| Altar Servers – Guild of St Stephen
Trains and co-ordinates altar servers for St Joseph’s Church. Servers can begin training after their First Holy Communion (Year 4 and above) but there is no upper age limit. Training of new servers normally takes place between October and December each year.
For more information, please make contact via the website or speak with Fr Martin or Deacon Peter.
| Bidding Prayer Writers Rota
This group writes the Bidding Prayers for the main weekend Masses. If you would be interested in joining this team, please contact us via the Contact Form.
| Birtley Catholic Club & Parish Centre
Serves St Joseph’s Parish, Birtley, and the wider community. Function room available for hire. See website link to Parish Centre for more information
| CAFOD (NE Region)
Parish’s 3rd World Development Group
Live Simply Group
For more information, please contact us via the Contact Form and/or see the Live Simply link .
| Charity Coffee Morning Rota
In Parish Centre after 10.00am Mass each Sunday morning. Not only a chance to meet other parishioners socially, but is an excellent opportunity for charitable fund-raising.
For more information, please make contact via the Contact Form or enquire at a Coffee Morning.
| Children’s Liturgy Group (during Sunday 10am Mass)
The “Children’s Liturgy” takes place during the 10am Sunday Mass. This is appropriate for children from age 3 to around 9/10. Children will leave Mass after the opening prayer and return after the bidding prayers. While in the Children’s Liturgy, the children will explore the messages of the day’s Gospel Reading and how the messages apply to them. If your child would like to join us, please send them to the front of church when invited to do so by the priest. We have a fantastic team of helpers who have all undergone DBS checks. There is always room for more volunteers and we would love to welcome new members. If you are interested in helping, please speak with Bev Wildish or make contact via the Contact Form.
| Church Cleaners
Meet in Church Friday 9.00-10.00 am, volunteers always welcome.
| Church Grounds Maintenance
Outside Plant Pots etc… Lawns and Garden - Volunteers always welcome.
If you are interested in helping, please make contact via the Contact Form.
| Church Pastoral Council
The CPC is a consultative body whose aim is to help the Parish Priest consider pastoral and other works and to propose and co-ordinate practical measures for implementing them. Members are drawn from parishioners, often representing parish groups, under the spiritual leadership of the Parish Priest, Fr Mark Millward. Meetings second Sunday of month, 7.00pm in the Presbytery.
For more information, please make contact via the Contact Form.
| Choir - Church Music Group
The Music Group leads the music in Church at the 10.00am Mass on Sunday and at other liturgical celebrations (Holy Week, Easter, etc). If you are interested in joining the group, either as a singer or playing an instrument, please speak with Bernadette Davison or make contact via the Contact Form.
| Choir – Male Voice
The Choir leads the music at the Saturday Vigil Mass, Weddings & Funerals. New members always welcome.
For enquiries, speak with a member of the Choir or make contact via the Contact Form.
Parish Bulletin – Entries by Wednesday 12 noon: firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Website - www.stjosephsbirtley.co.uk . For all enquiries please contact us via the Contact Form.
| Credit Union
Following a CMS Plan Discussion Meeting in the Parish Centre in February 1992, which looked at debt and the causes of debt, a group of parishioners came together and formed a Credit Union. A Credit Union is a member-owned co-operative that provides a safe place for members to save and borrow at safe rates. The original Credit Union formed in the Parish was the Birtley & Ouston Credit Union; following a number of mergers, it now operates as part of the NEFirst Credit Union, which provides savings and loan services to its members across the North East. If you are interested in becoming a member and/or a volunteer with the Credit Union, details are available at www.nefirstcu.co.uk.
| Diocesan Refugee Project Volunteers
Designated box at back of church for donations.
If you would like to be involved, please make contact via the Contact Form.
| Financial Management
Chair of Finance Committee
Parish Accountant & Planned Giving/Gift Aid Co-ordinator
Should you like to join the Planned Giving Scheme and give regular donations to St Joseph’s Parish, please make contact via the Contact Form. This could be either by direct debit or by using weekly individually dated envelopes to be placed in the weekly church collections. If you are a tax payer, Gift Aid would increase your donation by 25% at no extra cost to yourself.
| Flower Arranging
If you would like to dedicate flowers to a loved-one, please contact us via the Contact Form.
| Food Bank Volunteers
Designated box at back of church for donations.
If you would like to be involved, please make contact via the Contact Form.
Rainbows - Age 5-7 Meet in Youth Wing Tuesday 5.30-6.30pm
Brownies - Age 7-10 Meet in Youth Wing Tuesday 6.30-8.00pm
Girl Guides - Age 10-14 Meet in Youth Wing Friday 7.00-8.30pm
Rangers - Age 14-19 Meet in Small Meeting Room Friday 7.00-8.30pm (or in with Guides if necessary)
New leader for Brownies required by Summer 2020: if interested, please contact the Guiding website.
| Let The Children Live
To help the Street Children of Columbia. Collection at Church every three months.
If you would like more information, please make contact via the Contact Form.
| Lourdes Group
There are many people in the Parish who have a great devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes and are involved in Lourdes in a number of ways:
Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes
The Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes is an annual pilgrimage to Lourdes, usually led by the Bishop. The pilgrimage is in Lourdes every year for eight days starting on the last Friday in the month of July. There are pilgrims from all parts of the Diocese, pilgrims of all ages, families with children and special provision for the sick, disabled and elderly who need assistance to take a full part in the pilgrimage. If you are interested in joining the pilgrimage, please speak with Bernadette Davison for more information, or make contact via the Contact Form.
