Welcome to the Parish of the Immaculate Conception
The parish. situated on the south west coast of England, was established on 14 July 1882 by the Franciscans (ofm). Clevedon is the largest town in the area and forms the hub of the parish. The surrounding villages of Yatton, (which has a small chapel of ease dedicated to St Dunstan and St Antony) Wrington, Claverham and Congresbury are all part of the parish and are also served by the Friars.
Within our parish we seek to provide for all a safe environment which promotes and supports their wellbeing. We therefore ask all those working with children, young people and vulnerable adults to adhere to the Catholic Church National Safeguarding Policies before they can be appointed.
Our Safeguarding Representative is Liz Owens who may be contacted by email by clicking here or on Tel 01275 873205 (our parish admin can give you her number)
N.B. Safeguarding documents can be accessed at http://www.cliftondiocese.com/
We hope the other pages within the “Parish” section give you a flavour of the way we work – ultimately to glorify God.
The friars within the Clevedon Community are …
Fr Antoine (Tony) Baya – Guardian – Contact on 01275 873205 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fr Antoine Baya was born in Mauritius in 1950. He was ordained on the 27th March 1982 in Canterbury. Since his ordination he has worked in Stratford in London before being moved to Glasgow where he worked for nearly 3 years.
As he always wanted to work on the missions, in 1987 he joined the African Project which sought to establish a Franciscan presence in East Africa on the 800th anniversary of the birth of St Francis of Assisi and went to Madagascar where he spent 5 years before moving on to his native Mauritius where he spent a total of 6 years both as a curate and Parish Priest of a poor region in the South of the country, notably, Chemin Grenier and its outstation Baie du Cap. The Churches were Notre Dame du Mont Carmel and St François d’Assise respectively. At a time of need in the extended Province of St Francis of Assisi in East Africa, he was appointed Secretary of the Province in Kenya, Nairobi.
His next appointment was in Kivumu in Rwanda where he spent 3 years equally before coming back to Great Britain. In 2009 he was appointed once again in Stratford to work on the Parish as well as being Secretary of the Province of the Immaculate Conception in Great Britain. He was moved to the friary of Woodford Green to fulfil that role for the next 6 years. After 4 years at Woodford, he was moved to Stratford out of necessity before being appointed to Clevedon as Guardian, in September 2018.
Fr Reg Gray – Parish Priest
He left school aged 18, with no qualifications, in 1972. He joined the army, became a Royal Military Policeman, serving as a traffic accident “cop” in Germany and did a two-year tour in N Ireland in 1977. He left the army and became a MoD Police Constable in Portsmouth Dockyard for 3 years. After the Falkland’s War and Pope John Paul II’s visit he joined the Order of Friars Minor and did his noviciate at Chilworth Friary, Nr Guilford. His studies were undertaken at Canterbury and was solemnly professed Friar and ordained priest in April 1989. He has served in Ipswich – working on parish duties and as Hospital Chaplain, then at Woodford Green, London on parish duties and Forest Gate, East London on parish duties and as Guardian of the House. He has now been in Clevedon for fourteen years.
Fr Antony Collins
Fr Antony joined the Clevedon community from Glasgow – we wish him peace and joy in his service to the parish
Fr Roger Barralet
Fr Roger died in the morning of 11th November 2018. We thank him and God for Fr Roger’s service to the parish and the Clevedon community. May he rest in peace.
Rev Mario Kossmann
Mario is a permanent deacon of our Clifton Diocese, who is currently supporting the Franciscans in Clevedon and Yatton. In particular, he is leading ecumenical church services in a number of nursing homes in Clevedon together with a group of highly dedicated volunteers from the parish.
A former naval officer in the French and German Navies, Mario is a certified Systems Engineer and Project Manager at Airbus. He was awarded an MEng in Aerospace Technology from the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich (Germany), an MBA from the University of Warwick (UK) and a Ph.D. in Systems and Software Engineering from the University of the West of England.
