First Holy Communion

 

 

From Fr. Andrew


If you are reading this page then you probably have a child coming up for their First Holy Communion in 2018. How quickly they grow! It is hardly any time since they were being brought to church for baptism and now they are coming to meet the Lord in Holy Communion.

I would just like to say that we as a parish will be doing everything possible to make each First Holy Communion preparation year as good as we can make it. If children have a positive and happy experience of Church in their early years then there is a chance that their membership of  the community will remain strong and robust for life.

To this end it is our aim to provide a first class period of instruction from September till May each year.

In partnership with parents I, and our team of Catechists, will explore with the children who Jesus is and how we can find him in the celebration of Mass. Over the past 7 years we have found the First Holy Communion course best suited for this is the "I Belong" course.  

Details of this course inclding dates and events along the way are provided below. Here I just wanted to say that the children are warmly welcome and that they will find our course preparation instructive and fun.


Fr. Andrew

 



Expectations of the Parish Church Community - Some Notes


First Holy Communion is a wonderful moment in a child's life and represents a sign of growth in the knowledge and love of God for each and every child. Parents who put forward their child or children for First Holy Communion are fulfilling the vow they made publicly at the baptism some years before to be the 'first and best teachers of the child in the ways of faith'.  Now they must more actively fulfill this vow. 

 

The celebration of First Holy Communion each year is primarily a parish community celebration. There is naturally therefore some expectation that the family are full practicing members of the community and that they regularly come to Mass. On this understanding the parish will give every help to parents and children particularly those children not attending Catholic schools. The support of parents for this and other elements of the course cannot be emphasised enough. To this end parents will be expected to attend a number of parent's meetings during the year.

 

Regarding attendance parents must ensure that their children attend punctually all the preparations classes which take place on a number of Saturday afternoons 3.30pm to 5pm at SS Peter & John. No child will be denied First Holy Communion however, children who miss two or at most three sessions will have missed key catechesis. In such cases and after discussion with catechists and parents the parish priest will remove a child from the course and invite parents to reapply for the following year. Sports events, parties and other such competing attractions must come second to the programme and the regular attendance of Mass during the First Holy Communion year.

 

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION ENROLMENT GUIDELINES


The celebration of First Holy Communion has a very special place in the life of every parish. Successful celebrations with good numbers give us, as a community, hope and confidence for the future. It is sad when parents who are full and regular members of our parish opt to have a child prepare for and receive First Holy Communion in another parish. Convenience of FHC preparation sessions will of course be important to most families as they struggle to fit everything in. However,  careful consideration should be given by parents to the importance of their own parish community when making an application for their child to join a First Holy Communion programme.


In the Camberley & Bagshot Catholic Parish we have the capacity for about 40 children but we will make special provision if numbers rise above that. However, applications will be priotized as follows:


   -  Highest priority will be given to children who live and worship in the parish.


    - Second priority will be given to children who do not live in the parish but  

      who regularly come to Mass here.


    - Next priority will be given to those children who live in the parish but do not

      regaulary worship at one of our churches.


    - Finally, we will offer any remaining spaces to children who do not live in the

      parish, nor worship regularly here but who would like to join the

      programme.

 


FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PARISH PREPARATION COURSE 2016-2017


Children in Year 2 moving to Year 3 in September 2016 are eligible to joing our First Holy Communion course 2017-18. An APPLICATION FORM is now available on line or in hardcopy at the back of the church. Applications close 21 July 2017.


An application form can be printed using the link below:


Enrolment Course Form 2017-2018

 

   

Things to know:

  • - The course used is called 'I BELONG'.
  • - During the year parent volunteers will be asked to help out during sessions
  • - Our team of Catechists are DBS cleared.

