Ministers of the Eucharist
Lay people are commissioned as Ministers of the Eucharist to help the priests distribute Holy Communion at Mass and to the sick and housebound. Lay Ministers are required to attend a training course prior to commissioning. The priest will normally invite people to undertake this ministry.
Those who proclaim the Word of God in the liturgy form an important group in the parish. If you would like to be part of a Reading Team, please contact the Parish office who will pass your details to the Reader Co-ordinator
for the Mass you attend.
All Sunday Masses have Welcomers who greet parishioners as they arrive, distribute the Newsletter and hymnbooks, arrange for members of the congregation to take up the Offertory Gifts, supervise collections and ensure the church is left tidy after Mass.
If you would like to join one of our Welcome Teams then speak with one of those already involved at the Mass you attend or the parish office.
The role of Altar Servers is to help the priest in the celebration of Mass. In addition to commitment, calmness and reverence, other requirements for boys and girls who want to become Altar Servers are that they know how to make the sign of the Cross, have made their First Communion and can genuflect with reverence and respect.
If you would like to become an Altar Server and help at Mass in this way, contact the parish office for further details.
Church Cleaning and Flower Arranging
Ever wondered how our church manages to look so nice every time you visit?
Unlike many churches, we do not have contract cleaners but a dedicated team of parishioners who amongst other things vacuum the carpets, sweep between the pews, dust the statues and ledges and polish the benches. All you need is time – approx 90 minutes every 4 weeks.
If you would like to join one of our teams please contact the parish office who will put you in touch with the Cleaning Teams Organiser.
Then of course there are the beautiful floral displays. If you are skilled in flower arranging and would like to know how you could help, please see one of the team after 09.30 Mass on fridays.
Each Sunday we make our offerings at Mass. The money from the offertory and any second collection must be counted and bagged before it can be banked. Contributions in envelopes must also be recorded so that they can be handled by the Gift Aid administrator. There are at least 20 teams of 3 or 4 people who do this task – normally starting around 5.30pm on Sundays - and it takes approx. 2 hours. Each team will be on the rota a couple of times a year. If you are interested please contact the parish office.
Situated in Room 2, we are open on Sunday mornings after the 09:30 and 11:30 Masses for the sale of Rosaries, medals, holy pictures, Crucifixes and other religious items. There is a good selection of books, bibles, missals, prayer books, CTS pamphlets and Mass cards. Greetings cards for various occasions are also on sale. For more information contact the parish office.
These are married couples who run the Marriage Preparation Courses,
Courses are held on one evening each week for 3 consecutive weeks and culminate in a “Declaration of Freedom” at one of the weekend masses.
Catechists ensure that couples taking this big step have as much help and advice as is possible and give couples the opportunity to take some time away from the preparations and think about themselves. They discuss, relationships, commitment and communication and the sacrament of marriage.
If you think you may be interested in helping with this ministry and would like more information contact the parish office.
SVP (Saint Vincent de Paul Society)
The SVP is an International Christian voluntary organisation, Catholic in origin and in character. Membership is open to men and women, young and old. The Society is actively working in over 130 countries with the poor, disadvantaged and marginal-ised. In this parish, our conference consists of a group of 8 people who meet fortnightly to see what can be done to help those in need and also to develop our own spiritual life. We visit elderly people in their home or in care homes. We also visit people who are lonely and who do not have many friends or family to support them. Sometimes we can provide financial support for those who need it. Through the generosity of our parish com-munity, we also financially support twinned conferences in both India and Sudan, where there is great need for just the basics in life.
For more information visit the Society’s national website at www.svp.org.uk, or contact the parish office who will pass your request to the local representative. Alternatively visit our Facebook page.
The Hibernian Society
THE HIBERNIAN SOCIETY was established in 1995 with the main aim of improving the quality of life of the elderly members of our community.
We are based at the Reading Irish Centre in Chatham Street and provide lunches 3 days a week plus a Tai Chi exercise class once a week.
We are also delighted to be able to provide chiropody, hairdressing and reflexology from professionals on a regular basis.
If you would like more information, please contact the Parish office on 0118 957 2149.
The Hospital Chaplain, together with a group of Lay Ministers of the Eucharist drawn from the various parishes in and around the Reading area, will visit patients and bring them the Sacrament of Holy Communion at their request.
Unfortunately, it is now very difficult for members of the chaplaincy to request information regarding patients religion or ward location as this is considered confidential and will not be supplied to any caller without the specific permission of the patient. Also, the staff on the wards will no longer be allowed to say who is on their Ward if people make a general enquiry.
So If you or a member of your family are unfortunate enough to be hospitalised, PLEASE advise the ward staff at the earliest opportunity that you are Catholic and would like a visit and/or to receive Holy Communion during your stay.
The Chaplain can be contacted through the main hospital switchboard on 0118 322 5111.
APF/Mill Hill (MISSIO) Red boxes
APF-Mill Hill's Red Boxes can be found in thousands of Catholic homes in England and Wales and the monies collected go to fund the vital work of the Catholic Church abroad. Many of the churches supported by Red Box funds are in their infancy and face extreme difficulties. They urgently need our prayers and continued financial support.
Here at English Martyrs, we currently have around 120 box holders and over the years, they have raised many thousands of pounds.
Most parishes have an APF-Mill Hill local secretary and if you contact the parish office, your details will be
forwarded. Please do get in touch and perhaps become a Red Box holder yourself.
Alternatively, visit the website on http://missio.org.uk for more details
Ministers of the Eucharist : Readers : Welcomers : Altar Servers : Church Cleaning/Flower Arranging : Counters : Bookstall ; Marriage Catechists: St. Vincent de Paul : Hibernian Society : Hospital Chaplaincy : APF Mill Hill(Red boxes)
For some guidelines on how to be a good reader click on Tips