Sacred Hearts is a vibrant, active, inclusive and welcoming community.  We support one another through prayer, friendship and at the service of the Church.

If you are interested in participating in parish life and would like to learn more, review the many parish groups and see the wonderful ways you can contribute.             

Contact:  Linda Portwain in the Parish Office, 01242 524932.

One God, One Family, One Community

Our aim is to be a Community of Worship, Love and Service… To be signs and bearers of God’s love for all people

The strength of the Sacred Hearts’ spiritual and community life derives largely from volunteers in the parish. In our hearts and in our actions, we remember that Christ came not to be served but to serve. Whether for the church, hall, squash club, or bar and lounge, volunteers put the Lord’s teaching into practice with energy and commitment, as well good humour, to help make Sacred Hearts a giving and welcoming parish.

There are over forty parish groups providing religious, social and ecumenical activities, offering plenty of ways to participate and contribute. Whether a local ministry, outreach programme, youth group, church cleaning, the parish fete, hall committee or other activity, there’s a lot to choose from.

There are many different ways in which you can help out and make this “our” parish. Any talent, or willingness that you can offer can be used – the existing volunteers will be delighted to welcome you so that more can be done and or they could take a break. Take a look at some of the groups, activities and ministries listed here and elsewhere on the website – and don’t be shy!

If you are interested in participating in parish life and would like to learn more, review the many parish groups and see the wonderful ways you can contribute.

Contact:  Linda Portwain in the Parish Office, 01242 524932.

All are welcome – join us

Altar Servers

Service at the altar is open to all who have made their First Holy Communion. Here at the Sacred Heart we are blessed with a mix of servers. The Sunday Masses are usually served by those who are still at school , whilst weekday Masses are served by our adult servers.

Altar Servers must have made their First Communion. They can then attend a training course with Fr Mark Moran. Courses usually start in September/October, but anyone interested should contact Fr Mark. New Servers are helped and supported by those with experience.

Regular attendance is required. Altar Servers assist the priest in the liturgical services. They set up before a service, participate in the service on the sanctuary, and clear away after the service, so they need to arrive at least 10 minutes before the service begins.

Practices are held before larger celebrations, such as Christmas and Easter.

Contact:  Fr Mark Moran:  01242 524932

Children's Liturgy of the Word

‘…the particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose…’

1 Cor. 12:7

One of the great strengths of our parish is the large number of children who go to ‘Children’s Liturgy’ during the 10.30am mass on a Sunday, during term time. The Children’s Liturgy is an important part of the Parish life and has been running for at least 15 years.

Children’s Liturgy of the Word (CLOW) is an age-appropriate Liturgy of the Word offered for children up to the age of 8, at the 10:30 am Mass. No pre-registration is necessary. All children are welcome and encouraged to attend. The children learn about the same Scripture readings as the rest of the parish. They are taught a simplified main message of the readings and are encouraged to share that message with their parents after Mass.

This group is led by one adult volunteer at present. If you would like to join our group of adults who lead or help please pass on your details to the parish office or the CLOW co-ordinator. Volunteers are also needed to assist with the supervision of the children. This is a great opportunity for adults and senior school youth to help these eager youngsters learn the Word of the Lord.

After the Sign of the Cross and Welcome, at the beginning, of the mass, the children are invited to go with the weekly leaders from the church to the Lampley Room (lower level on the house/church link corridor). During this special time, the volunteer leader leads the children through prayers, songs and readings.

Description of role/activity         
  • Read a children’s version of the Gospel
  • Discuss the Gospel in a way that is relevant to the age group, using games, drama, pictures, other stories, songs, etc
  • Support educational activity-colouring, craft, word search, crossword etc.
  • Activity resources are provided
  • Experienced helpers will support any newcomers
Time required
  • The children’s liturgy runs every Sunday at the 10.30am Mass except during school holidays
  • Ideally each helper will do one session every half-term but this depends on how many helpers are available.
  • Rotas are sent out by email
  • Helpers meet once a year to discuss and share experiences


Church cleaning

The members of the Church Cleaning team work together to clean the church every week, on a Monday morning.

They vacuum the porch, sanctuary and Lady Chapel, dust the benches and lectern, sweep or mop the floor, and clear away any rubbish.

Cleaning materials are provided.


Linda Portwain, Church Secretary, 01242 524932

Email: Parish Office

Church Flowers

The flower arrangers work in teams to keep the church beautifully decorated, providing floral displays each week and for liturgical seasons, and for weddings, if requested.

Those helping should have a love of flowers and flower arranging, but new volunteers will be given help and support by the experienced members.

Ideally, the parish should have four teams, which work on a rota for two weeks, during which time they arrange the flowers every Friday and then take it in turns to water the flowers during the week.

