Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213)
Initial enquiries regarding your child's Baptism can be made through the Parish Administrator or you can see Father Malcolm after Mass.
After completing a Baptism Information Form you will be contacted by the St Alphege's Baptism Team and invited to take part in three short sessions exploring what Baptism means to you, your family and your child.
The Parish Hall is available to hire for a Celebration after the Baptism. Please contact the Parish Administrator for details and availability.
There is no fee for a Baptism, however, we are grateful for any contribution you would like to make towards the heating, lighting and general maintenance of our beautiful building.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION AND
THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION
Each December to May a Course is held on a Sunday morning for children who would like to prepare for their First Confession and their First Holy Communion. Please contact the Parish Administrator for details.
Each year a Deanery Confirmation Course is held to prepare young adults (approx 14 yrs) who would like to be Confirmed.
Please contact the Parish Administrator to find out more.
Are you looking to be married?
In accordance with the norms required by Canon Law, six months’ notice must be given, whether the marriage is here or abroad, to enable the required spiritual preparation to take place and for the paperwork to be gathered and, if necessary, be submitted to the Chancellor of the Diocese. Please make an appointment to see the Parish Priest.
Getting married is one of the most significant steps in anyone’s life. Perhaps it is the most significant. Two people make vows to each other to remain exclusively together for the rest of their lives, “for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death.”
The Catholic Church’s understanding of marriage is that it is a unique, indissoluble partnership between one man and one woman, in mutual and lasting fidelity and open to the possibility of bringing children into the world. Anyone getting married in a Catholic Church must have the same understanding of marriage as the Church, even if they are not a Catholic themselves.
It is because the Church attaches such importance to marriage, both for the couple themselves and for society as a whole, that she is concerned that couples intending to marry are adequately prepared, and understand what it is that they are committing themselves to. These notes are intended to help couples thinking about getting married in St Alphege's. The Parish Priest will want some time to get to know you, to make sure you understand the meaning and obligations of marriage, and to help you plan the service so as to make one of the most important days of your lives as good as it can be. He will be able to recommend reading and courses beyond what is outlined here.
Initial enquiries regarding the possibility of a marriage taking place at St Alphege's Church should be made to Father Malcolm Smeaton.
Your letter of enquiry should contain your names and addresses with contact details and the proposed date for the wedding. Please do not make any other bookings, such as the reception, until you have cleared the date with us. Please also state your religious affiliation and whether you have ever been married before. To be married in the Catholic Church, at least one of you must be a Catholic. If you do not normally worship at St Alphege's, please state the name of the parish where you normally attend Mass and give the reasons you wish to marry here.
Please remember that it is important to approach the church first before making your plans for a reception venue. No dates will be confirmed until you both meet with the priest from St Alphege's.
The Parish Priest will be in touch very soon after receiving your letter or email. You should start making enquiries no less than six months before the proposed wedding date.
If you have a situation that you would prefer to discuss with the priest prior to writing, you may telephone and make an appointment. The parish number is 01225 424894, or email Father Malcolm.
Please note you must not have a civil marriage (Registry Office) performed prior to the Church wedding unless by special arrangements with the church.
- If you do not live within the bounds of this parish, you will require a letter from your local parish priest confirming that he has no objection to you being married at St Alphege's.
- A Declaration of Freedom to Marry for each party, notarised by a Commissioner for Oaths (Solicitor).
- A baptismal certificate from the church where you were baptised: a new dated within 6 months of the date of the marriage for a Catholic, the original certificate for other Christians.
- From your local Registry office: a certificate for each of you which permits you to be married. These must be applied for as soon as possible and not less than fifteen days before the wedding. The certificates must be given to the priest by law before the ceremony so please deliver them as soon as possible. It is absolutely essential that the certificates are presented since the wedding cannot take place without them.
All of these things will be discussed when you meet with the priest.
Your wedding should be the culmination of much prayer and reflection. What you are preparing for is a Catholic Marriage, with all that requires, and not just a church wedding. Your priest will guide you in this process.
Order of Service
You may choose to have a Nuptial Mass, or a Wedding Service with or without a Eucharistic celebration. Please consult with the priest helping you regarding this question.
There is a choice of readings and music to be made in either case.
Sacraments are celebrations of the love of God in our lives which is always a free gift that we can never earn or buy.
However, the church building needs to be maintained, lit and heated for the ceremony and is here all year round, ready for when you want it for your wedding. We therefore suggest an offering of around 12% of the total cost of your wedding, including the cost of the Reception.
These fees may be reduced or waived in cases of hardship.
If you are a UK tax-payer, the fees should be gift-aided (an envelope will be provided).
There is also a fee of £50 to be paid to the Registrar.
It is common to make an offering of £100 to the Parish Priest
Should you require further assistance or clarification, please do not hesitate to ask. It is our wish to make the day of your Catholic Marriage as memorable as possible.
The sick and housebound are always a primary focus for the pastoral care of the Church, as they can all too easily become cut off from the spiritual life of the Church, especially from the Mass. Receiving Holy Communion keeps them ‘in communion’ with Christ and the Church, and their own life of prayer and witness is gift of tremendous richness for the parish community.
If you or someone you know is in need of anointing or reception of the Last Rites, please call Father as soon as possible. (01225 484894)
About the Sacrament
The Sacrament “Extreme Unction,” also called “Last Rites” or “Anointing of the Sick,” is the anointing given to those who are gravely bodily ill, especially those in danger of death from bodily illness or from violence already done to the body (i.e., a soldier about to go into battle is not a candidate for the Sacrament; one who has been shot and lies gravely wounded or, especially, dying, is).
The conditions for receiving Unction are that one must:
- have reached the age of reason (usually considered to be around the age of 7)
- be in a state of grace (Penance is part of the Rite)
- be sorrowful for past sins, trust in God and resign himself to His will, whether His positive will is to heal the sick person or His passive will is the person’s death
The effects of the Sacrament are the strengthening and comfort of the soul of the anointed one, the remission of sins and some of their temporal punishments, and the possible restoration of bodily health.
The Rite in which the Sacrament is offered includes the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist (in that order), followed by the Sacrament of Unction itself. It may be received conditionally up to three or four hours after apparent death (we can’t presume to know the moment the soul leaves the body and can only know with moral certainty that death has occurred after corruption has begun). If the sick one is unconscious, conditional absolution and Unction are offered, without the Eucharist (known at this time as “Viaticum,” meaning “Food for the Journey”).
The matter of the Sacrament is the Oil of the Sick (Oleum Infirmorum), which is olive oil blessed by the Bishop around Maundy Thursday (the Thursday of Holy Week – the week before Easter).
- Oldfield Lane
- BA2 3NR