Sacred Heart & St William Catholic Church, 31 High Street, Uppermill, Saddleworth, Oldham, OL3 6HS

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Gift of Faith

Within our diocese there has been a desire to move towards what is called “Family Catechesis”.  This is to recognise that all of us throughout our lives grow in our understanding and knowledge of God revealed by Jesus as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  And this continued growth happens best when we do it together.  This is an exciting challenge which we will develop together.  We also recognise that ‘Faith’ is a ‘Gift’ and we want to emphasise that in our catechesis, hence the change of name from ‘Family Faith Formation’ to ‘The Gift of Faith.’

The handing on of the faith is first and foremost the responsibility of the parents who were they brought their children for baptism promised to ‘bring them up in the practice of the faith’.  The Gift of Faith helps both the children and their parents to grow in their knowledge of, commitment to and love of Jesus.

Without a Catholic primary or secondary school within our Parish, children go to many different local village schools.  As part of The Gift of Faith, we hold monthly sessions usually after 10am Sunday Mass, where the children and young people can get to know their Catholic friends, and learn more about Jesus and their Catholic faith. The children are split into different age based groups, each lead by a Catechist.  Through The Gift of Faith, children are also prepared for the important Sacraments of First Forgiveness (Reconciliation), First Holy Communion and Confirmation, following programmes provided by the Diocese of Leeds.  Since the Bishop lowered the age of Confirmation to Year 6 virtually all of our Gift of Faith sessions are based on preparing for the Sacraments.

Our younger children are invited to attend the fortnightly Liturgy of the Word for children which takes place during the 10.00am Sunday Mass.  These are led by two teams of parents and offer the opportunity for the children to hear the gospel passage of the day and reflect on it at their own level.  

As well as the Gift of Faith monthly sessions there are many child and family friendly opportunities;   taking up the gifts at the Offertory, Children's Liturgy of the Word, "acting-out Gospels", playing music at Mass, "Faith and Fun" afternoons as well as other social and liturgical opportunities.