Parish Information

ALTAR AND SACRAMENTAL LINENS

The Purificators, Lavabo Towel, Chalice Pall and Corporal are maintained by a rota of three volunteers. Other linens and the Altar Servers’ Albs are cleaned and maintained by Sister Theresa Joseph, while Sister Joan Agnes cleans the Sacred Vessels.

ALTAR SERVERS

A lively group of friendly youngsters aged from 7 — 40 + support Fr. Michael during weekend Masses, and a few adults perform the same role at weekday Masses. It is a wonderful privilege to be of service to the community and also to get to know more about your faith. All that we ask is that you have received your First Holy Communion – apart from that, age is no barrier! After attending faithfully altar servers become members of St. Stephen’s Guild. Just ask one of the altar servers or see Fr. Michael if you think you might be interested.

CASH COUNTING

The procedures for cash counting are necessary to provide audit trails required by the Parish bookkeeper, the Parish Auditor, the Diocesan Finance Officer and the Inland Revenue.

All donations to the Parish are counted and recorded with an emphasis on accuracy, particularly with regard to contributions made in weekly envelopes which provide the greatest income to the Parish. The Gift Aid Organiser ensures that all monies are banked and that necessary records maintained. Strict confidentiality is maintained throughout.

Cash counting is carried out by two volunteers on a Rota basis.

CHILDREN’S LITURGY

A special space in which we give children aged 4 – 11 years the opportunity to encounter and experience God directly at their own level. We use the Gospel to help children hear God’s call and to grow in their understanding of God’s presence in their lives. Activities include mime and drama, art and craft, music and meditation.

Children’s Liturgy takes place every Sunday (term time only) during the 11.00 a.m. Mass. We also hold workshops during Lent and Advent. The children are invited to go into the parish hall before the Liturgy of the Word and return to the church just before the Offertory.

During the session we sing the Gospel acclamation, listen to the Gospel and follow this up with a discussion. This encourages the children to share their understanding of the Word of God. The children then do an activity such as colouring in, making paper objects or perform action songs.

After their liturgy the children are invited to the altar by Fr. Michael. He asks the children about the Gospel and what they have understood and then encourages the children to show him what they have done for their activity. The children then return to their seats.

Our volunteers are parents who enjoy helping the children of our parish celebrate their faith. We always welcome new members so if you can help we invite you to join us in this very rewarding role.

CHURCH CLEANING TEAMS

These, mostly unnoticed, but extremely efficient volunteers keep our church clean and tidy. They also clean and polish our brassware and sacramental vessels.

More volunteers are always needed so if you would like to help, please come forward. Thank you.

DOORKEEPERS

The smiling face and cheery greeting at the door may be the reason why you have come back to the Parish of St. Thomas More. Our “Welcomers” are worth their weight in gold. They stand at the back of Church and like a stage manager in a theatre, see that everything runs smoothly whilst discreetly staying in the background.

If there is to be singing at Mass, they will give you a hymn book or Mass sheet as you enter,they can help you to find a seat when the Church seems full, they ensure the Offertory Procession proceeds without a hitch, they take up the collections and do so much more. They are founts of knowledge – if they don’t know the answer, they know someone who does. They can usually point you in the direction of someone involved in the group you are interested in joining. They are useful people to get to know!

If you would like to join the welcoming teams, speak to one of them – they will tell you all you need to know.

DRIVING ROTA

We have a driving rota in our parish for the weekend Masses. If you need a lift to any of the Masses or would like to help with the driving please contact one of the people below who will be happy to give you more information.

EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION

The dedicated people in this group have each been commissioned by the Bishop to support the Priest of the Parish in the distribution of the Eucharist at Mass, lead Eucharistic Services in the absence of a priest, and take Holy Communion to the sick and housebound. They are often referred to as “Eucharistic Ministers”.

John Elliot co-ordinates the taking of Holy Communion to the sick and housebound and liaises with the Diocese for the parish team.

