From Baptism to starting school
At Baptism we are welcomed into God’s family, the Church, and begin our journey with Christ supported by the Christian community. During the first part of the Rite of Baptism the baby is assured that ‘the Christian community welcomes you with great joy’. Usually this is celebrated during Sunday Mass and we express our welcome for the baby and the parents recognising that we have a responsibility to support them.
Preparation for the Sacrament of Baptism is offered to parents by our Baptism catechists.
Parent, Grandparent & Toddler Group
Our group meets on a Thursday from 9.30am to 11.30am term time only in St Peters church hall including playtime, story time and music time.
Children range from new born to school age.
If anyone is interested in joining us please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note are numbers are limited due to the size of our hall so please contact to see if there is a waiting list.
If you are able to spare a few hours once a month, and are interested in volunteering
If anyone is interested in helping run the parent and toddler group it is 3 hours once a month please contact Heather as above.
Primary School Age Group
Children’s Liturgy Group
The Children’s Liturgy is open to children from school age and is celebrated during weekend Mass. From the beginning of Mass through to the Offertory Procession, children come into our church hall to Gather, Listen to the Word of God, Respond to (act) and then Go forth.
The liturgy echoes what is happening within the mass and at a level that can be understood by younger children.
A variety of activities are used to enable children to recognise the importance of the Good News within their lives.
The catechists are volunteers from all walks of life (you don’t have to work in education to be a catechist!). There is a monthly rota and each liturgy has at least two catechists present.
We are always looking for more volunteers to help and full training is given. The commitment is only once a month for about twenty minutes – could you support your parish and young people by helping with this ministry?
If you are interested, please contact Father Keith (0191 4876505) or Emma Heslop (0191 4878233)
First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion
A significant stage of our children’s journey of faith occurs in Year 4 when they are invited to prepare for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion.
The “Mini Vinnies” follow the principles of the St Vincent de Paul Charity (known as the SVP).
At its heart, it encourages each one of us to work for the good of every member in society, especially the poor and sick.
The motto is “Turning Concern into Action”.
At St Peter’s School we have a thriving and inspirational set of Mini Vinnies who fund raise where they feel they can make a difference. In 2017 we responded to a call for help from the Seaman’s Mission for warm hats, scarves and gloves for sailors who lack appropriate clothing for cold weather. We worked with our church SVP group and delivered lots of warm clothing to the Seaman’s Mission.
In 2018, our Mini Vinnies raised £117 for the Refugee Project in Newcastle. They allowed wet sponges to be aimed at them for a cost. It was a very cold day but they had fun whilst raising money for those in need.
We also meet with Corpus Christi Mini Vinnies each year and hold a Christmas Carol fundraiser in St Peter’s Church Hall which is very well supported by both parishes.
Mini Vinnies is open to children aged 7-11 and we meet each Thursday after school.
Faith in Action Award
The Faith in Action Award is a national Catholic Award Scheme which invites young people to put their faith into action in their schools, parishes and in the wider community. There are four award levels for different age-groups: Pin, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Entering the Award at Pin level in Year 6 will, hopefully, encourage children to continue to the next level as they move into secondary school.
Our Year 6 pupils already live out their faith in generous service to others through Mini Vinnies and in a variety of other ways. The Award seeks to recognise, affirm and celebrate all that they do. The Pin Award is carried out as a group but participants keep a Journal which records their personal reflections and, to complete the Award, they present a piece of work, in a medium of their choice, to represent their personal faith in action journey.
The Award scheme began in our Diocese in September 2018 and this will be offered to pupils at St Peter’s School as a joint school-parish initiative. For further information please contact Emma Heslop.
Secondary School Age Group
Faith in Action Award
We hope that the Award Scheme will continue with young people of secondary school age. If you would like to take part in the Award Scheme (Years 7-10) or would be interested in helping to run it, please contact Mary Hughes.
Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation is offered to young people in Year 9 and above.
View Sacramental Preparation Section: Confirmation LINK TO PAGE
Friends in Faith
After they had received the Sacrament of Confirmation in 2017, some of the Confirmation group met to explore how they could continue to support each other and be involved in the life and mission of the Church on their ongoing adventure of faith. They decided to meet from time to time and called their group ‘Friends in Faith’. It is hoped that this group will continue and be offered to the next group of candidates.
