If you have organised an event for our Church, please send details for inclusion here, or contact the Church Office.

Upcoming Events


Please check the current and recent newsletters for other upcoming events. Only a few major events are listed here!


Sacrament of Confirmation: The Confirmation course started on Saturday 20th June in Cardinal Bourne Hall at 4pm until 6pm followed by all candidates attending the 6.30pm Mass in the Church after. The course will run every Sunday up to the end of school term. Please pass this information on to anyone you know who is interested in his or her child making this sacrament.

First Holy Communion: First Holy Communion Registration is now open for all children who are currently in years 3 and 4. Please send the following details via email to:
    *  Child's Full Name
    *  Child's D.O.B.
    *  Name of the school your child attends
The dates of the next course will be sent out upon receipt of your registration. However, please 'save the date' of the Parents' Meeting will be Saturday 10th February 2024 which ALL PARENTS will be required to attend to complete the registration process for your child to attend the Reconciliation & First Holy Communion Courses. We will be looking for adult helpers to run the small groups for the children. Without the parent helpers, we are unable to successfully run these sessions.

BAPTISM COURSE: For new-borns and children up to age 6 yrs. Please email the parish office: with the following information:-
    *  Childs Full Name (as it appears on the birth certificate)
    *  Date of Birth
    *  Your Contact number
    *  Home address
    * Home Parish / Parish of Worship:
Baptism, requires a special level of commitment from both the child and their parents. It is important for families to understand the commitment they will undertake over the coming years. This is the reason why the Church asks parents to attend a course or meet with the Parish Priest regarding the responsibilities of baptism..

[If you would like to present a child for Baptism aged 7 or older, please email the Parish Office].

RCIA [JOURNEY OF FAITH] MEETING: Journey in Faith or RCIA is the process developed by the Catholic Church for those who are interested in finding out more about the Catholic Faith, teachings and practices with a view to becoming Catholics, or for those who have a background in the Catholic Faith but who have not yet been confirmed, or for anyone who wants to refresh their knowledge of the Catholic Faith. Sessions are held weekly from 7pm to 8.30pm on Thursday evening in the Crypt of the church.  They will run from October until Easter.

To register your interest, please contact us (t) 01206 866317 (email) or give your name and contact details to one of the priests. Thank you.


World Community for Christian meditation: The group meets at 8p.m. on Wednesdays in the Cradinal Bourne Hall Priory Street (Access from 7:30 -7:55p.m. This group was started in 1997. All welcome. for further infomation contact Valerie Quinlivan 01206621196/07941903227 .

Visitation of the Pilgrim Virgin and the relics of Saints Jacinta & Francisco  

Refresh your prayer life in time for Advent  

Vicariate for Evangelisation Diary Dates - 2018 -2019


Previous Events

SVP Race Night: Was held on Saturday October 8, 2022 to raise money to support the homeless and needy. Pictures of the event.










SVP Tea party: Was held on August 21, 2021 to raise money to support the homeless and needy. Pictures of the event.










SVP Beetle Drive: Was held on October 19, 2019 to raise money to support the homeless and needy. Pictures of the event.










SVP Race Night :  A race night was hosted by the SVP on Saturday 27th April, 2019 to raise money to help the poor and needy in our Parish along with our twinned conferences in India. Here are some of the pictures taken on the day:






PASTORAL VISIT TO PARISH: Bishop Alan visited our parish on Wednesday July 18,  2018 and celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation at 7.30 pm.


THANKSGIVING MASS FOR FR TONY:  This took place on his last Sunday with us – 10th September, 2017  at 6:30pm and was followed by social get-together in the Cardinal Bourne  Hall.


11th June 2017 - 180th Anniversary celebration and “International Parish Day”

On the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the parish community celebrated 180th anniversary of the erection of the parish and International day to reflect the universality of the church. Click here for more details.


The Year of Mercy is a special time to go on Pilgrimage. Our Bishop Alan Williams led the Pilgrimage in August. Fr Tony went and it was organised by our parishioner, Cathy O’Connor, as she has done for many years. 
The cost was from £639 by air with full board for 6days, 5 nights, or from £419 by coach. The pilgrimage included an experienced medical team and plenty of help for those with mobility needs.


On March 28, 2016, a thanksgiving Mass and reception were held to commemorate Canon Tony’s Forty years Priestly ordination

2012 was the 175th year of the founding of our church in Priory Street. You can download a video clip and pictures at the following page: 175th Anniversary Mass

CHEESE & WINE PARTY: Thank you from Bernie and Margaret to all those who attended and who helped in any way. A total of £400 has been raised for parish funds

FILIPINO BUFFET: Many thanks to those who supported and attended the Filipino Buffet and for those who helped prepare the Hall, and for those who sung and danced! £400 was raised for parish funds. Amy and Armando.


