The simple answer to most of the questions you may have is "speak to us" - or contact us via the website. However, a number of questions are briefly answered below.  

Q: I wish to get my child baptised/Christened. How do I go about it?

A: Baptism is about bringing your child into the Family of God. Your first step is simply to come along to Mass at the weekend and make yourself known to the priest (or the Parish Sister) afterwards. Sunday's Masses are probably the best as there are better family facilities (expecially Children's Liturgy at Holy Cross) and refreshments are served after Sunday morning Mass at Holy Cross (and as announced at St Mary's), so you can get to know some of that "Family of God" that you are asking for your child to join.

Q: I would like my child to go to a Catholic school. Does he/she have to be baptised first?

A: The simple answer is "no" - whilst Catholic schools give priority to baptised Catholic children, there may well be other places which are available to non-Catholic children. The important thing to remember is that Baptism is a life-commitment, not  simply a ticket to a Catholic school. Contact the schools for full details of their admissions policies.

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Q: I would like to attend Mass, but am afraid my baby/toddler may become restless. Would we be made welcome?

A: Yes. We welcome families at our Masses, and this means we must be tolerant, within reason, of a certain amount of noise from children. But if they need a break, we have a space in the foyer at the back of St Mary's, and a box with children's books etc at the back of Holy Cross, where you can take them for a short "time out" (but do, please, supervise them at all times). If you really need somewhere soundproof for a while, the foyers of both churches are comfortable and heated in the winter.

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Q: My child is at a non-Catholic school. Can he/she join your Sacramental Programme for First Holy Communion?
A: Yes. Whilst most of the children on our Sacramental Programme are from our own primary schools, there will almost always be some from other schools and they will all be made welcome. For the benefit of those for whom the programme is not being specifically backed up by their school's RE lessons, a small number of additional classes will be provided in the parish.

Q: I may be interested in becoming a Catholic as an adult. What is the first step?
A: Come along to Mass and make yourself known to the priest (or the Parish Sister) afterwards, without any obligation. Different options can be discussed with you then.

Q: My elderly relative is housebound in your parish. Can he / she receive Holy Communion at home?
A: Yes. We have Eucharistic Ministers who take Holy Communion to the sick and housebound, and we are always happy to add people to our lists. Just let us know.

Q: I am going into hospital. Can a visit from a priest be arranged?

A: Yes. Most hospitals have a chaplaincy service, but you will need to let the nursing staff know you would like a visit from the chaplain - they are unlikely to ask you if you do not speak to them first. If you would like your own parish priest to come and visit, again just let him know.

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Q: What times are weekday Masses?
A: Weekday Mass times are published in the parish newsletter, and can vary. Sometimes they will take place in the schools - but parishioners are still most welcome to attend.

Q: What time is midnight Mass at Christmas?

A: Always a popular question!! This will normally be well before midnight on Christmas Eve, but the best thing to do is simply check the newsletter near the time.

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Q: How do I volunteer to help in the parish?
A: Speak to the parish priest or to Marie in the Parish Office. We welcome volunteers - indeed the parish could not run without them. You will, we are sure, appreciate that volunteers are required to complete a DBS check.

Q: Do you have disabled facilities at your churches?

A: Yes. Both churches have a loop system for the hard of hearing, ramped access and accessible toilet facilities.

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Q: My eyesight is poor. Can I have a large-print version of the newsletter?
A: These have been produced in the past and we would be happy, if requested, to do so again. Please contact the Parish Office.

Q: I asked for something three weeks ago and have not received a reply. Why not?

A: Sorry! We do make mistakes, and will not be offended by a reminder.

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Q: I have a complaint. What should I do about it?
A: If you feel we have let you down in any way, please tell us - we cannot put it right otherwise. But please don't shout at our volunteers, even if you think they have made the mistake. They work so hard and give so generously of their time. If you have a complaint please speak to the parish priest (Fr Martin) - or if you feel it is serious enough you may, of course, contact the Bishop. (His contact details are available on the Diocesan website). If you have any safeguarding concerns, please speak to Ged, Marie or Anna, our Safeguarding Reps. (They can be contacted directly via this LINK.