Lourdes Youth Group
The Youth Section is an important part of the Diocesan Pilgrimage with the young people providing vital help to the sick, disabled and elderly pilgrims. As well as providing youthful assistance to their fellow pilgrims, the young people enjoy a very special spiritually uplifting week with a group of like-minded young people. To assist as many young people to experience the week in Lourdes, other parishioners work with them throughout the year to raise money for the Lourdes Youth Sponsorship towards the cost of the pilgrimage. If you are a young person (age 16-25) interested in joining the Youth Section on the pilgrimage, or someone willing to help with fundraising, please speak with Margaret Taylor for more information or make contact via Contact Form.
As well as travelling to Lourdes with a pilgrimage, many people travel to Lourdes to work as volunteers (stagiaires) with Hospitalite Notre Dame de Lourdes. Volunteers come from all over the world to work for periods of 6-15 days, working at the airport and railway station to assist pilgrims, working in the Lourdes baths or one of the accommodation centres or helping with the organisation and marshalling of pilgrims during the processions or other major liturgical celebrations. Many of these volunteers come back to work in Lourdes year after year, establishing life-long friendships from near and far. If you are interested in working with the Hospitalite in Lourdes, please speak with Mick Davison for more information or make contact via the Contact Form.
| Mill Hill Missions
MISSO "red boxes" to help the missions have two emptying Sundays in the Parish Centre, one in July and one in December. If you want your box emptied outside of these times, or if you would like a “red box” to save your loose change to help the Mill Hill Missions, please contact the local secretary via the Contact Form.
| Ministers of Holy Communion
Our Eucharistic Ministers not only assist the Priest with the distribution of Holy Communion during Mass and certain services, but they also take the Blessed Sacrament to the sick and housebound members of our community, in their own homes. If a sick or housebound parishioner need Holy Communion in the home, please speak with Fr Martin or Deacon Peter direct, or contact the Holy Communion Co-ordinator via the Contact Form.
| Ministry of Welcome
This group welcomes parishioners and visitors at the main weekend Masses. If you would like to join this team, please make contact via the Contact Form.
| Offertory Procession Rotas
This group of volunteers, carry the Offertory Gifts from the back to the front of church during the main weekend Masses. If you would like to join this team, please make contact via the Contact Form.
| Parish Fayre Organising Committee & Annual Raffle
As well as fund-raising, this is a great opportunity for all members of the parish, of all ages, to meet, organise and spend time together. If you would like to get involved, please contact us via the Contact Form.
| Piety Stall Organiser
We are looking for someone to take over this roll of ordering and selling religious items and arrange a rota to look after the Piety Stall at the Vigil and Sunday Masses, First Holy Communions, Confirmations, etc. If you are interested, please contact Fr Martin or Deacon Peter.
| PM Club
Parish Centre Fridays 12.00-2.30pm. Inter-denominational social meeting, bingo, cup of tea or coffee for female senior citizens. Not a money-making group – purely social. If you are interested, please visit the group on a Friday or make contact via the Contact Form.
| Readers Rotas
This group of volunteers, assists the Priest by doing the Readings at all Masses and Services of The Word & Holy Communion. If you would like to join this team, please make contact via the Contact Form.
| Society of St Vincent De Paul
The SVP actively work with the poor, disadvantaged and marginalised. Meeting dates vary but are advertised in the parish bulletin 2 weeks beforehand. New members always welcome. For more information, please make contact via the Contact Form.
| SVP Minnie Vinnies
Junior branch of the SVP and controlled by schools. For more information, please contact schools within the parish by direct link on our website Schools.
| Social Justice & Environment Partnership Group
If you are interested in this group, please get in touch with the St Joseph's contact person via the Contact Form.
| Women’s Guild
Former members of the Catholic Women’s League - usually meet in the Parish Centre on Monday’s 1-3pm for tea/coffee and chat (weather and health permitting). Any enquiries please contact us via the Contact Form.
| Young Mothers Guild (YMG)
This group has been meeting for almost 50 years and may best be described as “Young at Heart Grandmothers”. They meet every Wednesday evening during school term-time with a very varied programme of activities and are inter-denominational. See parish bulletin for weekly activities or make contact via the Contact Form for more information. Alternatively, if you really are a “Young Mother” and would like help setting up a new group of your own, please get in touch. Background history of the YMGs can also be found on the Website at YMG.
| Youth Club
Junior School Children Aged 7-11. Meets every Monday Parish Centre 6.30–8.00pm, entrance 50p. It is a chance for kids to meet new friends and generally have some fun. They run a tuck shop and activities include table tennis, pool, arts & crafts, indoor football and games consoles. Also partake in activities outside of the Parish Centre 2 or 3 times a year. For more information, please make contact via the Contact Form.
| Youth Ministry
Young people are a valued part of our Parish community and contribute in many ways; as members of the Youth Council and through participation in many Diocesan and National Youth events such as the Source and Flame Congress. For more information, please make contact via the Contact Form.