Welcome to St Mary'sHere you will find out about our Parish, our groups and administration
Info on Parish administration, Finance, Parish Groups, Social Action
Need to contact us or find information about our Parish?
Office open 9.30-11.30am Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri
Closed on Tuesdays. All postal items need to go to 4 Harley Street. Items for the bulletin must arrive by noon on Wednesdays: email using the contact form below or to: firstname.lastname@example.org from your email client; ring the Parish Office 01225 314114 or put in a request on paper at the Parish Office or 4 Harley Street.
Parish link: Olwyn Donnelly 01225 460354 PSR.email@example.com
Diocesan Safeguarding office: 0117 9540993
Diocesan Safeguarding team: Team
What is Safeguarding?
“Being loved and being kept safe go to the very core of the Church’s Ministry to children and vulnerable adults. The work of safeguarding has to be seen within the overall mission of the Church. As she seeks to protect the vulnerable and weak, the Church needs to ‘act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with God’. (Micah 6:8).
It is a ministry of love and healing and seeks justice for all”. The Cumberlege Commission 2007
Towards a Culture of Safeguarding
The Church has a responsibility to ensure all those who undertake work in the name of the Church are adequately trained in safeguarding matters. The Catholic Church is dependent on Clergy, Religious and Lay people using their skills and talents to nurture and support the Catholic community. Some will be paid employees, but the majority undertake their work on a voluntary basis. Whilst some will recognise their role as a volunteer, many rightly see their caring and support contribution as part of their Christian responsibility and ministry. But we all have a role to play in safeguarding the young or adults who may be at risk and it is for this reason that the Catholic Church in England and Wales has worked with EduCare to bring you an e-learning package that will raise awareness throughout the Catholic Community in our countries. The e-learning package is part of the Church’s commitment to safeguarding, and is available to all members of the Catholic community free of charge.
Please download the brochure to see the courses available and how to access them.
What do I need to do to access this training resource?
1. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.
2. Your email should contain your name, email address, the name of your parish/order/congregation, and your role. For example: Priest, Member of the Religious, Safeguarding Representative, Youth Worker, Teacher, SVP or Other Volunteers, Parent/Grandparent/Guardian, or Other.
3. On receipt of your email the safeguarding administrator will register your email address with EduCare.
4. You will receive a Welcome Email from EduCare where you will set your password.
Finding a priest
If you need Fr Jeremy for any reason, please call 01225 311725. If he does not answer the phone, please leave a message and he will return your call.
If Fr Jeremy is not available and a priest is required urgently, please call: Fr Christopher Whitehead at St John’s (01225 464471) or Fr Malcolm Smeaton at St Alphege’s (01225 424894).
The Parish Office can be found inside the Parish Centre, next to the car park and accessible from Burlington Street. Office usually open 9.30-11.30am Mon-Fri but check the bulletin for changes. Our Parish Administrator is Mrs Charlotte Boyall. If you have a question she will try to answer it; a problem, she will try to solve it. ***The Parish Office is working via email only until the pandemic lockdown rules end.***
All postal items need to go to 4 Harley Street. Items for the bulletin must arrive by noon on Wednesdays: email Parish Administrator; ring the Parish Office 01225 314114 or put in a request on paper at the Parish Office or 4 Harley Street.
Finance Committee and parish accounts
Your Parish Finance Committee consists of our Parish Priest, Richard Marke (Chair), Jim Sherry, Michael Gage and Vin Madden. New members are always welcome (if you would like to serve please contact Richard Marke at email@example.com).
Each year your committee sets a budget in consultation with the Property Development Group. The ones for 2020 and 2019 are on this website. We also produce the accounts for the parish and those for 2018 are on this website. Please follow the links to read them.
In January 2018 we finally settled with our insurers following the fire of July 2015. The total costs of the fire was £853,002 of which the insurers paid us £773,832, leaving us with costs of £79,170. These costs of £79,170 include the new fire exit but do not include the cost of the revamped entrance and new confessional, the cost of these two items was £67,348. They were not part of our fire insurance claim as we intended doing this work before the fire.
The generosity of our parishioners has been staggering. Because of the fire, we received donations of £78,120 towards those costs whilst still keeping the normal offertory giving at pre fire levels. It is worth mentioning that the fire was dealt with by the parish with almost no cost to the Diocese. Quite a reflection on the dedication of the parish!