CHRISTMAS MARKET 2014: The final result of the Christmas Market, Christmas Draw and Curry Night is £3,889.09. Many thanks to all those who worked so hard to make this great result possible. Fr Tony.


PARISH BBQ: Our 2014 parish BBQ raised £587.52. Many thanks to all those who supported this very enjoyable event. Thank you to the organisers and the cooks. Thanks to Frances, Nora, Armando and Amy, Marie, Juan. Not forgetting Ronnie H who ensured there were pretty flowers in the courtyard.

FILIPINO FAMILY EVENING on June 21st 2014 Raised £318 for parish funds. A big thank you to everyone who came and to all those who helped in any way at all. From Armando and Amy.

ST PATRICK’S NIGHT 2014: Thank you to all our supporters for making the  2014 event a great success. Thanks also to Sue Kelly for her home made breads. We raised £485. Best wishes from Frances, Norah, Pauline, May and Stuart.

LENT DAY OF REFLECTION - Saturday March 23rd 2014

'Behold the Lamb of God' was held Saturday 23rd March in the Cardinal Bourne Hall. A very enjoyable experience attended by quite a few parishioners and Fr. Tony. Our thanks to Valerie Quinlivan for organising and leading this inspirational day.


This event scheduled for March 9th 2014 was cancelled due to logistical problems.

Talk on History of St. John's Abbey - October 6, 2012

FRIENDS OF ST JAMES THE LESS: hosted a talk on the history of St John's Abbey on the 6th of October in the Cardinal Bourne Hall given by Philip Wise, Heritage Manager of Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service.

WINDOWS OF THE SOUL - September 29, 2012

An illustrated talk by Valerie Quinlivan on the historical and spiritual background of the 18 stained glass windows in our church.

Heritage Open Day - Weekend September 6/9, 2012

English Heritage Open Day from 6-9th September, 2012.

See English Heritage Website for details.

175th Anniversary Mass with Bishop Thomas - May 3, 2012

Bishop Thomas and former priests from our Parish attended a Thanksgiving Mass on May 3rd, 2012. There is a short video clip and pictures at the following link:

175th Anniversary Mass

Walk of Witness - April 6, 2012

Catholics from the Parish joined other Christians in the annual Good Friday Walk of Witness through Colchester. Click on images for a larger picture:-

The following movie clips are quite large files.

Movie Clip 1 [4 MB]

Movie Clip 2 [15 MB]

Day of Reflection - March 31st, 2012

“TRANSITIONS”: Day of Reflection Saturday March 31st. Over 25 parishioners attended this day led by Valerie Quinlivan.

St. Patrick's Night dance - March 17th, 2012

ST PATRICK’S NIGHT DANCE: Saturday 17th March in the Cardinal

Bourne Hall. Live Irish music, dancing and singing. Homemade Irish stew, soda bread, apple crumble with custard/cream. Bar and Raffle. A great time was enjoyed by all. Thanks to Pauline, Armando, Frances and Nora and the rest of the team for their hard work.

A Glimpse of Heaven - March 3rd, 2012

Organised by Friends of St. James the Less and St. Helen. This was a short concert given by the Colchester Chamber Choir directed by our own Roderick Earle in celebration of the 175th Anniversary of the Foundation Day of our church at Priory St., March 3rd, 1837. This event raised £400 for church building funds. For more information see

In Memory of Blessed John Beche - December 1-2, 2011

Services were held at St Johns Abbey Gatehouse Colchester in memory of Blessed John Beche Martyr. Fr. Tony presided and the BBC sent a crew to record the event. More details in the newsletter.

Heritage Open Day - Weekend September 10/11, 2011

St. James the Less was one of 34 historic buildings and churches open to the public on the weekend 10/11th September. Parishioners were on hand to show people around from 10.30 to 4.00pm on Saturday 10th and from 1.30 to 4.00pm on Sunday 11th. The event was a huge success with over 400 visitors registered and compliments received from the local Heritage representatives. We plan to participate in next year's event.


Pilgrimage to Walsingham - Saturday May 28th, 2011

A minibus will be going to Walsingham leaving East Hill Colchester at 8am. Details from Theresa Higgins on 01206-523501.


Chrism Mass Brentwood - Wednesday April 20th, 2011

A minibus will available from the Parish to Brentwood leaving at 5:15pm from the Gala Bingo. 15 seats are available. Details from Theresa Higgins on 01206-523501.


