The Sacraments of the Church

The Sacraments are the way we focus and celebrate our life together in the Church, and grow into the Body of Christ. They are actions of Christ that he touch our lives at important moments, and in the ordinary routine of life together. They heal us from sin and plant, nourish or restore the life of grace in us.

The Seven Sacraments touch all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian’s life of Faith. There is a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life

Journey of Faith Programme (RCIA)

This is a preparation programme for anyone interested in becoming a Catholic. The Journey of Faith Programme will commenced on 6th September 2018 at 7.30pm in the Priory, 67 Talbot St. and will continue to Pentecost 11th June 2019.

Each session will start at 7.30 and finish at about 8.45pm. Further details can be found in the Parish Newsletter or obtained from one of the priests at the priory. Tel. No 0292023049 or email

Baptism Preparations

Parents who wish to request Baptism for their children are asked to contact Canon Peter Collins and/or Fr Nicolaus Williams to arrange to attend a baptism preparation course see list of courses on the Notice Board at the back of the church.

Parents must attend Baptismal Preparation Courses of 2 sessions, each lasting about an hour. These courses are run every 6 weeks and cover the meaning of Baptism and the responsibilities of parents and godparents. If you have attended a Baptism course within the last three years then speak to one of the priests and he will discuss with you what needs to be done. Courses are announced in the Parish Newsletter.

First Holy Communion & Reconciliation Preparations

Children from year 3 (age 7-8) and above are eligible to receive preparation for the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Reconciliation. Parents are asked to attend a number of meetings to help their children to prepare for Reconciliation and Holy Communion. Also the school will help  First Communion Children on the way to celebrate these sacraments. These sessions for children will take place after school hours. All children attending St. Mary’s and Holy Family schools must attend these sessions.

Parents should contact Canon Peter Collins or Fr Nicholas Williams in order to register the child for Communion Preparations. Meeting are scheduled for Holy Family Parish on Tuesday 18th September at 6.30pm in Holy Family School. St. Mary’s Parish on Wednesday 19th September at 6.30 St. Mary’s School


In January each year an invitation is extended to the young people of the Parish who wish to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Candidates should be in year 8 (age 12-13) or above and be willing to follow a programme of preparation. Confirmation is usually celebrated in May. The confirmation Programme normally starts at the end of   January.

Anointing of the Sick  Ministry of Healing

Is one of your family ill or in Hospital? If the illness is serious please contact the priest as early as possible so that a visit can be arranged. The Anointing of the Sick has two function (a) to help the sick person to recover from their sickness or (b) to prepare the person for the eternal life. The earlier the Anointing is celebrated the greater opportunity the sick person has to recover fully.

This includes all sick people whether they are church goers or not and who are part St. Mary’s and Holy Family Parishes

Please note that because of the Data Protection Act prevents hospitals and care-homes informing visitors on the religion of patients and, therefore, it is important for the family to notify  the priest as soon as  possible.

Sacrament of Reconciliation

The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is also known as “Confession”. The sacrament has four elements: three on the part of the penitent (contrition, confession, and satisfaction) and one on the part of the minister of the sacrament (absolution).

Before celebrating the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, it is important to examine one’s conscience.

The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation includes the following steps:

The priest greets us, and we pray the Sign of the Cross. He invites us to trust in God. He may read God’s Word with us.

We confess our sins. The priest may help and counsel us.

The priest gives us a penance to perform. Penance is an act of kindness or prayers to pray, or both.

The priest asks us to express our sorrow, usually by reciting the Act of Contrition.

We receive absolution. The priest says, “God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit ” We respond, “Amen.”

The priest dismisses us by saying, “Go in peace.” We go forth to perform the act of penance he has given us.


Times for Reconciliation St. Mary’s Saturdays from 9.30 to 10 am & 11.30 am to 12  Noon

Holy Family  before each Mass


The church honours and treasures the married love between husband and wife. Christians marriage mirrors the relationship between Christ and the Church. Thus married love was described by St. Paul as a “great mystery” (Ephesians 5.32) and came to be recognised as one of the sacraments.

Marriage like other vocations calls us to reflect God’s love to the world in a particular way. Married people in their exclusive and life long commitment to each other witness to and draw strength from how Christ has loved us.

The wedding vows that couples exchange express what is at the heart of Christian marriage. The words “for better or for worse” point to the truth that life together will have its challenges as well as its rewards. The grace of the sacrament inspires couples to turn to the Lord not just in days of happiness but also in times of sorrow to seek the strength to transform any situation with love and indeed forgiveness.  It is important to state that while upholding the value of perseverance and the hope of reconciliation, the Church does not demand that anyone remain in a situation that has become impossible.

In the Catholic tradition, marriage requires a willingness on behalf of the couple to welcome the children with whom they may be blessed. At the same time, the church holds that married life is fruitful and life-giving of itself..

Marriage is a profound commitment. It is a commitment that each party must chose freely, giving their full consent without reservation.  For this reason appropriate preparation is essential both at a personal level and in regard to establishing that all is in order for the marriage to proceed happily and joyfully.

In becoming husband and wife you give yourselves to each other for life. You promise to be true and faithful, to support and cherish each other until death, so that your years together will be the living out in love of the pledge you now make. May you’re your love for each other reflect the enduring love of  Christ for his church.

What are the steps that you need to take to arrange your wedding

in St. Mary’s or Holy Family Parishes?

Set a date for the wedding with your priest

All couple are expected to take a Marriage Preparation Course; this will be arranged by contacting

Marriage Care Appointment Service: 08003893801 (Freephone) or email:

 Contact the Registrar’s Office to register the forthcoming marriage and when the certificates or licences have been obtained

they should be given to the officiating priest.

No marriage can take place without these documents.

Please note that Holy Family & St. Mary’s have their own church registrar. If either of you live in separate civil districts the registrars of both districts must be informed and will issue the appropriate certificates.

These documents should be given to your Priest as soon as you receive them.

The Registrar will charge a fee


You MUST speak with your Priest to establish if it is possible for you to celebrate your Wedding in the Catholic Church.  No arrangements can be made prior to this meeting with the Priest.


If you want to marry in St Mary’s Church you will need written permission from your own Parish Priest.  He will prepare with you the necessary “paper work” for the Wedding.  However with his written permission one of St Mary’s priests can fill in the form with you.


A non-Catholic who is either baptised or not baptised is very welcome to marry a baptised Catholic in the Catholic Church. They are also welcome to invite their Vicar/Minister to assist the Priest with the Wedding Ceremony.  If you wish to marry your non-Catholic partner in their Church/Chapel, you require a Special Dispensation, this can be arranged by your priest.


For Catholics:-

A recent baptism certificate from the church where you were baptised. This certificate should give details of confirmation and should also state that there is no record of any marriage having taken place.

A written declaration (Letter of Freedom) from each parish you have lived  for more than six months since the age of 16.

For the non-Catholic:-

If baptised a copy of the baptism certificate.

A letter from the parents, or a statuary Declaration of Freedom confirming that s/he has never been married (or, details of any previous marriage – civil or religious)



Have you:  –

Registered the marriage at the Registry Office?

Made a booking for the marriage preparation course?

Collected the Certificates or Licences from the registrar’s Office?

Obtained Baptismal Certificates and Letters of Freedom?

Given the documents to the Priest?

Other points to check

Contacted the Organist

Contacted the Florist

Made provision for a rehearsal