Canon Anthony Dwyer
Our Lady of Lourdes
1 Kirkwick Avenue
01582 712245

Church Address:
Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church
Rothamsted Avenue

Office Administrator: Mrs Melanie Armitage
Office hours: 9.30am - 12.30pm, Mon to Thu
Safeguarding Representative: Mrs Brigid Brennan

Our Lady of Lourdes is a Fairtrade Parish and a LiveSimply Parish.

“Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them”
Romans 12:6

Ministries & Groups

Getting involved in the church community and using our God-given talents, whether to help out in the parish, or by being part of a group or activity can bring many rewards – being part of a community, making new friends, giving something back, helping others, deepening our faith, and sharing the Good News.

We are lucky to be part of a busy and active parish, and there are many ways to get involved in the life of the parish. Take a look through all our groups, activities and ministries listed below and get in touch with the organisers or the Parish Office to join in.  They would love to hear from you!

And keep an eye on our News page, What’s On page and the parish newsletter for details of events taking place in the parish.

Click on a Group/Ministry name below to find out more

Altar Servers

Our Altar Servesr assist the Priest during the Mass and cover all weekend Masses, together with special services, in particular at Easter and Christmas.

All servers renew their pledge on St Stephen’s Day (26th December) each year, when cords and medals are awarded in recognition of their length of service.

Who can get involved? Boys and girls can seek to become altar servers (and join the Guild of St. Stephen) as soon as they have made their First Holy Communion and training is given.

Contact: Please contact via the Parish Office

Catenian Association (Harpenden, Luton & District)

The Catenians are an association of like-minded Catholic men who meet socially for fellowship and encourage families to gather together for friendship and enjoyment.

Catenian membership offers deep and lasting friendship and support to Catholics at all stages of their adult lives. We share the Gospel values as transmitted and developed through Catholic Social Teaching, and through our association, belong to a universal network of like-minded people.

Our meetings provide a time for relaxed social enjoyment among loyal and faithful friends where we find support and encouragement and can openly discuss and develop our understanding of our faith, assist one another whenever needed, care for the sick and the bereaved, strengthen our family life and work for the mission of the Catholic Church, both individually and collectively, in a multitude of ways.

There are circles (groups) across the UK, Ireland, Australia, Malta, India, Goa and Zimbabwe, and Catenians are encouraged to meet with fellow Catenians elsewhere in the Diocese across the country and internationally.

Our Chaplin is the Right Rev John Arnold, Bishop of Salford.

Click here to find out more about the work of this group

Meetings: Meeting and dinner once a month, currently held at Harpenden Golf Club, Redbourn Lane, Harpenden.

Who can get involved? The Catenians Association is open to Catholic men, generally drawn from a professional or business background. Their families come together at social events. Membership is by invitation and potential members are encouraged to attend meetings and social events before making a commitment.

Contact: Mike Sinnott 07967727063
Dennis Cooper / 07973313605

Catholic Ladies Group

The Catholic Ladies Group aims to host parish social functions to raise money for good causes, for example the Parish Christmas Fair and the Strawberry Social. 

Meetings: We hold lunch meetings periodically to organise these events and to enjoy each others' company.

Who can get involved? EVERY woman in the parish is automatically a member and we welcome anyone who would like to be a 'hands-on' member to make contact.

Contact: Marva Hall 07943 837277

Children’s Liturgy Team

Children’s Liturgy is celebrated during the 9.45am Mass on each Sunday of the year, except for a number of Sundays during the Summer holiday period.

Two different age groups are catered for:
The Younger Group (Reception – Y3)
The Older Group (Y4 +)

During the early part of the Mass, the children are instructed in the Undercroft by a group of volunteer catechists.  Each session usually includes prayer, readings, discussion and a short activity.

Meetings: Volunteers work in teams on a rota. Teams arrange their own meetings, as required, to prepare for their sessions.

Who can get involved? Additional volunteer catechists are always welcome for this most rewarding of ministries and training is provided.

