Welcome to the Family Room

‘There are many rooms in my Father’s house’. This is ‘The Family Room’. We hope you find plenty here to do together as a family. Welcome!

We encourage you to use this time to pray as a family by:

    • Praying for specific family and friends, and all key workers who are working so hard across the world at this time
    • Encouraging your children to consider something they can be grateful to God for each day,
    • Praying to our Guardian Angels (see prayer example attached), or
    • Saying this special prayer that Pope Francis tweeted recently on the Feast of St. Joseph.

Sunday Mass

While the church has to remain closed, we are live-streaming Mass on Sunday mornings at 10:30am and on weekdays at 9:00am – see homepage for details; the readings, prayers, responses, hymns and bidding prayers are available to help families following the Mass. We are looking for more children to become involved in these online Masses, so if you and your children are interested, please: Click to volunteer

If you would like to read at one of the services you will need Skype, a WhatsApp account and, ideally, a laptop and tablet/mobile phone.


First Holy Communion

Our Catechists have written to parents advising them that they will not be offering virtual learning for the programme; rather, in-person classes will resume at such time as it is deemed appropriate. First Holy Communion Masses will not take place until Sunday Mass has resumed at St Peter’s and our remaining classes have been completed; however, we think it is highly unlikely that anything will be possible before September at the earliest. You can contact us on 0787 286 7203 or by email at firstcommunion@stpeterinchains.com

Each week, we will be sharing a faith-based activity that families can complete together. We hope that you enjoy them, and we invite you to share your completed activities with us on our Parish Facebook page. Let’s get started.

7th Sunday of Easter  – 24th May 2020 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – How should we look after God’s world and our world?

Why should we do this? As Christian people we believe that God gave us the world and everything and everyone in it and He gave us the job of looking after it for Him.

Parents, why should we do this this today? Today, 24 May is the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ letter on care for the world, our common home. Called Laudato Si’, it is an inspiration during moments of difficulty. It encourages us to reflect on the values we share and create a more just and sustainable future. Pope Francis asks us to come together as one people around the world today to prayerfully look for the lessons of this moment while the world experiences a history-defining crisis with Covid-19, and reflect and prepare to build a better world. You can see more, starting with a message from Pope Francis, at https://laudatosiweek.org/

What sort of world do we want? Parents – explain what sort of world you think God wants you to pass on to your family. Children and teenagers – tell your mums and dads what sort of world you hope (last week’s word!) to grow up in.

Some ideas for things to talk about together: Climate Change, hunger, access to clean water, poverty, justice, fairness, homelessness, jobs and work, healthcare, conservation of the world’s plants and animals, how we use the world’s resources…..

What can we do? We know we can’t change the world on our own but together perhaps we can. So, what things can each of us do that will make a difference? – At home, at school (when we go back), at work, when we go shopping, when we are out enjoying ourselves – for our families, our friends, as well as people we don’t know or have never met?

Tell us what you think: Write down your ideas and send them to us either as an email to Fr Sean or on our Facebook page.

What we can all do is Pray! We have all been asked to pray together this special prayer at midday today, Sunday 24th May 2020. Like clapping to for all the essential workers on Thursday evenings, it’s the least we can do!

Everybody Worries, a free ebook is a picture book for children worried about Coronavirus. It is an absolute joy to read. It conveys key messages for children who are worried currently and suggests really helpful ways for them to process and normalise these emotions. This fun rhyming picture book is a must read for children at this time and will help bring a much-needed smile to children and adults alike.’

‘I am confident that this book will be helpful for children right now but also in their future, post-covid-19 lives.’

This is a free information book explaining the coronavirus to children, illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler with expert input the book answers key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds:

6th Sunday of Easter Year A – 17th May 2020 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – Write a Prayer about Hope

Click to find out more
In our reading section this week, you will find ‘The Book of Hopes’, a new publication that aims to comfort, inspire and encourage children during lockdown. This book and the gospel reading from Mass this Sunday have inspired this week’s activity, which is to ‘Write a Prayer about Hope’.

What is Prayer? – Prayer is both talking and listening to God. We pray for different reasons, which you can learn more about in this video. We also pray in different ways – attending Holy Mass is a type of prayer. Saying the Holy Rosary (which we learned about last week) is another way of praying. There are prayers we learn to say like the ‘Our Father’ and the ‘Glory be’. And just speaking or writing down your thoughts to God is a wonderful prayer too!

