Ever thought of deepening your faith? Do you want to do something different to help the parish? Do you like working in a team?
Well, maybe becoming an altar server is the thing for you!
We have a long tradition of encouraging people to help serve on the altar, assisting the priests and other clergy of the parish at Mass and other liturgical celebrations. Becoming an altar server is a wonderful way to deepen your faith, involve yourself in the life of the parish and become part of a team.
Those who serve are committed to helping people to pray and ensure that our liturgical celebrations are carried out efficiently, giving praise and honour to God.
We welcome people of all ages but before you start serving you will be asked to complete a basic training programme in which you will learn what you need to do. Altar servers work with candles and other sometimes dangerous, heavy and sharp objects. This means health and safety is a priority and so the training helps ensure you are happy and safe as you go about your tasks on the altar. Further training and experience on the altar concludes with the award of the bronze-coloured Guild of St Stephen Medal. In charge of altar servers is our Master of Ceremonies, John Pontifex, who works closely with the parish priest, Canon William Hebborn, and the parish administrator, Martine Mercer.
If you are interested in becoming an altar server simply visit the parish office (9 Tooting Bec Road) or drop a note through the letterbox there giving your full name and telephone number.
The St Anselm's Parish Support Ministry is now established and available to any adult parishioner who feels they would like a conversation in confidence with one of our trained listeners. We are a team of trained listeners who come from a wide variety of life experiences and our aim is to support those who have been bereaved or suffered any form of loss. We are not counsellors, but are here to support and to listen, and if appropriate link you to others more specialist in their field who may be able to help you more. We will listen to your story and offer to you an experience of remembering and being touched by healing in your own time and space. We meet alternate months on a Saturday afternoon - a time to share, pray and reflect, followed by tea.
Please contact the parish office on
The Guild was founded in 1539 by Pope Paul III. Its purpose was to promote devotions to the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Mass and of our Christian Life. The fullness of its mystery should be seen not only in the celebration of the Holy Mass but also in devotions to the sacred species which remain after Mass.
Arrangements are made for the housebound to receive Holy Communion on a weekly basis from the Clergy and Special Ministers. Then twice a year, in the summer and autumn, there is Mass for the Sick followed by refreshments. These Masses are very popular with the housebound as they offer the opportunity for friendship to the renewed. In the build-up to the festive season the school plays its part by hosting a party for senior citizens of the parish; this offers another opportunity for the housebound to meet with other parishioners once more and, as we draw nearer to Christmas, the parish distributes gifts of varying kinds according to their needs, including a signed Christmas card from the Parish Priest and a Catholic calendar.
The parish covers five residential care homes in the Borough:
Once a week the Roman Catholic residents receive Holy Communion and those who are too weak to do so have a prayer said and a blessing given by the Clergy. From time to time during the year the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is celebrated including Christmas time when the parishioners accompany the Clergy to support the gathering, especially in the singing of Christmas carols.
This Mass is celebrated at St Anselm's on the weekend of the Church's year, i.e. The Feast of Christ the King.
St Anselm's is a multicultural parish with people from all over the world worshipping here; therefore it is only fitting that at least once a year there should be a coming together of nationals so as to know each other better, to learn from each other, to share in the liturgy, e.g writing the intercessions and reading them in their mother tongue, and this applies when the Lord's Prayer is recited.
Each year a different theme for the Mass is chosen by the Parish Priest, e.g. "Heart speaks to Heart", "The Church of tomorrow" and "Peace". A message from the clergy also forms part of the programme. The children of the Parish also play a part. They process up to the Baptismal font carrying flags representing the nationals worshipping here. These flags are reminders that as brothers and sisters in Christ we all belong to the family of God.
As the Mass comes to an end the social side begins with something there for everyone in music and dance - the following have entertained from time to time: Russian, African, Asian, Philippino, Caribbean and Irish dancers. There is nothing better than food to get a conversation going and no time is lost here as parishioners donate their traditional dishes on which they can advise the recipe, cooking time etc. They are requested to wear their national dress or something colourful although there is no compulsion here.