After appropriate training, the first such ministers for the Nottingham Diocese were commissioned by Bishop James McGuinness in 1978. On average almost 100 have been commissioned each year since then, latterly of course, being commissioned by Bishop Malcolm McMahon O.P.

The main activity of Extraordinary Ministers is to visit the sick with Holy communion. They also help with the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass, on a rota basis, and attend a renewal day once a year in May or June.

Our Parish Representative organises the following:

  • Copy and distributes to Extraordinary Ministers all relevant information received from the County Secretariat
  • Informs the Secretariat of deceased members for inclusion in the Book of Remembrance

If you would like an Extraordinary Minister to visit a sick relative or friend or if you feelyou would like to help with this rewarding work in our Parish please contact Fr. Michael.

FLOW ER GUILD

Group meetings are held at various times during the year and are announced in the Newsletter.

New members are always welcome—for further information and special occasions regarding flowers please contact us.

INTERESTED IN THE CATHOLIC FAITH?

If you would find out more about the Catholic faith (no obligation to becoming a Catholic) please speak to Jackie Williams about the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) which is an enquiry programme for those interested in the faith.

MASS INTENTIONS

Envelopes are available in the narthex for this. Please indicate if the Mass is for a deceased person, sick person, or other intention. Mass will be celebrated on requested dates if the date is available. Please indicate on envelope your preferred date.

MUS IC GROUP

The Music Group play on the second Saturday of the month, meeting at 5.30 p.m. to practise before the 6.00 p.m. Mass. We are always delighted to see new musicians and singers.

If anyone would like to sing at the 11.00 a.m. Mass each Sunday – no rehearsals – just turn up and join in. For Christmas and the Easter Triduum we do plan ahead and rehearse – we let people know in advance.

NINE O’CLOCK COFFEE-STOP

If you have time, any Sunday, after the 9.o’clock Mass, why not call in at the Parish Rooms for a cup of tea or coffee – Fairtrade, of course! – and a biscuit. It’s great for a chat and catch-up and a good opportunity to meet and welcome any new arrivals to the Parish.

Any profits we make go to the Homeless, Care Group and Flower Group and current school/parish charities. We also manage to provide a super hamper for the Parish Bazaar each year – and if you were to decide that you would like to join our happy band of tea-makers (with a turn on the rota every 6-8 weeks) we would be absolutely delighted to hear from you!

PLANNED GIVING AND GIFT AID

It is very helpful in planning our Parish finances when parishioners choose to plan their giving by way of using weekly envelopes or by monthly standing order through the bank.

If you or your partner are tax payers, you can offer further support to the Parish, at no extra cost to yourself, some people also opting to “gift aid” their donations to the Parish. The Parish can claim the tax paid on the donation—an extra 28p in each £1—from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs—without it costing an extra penny!

The scheme is totally confidential—even our priests do not have information on individual donations. In order to administer the planned giving and gift aid scheme, the following procedures are carried out:

  • Counting the weekly collections
  • Ensuring all records are maintained regularly as per Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs guidelines
  • Controlling and maintaining the distribution of Planned Giving Envelopes
  • Recovering monies from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs

If you or your partner are a tax payer, please consider the gift aid scheme.

READERS

This group of dedicated people supports the priest during the Liturgy of the Word at Mass. John Elliott co-ordinates the Readers for the Christmas Liturgies and during Holy Week.

If you would like to join the rota, please speak to Fr. Malachy, or to one of the Welcoming Team.

SACRIS TANS

Preparation of the Altar and the vestments for the Priest is carried out by the Sacristan.

Ian Hudson carries out this duty with great dedication on a day to day basis. Others are also involved on a less regular basis.

Our Priests wear colours according to the Liturgical Seasons:

Purple – For Advent, Lent and Requiem Masses

Green – For Ordinary Time Masses

White – For Easter, Christmas and special celebrations, e.g., Saints Days

Red – For Pentecost, Palm Sunday, Martyrs Feast days

Other colours may be chosen for special occasions.