The mission of the parish is ‘to go in peace to love and serve the Lord’
The Guild of St. Stephen is an international organisation of altar servers, founded in England in 1904 by Fr. Hamilton McDonald. The Guild has spread and developed since then, and is active in many parishes in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, including here at Our Lady & St Hugh.
Altar servers take Saint Stephen – one of the first seven deacons chosen to assist the apostles in service (Acts 6) and the first martyr of the Church – as their patron.
The objectives of the Guild are:
To encourage, positively and practically, the highest standards of serving at the Church’s liturgy and so contribute to the whole community’s participation in a more fruitful worship of God.
To provide altar servers with a greater understanding of what they are doing so that they may serve with increasing reverence and prayerfulness and thereby be led to a deepening response to their vocation in life.
To unite servers of different parishes and dioceses for their mutual support and encouragement.
Find our more about the Guild of St Stephen
Find our more about the Guild of St Stephen within the Archdiocese of Birmingham
Altar Servers at Our Lady & St Hugh
We have 10 Servers in the Parish at present and are always happy to welcome any young people (or not so young) who have made their First Holy Communion, to join our team. Training will be given.
We take part each year where possible in the Special Mass for Altar Servers at the Cathedral where we join usually over 200 other Servers from the Archdiocese.
Fr. Pat treats the Servers each year to a bowling event and chocolate treats at Christmas and Easter!
All our Servers are respectful and dedicated in their Ministry.
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming an altar server at Our Lady & St Hugh, please contact David Sole, our Parish Master of Ceremonies (M.C.) at email@example.com.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
The parish has a growing number of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Through the gift of ministry, the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, is commissioned to serve Christ’s Church through bringing the gift of Jesus Christ himself to his brothers and sisters, joining him in a life poured out in loving service of his kingdom.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at Mass – The minister serves Christ present in the assembly by ministering his Body and Blood to their brothers and sisters.
Ministry to the Sick and Housebound – Eucharist ministers also serve the unity of the worshipping community by taking Communion to those members who are prevented by sickness, old age, or other cause from taking part in the gathering for Mass.
If you would like to be considered to join this lay ministry at Our Lady & St Hugh, please contact Fr Pat.
In the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the term “lector” or “reader” can mean someone who in a particular liturgy is assigned to read a Biblical text other than the Gospel, the reading of which, at Mass, is reserved specifically for an ordained deacon or priest. This lay ministry is held in high esteem by the Church.
Readers remember that they are proclaiming the Word of God and as such should always carry out their ministry responsibly, with dignity and respect.
Our readers at Mass are drawn from volunteers across the parish who want to partake in this ministry. Coaching and guidance can be provided if required, especially to help younger or more nervous individuals unaccustomed to speaking in public.
If you would like to be considered to join this lay ministry at Our Lady & St Hugh, please contact Fr Pat.
The Liturgy of the Word with Children often referred to as ‘Children’s Liturgy’, which we usually hold during our 10am Sunday Mass, offers our children the opportunity to listen and respond to the Sunday Gospel at an age-appropriate level, before processing back into the Church during the offertory.
Children’s Liturgy Leaders have to provide references and these are taken up. Parents are welcome to accompany their children to the sessions.
If you are interested in helping to run the Children’s Liturgy, please contact Fr Pat.
Online Children’s Liturgy Resources
Free children’s liturgy resources, for families who aren’t able to attend church in person at the moment, can be found here:
Gospel Reading, colouring pages, Mass worksheets and puzzles to support your child’s understanding of Sunday Mass can be found here:
Music for the Liturgy
At Our Lady & St Hugh we are privileged to have a choir and a folk group.
Music for the Liturgy is led by our choir with regularly used settings, psalms and hymns, together with similar pieces for special feasts.
We also have a folk group of all abilities that leads at the 2nd and 4th 10am Sunday Masses as well as at the Christmas Day and Easter Day Masses.
If you would like to join the choir, the folk group or both, please speak to one of the members after a 10am Sunday Mass.
Church Wardens cover all the weekend and special feast day Masses. Amongst other things, their duties include car parking, organising offertory collections and asking families to present the offertory.
If you would like to become a Church Warden, please contact Fr Pat.
In 1990, a group of parishioners decided to try and help the parish become more welcoming. They formed a team of Welcomers, to greet the congregation, hand out hymn books and bulletins and be available to provide information for newcomers. Their success continues.