Rev Prof John P Woodcock
John is married to June and has three children and six grandchildren. He graduated in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Durham and then studied for a Master’s degree and PhD at Guy’s Hospital, University of London. He was appointed Professor of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering at Cardiff University College of Medicine in 1982 where he headed both the University and the NHS Departments of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering. His research interests were mainly in ultrasound and in the non-invasive measurement of blood flow, and included the measurement of cerebral blood flow and cardiac output during periods of microgravity with the European Space Agency. He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) by the University of Durham in 2003 and is both a chartered physicist and a chartered engineer. He was awarded an OBE for services to medical science in 1998 and was elected a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales in 2012.John was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Mervyn Alexander in September 1997 and is responsible for the Baptism preparation course as well as the usual diaconal duties of assisting at Mass, preaching, baptising, and visiting the sick.
The parish office is based at the Friary and is available for help as follows ……….
Parish Administrator: Tom Osman
Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday & Friday 0900hrs – 1400hrs
Email: Click here
Tel no: 01275 873205
See also the Diocesan Youth Ministry – click here
Video from FLAME 2019
Canadian Catholic philosopher, Jean Vanier, gave an exclusive video interview for Flame 2019, the CYMFed Catholic Youth Congress held at The SSE Arena, Wembley on 2 March 2019. Jean has lived a life of significance. He shares his story here and encourages us all to find the secret of our own beauty – we are more beautiful than we dare to believe. He encourages you to allow yourself to be yourself, to listen to your dream and also to discover the dream of God, the dream of Jesus, the dream that we shall all be one and can love each other whatever our religion, whatever our culture – that we can be people working for oneness, for peace. To watch the video click here
Click here to check out a video introducing YOUCAT.
Please let us know if you would like more info about any event or if you can come to the Vine Meets for catering purposes contact us at ….(email@example.com)
Hope you are all having a fruitful Lent season so far!
Sponsored Walk – July time – watch this space for further news
For more information about any young people’s events, please speak to Tom O (Parish Office) or Fr Reg or email Tom – firstname.lastname@example.org
View some pics of previous LYF Summer Camps > click here and click on the photos at the bottom of the page.
The weeks are intended to encourage children and young people to engage in their faith through fun, games and spiritual input. The new venue for these camps is Viney Hill Adventure Centre, Forest of Dean.
For more details, contact the coordinators by clicking on this email address – email@example.com
Click on this link – www.livingyourfaith.co.uk – for full details of the weeks and how to register.
Children’s Choir Light up Carol Service – Sunday 16th December
What a joyous occasion this was. Paul Spindler masterminded a re-enactment of the Christmas story. As adults read excerpts from scripture young parishioners acted out the roles of angels, shepherds, kings, Mary and Joseph and of course the babe, Jesus. Realism imposed its head as the babe was a real one – eight days old!!!! (Well fed before the event, the babe slept peacefully through the event). Costumes created by Genevieve and her team added beauty to well rehearsed movements of the actors. The congregation, led by Cath and her choir, sang the traditional carols heartily, whilst no doubt waiting for, even hoping for the traditional Carol Service howler – but none happened.
“The best carol service ever!!” was an oft heard quote. So many thanks to Paul for his stage management and to the team of helpers and parents whose efforts were well rewarded by the young parishioners’ performance
Camp Out at St Francis Church 21st September
Four of the young people who attended the Camp Out sent the following report – thanks for your time and effort!
“Our weekend was a holy and enjoyable one. It started with games such as table tennis and pool which helped us get to know each other. We continued with learning how to start a fire and a very yummy barbecue was cooked by some parents. This gave us energy for singing camp fire songs and toasting marshmallows in the dark.
Meanwhile, Father Tom (our priest) was setting up for Adoration so that we could have some peaceful time in silence to reflect on our lives and pray.
To prepare ourselves, and to calm us down, we gathered outside the church and discussed our best and worst moments of the day. After Adoration, we all got ready for bed. And, after a lot of ‘shushing’ we eventually got to sleep!
In the morning, we all enjoyed ‘prayerobics’ and a game of dodge ball, in teams. Next was Mass, where some were acting, some reading, some playing instruments, and others singing. It was a beautiful time where everyone shared their talents with others and connected with God.
A great end to a weekend of Faith, Friends and Fun!”
