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
Temporarily Suspended due to Coronavirus regulations
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.
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.
The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development is the response of the Bishops of England and Wales to the growing need of people in the Third World. CAFOD has two family fast day collections in all parishes, one during Lent and the other in October. St Aelreds group seeks to support the work of the national organisation and to raise awareness of the many needs of our brothers and sisters throughout the world. Each year a campaign is launched to raise funds for a variety of long-term projects. Prayer and raising awareness of the many injustices, that affect the lives of so many people throughout our world, are our main aims; raising money, while important, is secondary. As a group, we organise a Christmas card campaign for prisoners of conscience using information provided by ACAT (Action by Christians Against Torture). We meet five or six times a year and welcome anyone who would like to be involved.
During the Sunday 10am Mass in term-time, we hold a liturgy for children between the ages of 4 and 8. 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 into the hall. They return to the church in time for the Offertory. We welcome new catechists and offer help with training.
To sing is to pray twice. The Folk Choir celebrate and lead the congregation on Saturdays at the 6.30pm Vigil Mass. 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. We welcome anyone interested in joining us. The Traditional Choir provides music for the Sunday morning Mass. Accompanied by the organ, the hymns and Mass settings chosen reflect the liturgy of the day. We are looking for new members, old and young. When requested, we sing at weddings and funerals.
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.
St Aelreds belongs to Starbeck and Woodlands Churches Together. There are currently five churches in the group: Christ Church (C of E); St Andrews (C of E); Starbeck Methodist; Woodlands Methodist and St Aelreds. These groups belong to the umbrella organisation: Churches Together in Harrogate. Churches Together is an ecumenical group, working towards greater Christian unity and understanding. Every year we plan Lenten and Advent groups and days of reflection. We carry a cross together through the area on Good Friday as a Christian witness. In recent years we have produced a joint Christmas card. Other events may take place with an ecumenical theme. There are planning meetings three or four times a year. Many parishioners attend events. All are welcome.
The St Aelreds Coffee group provides coffee, tea and biscuits in the church hall after the 10am Mass on Sunday. Everyone is welcome for a drink and chat. There are currently eleven teams of two people offering this service and each pair is generally asked to provide these refreshments five times per year. The time commitment on each occasion is approximately two hours. No skills required above the ability to plug in the water boiler! All new teams welcomed.
The Remembrance Garden and Book
The Remembrance Garden first came into being in late 2000 as a millenium project. If any Parishioners or Friends of St Aelred's wish to stroll or sit awhile in the garden, a key is available hung on a plate on the library wall at back of Church. Please just return the key after use, thank you. To complement the Remembrance Garden, a Remembrance Book is housed in a glass cabinet in the Adoration Chapel and the pages are turned each month. Any deceased parishioner or other persons who have been connected to St Aelreds may have their names inscribed in the book. If you would like to request an inscription, forms are available in a tray in the library at the back of church or you may contact Deacon David or Tony Buck.
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.
Canon Law requires that a parish should have a Finance Committee. At St Aelreds there are normally four committee members: Finance Secretary, Collections Co-ordinator, Gift Aid co-coordinator and Accounts Liaison Officer, plus the serving chair of the Parish Council. The four committee members are invited to the position by the parish priest. The team is responsible to the parish and the diocese for the management of the parish accounts.
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.
Catholic Charismatic renewal; Prayer group meets every Wednesday evening in the adoration chapel from 7pm to 8.30 pm. Everyone is welcome to join in our lively praise, thanksgiving and worship. We also have a day of Renewal on the second Saturday of each month. Everyone is welcome to come away from their busy lives for an afternoon and be refreshed by the Holy Spirit. We have some really great speakers both local, national and international. For further details ring Dolores Omand 01423870789 or visit the Catholic Charismatic Diocesan web site for details of our group and what is going on in the diocese. ccrleeds.org.uk
St Aelreds Repository is open after every Sunday Mass, both morning and evening, and alternate Saturdays after the vigil Mass. It stocks a range of cards, prayer books and other small items. At special times items can be ordered, for example for 1st Holy Communion.
The St Vincent de Paul Society in England and Wales (SVP) makes over 3000 contacts daily to the aged, the lonely, the sick and the deprived, at home, in hospital or in prison. We are a Catholic Charity but welcome members, who accept the Society's values, from all faiths or none. We support those in need whatever their beliefs or background.
St Aelred's SVP Conference was established in December 1950 and we carry out the work of the Society locally. We support families and individuals in need: financially and with the hand of friendship. There is a real need for our support and assistance within the local community, with many families struggling financially and isolated socially. We are twinned with the Holy Cross SVP Conference, Anapprara, Karamoodu Vellarada, Kerala, India, for whom we raise funds annually.
St Aelred’s SVP always welcomes new members. If you can spare an hour or two weekly, or even monthly, please make yourself known to our conference President, Barbara. To become a full member of the SVP a person would need to be safely recruited and comply with the safeguarding requirements for the role, as with other parish ministries.
SVP England and Wales Website: https://www.svp.org.uk/
St Aelred SVP and the response to the Coronavirus Emergency SVP members are continuing to phone and support parishioners and others in need. Thank you to all those who have volunteered to help with this support. If you would like to add your name to the list of volunteers to do shopping, collect prescriptions, delivering parish bulletins or other tasks, please do phone. Also, do contact us if you know of anyone in need who would benefit from SVP support.
St Aelred’s SVP telephone number is 07311214364
If you would like to make a donation to the St Aelred SVP Conference the details for a bank transfer are as follows:
Sort code 60-60-04. Account No. 46076255