‘Initially I just wanted to help out and try something new. We are called ‘Friends in Faith’ because we’re all friends and know each other. Faith doesn’t only mean faith in God, but also with one another, having each other’s back and looking out for one another – just as God looks after his children.’
Recognising the value of peer ministry, we invite those who have been Confirmed to help with the Confirmation programme working alongside the catechists as ‘young catechists’. In response to this invitation, six young people have supported our current programme over the last year. They are inspiring role models who accompany the candidates and take a full part in the delivery of the sessions.
‘I think it’s one of the most important things within the church as a whole to get young people more involved with the infrastructure, as it allows them to gain independence in their faith whilst also inhibiting an age stigma within the community. As a result of this, I have loved being a young catechist for the past year, as it has allowed me to give something back to the Church and also allowed me to explore new concepts of faith.’
The St Peter’s Lourdes Youth are a group of young people between the ages of 16-21 who all take the opportunity to pilgrimage to Lourdes during the summer holidays with sick and disabled pilgrims from our diocese, whom they care for while they are there.
Men and women of all ages and backgrounds journey to Lourdes alongside our youth as volunteer helpers in response to Our Lady’s call to serve. These volunteers, who are pilgrims themselves, encounter Jesus in each pilgrim whilst caring for their physical, emotional and spiritual well being. All members of the Lourdes Youth group fund raise throughout the year to be able to have this opportunity, offering coffee mornings and a range of social events for the church community.
Without the ongoing support of our parish the group would struggle to meet the financial constraints of the trip and therefore, we are extremely grateful for all of the help and encouragement that we receive through the year.
Pope John Paul II Award
This Award is for those aged 16-18 years and is offered jointly through the parish and Cardinal Hume School. The Award is also open to young people in this age-group who do not attend Cardinal Hume School. Through the Award, young people are enabled to take an active part in the life of their Church, in the life of their community and society. There are three awards Gold, Silver and Bronze and, for those aged 18+ who have completed their Gold Award, there is an opportunity to gain the Papal Cross Award. Over the last three years many of our young people have gained these awards and have been great witnesses to living out their faith both in the parish community and further afield e.g. Joe’s Place, St Joseph’s Care Home and Lourdes.
Please contact our parish co-ordinator, Maria Elliott, for further information or Kathleen Byrne who is the John Ingram Partnership Coordinator.
Youth Sunday Celebration 2018
National Youth Sunday is held each year in November on the Feast of Christ the King. It is a special day in the Church when we celebrate the gift of young people and the important role they have in our parishes, partnerships and diocese. It is a day to listen to young people and renew our support for them. It is also a day when we support the work of the Youth Ministry Team (YMT), our diocesan youth service.
YMT hosts a preparation afternoon for Youth Sunday each year in October and invites adults from each parish to attend with a group of their young people. It is an opportunity for adults and young people to explore the theme and receive resources in order to plan their celebration.
Involvement of young people in Ministries
St Peter’s has a strong team of young altar servers aged between 8 and 19. Children are invited to become altar servers following First Holy Communion. After serving for one year, servers are enrolled in St Stephen’s Guild and receive their medal.
Please contact Deacon Malcolm if you are in Year 4 and above and would like to join the team.
Our 11.00am Mass Music Group warmly welcomes the talents of young people as singers and instrumentalists.
Readers and Welcomers
A number of young people have taken their place on the rotas through the Pope John Paul II Award. Children and young people are welcome to participate in these ministries.
‘This is what we need: a Church for young people which will know how to speak to their heart and enkindle, comfort and inspire enthusiasm in it with the joy of the Gospel and the strength of the Eucharist … a Church which is not afraid to ask much after having given much; which does not fear asking from young people the effort of a noble and authentic adventure, such as following the Gospel’.
(Pope John Paul II)
Supporting young people on their faith journey is a responsibility for everyone in our parish community. We aim to do this firstly by our ongoing welcome and encouragement, and then by providing a range of opportunities to help them to grow in faith.