There are many ways in which you can serve the Church and your parish. The first three listed below are liturgical (i.e. they take place during Mass and other Services) and the remainder are everyday practical ones without which our parish would not survive!
Readers proclaim the Word of God (readings from Sacred Scripture) during Mass. The Office of Reader in the Church is a lay ministry and in our parish it is open to all. With support and training, anyone can read in church. If you are interested in becoming a Reader, please contact Father Campion.
Ministers of Holy Communion
Eucharistic Ministers are commissioned to serve their fellow parishioners by distributing Holy Communion both in Mass and to those unable to go to church who are confined to their homes. Baptised Catholics who are in good standing with the Church and who have made their First Holy Communion are welcome to join this ministry.
By assisting at the altar, adults and children have a very direct involvement in the liturgy. For children, the ideal age to start serving Mass is about 9 years old, after they have made their First Holy Communion. Adults must have a full disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (for the protection of children and vulnerable adults as authorised by the Bishop’s Conference for England and Wales).
The sacristans prepare the church for Mass and other Services . They also deal with the daily tasks of looking after vestments, sacred vessels, altar linen, candles and various furnishings.
Catechists lead the Children’s Liturgy on Sundays during morning Mass. This is a separate Service for children who have not yet made their First Holy Communion. It takes place in a a different venue during the Liturgy of the Word and the children rejoin the celebration of Mass with the Procession of the Gifts.
Welcomers and Stewards
Welcomers greet people as they enter the church, provide them with service leaflets, hymn books and newsletters. This is an increasingly important ministry in the Catholic Church and one we all need to foster.
Stewards direct people to their seats, take the collections, organise the Procession of Gifts at Mass and, generally, are on hand as health and safety officers.
It is not unusual for Funeral Masses at Holy Name to have very few people in attendance, and remaining family members may not be Catholic. Even at the larger funerals, there may be very few Catholics who can actively participate in the Mass responses and in singing the hymns. The Funeral Ministry at Holy Name is for church members to provide a strong presence at all funerals in church. Through participation in the Mass and assistance with the various liturgical ministries and rituals, our presence also can offer much needed support to the family members. Burying and praying for the dead is one of the Corporal Works of Mercy and this ministry offers a practical way of doing this in a caring and sensitive manner. It is open to everyone and if you wish to join it, please contact Fr Campion – in person, by telephone (0191) 281 0940 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Music and Choir
The organists, musicians and singers lead and accompany music at Mass and other Services. Their ministry greatly enhances our celebration of the liturgy. If you play an instrument and/or are wishing to join the choir, please contact the parish priest or any member of the choir.
The flower arrangers decorate the church with attractive displays according to the liturgical season and time of year. Anyone interested in arranging flowers is welcome to contact one of the sacristans or the parish priest. It is hoped to provide a Flower Arranging Course in the Spring for newcomers – all are welcome!
The cleaners vacuum the floors, dust and polish the benches, and keep the toilet (with disabled access) at the rear of the church clean and in good order. This important ministry – which is so easily taken for granted – is open to all and no special skills are required.
Our church has extensive grounds and many established trees, some 80 years old. Throughout the year, especially in autumn and winter, there are a lot of leaves to gather! Any help with landscaping, gardening and making the church exterior and grounds more attractive will be warmly welcomed.
Health and Safety
We have a moral and a legal duty to ensure that our buildings comply with all statutory safety and health requirements. Our Health and Safety Officer frequently carries out a Risk Assessments to all elements of our buildings. Parishioners with relevant expertise or experience in this field are welcome to contact Michael Anderson or Fr Campion.