Your Committee is concerned that the income of the Parish is not sufficient to pay for all the costs arising from running the Parish. We have prepared a document which shows the cost of running the Parish with an explanation of all the costs. Our Parish costs £7.50 per week for each parishioner (£15.00 per week per married couple). Currently those parishioners not paying by standing order or through our envelope scheme are each donating £2.58 per week. This leaves a massive hole in our finances.
Legacies are always most welcome and are a considerable help in dealing with major expenses of the Parish. Parishioners wishing to leave a legacy in their wills can use the suggested wording available as a document on our website.
If you would like more information about our finances please email Richard Marke at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to him via 4 Harley Street, Bath, BA1 2SF.
Our Community is important as it witnesses to Christ in the north of Bath, especially through the celebrations of the Sacraments. Over 390 adults and children attend our Church each Sunday. We baptise 20-30 people each year. All this means our Parish is thriving, providing us with a vibrant community which is worth preserving.
To support itself the Parish relies on the money generated from the Sunday collections and regular giving. We also welcome legacies.
The document How Much Should I Give Leaflet 2019 v2 will enable you to give to the Parish in the way that suits you best.
Any questions on Church Giving will be answered by contacting email@example.com
Parish Gift Aid information
All giving by parishioners towards the cost of running the Parish is very much appreciated. Please see the document Gift Aid Explained for further information.
If you are a tax payer, you can increase your giving by 25% by completing a gift aid declaration together with joining our standing order or envelope scheme at NO cost to yourself. This really is a method of giving which means so much to the Parish. The scheme is explained in more detail in a document available on our website.
Our website has a gift aid declaration as a document that you can download, complete and send in to the parish office (we need the original signature, so cannot deal with the form electronically) marked for the attention of Michael Gage our gift aid administrator. The address is: M.Gage – Gift Aid, 4 Harley Street, Bath BA1 2SF).
If you wish to give by bank standing order our website has a standing order form available as a document (please send it to Michael Gage as we need the original signature). If you wish to give by our envelope scheme we will arrange for that when we receive your gift aid declaration.
Further details can be obtained from Michael Gage at GA.firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing or phoning the Parish Office.
Paying tax and giving under gift aid from 6th April 2017
The personal tax allowance has been increased for the coming tax year and as result of this some parishioners may find they are no longer paying enough Income or Capital Gains tax to Gift Aid their Offertory Giving.
From 6th April 2017 the standard personal allowance will increase to £11,500.00 per annum.
The first £1,000.00 of interest from banks, building societies etc. will be tax exempt for basic rate tax payers, as will the first £5,000.00 of dividend income. It will therefore be possible for an individual to be in receipt of £17,500.00 of income without paying any income tax.
Can we please ask you to remind all parishioners who have signed Gift Aid Declarations to check that they are paying sufficient income tax to cover the amount reclaimed from H M Revenue & Customs on their giving.
The Diocese on behalf of the Parishes claims 25p on every £1.00 given under Gift Aid.
Therefore an individual giving £1.00 per week needs to be paying £13.00 per annum in income tax.
Donating £5.00 per week requires minimum tax paid of £65.00 per annum.
Donating £10.00 per week requires minimum tax paid of £130.00 per annum.
Whilst we encourage parishioners to give under Gift Aid we also need to ensure that they do not face an unexpected request from H M Revenue & Customs to repay the tax we have claimed on their donations.
Parish Gift Aid forms
Gift aid forms
Commercial car park permits
These permits give authority to park the above vehicle in the Church Car Park, on weekdays only, between the hours of 8:00 am and 6:00 pm. The cost is £1000.00 for 1st January – 31st December. If you wish to apply for a permit, please contact the Parish Office (01225 314114, email@example.com
Parishioner car park permits
St Mary’s Car Park Permits for 2019 are available £60.00. Any parishioner can buy a permit; it allows 4 hours of parking per week. Complete an application form & return it to the Parish Office or 4 Harley Street. Forms are at the back or the church. If you have not included an s.a.e., you will need to pick up the permit directly from the Parish Office. Contact the Parish Office if you are interested.
Finally, we would like to create a database of those who are interested in receiving the bulletin by email. If you would like your name to be included, please let us know by emailing Parish Administrator Any information provided will be processed in accordance with the Diocese’s Privacy Notice which is available at Clifton Diocese Privacy Notice
Photos in Church Notice
New St Vincent de Paul group!
Restart of St Vincent de Paul Conference!
John Desmond is planning to establish an SVP Conference once again at St Mary’s. This charity aims to help support a wide range of practical needs in the parish from visiting the lonely & the elderly to taking people with a disability to Mass. There will be a meeting in the next couple of weeks. If you are interested in joining, contact John Desmond Also, if you know of someone in need of a visit or help, do get in touch.
