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With One Voice

The Catholic Parishes of St Agnes’ Crawcrook, St Joseph’s Highfield and Our Lady of Lourdes Chopwell

Part of the Ovingham Parish Partnership in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle

Reconciliation and First Holy Communion

The parishes follow the new diocesan programme for preparing (usually Year 4) children for these sacraments. The resource materials are taught both in school and in catechist groups. At regular Sunday Masses, the children and their families share particular liturgies with parishioners.  The programme starts in September and lasts until the following summer. Application for the process usually takes place the summer before the programme begins.

The general emphasis is that the whole community takes part in various ways in helping the children appreciate Jesus’ presence in these two beautiful sacraments. We are extremely grateful to our teams of parish catechists for their wonderful contribution to the programme.


Following the latest advice and guidance issued by the Government about the current situation concerning Coronavirus (COVID-19) for everyone to avoid social contact, and from the Diocese and DfE, the decision has been taken to suspend our programme of preparation for First Holy Communion for the time being.

We also regret that having explored several options we also consider it necessary to defer the celebration of the Sacrament of First Holy Communion, which was planned for Sunday, 26th April.

As the Coronavirus situation is developing and changing day by day, we cannot say at this time when the programme will be able to resume but will advise in due course.

We thank you for your understanding and you are all in our prayers during this difficult and unprecedented period, and we continue to look forward to the time when your children receive Jesus Christ for the first time in Holy Communion.

God bless,
Father J James, Mrs Woods, Margaret and Mark

Sacramental Preparation 2019-2020

Sacramental Preparation Candidates' Enrollment
This year's candidates for Sacramental Preparation were officially enrolled on the programme on 2nd / 3rd November. Children from all three parishes came forward with members of their family to formally submit their applications at the special Rite of Enrolment liturgy which took place after the homily at the Sunday Mass. The children look forward to celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation, before preparation for Holy Communion shortly after Easter.

Celebrating the Sacrament of  Reconciliation for the first time, December 2019

Our candidates celebrated the sacrament of Reconciliation individually for the first time during December. They each came to St Agnes' to meet Fr James, with members of their family.

Communal celebration of Reconciliation

Our candidates and members of their families gathered at St Agnes' Church on Thursday 9th January 2020 for a communal service of Reconciliation. Fr James was joined by Frs Tuckwell, Rose and Whalen who assisted in administering the sacrament.