Contact: Please contact via the Parish Office

Choristers and Adult Choir

Our Lady of Lourdes Church is lucky to have a wonderful Adult Choir (SATB) and Choristers group (ages 8-18) who sing at 11.30 Mass on a Sunday, as well as at services such as Advent and Nine Lessons and Carols by Candlelight, weddings, funerals and at concerts throughout the year.

Meetings: Both groups rehearse weekly on Thursday evenings (Choristers 7-8pm, Adults 8-9pm) in the church or in the Undercroft.

Who can get involved? Choristers, boys and girls, start on a probationary year from Year 4 or can join at any point after this.
Adults, no audition necessary and training given.
Commitment to weekly rehearsals and services is required. A rota is published each term stating which choir sings each Sunday.
Sight reading, music theory and singing skills are taught as part of the rehearsal programme.

Contact: Katie Metcalfe
Please contact via the Parish Office

Church Cleaning Group

The church is cleaned every week by a group of volunteers working on a 4-weekly rota system.

We also have volunteers who look after the cleaning and maintenance of vestments and the altar linens.

Who can get involved? Anyone who is willing to help and is able to spend an hour every four weeks, normally during the daytime, is always most welcome.

Contact: Marie Paternoster
Please contact via the Parish Office

Church Repository (Shop)

The repository is located at the back of the church and stocks religious items appropriate to the church’s year and to the sacraments together with statues, rosary beads, books, cards and medals, It is open for the benefit of all parishioners after each Mass at the weekend.

Who can get involved? Any volunteers offering to help are always welcome. There are no specific skills required to help in the repository, just anyone who can spare a little time after Mass and a willingness to handle money.

Contact: Pauline Porter & Ronnie Shaw 07713 240225

Communications Team

The Communications Team was formed to help manage the communication of important information, events, and announcements to the parish and wider community, and support the parish mission via all means available – newsletter, noticeboards, social media, website.

Meetings: The group meets every couple of months with the Mission Development Team and occasionally in-between when specific communications needs arise.

Who can get involved? The team is keen to expand and would like to hear from anyone of any age with time and enthusiasm to assist in this important task. No specific skills are required though someone with a good working knowledge of social media and how to make best use of it would be very useful as well as someone with experience in Public Relations.

Contact: Anne Meehan, Elaine Durno, Lorna O'Neil & Paul Durden

Confirmation Catechists

A team of catechists deliver the Confirmation preparation programme to the young people of the parish (typically those in Year 9). The programme runs from January to May with Confirmation Masses usually taking place in June.

The course involves three long sessions with the candidates, as well as several Masses and services associated with the course and a weekend retreat.

Meetings: Volunteers must be able to commit to the three long sessions in Lourdes Hall with the candidates plus Masses/services related to the course and ideally, part of or the entirety of the weekend retreat. In addition the catechists meet to plan the programme.

Who can get involved? The team is looking for new adult volunteers to become catechists and help with this important work. Full training will be given.

Contact: Please contact via the Parish Office

Developing World Group (DWG)

The aim of the Developing World Group is to help projects in less developed countries, particularly those run by less well-publicised charities.

It raises money by means of donations made in a collection box at the back of church, standing orders, Gift Aid and via the proceeds from a variety of social events.

Click here to find out more about the work of this group

Meetings: The groups meets quarterly at the home of a group member.

Who can get involved? Membership of the group is open to all parishioners with a willingness to help organise fund raising events within the parish. Knowledge of supporting such causes and possibly overseas cultures would be helpful but not essential by any means

Contact: Betty Hines

Eucharistic Ministers

Ministers of Holy Communion have a key role to play in the spiritual life of our parish. They help the Priest to distribute Holy Communion at Mass and may take Holy Communion to the sick at home and others who cannot make it to the church.

Full training is given to those who volunteer for this Ministry and Ministers of Holy Communion are invited to reaffirm their commitment to the Ministry on an annual basis.

Contact: Please contact via the Parish Office

First Holy Communion Catechists

We have a team of dedicated and experienced catechists who prepare the children of the parish (typically those in Year 3) for receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion for the first time.

