Parish Groups

Please see our list of parish social and prayer groups.

 

Some are meeting via Zoom and others are waiting for the greenlight to resume meeting up in person.

 

All are welcome! If you are interested in any of these groups, please get in touch with the contact given for each group.

Parishioners Coffee Mornings

This is a social group, on Zoom, once a fortnight on Thursday mornings starting at 11am (Zoom opens at 10.30am to give time to join). It lasts about an hour and a half, but people come and go during this time, which is fine. Each time we have a focus so that it does not become a rambling chaos of everyone speaking at once! The aim of the group is friendship and to support each other. Next one 27th August.  To receive the Zoom invitation please email: [email protected]

Music & Prayer

Wednesdays at 10 am. Members of the parish gather to listen to Sunday Readings and use music and prayer to reflect on the liturgical season. All are welcome. Led by Isabelle – for zoom invitation contact: [email protected]

Taste & See

Fridays at 6pm; prayer and reflection with some music. An opportunity to offer our week to the Lord in community with other parishioners. Some may rest in silence, some may bring readings and some may pray in their own words. All are welcome. Led by Gemma and Colin, for zoom invitation contact Gemma on: [email protected]

Dropbox Project 

This is a test to see whether it would be useful to have material available to share, for example prayers, book suggestions, photographs, Christian resource and music links. Offers of material and access to the link from Gemma on: [email protected] 

Centering Prayer

This form of silent prayer is an opportunity to sit quietly and rest in God.  Currently there are 2 sessions of Centering Prayer via Zoom.  Thursday’s at 7pm and Sunday at 4:30pm. The Sunday session is followed by the Rosary. When allowed, we will again be meeting in person at church once a week. Contact Maria Luisa for more information and the Zoom link at: [email protected]

The Sixties Group

Started in 2011 as a support and social group for ladies of the parish who had reached that age and had retired, been bereaved or going through difficult times. It is now a social and support group for all ladies of the parish.  In normal times we meet together fortnightly after Thursday Mass in the church hall to have coffee together. We periodically organise an outing, National Trust places, gardens, walks or cinema. When we are able to meet again, please come and join us. Contact Jeannette: 01803 864849

St. Vincent de Paul Society

We are a small SVP group at St. Mary & St. George committed to making a difference in the lives of people in need.  If are interested in joining or would like more information about SVP contact Mike on: 07866 115955, or visit: www.svp.org.uk

Seeds of Faith

Pope Francis is encouraging everyone to think about themselves as disciples who spread the Good News. This role is not a comfortable one for English Catholics- however in 2016 with the encouragement of our parish priest and as part of a diocesan wide initiative, an evangelisation group was sent up in the parish.

 

We decided to call the group “Seeds of faith “as we saw the task as two- fold: nurturing the seeds of faith among parishioners and sowing the seeds of faith in the wider community.

The task is shared by all parishioners, the group is simply a means of organising activities and events for everyone in the parish.  Participation is growing, with different parishioners feeling able to contribute to different events.

 

We started by thinking about events that already happened in the parish and how we could adjust what we do, to provide witness.

 

Tuesday Lunches: the parish had a long tradition of providing lunches on Tuesdays in the tourist season, the profit being donated in the autumn to local charities. We agreed to ensure the church is open for this, so that people can pray if they want to do so.  All the volunteers agreed to gather before customers start arriving and pray together.  The bell is rung at 12 and the Angelus is said in the church.  These were small steps, but made a difference to the parishioners volunteering and to our customers.  This year, we had two women come in just as we finished our preparations, we served them then gathered to pray together. These 2 customers asked if they could join us. We said the lord’s Prayer together and at the end these two women said they too had such a prayer in their faith and thanked us.

 

During the month of November, we have an urn beneath the alter, where people put a list of the dead for whom they would like prayers.  We have encouraged all parishioners to talk to friends and neighbours about this and to offer this to them. The list of those prayed for has grown as a result.  This also gives people an opportunity to talk a little about their faith, when people ask questions about praying for the dead.

 

We have traditionally sung carols in the Presbytery garden on the three late night shopping evenings running up to Christmas. In 2016 we agreed to keep the church open (which is in a back street) and encourage people to go and light a candle. This has continued each year, with people from other Christian Churches invited to join us for the singing. It feels so essential to keep the true meaning of Christmas in front of people, among all the commerce in the streets at this time.

 

New initiatives

We agreed to work together to keep the church open for the public 10-12 every day, with posters up in the windows offering peace and time to pray.  The Angelus is rung and heard in the town. We have a trickle of people who come in who are not parishioners.  Sometimes visitors seek out someone to talk to, but many simply want to pray. Parishioners who sit for these hours are becoming more confident to listen to what people have to say, to offer to pray with them and for them. We do find it hard to “staff” the hours but it is a challenge to us and the parish to enable/encourage more people into active witness.

 

We had a crib festival at Epiphany in 2017, which the parish valued and people from other churches came to see.  In 2018 we repeated this, linking it to support for refugees “welcoming the stranger”. We had leaflets printed and distributed them on the street after the new year. Many people came bringing items for the collection for refugees. We filled 40 welcome boxes for the Red Cross in Plymouth and 8-10 large boxes for shipping to Lesvos in Greece. We encouraged everyone to take time in the church looking at the cribs and the information about the parallels between Jesus’ family and current refugees. We did this again in 2019 and will repeat in 2020.

 

For Lent 2017 we produced a post card with “Your 40day challenge” on it, these were intended for distribution on the street, however the first 200 printed were taken by mass goers for their friends and families!  We printed more and distributed these on the street.

 

We used the same idea to produce a post card asking “Why are you a Catholic?” with a variety of answers on the back.  These were intended to encourage discussion among people.  It worked to some extent but I’m not sure we capitalised on the opportunity- it’s another beginning to bring more parishioners into active participation. Encouraging people to think about their own reasons, so they can be more confident in encounters with non-Catholics to answer the question if/when asked.

 

With other Christian Churches in Totnes we play an active part in the Brite festival in June. We are also involved in the 9 days of prayer “Thy kingdom Come” between Ascension and Pentecost. We walk the streets of the town praying for the people who live and work there.

 

During the “lockdown” this year, parishioners agreed to pray in the streets they walked for daily exercise. None of the other churches had organised- so the catholic community covered Totnes, Ipplepen, Ashprington and many of the nearby villages in prayer!

 

I you have any ideas to nurture the seeds of faith in out parish community or in the wider community share them with us!

The seeds of faith group meets the third Wednesday of the month in the parish hall/ by zoom at 7pm. Contact me, Margaret Cushen if you are interested [email protected]