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Sunday Readings

Learning Programmes


Also see


Catholic Dictionary

'Our Faith' in the Thames Isis Pastoral Area

Mass Times

Sunday & Weekday Masses at English Martyrs and other churches in the area

Key Contacts

Fr Phillip Pennington Harris
01235 812338

Parish Secretary:

Mrs Joanna Robins

15 Manor Crescent,    Didcot, Oxfordshire. OX11 7AJ

Tel: 01235 812338

Hospital Chaplains
Advice about going into hospital

Learning Programmes

The English Martyrs Parish offers a number of learning programmes which span Children’s Liturgy and Catechism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Please see below for details and timings of the classes available for children and youth.

If you are an adult learner interested in joining the Church and preparing for First Holy Communion and Confirmation, please contact Jacquie Newell via the Parish Office.

Children’s Catechism

There are four classes for children which run straight after the 9.00am Mass on Sundays as follows:

Tots: 5-7 years
Children Preparing for First Holy Communion: 8 years +
Post Holy Communion: 8-11 years
Confirmation: 11+ years

To find out more about the classes or to register your child’s attendance, please contact Jacquie Newell via the Parish Office.


Children’s Liturgy

The Children’s Liturgy of the Word is an important ministry that aims to provide children with a general understanding of the Word of God in an easy to understand format.


The Liturgy takes place at the 9.00am Mass on Sundays, during term time. The children gather at the altar when Father David invites them forward to receive the Bible. They process down the aisle in a quiet dignified manner and go upstairs to the parish room.


Each child has a name plate on the door that is removed and given to the waiting catechist. Visitors are also added to the register. New parishioners who wish their child to attend on a regular basis should speak to the catechist and a name plate will be made for them.


The children celebrate the Liturgy of the Word by listening to that weeks Gospel reading and carrying out an activity based on what they have heard or relating to important seasons e.g. Lent or Advent.

The children return to the congregation at the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, walking behind the offertory procession and presenting some of their work at the altar.

The children can take their work home with them. This may stimulate further questions or discussion, exploring God’s word. Which you can then help them with.

It is important that the children know where their parents/carers are seated at mass so that they can return to their seats after the offertory procession.


The celebration is aimed at children aged between approx 3-10. We can accommodate younger/older siblings in order for the family group to celebrate together if you so wish.

We would ask parents to accompany their child/children on their first visit and then remain downstairs for subsequent visits. However you know your child best. If you feel your child requires you to accompany them for a longer period, please speak to one of the catechists.

Any child that asks for Mum/Dad before we finish will of course be taken back downstairs to their parent/s.


The catechists are all parishioners and/or parents who have volunteered to run this important service for the children of our parish. They have all been CRB checked and have received training. Current catechists are:

  • Jacquie Newell
  • Hazel Richardson
  • Ann Lineham
  • Anne O’Brien
  • Dawn Clifford
  • Alex Newell

We are very much in need of parishioners to join the Childrens’ Liturgy Group and offer assistance in any way to support this vital part of our parish community. If you are interested please speak to any of the catechists or Father David. There will be some basic training and all helpers are required to be CRB checked.

If you would like more information about the Childrens’ Liturgy please call Jacquie Newell via the Parish Office.

We welcome new parishioners and visitors - simply bring your children along on Sunday Morning.

Faith Notices

Pope Benedict
To summarise with the words of Pope Benedict that succinctly sum up what we believe

"Our faith is not born from a myth or an idea, but from an encounter with the Risen One, in the life of the Church."
Pope Benedict XVI: General Audience 24 September 2008 

“It is becoming more and more difficult, in our Western societies, to speak in a meaningful way of 'salvation, yet salvation - deliverance from the reality of evil, and the gift of new life and freedom in Christ - is at the heart of the Gospel.”
Pope Benedict XVI: Meeting with American Bishops, Washington DC 16 April 2008
“Christianity is not a new philosophy or new morality. [And] we are Christians only if we encounter Christ.”

Pope Benedict XVI: Wednesday Audience 3 September 2008