First Holy Communion

 

 

If you are reading this page then you probably have a child coming up for their First Holy Communion in 2019. 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 our team of Catechists, parents will explore with their children who Jesus is and how we can find him in the celebration of Mass.

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


 

 



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. 

 

Regarding attendance parents must ensure that they and their children attend punctually all the preparations classes which take place on a number of Saturday afternoons for 1 hour commencing at 2.30pm or 4pm 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 2018-2019


Children in Year 2 moving to Year 3 in September 2018 are eligible to joing our First Holy Communion course 2018-19. An APPLICATION FORM is now available on line or in hardcopy at the back of the church. Applications close 27 July 2018.


An application form can be printed using the link below:



 Enrolment form 2018-2019.pdf

 

   

Things to know:

  • - The course used is called 'I BELONG'.
  • - During the year catechists will assist parents to prepare their child/ren during sessions
  • - Our team of Catechists are DBS cleared.
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A .pdf of the course dates is available to print if you click the link below.
 
 

 Course Dates 2018-2019.pdf

 

 

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First Reconciliation & First Holy Communion Programme 2018-2019

 

 

 

Session

Date

Time

Where

 

Parent Meeting

5th September 2018

8pm

SPJ Hall

R1

Session 1 for Parents & Children

15th September 2018

2:30pm

4pm

SPJ Hall

SPJ Hall

E1

Session 2 for Parents & Children

13th October 2018

2:30pm

4pm

SPJ Hall

SPJ Hall

E2

Session 3 for Parents & Children

10th November 2018

2:30pm

4pm

SPJ Hall

SPJ Hall

R2

Session 4 for Parents & Children

8th December 2018

2:30pm

4pm

SPJ Hall

SPJ Hall

R3

Session 5 for Parents & Children

12th January 2019

2:30pm

4pm

SPJ Hall

SPJ Hall

R4

Session 6 for Parents & Children

9th February 2019

2:30pm

4pm

SPJ Hall

SPJ Hall

R5

Session 7 for Parents & Children

9th March 2019

2:30pm

4pm

SPJ Hall

SPJ Hall

 

First Reconciliation Service

30th March 2019

2:30pm

 

SPJ Church

E3

Session 8 for Parents & Children

27th April 2019

2:30pm

4pm

SPJ Hall

SPJ Hall

E4

Session 9 for Parents & Children

11th May 2019

2:30pm

4pm

SPJ Hall

SPJ Hall

E5

Session 10 for Parents &  Children

8th June 2019

2:30pm

4pm

SPJ Hall

SPJ Hall

 

First Holy Communion Masses

(During Sunday Masses)

15th June 2018

16th June 2019

16th June 2019

5:30pm

9:30am

11:15am

SPJ Church

St Tarcisius

Christ the King

E6

Session 11 for Parents & Children

6th July 2019

2:30pm

4pm

SPJ Hall

SPJ Hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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


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Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June 2019

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


   9.30am   First Holy Communion Mass - Church of  St Tarcisius


11.30am  First Holy Communion Mass - Church of Christ the King


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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.