St Mary’s Parish Council
Meets about four times a year at the Presbytery to support the parish priest on parish matters, and organises the annual parish meeting in early summer. Its coverage ranges from retreats and the garden party to financial matters. The Rules of the Blackheath Parish Council explain its remit.
Details of the current membership are on display in the church porch. The current Chair is Barbara Moyes. Three new members are elected every year at the AGM, usually for a 3 year period. If you would like an item to be raised at the Parish Council, we would be very interested to hear from you. Please feel free to contact one of the office bearers, or fill in one of the post-its in the church porch. If you would like to join the Parish Council, Monsignor Rothon would be pleased to hear from you :email@example.com
The Justice & Peace (J&P) Group
A small, friendly group which meets at 6.30pm on Sunday evenings in the Angelus Room. Dates of meetings are advertised on the J&P board at the back of the church and in the newsletter. New members are always very welcome. The group organises a range of activities in support of causes such as CAFOD, the Manna Centre and the Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers, raises awareness of social justice issues and helps to build the parish faith community. For example, some members are currently supporting ex-offenders on release from Wandsworth Prison. Each Christmas we send cards to prisoners of conscience and organise a ‘giving tree’ to support our charities. Please contact Michelle Robinson if you would like to find out more, or just come along to a meeting.
The Liturgy Committee
Meets about 4 times a year to decide hymns for 9.30 and 11.00 masses, the biddling prayers, plans for Christmas and Easter services, etc. Contact: Tim Murray
The Children’s Liturgy Group
Meets during the 9.30 mass on Sundays during term time to provide a range of activities for children to help them understand the meaning of the mass readings. Contact: Teresa Pearce
The Little Children’s Liturgy Group
Meets during the 9.30 mass on Sundays during term time for pre-school children, including babies and toddlers, accompanied by an adult or sibling old enough to look after them and helps them to understand the Gospel of the day.
Sings at the 11.00 masses on Sundays and at a number of other events throughout the year. Meets for practice sessions after the 11.00 mass on Sunday mornings. Contact: Tim Murray
The Children’s Choir
Sings at the 9.30 masses on the first and second Sundays of the month with rehearsals from 9.00-9.30 before those masses. Contact: Ali Smith or Theresa Freeburn
They support the priest in the distribution of communion at each Mass. Meet 3 times a year for a convivial supper in the Presbytery to discuss their role and future rota. Contact Nadia Coote.
Monsignor Rothon invites parishioners to become Eucharistic Ministers after a series of training sessions. If you have been a Eucharistic Minister in a previous parish and would like to help, please let Monsignor know.
A number of parishioners read at each mass according to a rota, and attend other occasional meetings as advertised in the newsletter. New volunteers are always welcome. If you would like to read, please contact Hazel Wilkinson.
The Meditation Group
Meets every Wednesday evening during term time for prayer and reflection (using the John Main approach to Christian meditation) at the Convent in Hyde Vale. Contact: Don Boyle.
The Tuesday Morning Coffee Group
Meets informally every Tuesday after the 10.00 mass in the Angelus Room for coffee and conversation. Everyone is very welcome.
The Parish Magazine: The Blackheathan
“The Blackheathan” is published ten times a year on the last Sunday of each month. It is distributed to all members of the parish but has a wide circulation outside the parish. There are five members of the editorial team who prepare and edit material for publication. The contents cover a wide range of subjects – travel, architecture, art, music, book reviews, lives of saints, poems as well as items concerning the life and work of the parish. Members of the parish are invited to submit items for publication, particularly about things that are happening in the parish. Contact Ali Smith.
The Youth Group Film Club
It meets on the first Sunday of each month (save August) from 5-7pm in the Angelus Room and is for parishioners from 11 – 16 years old.
There was an excellent response to the appeal for volunteers
- 30 people volunteered to help.
- Half are keen gardeners or competent amateurs.
- A majority can offer 1-2 hours per fortnight. Most of the rest can offer to help at least once per month.
- Most have some garden tools, which they can bring with them.
This is a great basis for a successful gardening group that can really improve the garden.
Those of us who could make it at relatively short notice had a kick-off meeting on 25 June. There are lots of ideas for how the garden could be improved – more garden benches, feeders to attract birdlife, perhaps a vegetable garden, different planting schemes to provide interest and perhaps colour for most of the year.
However, we decided that PHASE 1 should be to tidy up the garden – clean up the dead leaves, weed the beds and borders, perhaps complete the shingle on the path, tend to some of the shrubs etc. This will give us a good idea of what we have in the garden and want to keep, and where we need to plant new shrubs or flowers. It’s likely that at the end of this first phase, there will be quite a lot of bare patches in the boxes at the front of the Church and in the main garden at the back. Don’t be disappointed. These bare patches are good opportunities for creative gardening. But I hope also that some of the more recently-created part of the garden will look more cheerful when we are finished.
Details are along side of three Saturdays when we will ask volunteers to come for as short or as long a time as they can manage to undertake this clear up. Try and join in, even if it’s only for an hour. Obviously, if the weather is really bad, we won’t meet.
We are also planning another meeting of the whole group – probably in September, details will be posted alongside shortly – to discuss progress and begin to plan PHASE 2, which is to start planting and developing the garden. At that stage we may need to have a few project groups to focus on particular areas of the garden and on specific projects.
If you would like to join in, or have ideas to offer, please contact me. My details are on the noticeboard.
Other ways you can get involved at St Mary’s
Other specific events are advertised in the newsletter – such as parish retreats and outings or events that are being organised by other bodies such as the deanery or diocese.
Thank you to everyone who helps in whatever way at St Mary’s. Other opportunities include the following:
- altar serving
- care of the church
- flower arrangements
- care of the garden
Volunteers, other ideas and offers of help are always welcome.
Please contact Monsignor Rothon if you’d like to offer to help or to get involved at St Mary’s.
We hope you will.