 

 

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION COURSE DATES 2017-2018


 

Tuesday 19th  September:  8pm Meeting of FHC parents at SPJ Hall  

Saturday 23rd September:   3.00-5.00pm  Children's First Session at SPJ Hall

 

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23rd September:  

ENROLMENT OF CHILDREN ONTO THE FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME  at the Church of St Peter and St John during the 5.30pm Mass

 

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Saturday 7 October:                     3.30pm - 5.00pm Children's Second Session at SPJ Hall

Saturday 11 November               3.30pm - 5.00pm Children's Third Session SPJ Hall  

Saturday 25 November:             3.00pm Parent's Meeting - SPJ Church 

                                                              3.00pm - 5.00pm Children's Fourth Session SPJ Hall

 

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Saturday 2nd December:  10.30am -

FIRST SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION

at the Church of St Peter and St John during the 5.30pm Mass

 

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Saturday 9 December:                3.00pm - 5.00pm Children's Fifth Session at SPJ Hall

 

 2018

Saturday 13 January:                  3.30pm - 5.00pm Children's Sixth Session at SPJ Hall

Saturday 27 January:                  3.30pm - 5.00pm Children's Seventh Session at SPJ Hall

 

Sunday 28 January:                   3:00pm - 4:45pm Bowling Party


Saturday 24 February:               3.30pm - 5.00pm Children's Eighth Session at SPJ Hall

Thursday 8  March:           8pm Parent's Meeting at SPJ


Saturday 17 March:                     3.30pm - 5.00pm Children's Ninth Session at SPJ Hall

Saturday 28 April:                       3.00pm - 5.00pm Children's Tenth Session at SPJ Hall

 

Tuesday 8  May:                           6.00pm 10:30 Mass Rehearsal;  6:45: 2pm Mass Rehearsal

 

 

All sessions for the children take place in the SS Peter & John Hall


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Saturday 12th May 2018

10.30 am   First Holy Communion Mass - Church of St Peter and St John


   2.00pm   First Holy Communion Mass - Church of St Peter and St John  


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GOING FORTH MASS - Saturday or Sunday 19th/20th May 2018    

     

Children attend Mass in their usual church for the Going Forth Mass  


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 A .pdf of the course dates is available to print if you click the link below.

 

First Holy Communion Dates 2017-2018

 

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AFTER FIRST HOLY COMMUNION

 

Serving at Mass

On completion of the First Holy Communion course children become immediately eligible to serve on the altar. With regular attendance they will be admitted into the Guild of St Stephen in April or May of the following year.

 

Catechist Testimony of 'How we Started' First Holy Communion  (2008 )
It was as late as October 2007 when the first Camberley & Bagshot Parish First Holy Communion (FHC) catechists were formed and came together as a group. The three previous individual parish groups had stood down so volunteers were much needed. Of the newly formed volunteers only one of us had any previous direct catechetical experience. However, we managed to find two volunteers from each of our church three churches. At least it meant an element of familiarity with the children. Three of us were parents of the children on the course this year but you could not have asked for a more different group of people from diverse backgrounds and qualities that instantly bonded and drew upon the individual strengths, experience, skills and capabilities of each other.

We had twenty-eight children on what, over the year has been a wonderful journey and experience for us all, especially given the fear of the unknown felt by us all from the outset. During the monthly sessions we saw the children grow both as individuals and as a group. I speak for us all when I say that it has enriched our lives and been most rewarding to see the initial, in the most part, shy and introverted 7 year olds, convert into what are now very confident and extrovert 8+ year olds. Apart from the spiritual element, as a group we have enjoyed social events and shared many stories, experiences and practical things together including an amazing reconciliation service which the children approached with their continued growing confidence and usual vigour.

The culmination of this particular part of their journey arrived at 2pm on Sunday June 15th at St Tarcisius Church, Camberley, when we witnessed as a parish with pride and emotion these young people being rewarded with the receiving of our Lord for the first time. It has been an absolute honour and privilege to have been involved and I personally look forward to continuing the work again next year with the next group, given that we now have the initial experience and knowledge behind us. It was truly wonderful to see the St. Tarcisius Church packed to the rafters supporting these wonderful children on their special day, an experience that will live long in the memories of the three hundred or more people who were there and who contributed to the service with enthusiasm and joy.