There are a number of thriving groups and ministries within the parish.
New helpers and members are always welcome.
– Fr. Richard Carter, Peter Siney
When children have made their First Holy Communion, they may apply for training to Fr. Richard. At the end of Year 6 the Servers are entered for an examination (sacred vessels, vestments etc) prior to receiving the Bronze Medal of St Stephen’s Guild. At the end of Year 11 the Servers are entered for another examination (apologetics) prior to receiving the Silver Medal of St Stephen’s Guild.
The parish is rightly proud of the high standards of serving and reverence shown by all our Servers. The Holy Week Services are particularly impressive, and the servers attend rehearsals overseen by Peter Siney.
As a mark of gratitude for their loyalty, the Servers are treated to an annual ten pin bowling evening with refreshments.
Every Wednesday, 10 - 11:30am, Parish Hall, Mr Bernard Loynd
We are a small friendly group, open to all adults of any or no ability.
Tea & biscuits always available. Pop in & give it a try.
Sunday 7th April 2pm, Parish Centre
Next showing ....
An opportunity to bring our children together,
relax & enjoy a free family film.
Also a chance to win the DVD. Tuck shop & refreshments available.
Men Of the Parish! was founded in the late 1990s to cater for the social needs of the men of the Parish.
- Meets the 2nd Monday of every month, the Undercroft, Freda Mortimer
Our main aim is to assist the priest by giving our time and effort in whatever way we can, for the good of the whole parish. Any lady can join & does not have to be a mother. We fund raise for the Parish and together with the school organise the Christmas Fair and Summer Gala. We hold a coffee morning after the 9:30 Mass where parishioners can socialise with one another, while the children play with a variety of toys and drawing materials.
The events we are planning for this year are,
- 1970's Disco
- Gin & Prosecco Evening
- Christmas Shopping Trip (for parishioners & friends)
- Advent Childrens Workshop
- Easter Childrens Workshop (2019)
The Parish Centre is the social hub of the Parish & hosts many social occassions eg Beer Festival, Pantomime, Murder Mystery Evenings, Quiz Nights and Sunday morning coffee & bacon sandwiches.
Parish Groups regularly meet in the hall, such as First Sacraments, Youth SVP, Toddler Group, Tuesday Club, the Parish Theatre Group & also the Art Club.
The hall is available to hire for private parties and we have regular groups who hire it weekly such as Slimming World and also Chorus UK.
The Parish Pastoral Council [PPC], is there to advise the Parish Priest on all aspects that affect parish life, to suggest ideas and initiatives, and to help implement the best policies and action for parish life. Members are normally chosen by the Parish Priest from different aspects of existing parish life and groups.
Normally when a Parish priest is moved the PPC is dissolved and the new incumbent can re-call it in its existing form or construct a new membership.
As Fr. Richard Carter is due to leave at the end of the Summer there will be no more PPC meetings until Fr. Peter Kravos arrives. This is because he does not want to tie his successor to any new policies before he arrives.
1st Monday of every Month, the Undercroft, 7pm - 8pm
The Parish Society of St Vincent de Paul was re-founded in 1998 by Fr Michael O‘Reilly, and the first President was Mr John Whitworth. John remained as President for sixteen years, a period which saw the SVP become a much respected and well-supported parish organisation.
Today our SVP is one of the most successful in the Diocese, and true to the spirit of St Vincent de Paul, seeks to give practical expression to our Christian faith. In the words of an SVP prayer, we seek to bring the love of Christ to the suffering or deprived.
The works of the Conference are many and varied. We visit people either in their own homes, in a care home or in a hospital. Material assistance can be given through the provision of furniture, white goods, Asda vouchers, or the West Leeds Foodbank. For more professional advice, clients are referred to St Vincent’s Support Centre in Leeds. St Vincent’s is also helped through our financial donations, the Christmas toy and Easter egg appeals, and parish participation in the annual sponsored walk.
Social occasions for the housebound and those who have had a challenging year, are catered for through the very successful Golf Club lunch, and the annual Christmas party. Masses for those who are sick have also been arranged. The Conference also supports our persecuted brothers and sisters through the work of Aid to the Church in Need.
The current officers of the Society are:
- Peter Siney (President)
- Christopher Hirst (Vice President and Secretary)
- Freda Mortimer (Treasurer)
The Conference is supported magnificently by the tremendous financial generosity of the parish, and an annual report is published giving details of the works and expenditure of the previous twelve months.
Parish Centre, Tuesdays 7.30 – 9.30pm - Freda Mortimer
The Parish has had an active theatre group for many years and is open to anyone over the age of 14 years. Occasionally younger children are recruited for a particular show.
We have two shows a year, one a musical revue and the other a pantomime. Rehearsals for the Pantomime will be starting in September - would you like to join us?
We are a friendly group and welcome any would be performers, also anyone who prefers a backstage role such as scenery painting, costume making or just helping on show nights with front of house or lighting.
In May 2000 the ‘Toddlers Group’ was founded by Freda Mortimer, upon her retirement from the parish primary school. A group of mothers had asked Freda if she could start such a group, and now each Thursday morning the parish hall resounds to the merry sounds of happy contented playful children! Freda is ably assisted by many volunteers and mothers, and the group continues to go from strength to strength. There is also an opportunity for the mums, dads, grandparents and childminders to meet each other and enjoy time together. Our aim is to offer all the opportunity to spend time with their children and make new friends in a relaxed and friendly environment.
Any pre-school child can attend the group and play safely with children of a similar age whilst developing and expanding their learning and social skills. We offer a range of large toys (trikes, cars, prams etc.) along with small construction (lego, stickle bricks), jigsaws, books and a home corner with kitchen and dolls and we have a selection of playthings for babies. A craft table is available for painting, playdoh and guided craft activities.
Refreshments are provided at 10am (toast, fresh fruit & a drink for children, tea, coffee & biscuits for adults). Story time and singing with musical instruments at 10.45am.
The Parish Youth SVP was founded in 2001 when Freda Mortimer was approached by four of the Confirmandi, who were interested in forming a specifically youth focused parish group. St Joseph’s has the enviable reputation of being the first Youth SVP in the Diocese. Mary Abel, the Diocesan youth organiser gave great assistance during the initial phase of the group’s foundation.
Each member undertakes some voluntary work in the community every week, such as gardening, helping in the ‘After school club’ or with the Children’s Liturgy group.
Being a member improves the personal record of achievement, UCAS form application and any future references. Membership also qualifies for the ‘service’ part of schemes, such as the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. There is opportunity to meet other young people & have fun on Youth SVP days and residential events.
In the past members of the Youth SVP have attended the World Youth rally, Germany (2006), another rally in Australia (2008) and also Madrid, World Youth Day (2011). More recently members of the youth SVP have visited Bambisanani, South Africa; Lourdes, France and undertaken various World Challenge expeditions.