Family Group Movement Collage

Family Group Movement Collage

A Word From Our Patron

'Family Groups offer our Catholic communities the chance to become more family-sensitive, friendly and welcoming, in line with the objectives of the Bishops’ collaborative pastoral initiative: Everybody’s Welcome. At their best, Family Groups offer understanding, friendship and support to all, encourage and celebrate family life in its myriad forms, and help everyone in the parish feel that they belong. I am delighted to be the patron of the Family Group Movement (England & Wales), and to endorse this initiative.'

Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Stockport's Family Groups Enjoy the First National Family Groups Mass

Many thanks to Stuart Monteith, of Our Lady and the Apostles Parish, Stockport for the following reflection on the first National Thanksgiving Mass for Family Groups in England and Wales.

'On 6th May we were lucky enough to go with Fr Pat and 20 other members from the Family Groups in Our Lady's Parish, Stockport to Northampton Cathedral to help celebrate and witness the 1st National Family Group Mass. It was a lovely day. We were made very welcome by Bishop Peter Doyle and we all enjoyed a lovely occasion.

We were among one of nine parishes present from different parts of the country with Family Groups to take one of the special candles, that was lit from the Paschal Candle, back to our parish and be the light of Christ.  The candle is now placed near the Altar in our Church as a living reminder of Family Groups in our parish and the great difference they make in having a welcoming parish where there is room for everyone.

Two of the younger families who went to Northampton shared their experience with the rest of the parish during Mass. It was very interesting hearing about the stories of other people from the different parishes.

I remember one lady saying that you don't need to have a family to be in a Family Group as we are all members of one large family, the family of God.  I think that stuck with me as after Mass on Sunday we go out to the Guild Room through the Garden Area, which we created together, for drinks and biscuits have a laugh and talk just like any family would, while the children have a place to play.

It's been a few years since Fr Peter and Gwen came from Australia and helped set up our Family Groups; a small idea that has grown into something global.

Since then we have set up four groups that have formed into our parish  a loving community, turning faces into names, acquaintances into friends and giving love an support to one another in the light of Christ. 

One of our Groups is for older people, many of whom live on their own. They meet in the Presbytery on the second Wednesday of the month; one special activity is raising funds for a parish in Peru and keeping in touch with their news.

We were privileged to share an evening with 
the Australian delegation prior to going to Northampton.  They left us a small candle on which there is an image of the little Church, St Anthony's back in New South Wales, where it all began. 

They left this to remind us of their loving support for us and that we are carrying on the torch which began with Fr Peter and lighting the spirit in the hearts of our community.'

If you have news or pictures to share from your parish Family Groups please email

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