There are many ways to become involved in life at St. Aelred’s. Take a look through the following list, and get in touch if you would like to know more…
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
The Blessed Sacrament is exposed in a side chapel between 8.00am and 10pm each weekday. Any member of the community is able to call into the church and join in adoration. Adoration began in 1993 and involves not only our Parishioners but those from neighbouring churches. There are approximately eighty people who currently offer an hour or more each week on a rota basis, so that adoration of the Blessed Sacrament might remain at the heart of the parish's weekly activity. May God continue to bless us with this gift.
This service can be offered by any young person in the parish who has made his or her First Holy Communion. The servers support the parish priest at the celebration of Holy Mass. They also offer their support on feast days. New servers are offered basic training before they serve at a Mass. Rev David Arblaster 560279.
The Banner Group has been meeting for more than ten years, and have made banners for all liturgical seasons. The liturgical banners hang on either side of the altar, and for each set there is a co-ordinating altar cloth. A variety of materials and media are used in making the banners. We welcome newcomers and new ideas. News of future projects will appear in the bulletin.
Brownies meet every Wednesday during term-time in the church hall from 6pm - 7.15pm. The meetings are for girls aged between 7 and 10 years old. During the meetings the Brownies learn new skills, make new friends and have fun.
During the Sunday 10am Mass in term-time, we hold a liturgy for children between the ages of 4 and 11. We normally divide the children into two groups, 4-7 year-olds, and 8-11 year-olds. Each group is led by two or more catechists who prepare and lead the liturgy on a rota basis. The children are invited to the liturgy at the beginning of Mass and go out of church with the catechists, either into the hall or the meeting room. They return to the church in time for the Offertory. We welcome new catechists and offer help with training.
The Folk Choir celebrates on alternate Saturdays at the 6.30pm Vigil Mass and Sunday 10am Mass at Christmas and Easter. Our music is based on the Scriptures for that particular day, which we read and discuss before selecting appropriate hymns. The players include keyboard, violin, flute and guitars and a choir of singers, who lead the congregation. We welcome anyone interested in joining us and we meet for practice every Thursday evening at 7.30pm, usually in one of our homes.
Church cleaners work on a rota basis, cleaning the inside of the church - not including windows or walls - and spend 1-2 hours per their session which occurs about 5 times per year. There are currently around twenty-three cleaners. New brooms are always welcome.
This recently formed Group offers a warm welcome to anyone who wants to broaden their social circle or is new to the area. Meetings are held monthly on the third Wednesday from 1.45 to 3.15pm in St Aelred's Church Hall. Speakers talk on a range of general topics of interest to men and women of all ages and there is also tea and chat and more.
The church flowers are bought and arranged each week (apart from the weeks of Lent and Advent) on a rota basis by a group of five parishioners. Anybody who would like to join us on a regular or occasional basis is very welcome.
St Aelred's parish provides the Catholic chaplain for the Harrogate District Hospital. Fr Jim relies on messages from patient's family and friends informing him of their presence and location in the hospital. To assist Fr Jim in this ministry there is a lay chaplaincy team drawn from St Aelred's and St Robert's parishes. Most of these visitors are Eucharistic ministers and, working singly or in pairs we visit one area - typically 4 to 6 wards - of the hospital every three or four weeks on a rota basis. Because we visit only a part of the hospital we each see relatively few patients and so are able to spend time with those, especially the elderly, who often just want to talk to someone.
In the church hall generally during term-time: Mondays 7.30-9pm for ladies over 16, with a KFA qualified instructor. Tuesdays 9.30-10.30am, gentle exercises to cassette music for the over-50s.
The luncheon club has been running since July 1995 and provides a monthly lunch, at low cost, open to any adult members of the Harrogate community. Our ethos is to provide a relaxed environment where food and friendship can be enjoyed. All are made welcome. Our menu is printed in the bulletin. The Club runs on the second Friday of the month, serving from 12-2pm. A booking form is at the back of church.
Parish Garden Maintenance
About six families maintain the flower beds and hedges in the grounds of the church and presbytery. The grass-cutting is done fortnightly by contractors. New green fingers always welcome.
Parish Pastoral Council
The Parish Pastoral Council exists to advise the parish priest and assist him in the pastoral care and general maintenance of the parish. Members have a responsibility for effective communication between the people of the parish. The Council generally meets on the first Thursday of every alternate month. Members of the Council are normally elected to serve for a three-year term, and are instrumental in developing the life of the parish in a variety of ways. All confirmed members of the parish who are on the parish register, are eligible to take part in the election.
Volunteers are often needed to befriend and provide transport to and from Mass for elderly or visually impaired Parishioners. Term-time transport is organised on a rota basis.