The International Mass should be an evening of worship and celebration prepared by all, shared by all and enjoyed by all - an occasion to be remembered by all.
The Reflection piece of the weekly newsletter is usually penned by one of a loyal and committed collective of rotating authors working under the nom de plume of 'A parishioner'. The column first appeared in the early '90's and has been a regular feature ever since. The content is as contrasting as the style of the different contributors, offering variously commentary on the readings, biblical and historical narratives, real life stories, spiritual insights and all with a tone of moral perspective which explores and illumes the faith experience. It is published by an equally committed and resilient crew in the parish centre who are friendly but uncompromising on publication deadlines and maintain submission discipline over tardy contributors by publishing weighty wisdom tracts from the Catholic Encyclopaedia should the situation require it. 'A parishioner writes...' must always go on!
A small group of parishioners puts the newsletter together each week from information received and approved by Fr William Hebborn, so that the Parish is kept informed of Mass intentions, other Services during that week and the various meetings and events taking place. We aim to keep the Parish informed of everything that is going on so that they can join in and feel they are part of the Parish community.
The Legion of Mary has been active in St Anselm's parish since Fr Philip set it up in February 1998. The mission of the Legion is two-fold: to increase the spirituality of members and to help people come to a greater love of Our Lord through stronger devotion to His Mother. We carry out this apostolic work by calling door-to-door on all homes in the parish. At the doorstep we encourage practising Catholics in their faith and encourage the lapsed to return. We promote the rosary as a devotion to Our Lady; we encourage those we meet to make full use of the sacraments; we give guidance to non-Catholics who are interested in learning more about the faith. This work is not for everyone. If you are interested, do come along.
CONTACT our Spiritual director, Deacon Michael on 07950464537
or our President, Sister Bella on 07825774893
Visit the Legion of Mary central website: http://www.legionofmary.ie
Join St Anselm's Parish Choir. So come along and bring a friend.
The celebration of music is an inclusive and embracing experience for all its members, with different levels of musical ability but all involved in the spirit of unity, enlightenment and fellowship. Music workshops are held several times during the year for an opportunity to introduce new music and songs. The songs range from the traditional to contemporary and to chant.
- Family Folk Masses - twice a month at the 10am Mass
- Cantor led singing at both 10am and 11.15am
- Formal Choir made up of thirty to forty parishioners who come together for the main liturgical celebrations of the year: Christmas, Easter and celebration of the Conferral of Ministries, Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate, First Holy Communion & Sacrament of Confirmation. The choir has also supported the Diocesan Annual Catechetical Dedication Day at St George's Cathedral.
- We are also very fortunate to draw upon a team of regular organists, percussionists and general musicians who support their parish in enhancing the liturgy.
We are very fortunate at St Anselm's to have a large group of regular readers some 60 parishioners reading on a rota basis through each month.
Undertaking to read at Mass is both a responsible and rewarding service to the parish community. It is a privilege to be asked to proclaim the word of God at Mass to one's fellow parishioners. It can for example be quite a moving experience to take part in the reading of the Passion on Palm Sunday.
A reader is expected to have prepared the reading beforehand, with prayer and practice, thereby understanding what he is about to read out loud. One needs to read with both feeling and reverence, and to project one's voice with the aid of the microphone, so that all can hear and understand the word of God.
Before becoming a reader at St Anselm's, you must undertake a training session. The sessions are held most years. We hold our biannual 'readers' formation' afternoon to which current adult weekday and weekend readers are asked to attend.
Commissioning and Renewal of Commitment is held on the 2nd Sunday of Advent (Bible Sunday) giving recognition to those parishioners who have volunteered and who are privileged to proclaim the Word of God at St Anselm's.
To attend the next Formation afternoon or if you are interested in finding out further information on becoming a reader, please contact the Parish Office 020 8672 2179.