Hunger Lunch - Saturday April 9th, 2011

Hunger Lunch in aid of Christian Aid. St. John Payne Parish Hall, Greenstead. 12-noon to 2-pm.

Hunger Lunch Poster (PDF)

Lent Evening of Prayer, Thursday March 24, 2011

In preparation for Easter: 7pm to 8pm at St. John the Baptist Church, Iceni Way, Shrub End, Colchester. Followed by refreshments.

Women's World Day of Prayer, March 4, 2011

News Article (PDF)


Feast of St John The Evangelist,  December 27, 2010

News Article (PDF)


Papal Visit to the UK, September 16-19, 2010

The diocese organised PILGRIM packages for the following events:

1)     The Prayer Vigil in Hyde Park on Saturday 18th September.

2)     Beatification of the Venerable John Henry Newman in Birmingham 19th September.

Ways of seeing that lead to prayer - May 26th, 2010

Illustrated talk, Reflection and Discussion. This event was very well attended. Additional seats had to be found. Everyone said what a positive experience it had been.

Encounter with Jesus in Lent - February 20, 2010

In the Cardinal Bourne Hall next to our main building in Priory Street Colchester. This event was very well attended, look out for announcements on future events.

Evening Prayer and Talk - December 11, 2009

Evening prayer in the Church and follow-up talk by Michael Fox, "Creation and Incarnation". The event was a success with Father Tony and nearly 30 people attending. Thanks to Michael and everyone who attended for supporting this event.

Week of Prayer and Reflection - October 4-10, 2009

Ministry of Welcome Meeting - October 17, 2009

A meeting for ‘Welcomers’ & Potential ‘Welcomers’. For those who are involved (or would like to be involved) in the Ministry of Welcome. The notes of the meeting can be found here.

SVP Tea - August 8, 2009


Ivan and Anna Norfolk held a fund-raising tea on Saturday August 8, 2009. See more photos here: SVP Tea on Facebook.

Pilgrimage Dates in 2009

20 - 25th July 2009 : Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes.

6th June 2009 : Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham.

16th May 2009 : Catholic Deaf Association Pilgrimage to Walsingham.

Church Fundraising Event - June, 2009

The Cavendish Consort presented "A Summer Garland" - music by Handel and his contemporaries, played on period instruments - on Saturday 27th June 2009 in the Church.

Student Cross 2009


Parishioners Theresa Higgins and Simon Chaplin took part in the Essex Leg of the Student Cross pilgrimage to Walsingham 2009. Thanks go Hywel and his team of helpers who provided the participants with supper and breakfast at the start of the pilgrimage


Union of Catholic Mothers


At Mass on March 22, 2009 we had the inauguration of the Union of Catholic Mothers branch in Colchester.

The National President Maureen McCann was present as well as Sister Bridget, the National Recruitment officer.

Leonore Sykes of St James the Less and St Helen Church is now the president of the Colchester Foundation, has been working hard to get this group formed. Lenore is front-centre with Father Brett Adams.

See more pictures: Theresa Higgins Facebook Album

Father Brett Adams

Father Brett blessed the new Rose vestments which he wore on Sunday 22nd March, 2009 Laetere Sunday.


Sad News

Sister Helen Walsh  died peacefully  2nd March at St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney. Her requiem took place at Our lady of Lourdes, Wanstead, Friday 13th March 2009.


For Eucharistic Ministers: ‘BODY of CHRIST’  March 21st, 2009
An afternoon of Pascal Reflection on the EUCHARIST

Film: 'Son of Man' March 22nd and Saturday March 28th, 2009
The film, ‘Son of Man’ – a showing of this ‘vivid, thrilling and awe-inspiring’ (Telegraph) version of the Passion, set in South Africa.


Surprise party for Father Paul Fox

 Event Photo

To celebrate 10-years in his parish.

See more pictures: Theresa Higgins Facebook Album


Catholic Deaf Awareness Week

This took place 11th-18th May 2008.

For more details see or contact Theresa Higgins.

Quire Performance - April 26,2008

Held on Saturday April 26 at 7.30pm in Lion Walk Church Hall in Colchester’s town centre, Quire presented a very special concert entitled ‘SING PRAISE! featuring music from around the world to raise funds for the Mayor’s charities.



Father Brett

Father Brett Adams at a recent event in the Cardinal Bourne Hall.


This picture of Father Brett was taken in the Cardinal Bourne Hall following the Easter Vigil Mass on 22nd March, 2007.





