When baptism for a child is requested, arrangements are made for the parents to visit the parish priest. The purpose of this visit is to strengthen parish community links with them and to help to further their knowledge of the faith.
During the course of this visit the parents share with the priest their reasons for requesting baptism and they are helped to understand the responsibilities as well as the blessings which this choice brings. The priest leads the parents through the order of the service in the Baptism Book and prepares them for active participation. The meeting closes with prayer and the family is reminded to contact the parish priest and confirm the time and the date of the baptism with him.
First Confession and First Communion
Preparation for these two sacraments makes up the first and second parts of the course. The catechists are very experienced and work in a Salesian (St. John Bosco) inspired way. It uses language that is easily understood by the young people but does not fear to introduce them to Church teaching. But above all they hope to make this encounter with Jesus one that interests them and remains with them so that the have a closer relationship with Jesus by the end of the course.
The course is for those in Year 3 or above and generally takes place on Wednesday evenings in term time, beginning in the New Year.
Two young adults, Mary and Iain, run this course and again are very much rooted in Salesian theology and practice. Confirmation asks the young people to reflect on and decide for themselves whether they are ready and want to make the Church a part of their lives. At the heart of this decision is an encounter with the Holy Spirit and an awareness of the gifts we are given through the Spirit and how we are called to share them with others. The course is run in an engaging way and will usually involve a day away at Castlerigg, the diocesan youth centre, which people always enjoy.
The course is open to those in Year 7 and above and begins in the New Year.
We discuss the sacramental/religious aspects of marriage over the four meetings the Church requires us to have as preparation. Before anything can happen you need to speak to the priest.
Here are some practical matters people sometimes ask.
Can I get married in Holy Trinity and St. George ?
1) Yes, if at least one of you is a baptised Catholic
and 2) if you live in the parish.
Are there any exceptions to (2)?
If you have a close connection to the parish area for some reason it might be considered.
What if one of us is not a Catholic?
This is usually not a problem provided they do not object to a church service and are happy and willing to take part.
What if either of us has been married before?
That is usually a bar to marriage in the Catholic Church but it is worth asking in case it is possible in your circumstances.
What about the registrar?
If you live in Cumbria you simply need to get in touch with the Registrar’s office (details are online) to arrange a meeting to obtain a licence. The licence usually lasts for a year.
If you live outside Cumbria you will have to check with the Registrar about the residence requirements.
For weddings in the church the priest is the registrar so there is no need to have the civil registrar present.
What kind of service can I have?
You can choose either a Nuptial Mass or a wedding service which is shorter and does not include Holy Communion.
Music and flowers
There is someone in the parish who will arrange flowers but you can certainly organise your own, and the organist may be available.
You can choose any music within reason but if you choose to have a Nuptial Mass then it must be suitable to that.
What physical problems may there be with the church?
There is no central aisle and very little parking except for the multi-story nearby.
How much does it cost?
If you are short of money then there is no charge. Otherwise a donation would be expected in relation to how much you are spending generally on the wedding and £70 would be expected as payment for the organist.
Can I ask another priest I know to take the service?
Yes, if he is a Catholic priest and has permission to carry out services in this diocese which he must get from the Bishop’s Office in Lancaster.
Can people use confetti?
Yes if it is bio-degradable and only immediately outside the church.
What paperwork will I need to supply?
For a Catholic, a copy of your baptismal certificate that is dated within four months of the wedding date.
What about the wedding breakfast/reception?
It is better to speak to the priest before you make a final booking to ensure that he and the church are available at the right time.