If you have just had a baby or are expecting one you are warmly invited to attend our baptismal preparation programme.
The aim of the programme is to serve as a reminder to parents about their own faith and what it means to them.
Baptism is a time of special joy and blessing, but it is also the first and most important step a parent will take in the faith life of their child.
Parents, and parents to be, should initially contact Fr Graham
In preparation there are two evening sessions that take place in the Tivey room. Parents are expected to attend both evenings on the following themes:
The Welcome Rite, Celebration of God's Word and the Bidding Prayers
The Symbols used in the ceremony and practicalities on the day
Normally 8-12 weeks notice is needed.
A Rite of Welcome takes place before the baptism day during one of the Sunday masses, giving the parishioners the opportunity to welcome the child into our Christian community.
The Baptism of the child is usually celebrated at a special Baptism service on certain Sundays of the year, or by special arrangement, during a Sunday Mass.
We normally run a course of preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation every year from about October to the following April/May when Confirmations take place. The course involves roughly 9 two hour sessions on a Sunday afternoon, a retreat day and three special masses. You will need to commit to come to and participate in all of these. The course is open to young people who will be at least 15 by the end of the August in the year of their Confirmation, ie generally school year 10 and above and who are attending mass regularly at St Clement’s. (Things have, of course, been slightly different in the last year or two due to the pandemic.)
Confirmation is a once only Sacrament. The aim of the course is to give candidates an experience of their Faith. We hope to have some fun along the way as well. It will be a time for exploring ideas with other young people in the Parish and of deepening relationships with God. It is their “coming of age” in the Church and choosing to say, “Yes! I am a Christian. Yes! I want to take the next step in my faith journey.”
Growing towards Jesus
Before joining the Reconciliation and Holy Communion programmes, children must have completed this early years preparation programme.
At intervals of about a month, a number of simple worksheets need to be completed at home. They are designed to help parents guide their children to a basic and active understanding of their faith and particularly to begin to take part in the Mass.
The programme starts soon after Christmas and children must be at least seven years old by 31st December.
After completing this programme children may then prepare for Reconciliation and Holy Communion.
Adult Initiation into the Church (RCIA)
The Christian faith is available to everyone, of any age, and any background. In the twenty- first century, many adults find they have little knowledge of Christ, or for various reasons did not fully develop their Christian faith when younger. We offer the opportunity for adults to explore with us our Christian faith and and what Christianity means in practice. We can also help those who wish to become full members of the Church to learn more about the Christian life of prayer and goodness and prepare to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Reconciliation and the Eucharist.
The programme of preparation is called "The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults"(RCIA). It is made up of discussion, private thought and prayer, and culminates - for those who decide to accept Christ in their lives - in joining the Church in its public worship at Mass, and receiving the Eucharist and the other sacraments; participants are supported by the prayers of the parish community. RCIA has several stages, starting with that of enquiry; each stage takes as long as participants need, and there is no obligation and no pressure apart from what is in each one of us regarding God.
Meetings take place on weekday evenings in the Presbytery, led by Fr. Graham and lay people of the parish.
Reconciliation First Holy Communion
Parents meet twice during the Autumn to help them prepare their children for this Sacrament. There are four sessions from the “I Belong” book to be completed by the children with their catechists and an exercise on “Family Time” to be completed at home. Children make their First Reconciliation by the end of November.
First Holy Communion
Between New Year and the end of May a series of six sessions from the “I Belong” book are held with the children by their catechists. A small number of meetings arranged by Fr Graham for the parents are also held. A Celebration Mass follows each of the children’s sessions. First Holy Communion is received in small groups at the children’s usual Parish Mass in May or June.
Older children joining these programmes will be given material and support appropriate to their age. All these programmes need the active involvement of parents, family and the Parish will give every support possible to them.
Enquiries: Fr Graham (0208) 393 5572
Couples intending to marry at St Clement's should give at least six months notice of their wedding date.
They will be invited to take a marriage preparation course.
This will be provided by the Parish Priest in conjunction with Deanery personnel
Visiting Sick and Housebound
Please notify Fr Graham of any parishioner who is sick or housebound. Normally Fr Graham or an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist will visit them weekly with Holy Communion.
St Anthony's Pastoral Group
Is a parish group which cares for those in difficulty or hardship in some way within the parish area.
It has taken on the responsibilities of the SVP Conference which preceded it.