SVP Appeal at Masses
There will be an appeal at Masses on Sunday 23rd February for more members / people who can help in any way. We have already had a good response! Info: Email John Desmond or ring 07553022059.
Tuesdays 1.30-3.30pm. Cost £2.00
New members are always welcome.
Contact Joe Evans: 01179 372495
Tends the gardens around the church including the memorial garden. Help is always welcome.
For further information, please contact: Michael Gage: 01225 319828
New Horizons (Bereavement support group)
Most of us will, at some time in our lives, encounter through death the loss of someone we love. That person may be a friend, sibling, child or spouse; our lives will never be the same again. Although the experience differs from person to person, many may feel if the death was unexpected it’s earth shattering, or if they’ve known for some time that death was inevitable, it can still feel as though a rug has been pulled out from under them. They can feel very alone, raw and isolated. At times the loss and pain may feel unbearable.
New Horizons is run voluntarily by a small group of parishioners from both St Johns and St Mary’s. We have the Spiritual support of our chaplain Fr Jeremy Rigden (parish priest of St Mary’s, Bath). We are not trained counsellors but have all received training in caring for people going through the pain of bereavement. We don’t try and “make things better” we know we can’t. We try in small ways to reach out and offer a listening ear to anyone suffering because of a loss.
Throughout the year we organise several activities which bring people together: three or four Masses are celebrated by Fr Jeremy followed by tea and cake; a couple of walks are organised and we’re having our first lunch on Thursday 25th July. Should you feel you would rather for the time being just have someone to talk to on a one to one basis please contact your either your parish priest, or your parish administrator, Janet (St Johns) or Charlotte (St Mary’s) who will contact one of us on your behalf.
Finally, there is no time limit to grieving. Sometimes even years later the pain can return. There may be a trigger but often there’s not. New Horizons is here for everyone, no matter when, where or how their loved one died.
NEW HORIZONS We are meeting for lunch at the Royal Hotel (opp. Bath Spa station) on 25th July, 1pm. There is a super variety of food to choose from. £10 pp for a two course meal. No matter when your loss occurred, you will be made warmly welcome. If you would like to join us, please phone 07929 864218 & leave your name & contact details. We look forward to seeing you there
Contact: Shaji Thomas
Property Development Group
Skills Needed – Property
In the next few months we will be doing an audit of gifts & talents in our parish & the ways in which people can volunteer their skills to help St Mary’s & others.
Ahead of that we wanted to ask if there are parishioners who have skills related to property & who have some time they could give to supporting our Property Development Group. This could be for one-off projects or on an ongoing basis depending on the time available.
We are looking for a range of skills/experience including: Architecture, property development, planning, surveying, programme /project management & finance, property management & maintenance, painting & decorating.
Also fund-raising, communication (strategy & PR), servicing a committee (admin, minutes etc.) & legal. We need to clear some of our property & help would be greatly appreciated. If you can help, please let Fr Jeremy know AND contact the Parish Office on 01225 314114 or firstname.lastname@example.org with your details. Alternatively phone 01225 311725 & leave a message on the answer machine.
For further information, please contact: Dayne Netto
Parish Pastoral Council
Currently, we do not have a Pastoral Council. Following the catastrophic fire in July 2015, the decision was made to retire the PPC in its current format and, instead, form small groups to deal with each event/decision as they arose, to put to best use as many of the congregation as possible. This is working to good effect so far.
Mary’s Meals provides vital support by setting up community-run school feeding programmes, which encourage children to come to school & receive a nutritious meal that helps them to concentrate on their studies. £13.90 will feed a child for a year. https://www.marysmeals.org.uk/
How you can get involved: The Backpack Project is an initiative to further help these children in getting the best possible education. As a parish we collect items on the wish lists, pack the donated backpacks which are then shipped to Glasgow and then to Mary’s Meals projects around the world. Dates for backpack filling, & how to donate the contents, are found in the bulletin.
Donating one or two of these items would be very helpful. Please leave clean, good- quality donations at the back of the church & donate only that which is requested. Please remove all stickers and packaging.
MARY’S MEALS: Next bagpack 9.30-11.30am Mon 10th Feb, Parish Centre. If you would like to help, please come along at 9.30am. You could be given a list of what to pack into a rucksack, all items will be laid out in order. You might sort donations. We would love someone to volunteer to make tea/coffee. Contact the Parish Office if you would like to help in any way.