Preparation sessions take place after 9.45am Mass over a number of weeks throughout the academic year, culminating in the First Holy Communion Masses in the summer term, organised and overseen by the catechists.

Who can get involved? Parents of children being prepared for First Holy Communion are invited to help as volunteers at the sessions.

Contact: Ginny St-John Glew
Please contact via the Parish Office

Flower Group

Our Flower Group provide beautiful flower arrangements for the many special days in the church’s calendar and, on request, for private celebrations such as weddings, baptisms and funerals.

Who can get involved? Anyone with an interest in flower arranging is welcome to join. No experience is necessary as more experienced members of the group are happy to pass on their skills to those who would like to learn.

Contact: Please contact via the Parish Office

Good Neighbours

Good Neighbours aims to put into practice the parish mission by being an outward sign of God’s love for our neighbour, demonstrating that Our Lady of Lourdes, through its parishioners, is a warm and caring parish that welcomes everyone irrespective of their situation.

The parish is split into areas with each area having one or more volunteers whose job is to identify themselves to and keep in touch with fellow parishioners in their area, as shown on this map:

Some examples of the types of things a volunteer might do:

  • Say ‘hello’ and make themselves known to fellow parishioners;
  • Drop a parish newsletter through the letterbox to those who are unable to leave home;
  • Make a telephone call or knock on the door from time to time, just to check in on a person’s welfare;
  • Welcome new neighbours;
  • Perhaps hold a simple gathering of neighbours e.g. cup of tea/coffee;
  • Advise the parish when a household leaves or encourage them to do it;
  • Notify the parish if a person would appreciate a lift to mass or parish event;
  • Feed back any welfare concerns to the parish.

Meetings: There are no formal meetings. Individual teams of volunteers may choose to meet and catch-up at a time that suits them. For each individual volunteer the task is not intended to be onerous and is flexible to fit around their own schedule.

Who can get involved? Any parishioner over 18 can be a volunteer.

Anyone who is interested in any area of the parish would be most welcome, but currently we are particularly in need of more volunteers in the following areas:
• Roundwood
• Townsend Lane/Moreton End Lane
• Eastmoor Park
• West Common

Skills required - to be friendly and caring.

Contact: Dennis Cooper, Carlo Antonioli, & Alison Fox

Homelessness Action Group

The Homelessness Action Group was set up in late 2021 to support NOAH Enterprise and Keystage Housing, two Luton-based charities that work to support people struggling with homelessness and exclusion, and do whatever it takes to get people off the streets and into housing.

The group aims to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless and less advantaged members of the local community by arranging collections for essential and personal items needed in the home, seek donations of clothing and raise funds to provide financial help.

Click here to find out more about the work of this group

Who can get involved? Any parishioner is welcome to join. All that is required is a friendly face and reliability.

Professionally qualified/retired practitioners in all aspects of health & wellbeing, and people with an ability to teach basic skills and the English language would be particularly desirable.

Contact: Cathy Seaton
Please contact via the Parish Office

Lent & Advent Groups

During Lent and Advent, groups of parishioners meet on a weekly basis to pray, reflect upon, and discuss aspects of faith, scripture and life.  Each year a different publication or resource is followed to give structure to the sessions.

The groups are very informal and an excellent opportunity to deepen our understanding of our faith, as well as providing a social occasion to get to know new people.

Meetings: Groups take place once a week during Lent and Advent on different days and times of the week to suit different needs and usually meet in the home of a group member. One member of the group is appointed leader and will facilitate the sessions.

Who can get involved? The groups are aimed at absolutely anyone who has the time, morning, afternoon or evening and the desire to share ideas with friendly, welcoming people.

Contact: Julia Roche / Rachel Lee 07891 083251

Life Ascending

Life Ascending is a Christian Movement for retired parishioners, and particularly those living on their own, in their middle and later years.

The aim of the group is:

  • Spirituality – through prayer and discussion.
  • Friendship – offering a practical solution to loneliness and isolation.
  • Mission – through encouragement to help the sick and the lonely, those without faith and all younger people.