By Emily, Flo, Lauren & Rebecca
“Living Your Faith” Camps
Several of our young parishioners attended the recent “The Living Your Faith” camp held at The Marist Centre in Nympsfield, Gloucestershire. There were two weeks during August and are in-part funded by the Catenians: the first week for 7-11 year olds (Years 3 to 6) and the second week for 12-16 year olds (Years 7 to 11).
The weeks were aimed at Catholic young people within the Clifton Diocese but people of no faith or any faith also attended. The weeks comprised of quiz nights, craft activities, woodland walks and messy games night etc. Each week, a day out to Stroud or Swindon was enjoyed by all, mainly due to the swimming, the bowling and the coach trip.
The weeks were underpinned by a sharing and living of our Christian Faith. We were treated to input by our cheerful chaplain everyday, followed by small group sharing and Mass. The young people were encouraged to contribute and actively participate
in different areas of the Mass (Penitential Rite, Bidding Prayers, Offertory, Thanksgiving, Music) – they responded well to this invitation to think a little deeper about their faith and why we do what we do during Mass.
The children and young people left after our final Mass full of confidence for who they are and what their faith means to them.
Having arrived crying at leaving their Mums, some left crying at leaving their newly found friends. Such is life!!
If you are interested in coming, look at details at the top of this website.
If you have any news or questions about events for our young people in Clevedon, Nailsea and/or Portishead – email Tom by clicking here
-7th April – DANCE WORKSHOP in Greyfriars Hall (2.30pm – 4.30pm) – Lots of fun for everyone- even for those with two left feet. Admission is free
– 13th April – CRAFT MORNING in Greyfriars Hall (10.30am – 1.30pm) – another great event for children, young adults and parents. Try your hand at knitting, painting, sticking, sewing, making cards, ornaments, lavender bags, cookie decorating or just chatting over tea/coffee and cake. Contact Genevieve Vickery for info or for offers of help – email bandg,firstname.lastname@example.org or 01275 879 937
– RECENT EVENT – Craft Morning Greyfriars Hall presented an an array of crafts for all ages to try, to master, to excel or even just to watch (I made a cow out of icing sugar, I tried but clearly did not matter. Many thanks to all who presented, tried, mastered or just watched. The world’s largest knitting needles were on display(i may have exaggerated a bit!!) Thanks to Pat for the soft drinks, to sundry cake makers and especially to Paul and Genevieve Vickery for organising the event. Here’s to the next one – it is hoped to have an “Easter” Special Fun Day
16th December – Parish Carol Service 2018
Paul Spindler led what many described as the “best ever” parish carol service as children well dressed, by Genevieve Vickery and well drilled ny Paul presented a re-creation of the real Christmas story. As adult readers led the congregation with the bible readings, children moved gracefully through the Annunciation, the walk to Bethlehem, the arrival in the stable of Mary and Joseph, the angels, Shepherds and the three Kings , plus of course the baby Jesus – this time a real eight day old child. Many congratulations to Paul and his team of parents and grandparents, to Kath for the music but most of all for the children, be they volunteers or press-ganged, for they made the afternoon a magical and spiritual event. Thanks also to the congregation for the hearty singing.
16th September 2018 Parish Picnic and Fun Day – a crammed Greyfriars Hall buzzed with happy talk on Sunday afternoon as parishioners enjoyed the Friars’ invitation to meet in the Friary and in the Gardens. Paul Spindler and his C,YP and F band of happy helpers served up a great event. The “shared picnic” once again provided tables ladened with treats ranging from mild chicken curry through egg rolls to crisps with wine, soft drinks and water provided by parishioners Anne Marie Michell’s team again worked wonders in displaying the food and clearing up afterwards. We even danced to Baby Shark and followed Tom Spindler in dancing to “Chichiwa” whilst games in the garden produced ringing laughter and whoops of joy. Balls were passed over the head and between the legs and then parachute games were played. Thanks to Paul Spindler, Mary and Lucy Kehoe. Thanks to all who attended and thus contributed to an enjoyable afternoon!
N.B if you have any more photographs please email them to email@example.com
21st July 2018 A family outing to Tyntesfield – a truly enjoyable day with parishioners ranging from over 70 to under 5 was had at Tyntesfield. The sun shone yet shade was present for those who wished for it. A joint lunch was followed by “parachute” games, ice-creams and a walk in the woods. Thanks to all who turned up and special thanks to Simon Farnden who arranged the day.
