As you may be aware, many years ago, at the direction of the Archdiocese, the sacramental preparation programme moved from schools to the parish. Children are prepared for their First Confession and First Holy Communion by catechists from their parishes and the programme is overseen by the clergy. The programme for St Mary’s children who are St Edmund’s parishioners has until now been led by Mrs Christina Carr, supported by parent volunteers.
Christina Carr is leaving the parish and a number of our long-standing catechists are stepping down. Christina, Michael Basquill, the coordinator of the Saturday catechism group, and other members of their teams and I have agreed that there has to be a root and branch review of how St Edmund’s children are prepared for the sacraments. I am writing to you now to outline what is proposed.
From September the St Edmund’s Catechism Group and St Mary’s children will be combined, with all the children being prepared together. They will follow a one-year course consisting of Reconciliation preparation in the autumn term, with children making their First Confession during Advent. First Holy Communion preparation will be in the spring and summer terms, with children receiving the sacrament in the summer. Classes will be on Saturdays, twicemonthly in the church hall.
In order for this to happen, the parish needs parents and grandparents of the candidates to volunteer to be catechists and helpers for the programme. I would also welcome other parishioners who would like to be involved. Training will be provided. Without substantial support from our parish community, the programme cannot take place. As things stand, there are simply not enough people to prepare the children so St Edmund’s parish is relying on you.
If you are willing to volunteer as a catechist or helper, or if you would like more information before making a commitment, please send an email to the Parish Office with Sacramental Preparation in the subject line.