If you would like to become a Church Welcomer, please contact Fr Pat.
A group of parishioners work to maintain fresh flower arrangements, especially for major feasts and events.
If you would like to become involved with the flower arrangements, please contact Fr Pat.
Church Counting Team
The Church Counting Team counts the church’s collections every week, normally on Sunday mornings. This comprises the first and second collections, gift aided and non-gift aided. All gift aided donations have to be recorded so that the church can claim back 25p from HMRC for every £1 donated by those who pay Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax. Non-gift aided (loose) candle money and paper money are also counted and recorded on the master sheet. The team work in pairs to conform to current UK law.
If you are interested in finding out more about joining the team, please contact the team co-ordinator, Phil Ogden, at Philogden22@talktalk.net or via phone on 01993 359211, who would be more than happy to train you for this worthwhile position.
After Mass Refreshments
Serving refreshments after the 10am Sunday Mass was begun in 1992 by the Catholic Women’s League (CWL). The aim is to provide to parishioners with the opportunity to socialise with each other and to act as an additional means of welcome.
If you would like to become involved with the serving of refreshments, please contact Fr Pat.
Our Piety shop is located at the rear of the Church and is opened after each of the three weekend Masses. Items for sale are adapted to the seasons and events of the year and can be specially ordered.
Please support this excellent resource.
This group began as a prayer group over 25 years ago. During the first Gulf War (1990/91), it was decided to say the rosary and other prayers in Church for justice and peace in the world, and for vocations.
These continue after Mass on Tuesday evenings.
The St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP)
The SVP Conference began in Witney in November 1993. Meetings are held in the Church Hall either weekly or bi-weekly, depending on the time of year.
The SVP in Witney visits people in the parish who may need help or just a chat. This can be in their own homes or In Care. We also support anyone in need or who has fallen on hard times. Visits generally last around an hour and we do not expect members to undertake visits in the evening. Members of the SVP also provide lifts to Church or other places if possible as well as providing links with the Witney Foodbank.
The people we visit are not necessarily Catholic, but anyone we are informed about that agrees to receive help or a visit.
To find out more about the SVP, please select the button below.
Witney Churches Together
The Churches of Witney are here to serve God and the community. Young and old, rich and poor, membership of the churches is amongst the most inclusive of organisations in Witney.
Members disagree on many things but are committed to listen to one another and to work together with a shared experience of God’s love in Jesus Christ.
To find out more about Witney Churches Together, please select the button below.
Association for Propagation of the Faith
Founded in 1822, the Association Propagation of the Faith (APF) is one of the Pontifical Mission Aid Societies. It is endorsed by His Holiness the Pope and is the Church’s official society for helping all the missions.
The aim of APF, also known as Missio, is to receive funds for the propagation of the Catholic faith in the third world, helping missions in the poorest communities. It also helps with the training of Priests and Sisters worldwide.
The red boxes can be brought into the church and put in the repository at anytime to be emptied by the local secretary or one of the team of promoters. The boxes can then be collected from the church porch, usually the following week.
We are trying to promote paying by direct debit, cheque etc. Would anyone who pays tax, please consider signing a gift aid declaration form because this helps us add 25% to the value of your donation at no extra cost to you. It works by letting us claim back tax you’ve already paid.
If you are interested in finding out more about Missio at Our Lady & St Hugh, please contact our local secretary, Jennie Dolphin, at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone on 01993 359211 or 07443 591577.
To find out more about Missio generally, please select the button below.
The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) is an international development charity and the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
The parish group raises funds for CAFOD projects and promotes understanding of the problems faced by peoples of the Developing World.
To find out more about CAFOD, please select the button below.
Our Lady and St Hugh Youth Group meet on the 2nd Sunday evening of each month from 6 – 7pm in the Parish hall. We plan to restart meeting in September 2021.
The aim of the youth group is to bring together young people in the Parish in an atmosphere of friendship and fellowship to join in varied and fun recreational activities.
The youth group also acts as a support network for young people in the Parish and aims to support young people with their individual faith journey by providing spiritual development and support.
Young people in year 6 and above are welcome to join the youth group and join us for fun and exciting activities each month.
Life and The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)
Various members of the parish are actively involved in these national organisations.
To find out more about these organisations, please select the buttons below.