Meetings: 1st & 3rd Tuesday of each month at the Convent on Kirkdale Road, Harpenden.

Who can get involved? Retired parishioners in their middle and later years. Particularly anyone living alone.

Contact: John Williams 01582 760547


“LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”.

Our Lady of Lourdes is a LiveSimply parish.  We were awarded this status in 2019 by CAFOD and the National Justice and Peace Network for demonstrating and promoting how we try to live simply through our daily actions.

In accepting the LiveSimply award our parish commits:

  • To live simply
  • To live sustainably with creation
  • To live in solidarity with the poor.

In this way we can help create a world in which human dignity is respected and everyone can reach their full potential. This would be true progress, worth more than economic growth alone.

Click here to find out more about the work of this group

Who can get involved? Anyone is welcome to become involved with the work of the LiveSimply group.

Contact: Paul Durden

Ministers of the Word

Ministers of the Word (the Readers) have an important role in the liturgy, delivering the Word of God at all Masses.

For weekend Masses there is a rota, and at weekday Masses members of the congregation offer themselves on an ad hoc basis.

Who can get involved? Anyone, adults or young people, with a clear confident reading voice are welcome to volunteer for this ministry. Full training is provided for all volunteers.

Contact: Please contact via the Parish Office

Missio (Red Boxes)

Missio is the Pope’s charity for world mission and is a worldwide organisation.

We collect donations through RED BOXES (we distribute them and collect them twice a year) or by promoting the setting up of standing orders.

Through your support Missio transforms lives by listening to local needs and acting in the most effective way: creating infrastructure in impoverished and remote areas; helping to build chapels, schools and orphanages; facilitating clinics and dispensaries; and creating hubs from which the young church can flourish and grow

Who can get involved? Anyone can donate to Missio by requesting a Red Box or setting up a standing order.

Contact: Carlo & Silvia Antonioli 07801 709731

Mission Development Team

The Mission Development Team was formed out of the initial stages of the Parish Renewal (Divine Renovation) programme and has worked with Canon Anthony over the past couple of years to lay the foundations for the programme.

The MDT now work with the Parish Pastoral Council to help implement and oversee new initiatives, and drive improvements within the parish as we work towards fully realising the vision of becoming a parish of Missionary Disciples.

Click here to find out more about the work of this group

Meetings: The team meet regularly throughout the year.

Contact: Please contact via the Parish Office

Music Groups

We have two music groups in the parish who play and lead the music at the Vigil (6pm) and Family (9.45am) Masses, as well as at other events such as the Nativity play and Children’s Stations of the Cross.

Musicians from both groups also play together on special feast days e.g. Easter and Christmas.

Meetings: There are no formal rehearsals unless there is a special event. Music can be provided in advance.

Who can get involved? Any adults and children who play a musical instrument or sing. There are no auditions.
Suggested ability levels:
Piano/organ: Grade 6+
Orchestral instruments: Grade 3+
Guitar: intermediate (strumming)

Contact: Caroline Swanson (6pm) / Catherine Roche or Claire Reeve (9.45am)
Please contact via the Parish Office

Oasis Group

Oasis is a small group which meets once a month to read, discuss, reflect and pray about the scripture for the coming weekend.

Meetings: Take place once a month.

Who can get involved? All are welcome and need feel no pressure to speak. Some people are more comfortable joining in silently and that is fine.

Contact: Julia Roche / Rachel Lee 07891 083251

Operations Team

The Operations Team are responsible for the live-streaming of Masses, as well as other occasions such as funerals and weddings, and other events via Zoom and on the Parish YouTube channel.

The team also help with maintenance, repairs and other jobs around the church premises and grounds.

Who can get involved? Anyone with computer/audio-visual skills or knowledge who would interested in assisting the team, or anyone with skills in a trade or DIY would be welcome.

Contact: Please contact via the Parish Office

Parish Finance/Premises Committee

The Finance Committee primarily assists the Parish Priest in the administration and control of the funds and other assets of the Parish.