Parish Pilgrimage to Downside Abbey and Mells on Saturday 23rd June 2018. parishioners took part in the Parish Pilgrimage to Downside Abbey and Mells on Saturday 23rd June. We arrived at Downside at 10.15, where Fr Reg celebrated Mass. Afterwards, a Downside monk, Dom Alexander, gave us a tour of the wonderful Abbey Church and the amazing sacristy, which is not usually open to public, where we viewed exceptional wood and stone carvings by local craftsmen, but the high point for everyone was a stunning, richly embroidered chasuble. Afterwards we joined the Community for Midday Prayer. During our picnic lunch we were treated to a ‘fly past’ by the Red Arrows on their way to Weston.
We arrived safely at the beautiful village of Mells at 1.45 where, after a stroll down historic streets, we were treated to tea and cake in the beautiful Manor House gardens by the Earl & Countess of Oxford and Asquith. Deacon Mario ended our afternoon by leading us in sung Evening Prayer in the chapel of St Dominic. Grateful thanks to our driver, Neil, who coped so well with the narrow roads on the Mendips. Many thanks to Paul Spindler for his massively efficient organisation of a Hitch-free day
Epiphany – 7th Jan 2018. Another huge turnout representing all sections of the parish enjoyed a Bring and Share Lunch. With dishes ranging from Polish Pierogies to Irish Soda Bread the various origins of Parishioners was well and truly recorded. Thanks to all who attended and or contributed, but a very special thank you to Barbara Blackman who co-ordinated the feast and to the ever present Anne-Marie, Joy and Ruth etc for their help with setting out and tidying up
10th September Parish Picnic & Fun Day
Wow!! What a turnout, and what a feast. Greyfriars simply buzzed with hearty conversation and tables almost groaned with the weight of the food brought by one and all Foods from a wide range of ethnic quarters provided an amazing choice that tested the brain and the appetite while tickling the taste buds. The mature parishioners sat, ate and conversed. Little people toyed with quoits and hoola-hoops – while a mixed aged grouped defied the weather and ventured into the Friary Garden to enjoy bubbles,shuttle-cock and the multi-coloured parachute silk.
Many thanks to all who brought and donated food and especially to Anne-Marie, Anne, Genevieve, Ruth, Jill Pat and to Neil for help setting up and clearing away.
Greyfriars Greyfriars, our Parish Room, is a fabulous facility and available for hire. It is eminently flexible and thus suitable for private functions, meetings, local groups and fundraising etc. Greyfriars features a large meeting room with an area suitable for dancing. The meeting room features radio microphones, a music system and over head projector and a‘Loop7 system for the hard of hearing. Greyfriars can be arranged in a variety of style and can cater for up to 100 people – there is a fully fitted kitchen. If you need help with planning your event, or with other queries re pricing and/or availability please contact the Parish Office on 01275 873205 or by email click here
Click on the link to view the Greyfriars Leaflet
Click here to view the Terms & Conditions for Greyfriars Hire Forms 2018
The Repository (i.e. The Book and Gift Shop) is located in the Immaculate Conception Church, Clevedon, and it has a fine supply of Missals, Books, Cards and Gifts – all you need for personal prayer or reflection as well as presents for Christenings, Confirmation etc
The hours of opening are …Saturday- 10.30hrs -12.00hrs, and also from 1730hrs until the start of Mass.
Contact Kay Nash at the Repository or the parish office by email here or tel 01275 837205
Parish Pastoral Council next meeting Monday 13th May 2019 at 7.30pm in the Retro Choir
To see/read the minutes of the meeting held on 11th March 2019 click here
The Parish Pastoral Council meets six times a year – it is a consultative body that seeks to gives help and advice to the parish priest in fostering pastoral activity within the parish and the wider community. Its main focus is intended to be ……;.
- Liturgical prayer
- Collaborative ministry
- Adult education and formation
- Family Life
- Catholic schools
- Acting justly
- A people of welcome
- Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
- Interfaith dialogue
The current Membership of the Parish Pastoral council is ….