Ideally each team would comprise four members, but there are often just two or three members to a team.

NEW members are always welcome please speak to Leslie, who co-ordinates the group

Meetings are held twice a year to plan flowers for Christmas and Easter.

Funding is provided by the church.


Contact: Leslie Vickers, 01242 578810

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Eucharistic Ministers assist with the distribution of Holy Communion, under both kinds, at Masses, and with taking the Eucharist to those who are sick and housebound.

On completion of the DBS forms which are mandatory, New Ministers follow a training programme, and are then Commissioned.

Recommissioning then takes place each year at Corpus Christi.

A Day of Recollection is held each year for the Ministers throughout the Deanery, but Ministers can always seek help and advice at any time from experienced Ministers.

A three-month rota is sent out to all Ministers; every effort is made to accommodate Ministers’ availability, but a duty can always be swapped if an allocated time is not suitable.


Taking the Eucharist to parishioners who are in nursing homes and hospital,or who are housebound, may take between half an hour and an hour.

Since COVID and the reduction of volunteers ministers carry out this role, from one of the weekday masses or occasionally on a Sunday. This remains a vital part of the ministry of the parish and is very much appreciated by all those who are visited.


Linda Portwain: Church Office 01242 524932 (Monday, Thursday & Friday 9 am to 1 pm) or home 01242 515603

Margaret Richards or telephone: 01242 241745



The Hospitality group provides tea and coffee in the Hall after each weekend Mass.

We work in pairs, and there is a rota listing duties. Initially you will partner someone experienced in the Hospitality role, so that you become familiar with what to do

We set up the Hall before Mass starts, about 20 minutes before the service. We leave Mass after communion, so that we are ready to serve tea and coffee, and squash, as people arrive. The tea, coffee, squash and biscuits are provided by the parish.

We ensure new parishioners and visitors are made welcome.

At the end we clear away, leaving the kitchen tidy, and we clean and put away the tables and chairs.

If you are unable to undertake your duty, please arrange a replacement from the contact list provided.


5.30 pm Mass: Jane Kane, 01242 583019

8.15 am Mass: Christine and Julian Magee, 01242 222353

10.30 am Mass: Christine Harker,  01242572 163


Music Group / Choir

The Music Group provides music and a choir for church services. It aims to bring quality leadership to the singing of the liturgy, and prayerfully to enhance the celebration.

Members strive to encompass a wide range of musical styles to suit the liturgical year and to provide different forms of musical worship.

The choir sings at the 10.30 am Mass, as well as at other special liturgical occasions during the year.

Musicians are welcome to bring and play their instruments 

No experience is necessary. Choir practice is at 9.30 on Sundays.


Philippa Ginns   01242 227972

Prayer Groups

We have a number of different prayer groups in our church, some meeting weekly and some meeting monthly.


Details can be found by visiting our prayer section CLICK HERE or checking out our newsletter


‘…the particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose…’

1 Cor. 12:7

  • Linda Portwain, tel:  01242 515603 
Description of role/activity         
  • Reading the Scriptures during Mass
  • Experienced readers will support any newcomers
Time required
  • Rotas are produced to cover all scheduled Masses
  • Readers can elect to be on one or both rotas
  • Readers are expected to arrange a replacement with another reader if they are not attending a Mass for which they are on the rota
  • It is anticipated that readers will make themselves familiar with the reading before Mass.
Support provided
  • Days of recollection are held periodically as part of the ongoing formation of the readers



Preparing for this ministry is ESSENTIAL. Too often readers who have been chosen do not check the rota until they arrive at church! These people are not prepared to read the Word of God. This can lead to the reader fumbling through the readings, leaving the assembly confused and even bored. It can also lead to a lack of confidence in readers due to not being able to feel competent in reading. Preparation will bear fruit, both in good readings and also more confident readers.


(20 – 30 minutes at first, less as you consider yourself more comfortable with the process).

