We have a stalwart group of parishioners who routinely give of their free time to help keep the church looking clean and tidy. We are very grateful to these people for their contribution, but as with most things, more volunteers are always needed. If you could spare an hour or two, usually on a Friday, once every couple of months, then please contact Sarah King who manages the cleaning rota, or speak to Fr Paul. Sarah can be contacted using the church cleaning email address on the contact form.
In the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the term "lector" or "reader" can mean someone who in a particular liturgy is assigned to read a Biblical text other than the Gospel, the reading of which, at Mass, is reserved specifically for an ordained deacon or priest. This lay ministry is held in high esteem by the Church. Before Vatican II only men who had been ordained to this Minor Order were allowed to read at Mass. Since Vatican II the Church has allowed lay men and women to proclaim God’s Word, but the role of the lector at mass is no less important than before.
Readers should remember they are proclaiming the Word of God and as such should always carry out their ministry responsibly, with dignity and respect.
Our readers at Mass are drawn from volunteers across the parish who want to partake in this ministry. Coaching and guidance can be provided if required to help younger or more nervous individuals unaccustomed to speaking in public. The readers, and the scheduling of their duties, are managed by Martin Pakes. If you would like to be considered to join this lay ministry at St Mary Magdalens, please contact Martin using the contact form or speak to Fr Paul.
The current schedule for our readers is posted in the Narthex.
We have a few ladies - no gentlemen but no reason why not! - who look after the purchasing and arranging of flowers in the church to ensure the sanctuary always appears at its best. We are always looking for additional volunteers who can help with this task - if you have a skill in flower arranging, or just an interest and would be keen to practice and learn, then please get in touch with Linis Dolby who looks after the flower team to discuss how you can get involved. Use the contact form to send a message to Linis or speak to Fr Paul.
The rota for the flower arrangers is pinned on the notice board in the narthex or can be downloaded here.
After evening Mass each Sunday, one of our teams of counters attends church to count and record the offertory collection(s) for that Sunday. The collection counting rota and procedures are managed by Declan Moore who, being on the parish finance committee, is also the liaison person for technical matters to do with the counting procedure and recording, to ensure that the requirements of HMRC are fully met.
The counting rota for the current year can be found pinned to the notice board in the narthex or you can download a copy here.
The offertory procession is the ceremonial presentation of the gifts of bread and wine by volunteers from the congregation to symbolise the desire of the people that the priest offer the sacrifice of the Mass on their behalf - it is not only the priest who is offering the Mass but everyone present.
The procession with gifts symbolises that we are all participants in the offering of the Mass as the perfect sacrifice to the Almighty Father. In return for our offering, Jesus becomes really present under the signs of bread and wine, just as He promised.
At St Mary Magdalens, we have a rota of volunteers who wish to be involved in this important part of the Mass. If you would like to volunteer to join this team, please speak to Martin Pakes or use the contact form to send a message to the Offertory Procession email address.
The duty rota for offertory processions covering the Sunday Masses is pinned on the notice board in the Narthex.
In the recent past, we have suffered from a shortage of altar servers at St Mary Magdalens as some of our older servers moved away to attend higher education at universities and sadly younger replacements have not been forthcoming. An attempt is being made to turn this around and Fr Paul is actively engaging with our young people, male and female, to encourage them to participate in the church's liturgies in this important way, and so contribute to the whole community's participation in a more fruitful worship of God.
If you, or your children, would like to become altar servers at St Mary Magdalens, please speak to Fr Paul or use the contact form. Ongoing training will be provided over time to allow our altar servers to take increasingly more responsible roles in our services and provide them with a greater understanding of what they are doing so that they may serve with increasing reverence and prayerfulness and thereby be led to a deepening response to their vocation in life.
We attempt to carry out all necessary maintenance and upkeep of the parish property and grounds using volunteer labour and skills available from within the parish. We have a stalwart core group of people who have proved very effective at getting things done but, as always, these are few in number. We are always wanting more people to get involved. We are always looking out for new skills or trades available within the parish who are willing and able to give of their time and talents to help with the upkeep of the church, the presbytery, the hall and the grounds. Are you a plumber? a carpenter? an electrician? a builder? do you have gardening skills? or are you unskilled but happy to give of your time to help? We would love to hear from you.
Please speak in the first instance to Fr Paul, Jim Poll or use the contact form to get in touch.
Teas and coffees are available in the church hall after 10:00 Mass each Sunday morning. We have a small team of parishioners, male and female, who provide this service in teams of two each week, taking turns approximately once every 5 weeks. More helpers are always needed so if you would like to help in this way, or have any questions or suggestions, please do get in touch with the organisers using the contact form.
The rota until the end of May 2020 pinned to the notice board in the narthex
The choir at St Mary Magdalen Church is an amateur group which was established with the sole aim of encouraging people to sing. There is no formal membership or audition process and we encourage anyone who likes to sing to come along and join us in a very relaxed and informal way. The choir currently sings at 10 am mass once a month and meets for a practice session on the Wednesday before. The practice session gives the choir the opportunity to try out the hymns for that week so that we can smooth out any highs and lows. If you love to sing and hear St Mary Magdalens full of joyful music then you are most welcome to join us. Please use the contact form to get in touch.
An “extraordinary” minister of Holy Communion is a lay person, who has been carefully chosen, prepared and commissioned, within a particular parish or chaplaincy, to assist the “ordinary” minister with the distribution of Holy Communion both during and outside of the Holy Mass. The use of the term ‘extraordinary’ has a technical meaning. It simply means ‘out of the ordinary’, rather than ‘great’ or ‘remarkable’. It is used to distinguish the ‘extraordinary’ minister from the ‘ordinary’ or ‘normal’ minister. The ‘ordinary’ ministers of Holy Communion are Bishops, priests and deacons.
An Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, often referred to as a Eucharistic Minister, may be required at Mass to assist the celebrating priest with the distribution of Holy Communion either to allow the faithful to receive Holy Communion under both kinds or where, without assistance, the Communion Rite would be unduly long.
Outside of Mass, an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion may be required to assist the priest to minister Holy Communion to the sick or housebound, to expose and repose the Blessed Sacrament or to assist at a Celebration of Word and Holy Communion in the absence of a priest to celebrate Mass.
At St Mary Magdalens, the commissioned Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion assist the priest at Sunday Masses on a rota basis. The schedule is displayed in the narthex. In any case where an additional ordained priest is present at Mass, that priest or deacon will take precedence over an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and the named minister(s) should step down. In any case where the designated minister is unavailable for the scheduled duty, that minister should arrange suitable cover.
If anybody would like to volunteer to join the commissioned Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at St Mary Magdalens, in the first instance please speak to Fr Paul or use the contact form.