First Holy Communion


Here at SJF, we look forward to welcoming prospective candidates for First Holy Communion, who should be at least in year 3 (age 7 minimum).

Registration for candidates for 2023/4 is now closed. Registration for next year’s programme will be open between 1st July and 12th October 2024.

Please contact Michelle and Mel at for further details; this e-mail address sends copies to both Michelle and Mel.

Course information and details

The class runs on Saturdays from 3pm until 4:30pm (term time only). We would ask that you send your child with a bottle of water.

We will be following the “I Belong” First Holy Communion preparation course from Redemptorist Publications. The parish will provide each candidate with their own copy.  There is a parent guide book which we would strongly recommend you get so you can give your kids informed support in their learning.

During this course, there are many opportunities to read and dwell on the stories in scripture and we would encourage families to do so, both in preparation for classes and throughout their time on the course. We recommend that families invest in a child-friendly, complete Catholic bible. We will be using The Catholic Children’s Bible from St Mary’s Press, which we have found to be very accessible to this age-group and beyond. Links to both books are at the bottom of this page.

The expectation is that children will attend Mass each week throughout the duration of the course. Each session will end with enough time for children to have a short break, and to observe and be part of the preparation for Mass.

A founding principle of this course is that children belong to the Church family of God; part of belonging to that family is serving each other. We model that when we transform an empty room into a house of worship and community each week. To this end, the sessions entitled “To love and serve” have been deliberately placed after the First Holy Communion Mass as a follow-on into community life. The first of these will focus on relating the learning to the example of Christ; the other two sessions focus on allowing the candidates to shadow other community members in their various roles of service within the church.

We do ask for a commitment of time and talents from parents as well. There are opportunities to organise a cake sale for the CAFOD Family Fast Day fund, and also the community party following the Thanksgiving Mass in September, which marks the end of the First Holy Communion programme.

In keeping with our strong theme of belonging, we have a tradition of allocating a prayer sponsor to each family from our community, who will befriend and support each family during their time on the course, details will be given shortly after the start of the course.

There is Eucharistic Adoration following the 6:30pm Mass on the first Friday of each month. Because the Eucharist is the centrality of this sacramental preparation, and in line with the recommendations from the diocese, we strongly recommend that families make an effort to attend.

On first Saturdays, there is the community Rosary said in the church foyer. This is another excellent opportunity for children to observe and be part of community devotion. The First Holy Communion class will end in time for families to attend.

In addition, we will recommend other events as they become available which we feel would enrich your child’s faith journey.

Please take the time to read the diocesan guidelines for First Holy Communion candidates and parents linked at the bottom of the page.

All other details about the course will be shared at the Parent and Child meeting – details below. Please bring all documentation to this meeting on the 28th October.


DateSession title
28/10/23Short parent meeting and candle-craft
3/11/23First Friday – Mass and Adoration
4/11/23In the name of the Father (First Saturday Rosary)
11/11/23Lord, have mercy
18/11/23Celebrating our rescue 1
1/12/23First Friday – Mass and Adoration
2/12/23Celebrating our rescue 2 (First Saturday Rosary)
9/12/23God helps us get it right
16/12/23Glory to God in the highest
5/1/24First Friday – Mass and Adoration
6/1/24First Reconciliation prep (First Saturday Rosary)
13/1/24Sacrament of Reconciliation
20/1/24This is the Word of the Lord
2/2/24First Friday – Mass and Adoration (First Saturday Rosary)
3/2/24Bread to offer 1
10/2/24Bread to offer 2
2/3/24Fruit of the vine 1 (and CAFOD cake sale)
9/3/24Fruit of the vine 2
16/3/24Enrichment day: Sr Catherine
20/4/24Do this in memory of me
27/4/24Body of Christ 1
11/5/24Body of Christ 2
18/5/24Sacrament of Reconciliation
7/6/24First Friday – Mass and Adoration
8/6/24FHC preparation day (First Saturday Rosary)
15/6/24First Holy Communion Day
22/6/24To love and serve: Session plus introduction to Seeds of Change group
29/6/24To love and serve: practical 1
5/6/24First Friday – Mass and Adoration
6/7/24To love and serve: practical 2 (First Saturday Rosary)
13/7/24Enrichment day: Sue Price
21/9/24Thanksgiving Mass and community party
16/11/24Diocesan youth team: Ignite
FHC Programme 2023/4


Parents guide

Children’s Bible

Please check the the bulletin on the front page of this website for times of Masses and further information.