*Rucksacks (second-hand is fine)
*flip flops/sandals size Jr8- Adult size 2
* Soap (hard) *Toothpaste
•Pencil sharpeners *Erasers
*Small ball (eg tennis ball
•Towels (guest or hand size)
*Rulers (non-bendy) •Pencil cases
*Children’s shorts ages 4-13
St Mary's Soup Run
Soup Run 22nd February
Many thanks toAnn Cowan, Alison Murray, Anna and Patrick McCarron & Liz Williams for preparing the food.
To Alison Murray, Stephen, Annemarie and Gerard Costello and Finlay Eaton for distributing it.
The food was gratefully received and heartfelt thanks was given to St Mary’s.
Next run March 22nd.
Parish Wish List (or how to fulfil Matthew 25:35-40)
St Mary’s wish list or how to help fulfil Matthew 25:35-40
Please leave clean, good-quality donations at the back of the church & donate only that which is requested. Please remove all stickers and packaging.
MARY’S MEALS Thank you for all the donations – we recently filled 21 rucksacks!
*Felt tip pens
* colour pencils/ crayons
•Towel s (guest or hand size)
*flip flops/sandals size Jr8-2
* small ball (eg tennis ball)
*Boys t-shirts and shorts ages 4-13
*Girls t-shorts, dresses, skirts age 4-13
St Chad’s Sanctuary
~ Suitcases and rucksacks
~ razors, shaving foam and shampoo
~ Girl’s clothes 6-9 years
~ Baby boys’ clothes 6-9 months
~ Tinned tomatoes
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
CAFOD builds links between poor communities in the developing world and the Catholic community in England and Wales. It works with partners at home and with CARITAS International abroad to deliver relief work and programmes in human development to poor communities regardless of race, gender, religion or politics.
In working with the poor, praying with them and for them, and sharing our resources with them through fundraising and education, CAFOD is a source of information and knowledge about systems that keep the poor in poverty, and CAFOD works to challenge these through campaigns and public events to raise awareness.
Resultantly, CAFOD is also an educational resource for schools and communities here. CAFOD organises two fundraising events a year, Lent Fast Day and Harvest Fast Day. More information can be found on www.cafod.org.uk If you would like to know more about how CAFOD is supported by the churches in the Bath Deanery, contact Irene Prentice via email at email@example.com or telephone 01225 851093.
The Association for the Propagation of the Faith (APF) assists every one of the Catholic Church’s 1,069 mission dioceses in providing pastoral care and preaching the Gospel effectively.
In England and Wales, we collect funds for overseas mission through the famous Red Boxes. There are Red Boxes in over 200,000 homes. They have helped raise millions of pounds for the missionary Church.
Contact: Annemarie Costello
This short introduction was taken from: missio.org.uk/about-apf/
Parish & Church
Fr Jeremy and the Previous Parish Priest
Lectio Divina (Also Known as Scripture Reflection)
Explore a way of praying the Readings of Holy Mass. A small group of parishioners would like to share what they have learned on Praying the Readings: a method of reading & rereading, sharing the meaning & praying around it. This assists us to focus on the readings of the Mass on the following Sunday. We do also pray through a Psalm or a passage from the New Testament. Meets the 2nd Tuesday each month, although please check the bulletin. At 27 Napier Road, BA1 4LN. Contact: Graham: 01225 427418 or 07889 495419
Alternate Mondays: Praying the Gospel with Lectio, 3-4pm (coffee/tea 2.45pm), St. John’s Lower Ground Floor rooms, South Parade (at the bottom of the stairs to the lower car park). A small, friendly & gentle group that use “Lectio Divina” to ponder the Gospel for the following Sunday. We aim to develop a deeper understanding of the Bible Reading, to help build our prayer life with God. Info: Patrick: 07966366731, Graham: 07889 495419.
Please press here.
When we do meet: Every Friday 7.30pm, at the home of Tony Wilde. Sing Taizé songs & other chants for peace & harmony from around the world. Meditative songs quieten the mind & lead to inner stillness: everyone can learn them without reading music. Contact: Tony Wilde 311087 for more details
Community House of Prayer (CHOP)
There are 25 Community House of Prayer in BaNES. Attached is an exert from the leaflet called ‘Pray for Bath 2019’ produced by Bath Christian Action Network: www.bathchurches.org.ukCHOP 2019
St Mary's Fire 2015
As written by Fr. Jeremy
FIRE AT ST MARY’S CHURCH, BATH
Just before four o’clock one Thursday afternoon, in July 2015, I was making my way to St Mary’s, to get ready to receive a coffin into the church. There was to be a funeral the following day. I was met with cries of, “Your church is on fire!” To my astonishment, it was true. There was smoke coming from above the porch, and flames visible beneath the tiles. The alarm had been raised by passers-by, and very soon the fire brigade arrived, seven appliances in all. There was nothing to be done, but stand and watch the firemen do their work. The road was closed to traffic, but people gathered to watch. Eventually the fire was brought under control and the building made safe.