A team of parishioners make sure that the practicalities of the Liturgy are always taken care of and the church is prepared for each Mass.
Every Saturday morning we ensure the sanctuary is cleaned and the altar prepared for the week ahead and that the priest has everything he needs, including the care of albs and vestments, tabernacle veils, check for stocks of candles and votive candles, wine, altar breads, Paschal and Advent Candles, look after the altar servers cassocks and cottas.
We believe the sacristy should always be tidy and clean, as it is often the place where people first come to when looking for a priest, so it is important that people are always made welcome.
Everybody coming from the sacristy for whatever reason is received with a smile and an offer of help.
If you have a couple of hours on a Saturday morning and would like to come along and learn about the symbols of our liturgy, please do come and see us or contact the parish office on 020 8672 2179.
We have a large team of ushers and stewards across the weekend Masses, who minister in their role of carrying out the offertory procession and collection, recording the annual parish Mass count, helping and guiding parishioners around the church every weekend and especially during our major celebrations during the course of the year. From Teresa of Avila: "Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours; Yours are the eyes through which to look out Christ's compassion to the world; Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good; Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now."
We also have a group of young 'Meet and Greet' parishioners at our Sunday 10am Family Mass twice a month (1st and 3rd Sunday of the month) (Refer to Youth Section for more details) who welcome parishioners as they arrive or Mass, hand out the song sheets to the families; they are involved in the offertory procession of the gifts and occasionally are invited to proclaim the liturgy of the word and prayers of the faithful, as well as join in the singing with the families. We are looking for other members of the parish community who would be happy to be a part of the 'Meet and Greet Team' at our other Masses over the weekend.
If you feel this is something you would like to do for your parish and community and would like to know more about it involved, then please do get in touch with us at the parish office 020 8672 2179. Being that friendly face and smile to welcome our parishioners to Mass can make all the difference! All welcome.
Society of Saint Vincent de Paul
is one of the most extensive organisations within the modern Church. It was formed by a group of French Christian students who were struggling to understand the demands of their faith and challenged to demonstrate their professed faith in action. They nourished the Society through their own heroic self-sacrifice in working to help the poor of nineteenth century Paris.
Through its structure of conferences and central councils it gradually spread throughout the world in a way hardly dreamed of by the founders. They would have been equally amazed at the scale and complexity of the modern Society, which originated with the sole intention of committing each member personally and single-mindedly to the task of service. Perhaps the conference system, with its meetings and records, was regarded as no more than what was necessary for keeping each one up to the mark, and providing the opportunity and encouragement that each needed in order to maintain his commitment to the poor.
Starvation and suffering caused by easily treatable disease are no longer evident evils in modern England. What, then, is the role of the Society in Tooting? Poverty might still exist, but relief is in the hands of the State. (Similar questions are asked about the role of the Church herself in the modern world.) But in arguing along these lines we are misconstruing the intentions of the founders. Their aim was to live a fully Christian life, which demands a complete commitment to the service of one's neighbour. They would not have supposed that this commitment was sustainable without the assistance of Holy Charity, nor that lasting good would be achieved by material assistance alone - even in a well-intentioned, modernising state needs at all levels, spiritual and material, go unrecognised and unaddressed.
Our conference is twinning with St Mary's conference in Kannoth, India, where resources are scarce, medicine expensive and the need is evident. We thank all our sisters and brothers in St Vincent de Paul for their exemplary work over many years. If you would like to know more about the Society then contact Thelma Lewis, Alec Ramsay or Ruth Greaves.
It is the SVP policy to support conferences overseas that are in need of help. This is called Twinnage. St Anselm's is twinned with three conferences in India supporting education, agriculture and self-help projects for widows.
The SVP members in Sudan and South Sudan are sent help towards the Sudan baby appeal through this International Twinnage scheme.
Membership is open to everyone. There are two types, full and auxiliary. Meetings take place on the second and fourth Monday on the month at 7.00pm at the priest's house.