring, joyful, and enriching. The groups that make up this ministry are given below; you are invited to consider joining any of them that appeals to you:
- The Sacristan takes care of the sacristy and gets things ready for liturgical celebrations, including weekday and Sunday Mass. The current parish sacristan is Genny Parrott.
- Lectors are trained and commissioned to proclaim the Word of God at Mass on a rota basis. The coordinators are Pat Lawrie for the 9.15 am Mass, and Heather Coakley for the 11.00 am Mass. Usually the university students take care of the 6.00 pm Mass liturgy when the university is in session.
- Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion help the priest to distribute Holy Communion during Mass. Some of them also take Communion to some of the sick and the housebound in the parish.
- Altar Servers, both male and female, young and old, help at Sunday Masses on a rota basis. Some of them are also available on other liturgical occasions. Their ministry is coordinated by Lynda O’Reilly and Genny Parrott.
- Children’s Liturgy: During the 11.00am Sunday Mass in the parish, young children normally have their own liturgy in the hall adjacent to the sacristy. They re-join the congregation at Offertory. The liturgy is conducted by competent and vetted supervisors led by Maria Luck.
- Children’s Mass: The 11.00am Mass on the first Sunday of the month is usually Children’s Mass in the parish. At this Mass, children perform most of the liturgical functions under the guidance of the parish catechists. The organisation of the Mass is overseen by Linda Graham.
- Flowers: Volunteer flower arrangers have helped to make the parish well-known for its beautiful flower decorations, especially at Christmas and Easter and, indeed, throughout the ordinary season of the year. A lot of parishioners regularly make flower donations to the parish.
- Cleaners: The parish church has been blessed with the volunteers who always keep the church clean and tidy. They follow a rota. If you would like to help, please contact the Parish Secretary, Pauline Hayes, at firstname.lastname@example.org..
The Catholic Church in England and Wales is striving towards a culture of safeguarding where all are safe from harm and abuse and everyone is encouraged and enabled to enjoy the fullness of life in Christ through the prayerful, caring, nurturing, supportive, and protective efforts of the Catholic community. The parish safeguarding representative, Sue McLellen, is responsible for promoting good and safe practices in all activities involving children, and vulnerable young people and adults within the parish.
St Augustine says that anyone who sings well prays twice. The parish is blessed with many volunteer choristers, cantors, organists, and guitarists. You are most welcome to use your musical talents to enhance our community worship of God. You can join either the 9.15 am Mass choir or the 11.00 am Mass choir coordinated by Teresa Crabtree and Connie Johnson respectively.
In addition to the Sunday Mass schedule, there are a number of other services and devotions in the parish on an ongoing basis. St Peter’s is a parish full of spiritual activities, and you can always find in it something that suits your spiritual disposition. Below are some of the spiritual exercises that go on weekly in the parish.
- Rosary Group: The groups meets every Wednesday after Mass. Its prayers is coordinated by Noreen Savage.
- St Pio Prayer Group: Coordinated by Pauline Hayes, the group meets every Thursday from 6.00 pm.
- Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Novena: Every Friday from the end of Mass, the parish makes its devotion to the Sacred Heart.
- Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour holds every Tuesday after Mass.
The parish is deeply committed to sharing its faith with others through the witness of its members to the truth and love of God. It organises and carries out its mission outreach through its Proclaim Team whose coordinators are Pauline Hayes and Maria Luck.
The parish values highly the spiritual wellbeing of its young people who are its future. At the moment, plans are being drawn up for the youth of the parish. If you have the gift of working well with young people, the parish will appreciate your involvement in this effort. You can contact the parish youth coordinator, Linda Graham through the parish office.
In keeping with its ‘Mission Statement’, St Peter’s is a parish that cares deeply both for all its members and for others, especially those in particular needs, and has a number of groups by which it exercises this ministry of love and caring.
- Ministry to the Sick: Twice a month the parish clergy go to see the sick, the housebound, and those in the care homes in the parish and to give them Communion. They are also available on call to attend to the sick at any other time. If you or your loved one needs a visit, please contact the parish clergy on 01707262121. On a weekly basis also, some Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion take Communion to those in St Christopher’s, a care home located within the parish.
- Mary’s Meals: Mary’s Meals is a charity which feeds 700,000 children across the world every day. By feeding the children in their schools, it also ensures they receive an education at the same time. The charity is run with minimal overheads and involves the local communities where the children are fed. St Peter’s supports Mary’s Meals in various ways including a fundraising lunch in the parish Hall one Saturday each month. The contact person is Christine Kirke.
- Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SVP): SVP is an international Catholic organisation providing practical assistance to anyone in need. St Peter’s shares a branch of the SVP with the neighbouring parish of Marychurch under the leadership of John Beckett.
- Welcoming: We try to have parishioners at the back of church at the beginning of Mass to greet everyone to St Peter’s for worship, especially visitors and newcomers, and to make them feel welcome. The contact person is Chinonso Ijezie.
- Homeless Christmas Project: Every year towards Christmas the parish under the auspices of Homeless Christmas Project organises the collection of relevant items for distribution to the homeless in the country. If you wish to help, please contact Pauline Hayes.
The parish values the one-to-one social interaction of its members and, on a regular basis, organises social events that bring the community together. Those events are organised by the members of the Social Ministry that includes Friends of St Peter’s. The coordinators are Tony Dodd and Margaret Grundy. They include the following which may be of interest to you:
- Sunday Tea & Coffee in the parish hall after the 11.00am Mass every Sunday.
- Bingo every second Saturday of the month in the parish hall.
- Feast of St Peter, to celebrate the feast day of our patron saint, St Peter the Apostle, which falls on June the 29th – the Solemnity of St Peter and St Paul. Another feast of St Peter in the year – the See of St Peter – falls on February the 22nd.
- Parish Garden Party once a year.
- Volunteers Party once a year, to thank all the volunteers who render services to the parish during the year.
- Recognition and Awards: This is coordinated by the parish clergy to appreciate the person(s) of outstanding voluntary service to the parish during the year.
- Children’s Party once a year in January.
Health and Safety
As you may know, health and safety is a major issue in the country, and the parish takes its responsibility in this area very seriously. The parish Health & Safety officer is Jemma Evans.
Managing its finances in a transparent and responsible manner is of great importance to the parish. To be able to do that, the parish relies on the generosity and expertise of many volunteers, including the following:
- Gift Aid Coordinator: Pat Malsher;
- Collectors who help with Offertory Collection;
- Counters who give their time to count all the monies received;
- Bankers; and
The repository makes a variety of Catholic literature and articles readily available to the parishioners. It opens after each Mass on Sunday and is looked after by volunteers. If you wish to help, you can contact the coordinator: Heather Coakley through the parish office.
- Maintenance Committee: A team of volunteers who form the committee regularly check the parish premises and properties to identify anything that needs attention and to arrange to have it fixed. The effort is coordinated by Don Coakley.
- Gardening: Keeping the grounds of the church neat and tidy is also done by volunteers. Always on the spot for this purpose is Don Coakley. Please, contact him if you wish to help with gardening.