Please check the current and recent newsletters for other upcoming events. Only a few major events are listed here!
BAPTISM COURSE: for new-borns and children up to age 6 yrs. will take place in the Crypt from 7:30pm-9.00pm (entrance to Crypt is via Church) on the following dates. No appointment is necessary.
Friday 15th November 2019
- Friday 7th February 2020 Friday 10th April 2020
[If you would like to present a child for Baptism aged 7 or older, please email the Parish Office].
MORE SCHOOL [ADMISSIONS FOR 2020/2021]:
(Local Authority Closing Date 15/01/20). The signing of the
“Certificates of Practice” will take place in the church crypt on the
following dates: -
- Monday 25th November 2019 at 4.30pm – 5.30pm
- Sunday 1st December 2019 at 12.00pm (Noon) – 1.00pm
- Saturday 7th December 2019 at 3.00pm – 4.00pm
There is no need to make an appointment as parents and the child applying to St Thomas, will be seen on a 1st come, 1st served basis – entrance to the crypt is via the church.
PARISH GIFT DAY: Fr Chris and Fr Nixon invite you to join them on Saturday 30th November from 11.00am-12.30pm in Cardinal Bourne Hall for our parish Gift Day, to help raise funds for your parish church. We are privileged to be members of this parish where our faith is nurtured and where we are passing it on through our children to future generations. We have four fine buildings in which to worship (and which need upkeep) and we are committed to reach out to our community and beyond, sharing our faith in word and deed, as Christ commissioned his disciples to do. For this ministry to be maintained and to flourish we need sufficient funds. We would urge everyone to join us and feel part of the move to put us back on an even keel on our Gift Day, whatever your level of giving (every penny counts!). Please hand your ‘Parish Gift’ (cash or chq) to the clergy who will also be attending the Christmas afternoon Tea at 3pm.
CLIMATE CHANGE – NO PLANET B! The Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre warmly invite you to a presentation by Jack Wakefield, Campaigner at Tearfund Action, at St John Payne Parish Hall, Colchester CO4 3QD on Saturday, 30th November 2019 at 2pm for 2.15pm start, finishing with tea and Evening Prayer to mark the beginning of Advent (end time 5.30pm). To book a place email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01206-867296.
CHRISTMAS AFTERNOON TEA: Please join us on Saturday 30th November at 3pm in Cardinal Bourne Hall for a delicious, mouth-watering “Afternoon Tea”. More info to follow.
CHRISTIAN MEDITATION: On Tuesdays in the Crypt from 7.30pm
A NEW MEDITATION GROUP will be starting in Mersea, led by a member of our Priory Street Group. It is part of World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM), which has a global network and is led by Benedictine, Fr Laurence Freeman: Initial meeting Thursday 21st Nov 2019 at St Peter & Paul Church Hall 7pm -8pm For more info contact Terry Walker O7375305460
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) email@example.com or give your name and contact details to one of the priests. Thank you.
THE DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES is growing in numbers and we are looking to recruit pilgrims who can offer medical support, either doctors or nurses, but also pilgrims who would be happy to assist in other ways such as acting as a companion to a pilgrim during the week. We will be holding an information evening at St Augustine’s Church, Chelmsford on 26th Nov at 7.30pm. For info, contact Cathy O’Connor; tel. 735623 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Patrick Parsons; Tel. 01621 851875 email: Patrick.email@example.com .
Days of Reflection: These are Parish Days, or shorter periods, which provide an opportunity for focus on a liturgical season, e.g. Advent, Lent, or on a particular theme. They encompass presentations, prayer, discussion and periods of personal silent reflection. They are advertised in the Newsletter and have taken place in the Cardinal Bourne Hall, the Church Crypt or, as in Lent 2017, in the Church.Further information: Valerie Quinlivan tel. 07941903227
BIBLE STUDY GROUP: Restarted on Wednesday, September 19th, here in the Crypt, 10:00am-12:00pm. Topic: Who is Jesus, the Christ for you? All are most welcome
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 DIOCESAN LOURDES PILGRIMAGE 14-19 AUGUST 2016:
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.
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.
AN EVENING OF SACRED MUSIC - Cancelled
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:
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 http://www.colchesterchamberchoir.org
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.
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
Feast of St John The Evangelist, December 27, 2010
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.
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
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
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 www.cda-uk.com 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 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 www.studentcross.org
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
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
DRINKING THE CUP
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.