We offer a number of education programmes for children and adults at various stages in their life journeys. Details of some of the courses are listed below and please contact the Office or one of the priests for more details.
Baptism is the beginning of the journey of Faith. Provision is made for ongoing formation for both parents and godparents before the celebration of the Sacrament. Baptisms are usually held on a Saturday or Sunday. Parents need to see one of the priests and then attend the Baptismal Preparation before their child's Baptism can be booked. Baptism preparation usually takes place on the first Monday of the month at 7.30pm in the church. Contact the Office for timing of the next Session.
First Holy Communion
Classes start in September each year and run for approximately 8 months. Children should be in School Year 3 (i.e. 7 years old at the time of receiving First Holy Communion) to join.
For teenagers (children should be in Year 9 of the school national curriculum), a confirmation course usually runs from January to June. Older Catholics who are not confirmed should make individual enquiry of the clergy.
Journey in faith
This is a course for adults who are considering becoming members of the Roman Catholic Church. Please have a word with one of the priests if you would like further information.
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
This course, for adults who wish to become Catholics, begins every Autumn and runs until the following Easter when the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion are received.
If you are planning to get married either at St Mary's or elsewhere and you live in our Parish, please call the Rectory Office and make an appointment to see one of the priests. You need to give at least six months' notice so that marriage preparation and paperwork can be completed in time. You will also need to attend a Marriage Preparation Course.
Children's Liturgy of the Word
This takes place during the 10am Family Mass on Sundays (school term-time only). During the liturgy, aimed at kids aged 4-7 years old, a 'children-friendly' version of the Gospel is read, commented and backed by a practical activity to help the little ones familiarise with catechesis.
Launchpad is a preparatory course for children to attend the year before they begin their First Holy Communion catechism. It is aimed at 6-7 years olds, (Year 2 of the National School Curriculum), who do not attend catholic schools. The group meets every other Sunday during school terms and follows the same dates as the First Holy Communion catechism sessions.
Please note that we are constantly seeking members of our congregation who are willing to become Catechists and to assist with our education programme. If you would be interested in fulfilling this important role, please contact Fr Graham (via the St Mary's Rectory: firstname.lastname@example.org) and let him know which of the courses you would like to help with.