  1. Read the passage out loud to understand it
  2. Go to the Bible, read the four verses before and after the reading to get the larger context.
  3. Read the passage out loud again, placing thoughts/ideas or sequences together.
  4. Read it out loud, listening to yourself to hear if YOU are reproducing the author’s intention. Note if your reading of the passage makes sense, shows emotion if indicated, reveals character if noted, shows parenthetical ideas, comes alive as if you were the living author or character.
  5. Read the passage aloud in front of a mirror, delivering the thoughts/emotions of each section.
  6. Sit down and read it out loud in a relaxed way, becoming familiar with WHAT the words mean to communicate.
  7. Read it out aloud one last time, focusing upon the thoughts and intentions of the passage.
  8. Pronunciation: Be sure that any difficult words are sufficiently practiced so the muscles in your „vocal apparatus‟ are used to saying the words correctly and easily. Familiarity keeps you from having to think about it later!
  9. PRAYER. Before and after the Scriptures, pray. Ask God to help you to be an effective proclaimer of His Word and to help you to understand the reading. What you believe about the scriptures will say more than the technique you use.
  1. Please be faithful to the rota. What sign is given when a reader does not turn up and someone has to be recruited to read unprepared at the last moment? If you cannot be present, then please inform the readers’ coordinator.
  2. Sit near to the front of the church when you are reading, do not rush to the Altar. Be ready to move to the lectern.
  3. Move with dignity. Always read from the lectionary.
  4. Bow at the altar step and make sure you have the attention of the assembly before starting to read. Try to look at the whole assembly on reaching the lectern. Pause. Announce the reading. (see Effective Reading)
  5. After the reading, pause a moment, look at the assembly and then say “The Word of the Lord”. Periods of silence are an integral part of the liturgy.
  6. It is not necessary to introduce the psalm with words like “Our response is” Everyone knows that the psalm begins with an antiphon. Begin the psalm simply by reciting the Antiphon and letting the assembly repeat it. Remember that when reading the psalm, you are reading poetry – it should flow. When the verse is finished, look at the assembly, inviting their response
  7. If the psalm is sung by a Cantor or the choir, then step aside after the first reading and participate in the responsorial psalm from the side.
  8. After the psalm, introduce the Second Reading as written. After the reading pause again and leave the altar to the right as the Gospel Acclamation (alleluias) are sung. Bow and return to place.
  9. At the end of the Creed make your way to the altar again to pray the Prayers of the Faithful. Pray them-Don‟t simply read them. Pause after each bidding. The Priest will begin and conclude these prayers.
  1. SLOWLY. Reading fast is the biggest mistake beginners make. Read slowly. Ask someone to judge your speed when you are preparing for the reading.
  1. CLEARLY. Good diction and enunciation is important, especially for those who have hearing difficulties. Often people complain about the volume of reading but in reality it is often the lack of clarity. If the words are unusual consult the CTS booklet “Readers at Mass” for a full list of pronunciations.
  2. USING THE MICROPHONE. Practice using the microphone before worship time. There is no need to touch the microphone during the reading as it will have been set before the Mass begins. Although there is a microphone in place that does not mean that you should not project your voice to the back of the church.
  3. EXPRESSIVE. Be expressive with the tone and mood of the text. Let the text guide you for the tone. If you have prepared then you will have some sense of the tone of the text. Monotone speaking will create boring readings. Worship should be lively and that begins with lively readings. Yet too exuberant reading can take the focus away from scripture and take it into the realms of the playhouse! Read to the punctuation and if it does not make cogent sense then use your own pausing to ensure clarity.
  4. DECORUM. Since the focus should be on the Word of God, Readers‟ clothing should be appropriate – not too excessively flamboyant or too casual.
  5. MISTAKES. We are never perfect. If a mistake is made stop and reread the verse. It is NOT necessary to say “Sorry” or “Excuse me”. Continue with the reading with confidence, knowing that God expects faithful worship. If you accept that it is all right to make mistakes, this will lessen any feelings of nervousness. You may well find that it is a considerable help to follow the text with a finger so that when you look up you can be sure of finding your place again.
  6. At the end of the reading pause for 5-10 seconds and then say “The word of the Lord” The emphasis should be on the WORD and LORD.

Whether new or experienced, the proclamation of scripture in the assembly is a vital ministry in the life of the church. Learning how to read better will enrich the liturgy and will give the reader the opportunity to learn more about our Faith.

Welcoming at mass

Helping your church to become more friendly for all 


Contact:- Cathy Hipkiss  Tel: 01242 511139 or 07733 005969   Email:

Description of role/activity

Greet parishioner and visitors
Hand out newsletter/order of service etc
Identify newcomers
Organise offertory procession
Usher people to their seats when church is at near full capacity
Assist with particular needs e.g. positioning of a wheelchair/buggy, glass of water, directions to toilets etc

Support provided

Initially you will partner an experienced Welcomer at one Mass
A guideline leaflet is provided
The Welcoming coordinator will communicate any changes/special instructions ahead of time e.g. Christmas and Easter
At least one meeting a year for Welcomers

Time required

Approx 1 Mass every 9 weeks
Arrive half an hour before Mass to put out/check the leaflets on the benches and then greet parishioners
Remain for 20 minutes after Mass to tidy leaflets (at 5.30pm and 8.15am Masses) / put leaflets away (at 10.30am Mass).
Arrange a replacement if you are unable to serve at a particular Mass (a contact list is provided)

Parish Christmas Fayre

A great day for all ages

Usually held on the last Saturday

in November