What is Hope? Our Catholic faith teaches us that hope is a virtue – something that helps us be a good person. Hope enables us to trust in God, even about things that seem difficult or impossible. Hope keeps us from getting discouraged and gives us strength, helping us to find joy in the world, and to share that joy with others.

How do I write a prayer? Have you ever written a letter or an email? Writing a prayer is a little bit like that – but it is sent to God. It’s also a bit like when your Mum or Dad asks you “tell me what your day was like” – but you write it down, instead of just saying it out loud. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated; “Thank you God” is a perfectly good prayer!

If it helps, you can start by saying it out loud, and ask a grown-up to record you. Then you can play your words back and write them down and, like the picture we have used here, you can add your own drawing to make it more special.

Share with us: We’d love to see the prayer you write – we encourage you to send Father Sean an email or post a comment on our Facebook page sharing your prayer.

For parents: Hope can be challenging in these difficult times, but as Pope Francis says, it is the key to salvation. This video from Father Mike Schmitz is a great resource to reflect on what hope is, and why we need it, and this detailed guide on Hope is a great way to continue the conversation with your family, especially with your older children.

5th Sunday of Easter Year A – 10th May 2020 – Mums, Dads, Children – Discover the Holy Rosary!

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What is the Holy Rosary? – The Holy Rosary is prayed by millions of Catholics around the world particularly in the months of May and November. It is made up of a series of prayers – Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, and other prayers – that are prayed aloud while thinking about different moments in the life and death of Jesus. These moments are grouped by fives into themed sets known as the Joyful (or Joyous) Mysteries, the Luminous Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, and the Glorious Mysteries. You can learn more about the Holy Rosary here.
Who started the Rosary? The spread of the Rosary, a devotion to the Virgin Mary (Mother of Jesus), is attributed to the preaching of Saint Dominic, a Spanish priest and founder of the Dominican order. Many popes have promoted praying the Rosary as a way of journeying “to Christ through Mary”. The Rosary is probably most often associated with the miraculous appearance of Our Lady to the young girl Bernadette at Lourdes in France in 1858 when  Our Lady asked Bernadette to pray the Rosary with her and is why statues of Our Lady of Lourdes show her holding Rosary beads.

What are Rosary beads? We often pray the Rosary using “rosary beads” – a series of beads or knots on a prayer rope that provide a physical method of keeping count of the number of Hail Marys said as the mysteries are contemplated. It’s interesting to know that prayer ropes are used in many religions, including Buddhism and Islam…but only Catholics pray the Rosary.

How do I pray the Rosary? This video explains how you pray the Rosary – including how to use Rosary beads, and how to think of each “mystery” or theme as you pray.

More things to do: We’ve found several colouring-in sheets that you can complete either by printing them out, or online. You can colour rosary beads, a picture of Our Lady of the Rosary, or rosary beads where you can add your own name in the scroll. You could also find our more about the story of Saint Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes.

Share with us: We’d love to know what you learned about the Rosary – we encourage you to email us or post a comment on our Facebook page sharing your colouring-in, your favourite mystery, or a picture praying the Rosary with your family

4th Sunday of Easter Year A – 3rd May 2020 – Mums, Dads, Children – find your saint!

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What is a saint? – A saint is a person who is recognised by the Catholic Church as having a deep holiness or closeness to God. You can watch this video to learn more.

Who is ‘my’ saint? You can choose any saint! Were you are named after a saint? Do you have a name that is also the name of a saint? Did you take the name of a saint at confirmation? Is there a saint you particularly admire?

How can I find ‘my’ saint? Ask your parents, brothers and sisters, or grandparents (by phone if they don’t live with you!), if you were named after a saint – or if they know a saint that has the same name as you.

What should I do when I find ‘my’ saint? Once you’ve found – or chosen! – a saint, try to learn something about her, or him. Every single saint has a fascinating story for you to discover. This website has loads of fun facts about many different saints.

Share what you find out: Share your saint with us on our Facebook page – ask a grown-up to help you share a picture with us, and maybe a short message about what you think of your saint!

More things to do:
Some of us have names that are based on other names – if you want to find the origins of your name, we recommend you use Behind the Name, a useful and fascinating website. And Wikipedia has a (partial) list of saints that you can refer to as well.

If you’re interested in exploring saints, rather than finding one with your name, we recommend this dedicated section of the Diocese of Westminster Youth Ministry site as a good place to start.