It was a sorry sight that awaited us when, after some three and a half hours, we were allowed inside. The seat of the fire was located just inside the entrance to the church in the side aisle. The confessional box had been destroyed, the small stained-glass window of Sts Peter and Paul had fallen out and one of the Stations of the Cross was badly damaged. The fire had ruined about one third of the seating (the vinyl padding of the seats had proved highly flammable and non-fire-retardant). Most distressing of all was the effect of the resulting smoke, which had covered the entire interior of the church, from floor to roof with a film of grey dirt and vaporised plastic. The modern frescos on the north wall and the painted panels at the back of the high altar were unrecognisable. We know that, sadly, the fire was started deliberately. (Eventually someone was charged, and has since served a prison sentence.)
Almost immediately the people of St. Mary’s responded to the crisis. The funeral the following day was relocated to St. John’s, another Catholic Church in the city. After the Saturday morning Mass, celebrated in St Mary’s Parish Centre, a group of parishioners set about painting and decorating the main Hall and adjoining room. The Centre then became our temporary Church and, over the next ten months, Sunday and weekday Masses were held there without a break. Funerals and weddings (which could not take place in the Parish Centre) were relocated to the other Catholic churches in Bath. We received many kind offers of help from other churches in the area, including Christ Church (our Church of England neighbours in Julian Road), where we held three of our four 2015 Christmas Masses. Further improvements to our Parish Centre included emergency lighting, fire exits, a disabled access, a sound-system (including a loop), a video link to the adjoining room, and new windows. Many people remarked on how different the Mass felt in its temporary setting, with the congregation much closer to the altar, and with no spare seats!
Fortunately the church was properly insured, and so the greater part of the cost of restoration was covered by the claim. Very early on, a loss adjuster was appointed, along with specialist restorers and experts in Stone-masonry, carpentry, tiling, stained-glass windows, soft furnishings and organ-building. The nave of the church, cleared of all furniture, was filled with five levels of scaffolding. It reminded me very much of a ship in dry dock. The artists Fleur Kelly (who created the frescos) and John Armstrong (who painted the panels of the saints at the back of the High Altar) were consulted about how these should be restored. The organ was dismantled and removed from the church, and was cleaned and restored. The wiring, lighting and sound system which had been installed just a year before the fire had to be redone. In addition, we replaced the old confessional with a much more attractive Reconciliation Room; the inner entrance to the church was improved by a small draught lobby; and we opened up an old blocked-up doorway to create an extra fire-exit. We returned to the church at the end of May 2016 for week-end services, but it was not until the beginning of October that year that we were able to welcome Bishop Declan Lang who celebrated a special Mass to mark the official reopening of St. Mary’s Church.
Though the fire and its effects were most distressing, especially for those people with life-long associations with St. Mary’s, the benefits have been immense. We have a beautifully restored Church, cleaner, brighter and more airy than it has ever been since its opening in 1881. We have new hymn books, new (and better) furniture, and soft furnishings (carpets and curtains) which enhance the sanctuary and Lady Chapel, We also have a Parish Centre with much improved facilities. But there have been other blessings too. The time we had to spend in our temporary church brought people together in a new way: like comrades in adversity they helped one another, stayed longer charring at the end of Mass, and supported all the efforts being made to bring a sense of normality and dignity to an abnormal situation. Finally, special mention should be made of the very generous donations we received from parishioners and others, towards expenses not covered by the insurance claim. We are most grateful.
The only visible memorial of the fire is a display cabinet in the church, near the entrance. It contains a buckled brass plate which originally commemorated a previous Parish Priest of St. Mary’s. It has been preserved, together with the charred remains of the wood on which it had been mounted. The inscription beneath reads:
“This memorial plaque, encased by a monk at Downside, is a gift from the Abbey. It is a reminder of the enormous devastation caused by arson on 23rd July 2015; it testifies to the expertise of all those who worked tirelessly to restore this beautiful church; and it recalls the dedication and support of parishioners and friends.”