Peter Kehoe (Chair), contact 01934 832786
Reg Grey, Deacons Mario and John , Austin Davis, Simon Farnden, Sandy Gale, Cath Hanley, Tessa Lawrence, Vincent McLaughlin, Anthony Palmer.
If you wish to raise a matter please contact anyone of those listed please email the parish office on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Our Financial Responsibility
Most things in this life have a financial cost and running our parish is no exception. Our weekly running costs are in excess of £1100 per week and on top of this we contribute about £300 per week to the Diocese. All of this money has to be provided by the parishioners, principally through the offertory collection.
- The Best Way to Make Your Offering – GIFT AID
Offertory giving by monthly standing order is the most welcome form of giving if one can manage it, as it provides a steady and predictable income, allowing forward planning, and if you are a taxpayer it can easily be made tax efficient by the Gift Aid process.
For every £1 donated to the parish by Gift Aid, the parish receives £0.25 from the government, thus making the total income of the parish £1.25. Giving by Gift Aid does not commit you in any way. You can always reduce or stop your giving if your circumstances change.
In order to meet the rules set down by the government, the parish needs to be able to prove that you have given the donation to the parish. The easiest way to do this is by a bank standing order. However without any Gift Aid declaration the parish does not receive any tax back on this.
In order to Gift Aid your offertory giving to the parish, you need to sign a Gift Aid. This is a form of words agreed with the government which enables the parish to claim the tax related to that offertory donation.
Gift Aid forms are available from the parish office and in the rack in the Narthex. If you have any questions about gift aid please contact Bill Hampton (Gift Aid Secretary) 01275 876435 or email email@example.com
- Financial Administration
For day to day administration we are fortunate to have the services of our Parish Secretary who maintains a record of all parish business transactions. These records are computerised and provide the basis to produce a formal set of accounts and enable the Parish to submit an annual financial return to the Diocese. The Parish’s annual accounts are independently audited.
- Parish Finance Committee
The Parish has a mandatory finance committee whose primary function is to assist and advise the parish priest in accordance with Canon 537 of the revised Code of Canon Law. Parish finance committees are regulated by universal law as well as by norms issued by the diocesan bishop. It is through through the operation of the Finance Committee that the Christian faithful are able to aid the parish priest in the administration of the parish with due regard for the prescription of Canon 532 (the parish priest represents the parish in all juridic affairs). Our Parish Finance Committee currently consists of six lay persons, drawn from both Clevedon and Yatton parishioners, who together enjoy a consultative voice. Membership of the Finance Committee is at the discretion of the parish priest and appointments to the Committee are made on a three year term renewable for not more than three terms. The Committee normally meets quarterly.
The Finance Committee has oversight of Parish income and expenditure. As the Parish is self-funded it looks to ensure that there is sufficient income to meet day to day running costs, including general building maintenance works, and, from time to time, larger long-term projects. It also seeks to provide assurance that expenditure is authorised, appropriate and provides good value for money. The Finance Committee provides an annual report to the Parish, normally at the Parish AGM
For a response to a general question or concern please telephone the Parish Office on 01275 873205
5. San Damiano Fund
Named after the location in Assissi where St Francis heard God’s meesage “Francis, mend my church” – The fund was established to fund the Church Refurbishment project, and it was magnificently successful – the beauty of the church is testament to our parishioners. Many, many thanks. It now continues to fund the repairs needed to the church walls and to the Retro Choir as a project.
For a statement of the San Damiano Account click here
Fortunately,we have a dedicated maintenance team that oversaw the recent successful refurbishment – the group consists of 4 members: Bill Hampton, Patrick Dillon, David Thistlethwaite and Tony Bradley.
As a group we are under the direction of the parish priest to ensure that the fabric of the church and Greyfriars Hall and the chapel of ease at Yatton are maintained in good order. We are also able to direct contractors to facilitate the above in small and medium project work.
Tony Bradley is responsible for any health and safety matters and for ensuring that statutory and regulatory requirements are carried out by contractors. He also ensures that relevant safety procedures are recorded in line with guidance by our Insurance Brokers.
If you have any concerns related queries or concerns please contact the Maintenance group via the parish office
– tel 01275 873205 or email click here