We are once again celebrating baptisms in the church. We are delighted to let you know that the severe restrictions on numbers attending a baptism have been lifted, and from 17 May thirty people will be allowed to gather to celebrate a child’s baptism, if this is held outside Mass. The Baptism Course has been suspended for the time being.
For more information download our Baptism Pack: click here. If you wish to have your child baptised please contact the Parish Office.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Usually a priest is available for confessions in the church from 10.30 a.m. - 11.00 a.m. and between 5.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m. every Saturday. We have two full penitential services every year at which priests from neighbouring parishes and beyond are invited to assist. The first is held in the season of Advent, and the other during the season of Lent in the run-up to Easter.
During the Covid19 pandemic we have not been able to offer confessions, but please check the latest Newsletter for any changes to this.
First Holy Communion
Our children make their First Holy Communions in June each year. There are two separate groups you can apply for your children to join:
- St. Mary's Beckenham pupils: Communion classes usually start in January for children in Year 3 at the school.
- Children who do not attend a catholic school: You'll need to attend our Saturday Catechism, a 2-year course.
Details of how to apply and when will be advised when Covid restrictions allow. If you have any queries please email us.
MAY 2021 UPDATE... Last year none of our young people was able to celebrate their First Holy Communion as both the children who attend St Mary’s School and those who are part of our Catechism Group were unable to finish their preparation classes. Add in all the children who were due to receive the sacrament this year and we have about 110 children who, thanks to the sterling efforts of our catechists, will all be making their First Communion from the end of May.
As we are unable to have our usual special Masses for the children, this year small groups will be making their first communion at a range of Masses, some during the week and others at the weekend.
The families will have reserved places at the Mass of their choice but we have limited the number at any one Mass. However these Masses will still be more crowded than usual.
The Confirmation of young adults at St Edmunds is one of the highlights of the year for our parish community. As the final sacrament of initiation into the life of the Church, Confirmation should be a great celebration. Sadly, like so many aspects of our parish life and life in general, our Confirmation programme of 2020 fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the first lock-down began some of our 2020 candidates had barely started their classes whilst some were well on their way to being prepared to receive the sacrament. This challenge combined with the continuing uncertainty of the route out of lockdown has hampered efforts to plot a way for-ward. We understand that this has been frustrating for many parents and young adults. Please bear with us as we strive to discern the best way forward for last year’s candidates. We will keep you all informed through the newsletter as our plans take shape.
These are times of great change; for so many years Bishop Pat has been a welcome visitor to St Edmunds each summer to administer the sacrament of Confirmation to our large groups of candidates. With Bishop Pat’s retirement in November last year we will sadly no longer be treated to his true stories, some of which actually happened. At the same time after many years leading our Confirmation programme Deacon Sean has decided that it is time to step back from this to focus on other areas and has entrusted the running of the programme to Ticcy Colling, Sandy Misquitta and Ray Williamson. Ticcy has been a vital part of the Confirmation programme for many years and her wise counsel is invaluable. Both Sandy and Ray are in formation for the permanent Diaconate and are well aware that Deacon Sean is a hard act to follow; we are enormously grateful for his endeavours over those years. We are working in the background to find the most straightforward way to complete the preparation of the 2020 candidates so that they may be Confirmed later this year; hopefully once restrictions are eased so that it can once again be a joyful celebration.
We are also sadly losing some of our dedicated catechists. We are indebted to them for their efforts, often over many years in preparing our candidates for Confirmation.
In the coming months, we will be developing a format that is suitable and befits the current circumstances in order to prepare our candidates. This programme will be closely integrated with the process of parish renewal which the whole clergy team is committed to progressing. Young people are the future of our parish community and it is vital that we prepare them as well as we can to become intentional disciples, spreading the Good News through their lives. It is our hope that in future the families of candidates will be more actively involved in the preparation.
There is much work for the Confirmation team to do and we would like to ask for your prayers as we discern the best way forward.
Ray, Ticcy and Sandy
21 March 2021
St. Edmund’s is a registered place of marriage. If you are thinking of getting married in St. Edmund’s please get in touch with any of the Clergy in good time (at least 6 months before*) to get paperwork, marriage classes and other arrangements sorted out. The telephone numbers of the Parish Clergy are listed on the contact page.
*In the Southwark Diocese it is necessary for couples wanting to get married to contact their priest six months ahead of their intended wedding date. This is to allow sufficient time for them to attend the Marriage Preparation Course and also for the clergy to complete all the necessary paperwork. This can take some considerable time as there may be complications to attend to and as a growing number of our parishioners were born outside the UK there is a need to obtain documentation from overseas. There is also extra work to be completed for those who are having their ceremony abroad. So please leave enough time for the preparation and contact the church as early as you can.