Ministries

Children's Ministry

At the 5.30pm Mass at St. John’s Church and 10.00am Mass in Holy Rosary Church we celebrate the Liturgy of the Word of God with children of primary school age. This is a valuable time for prayer and simple instruction where children will benefit from having their own Liturgy of the Word.Children gather with their families in church for the introductory rites of the Mass. After the opening hymn and prayer the children along with their leaders are called forward. A book of the scriptures is presented to a child and then we all process to the nearby parish hall. When the children have settled the leader introduces the Gospel of the day and then this is explored through reflection, discussion and other appropriate activity. We then all return to the main body of the church, bringing along a poster or text for the congregation to see. Afterwards we join our families for the liturgy of the Eucharist. Children’s Liturgy is not an exclusion from the church; - it is an extension as our children play a very important part within our parish. We hope to help the children grow spiritually and therefore prepare them to take a full part in the Sunday Mass. Come along and see!!! The strength of the group depends also on the input of adult volunteers.  If you wish to become involved with the group please, please do not hesitate to come forward. New faces and new ideas are always welcome and needed!

Please contact Sheila Gatenby (01642 565961),Caroline Kelly (01740 644539) or Fr Butters if you wish to be involved in any way.

Guild of St Stephen
The Guild of St Stephen is an International Organisation of Altar Servers founded in 1904. It aims to encourage the highest standards of serving at the Church's liturgy and to provide altar servers with a greater understanding of what they are doing, whilst offering support and encouragement. We have around 35 servers who serve within the parish, holding coffee morning and raising money.

SVP
TURNING CONCERN INTO ACTION We have 12 full members and make visits to the sick and housebound of the parish, both in their homes and residential homes. We also make visits to the local hospital (West Park and North Tees) to the homeless (Bridge house). Every Sunday we use our community bus which takes people to and from Mass. We have a twin project with India.

Meetings are every Tuesday in St John's meeting room at 6.30pm.

The Bereavement Group
We are a group of parishioners who have all experienced bereavement.  Our aims are:-
To visit a bereaved family, on behalf of the Parish, within the first few months of their bereavement and to make repeat visits if requested by the family.
To offer a completely confidential listening service to anyone who is hurting or lonely after a death.  We don't profess to have answers or magic solutions to eliminate pain, but we do recognise the range of different feelings that a bereaved person might experience for months or years after their loss.  We believe, based on our own experiences, that having someone who will listen while people express these feelings, is a help in coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.
There is no intention to take over Fr. Butters or Deacon Dan's place in visiting the bereaved.  Nor are we attempting to take over the role of any other groups within the Parish. Anyone wishing to contact the group is asked to do so via Fr. Butters in the first instance.
We believe that security is vital to protect the vulnerable , therefore every member of the group has clearance from the Vetting and Barring Service (formerly CRB) and we always make home visits in pairs.
Our group meets every three months or so and visits are allocated at these meetings. When visiting families we take them a small pot plant or some flowers as a gift. This is always appreciated - a simple gesture to show support and sympathy.
 We help to organise the Annual Mass for the families of those parishioners who have died, which is held every November and send cards to the bereaved on the first Christmas, Easter and anniversary of their loss.
The names of those in our Parish who have died are entered in the Books of Remembrance which are kept in each Church - near the Sacred Heart Altar in Holy Rosary and beside the statues of Our Lady in St. John's and St. Joseph's Churches. The books are updated after each of our meetings.
It is a privilege to be able to offer support for those in our Parish community who are bereaved and to pray for their loved ones who have died

The Friendship Group

The Friendship Group consists of a small number of parishioners who meet to plan and organise occasional social events.
 The aim of the events is to help bring people together socially.
This Group is in its infancy, and currently still defining its role, scope of future events, and improving communications .
For information,contact  Alan Pennington, on 01740-644938.


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