Student Cross walk to Walsingham - Good Friday 2008

Members of our Parish taking part in the Student Cross walk to Walsingham in Norfolk.


The Student Cross pilgrimage celebrated it 60th anniversary this year. The “Essex leg” started in 1972 and departs each year from St James the Less and St. Helen RC church in Priory Street on the Saturday before Palm Sunday.

Theresa Higgins, a parishioner, has been the breakfast cook for the last four years but this year decided to do the whole walk which is 125 miles. The leg arrived in Walsingham on Good Friday and joined with 10 other legs to walk the Holy Mile from the Slipper Chapel to Little Walsingham

The Essex Leg, this year, had the additional honour of being the passion leg and enacted the Passion reading at the Good Friday service.

Theresa said that the whole experience was amazing and would recommend others to take part even if they can only manage two or three days. For more details see


Click on the picture to magnify the text in your browser window.


Prayer Walk around Colchester - March 9, 2008

Starting and ending at 48 Priory Street with Tea and Evening Prayer. Organised by Sister Diane.

OPEN PARISH MEETING - February 24, 2008

This took place after evening Mass at 7:30pm in the Hall. In our previous open meetings we have looked at involvement in our church, our parish and our community. More details will be put here shortly.


Day of Reflection - December 15, 2007

In the Cardinal Bourne Hall, Priory Street, Colchester.

These Days of Reflection are an opportunity to stop and be quiet for a few hours, before the end of summer rushes headlong into Christmas. The theme is God's Call to us in our daily lives. We start at 11am in the Cardinal Bourne Hall and finish about 3.30. Packed lunches advised.


Day of Reflection - October 27, 2007

This event took place in the Cardinal Bourne Hall, Priory Street, Colchester. Hosted by Sister Helen Walsh and Valerie Quinlivan. The event was very well attended. Afterwards everyone said what a wonderful day it had been, and how grateful they were to Sister Helen who led the event despite undergoing chemotherapy.


Father Paul Dynan's Farewell Event - September 30, 2007

Event Photo

Father Paul Dynan's Farewell Event September 30, 2007 held in Cardinal Bourne Hall. Father Paul has moved to Basildon.


The Good Friday Service - April 6, 2007
The event at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester led by our Church was packed, and the performance by parishioners from our Church, together with Quire, Colchester’s sensational world music choir of 50 voices, were very well received by the audience. More information on the event will be posted here shortly.


Oremus Spiritual Event - March 24, 2007

A Lenten Day of Reflection on suffering, entitled


Sister Helen Walsh and Valerie Quinlivan.


Oremus Spiritual Event - February 25 - March 3, 2007

WEEK OF ACCOMPANIED PRAYER: an opportunity for support and guidance in prayer while continuing with daily life.

A gift to yourself of time for reflection.

Sister Helen Walsh and Valerie Quinlivan

More details: Oremus Programme

GRAND DRAW & PARISH SOCIAL - November 18, 2006

This event was held Saturday 18th November in the Cardinal Bourne Hall.  Over 60 people attended and we all had a wonderful time.

If you would like to help organise or participate in next year's event, please contact Bernie on 549524 or Ron and Margaret on 797850.


Special Parish Meeting - October 29, 2006

This event was attended by over 50 members of our parish community. The report is available here: Parish Open Meeting Report

Oremus Spiritual Event - October 28, 2006

A Day of Reflection on JOURNEYING INTO PRAYER was hosted by

Sister Helen Walsh and Valerie Quinlivan. The event was well attended by members of the Parish community and all who attended were unanimous that it had been very beneficial to their spiritual development.

St. Helen's Feast Day Barbecue - August 18, 2006

A family barbecue was arranged for St. Helen's Feast Day on Friday August 18th after Mass at 6 pm on the suggestion of Father Paul.

Annual Parish Meeting - 2006

Our Annual Parish Meeting (APM) was held June 25,2006 in the Church Hall. 31 members of our parish attended. The minutes are available here: Minutes of 2006 Annual Parish Meeting. Issues raised at the APM were discussed at the Parish Pastoral Council meeting held June 30th. The Minutes of Pastoral Council meetings can be found here.

St. Patrick's Day Social - 2006

A wonderful time was had by all at our annual St. Patrick's day social event. Judging by the picture, our priests enjoyed themselves too. From left to right: Father Widy, Father Joseph, Father Paul Dynan.


Find out about our latest events here ....


Each week we publish an online newsletter.

Parish Directory

View our Parish Directory.

Stewards of the Gospel

View Reports.

A cross