Their work includes the organisation of Planned Giving, Gift Aid and fundraising, and the approval of all items of major expenditure and they are responsible for ensuring that the books of accounts are kept accurately and that the annual financial returns are completed for the Diocese.

There is a separate team of people responsible for counting the money received in the collection each week.

Meetings: Meets four times per year.

Who can get involved? The Committee consists of the Parish Priest and at least three lay persons with, wherever possible, financial or property experience.

Contact: John Goodson
Please contact via the Parish Office

Parish Pastoral Council

The Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) are responsible for developing the parish mission and strategy, investigating, reflecting, and reaching conclusions about spiritual, pastoral and social matters in the life of the parish, and consulting with and making recommendations to the Parish Priest.

When fully established there will be 12 members representing different age groups and areas of parish life – 4 elected by parishioners and 8 appointed by the Parish Priest.

Click here to find out more about the work of this group

Meetings: Meets 6 times per year and each member serves a 3-year term

Who can get involved? Any adult parishioners who feel they can contribute to the life of the parish in this way are invited to put themselves forward for election to the PPC. Elections happen every three years.



The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) team facilitate a course of instruction in the most important truths of the Catholic Faith and also – for those who wish to be fully in communion – a means of joining the Catholic Church.

Men and women, who have asked if they can learn more about the Faith, are welcomed into a mixed-age, mixed-background group. Some are already Catholics, some have been baptised into other Christian communities and some have no previous religious affiliation.

Who can get involved? The team consists of the Parish Priest and lay-persons, all of whom are committed to Christ and His Church, and are glad to have a part in sharing their faith and prayer with enquirers.

Contact: Please contact via the Parish Office

St Vincent de Paul Society

The St Vincent de Paul Society offer support to those in need in our community and beyond by:

  • Visiting sick and lonely parishioners in their home or hospital.
  • Arranging and providing transport for those who can’t get to Mass.
  • Providing assistance to needy children, or families in financial difficulties in our parish.
  • Contributing funds to other needy S.V.P. conferences (we are twinned with a conference in India.)
  • And generally assisting the Parish priest in any possible way.

Click here to find out more about the work of this group

Meetings: 8pm on the first Monday of the month at the Convent in Kirkdale Road.

Who can get involved? Anyone is welcome to join the group. You do not need to be a member of the parish or Catholic. Training is provided.

Contact: Please contact via the Parish Office

The Newman Association (Herts Circle)

The Newman Association was founded in 1942 to continue the work begun by St John Henry Newman in the 19th Century, to have a more “educated Laity”. So we have Talks, social gatherings, pilgrimages, a Book club etc.

Find out more about The Newman Association.

Meetings: Meetings take place in various church halls across the area.

Who can get involved? Any parishioners who would like to discover and learn. All are most welcome to attend. All that is required is an ability listen and discuss chosen topics.

Contact: Carole Cox

The Wednesday Walk

Meet once a month after weekday Mass, for an hour’s walk in Rothamsted Park followed by coffee in a nearby café. If weather is bad, it’s straight for coffee!

By spending time outdoors together in the same location every month we hope to develop our awareness of the changing seasons and to grow in our sense of community as well as our love of the natural world.

Meetings: Once a month after weekday Mass. Usually on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

Who can get involved? Everyone is welcome to join any or all of these walks, which are advertised in advance in the parish newsletter. Walks proceed at a gentle pace with plenty of conversation along the way. We normally roam across the grassy as well as paved paths within the park, and all who are comfortable with this level of activity are warmly invited to come along.

Contact: Janet Evers 01582 621960

Welcoming Team

Our Welcoming Team are responsible for welcoming the congregation to Mass, providing a friendly face to all and acknowledging and engaging with new parishioners and visitors.  They distribute hymn books and Mass books, and can assist parishioners with finding a seat.

Who can get involved? We are always in need of more volunteers to join the rota. Parishioners of any age can join and we would especially welcome more of our teenagers and young adults getting involved.

Contact: Marianne Mudd