St Vincent de Paul Church

The Roman Catholic Parish for South Battersea, London

The sacraments

The seven sacraments of the Catholic Church are

  • Baptism,
  • Confirmation,
  • Holy Communion,
  • Confession,
  • Marriage,
  • Holy Orders,
  • Anointing of the Sick.

In order to arrange baptism for your child at St Vincent’s, you need to be residing in this parish and to be coming each week to Sunday Mass. During the Baptismal Ceremony you will be solemnly promising that you will undertake everything you can to bring your child up in the practice of the Faith; to make that promise with integrity, it is essential that you yourselves, the parents, are already practising your faith.

Every couple of months we hold a short series of Baptismal Preparation Sessions for any parishioners who are hoping to have their child baptised. These offer an opportunity to reflect with other parents on the ceremony itself and its demands, and to consider the significance of what you are requesting for your child. To attend you need first to make contact with Deacon Jon Dal Din. The sessions take place in the Parish Hall underneath the Priest’s House at 36 Altenburg Gardens.

As there are many Baptisms at St Vincent’s, it is important to emphasize that personal contact with the clergy and attendance at the Preparation Sessions is necessary before any date or time for a Baptism will be considered. We will inform you on which Sundays and at which times we will be celebrating baptisms. Please note that only two Godparents are permitted: both must be practising Christians over the age of 16, and at least one of these Godparents must be a Catholic.


The Sacraments of First Reconciliation (First Confession) and First Holy Communion
In September, applications will be invited for any children who are in Primary School Year 3 or above in that academic year. Children will only be accepted into the course if their families reside in the parish and they attend St Vincent’s Sunday Mass weekly with their parents. Parents who hope to enrol their children will be invited to a meeting in October, at which the Preparation Programme leading to First Confession/Reconciliation and First Holy Communion the following May or June is outlined, and the commitment expected from both parents and children is explained. If parents agree to this commitment to the whole programme they will then be allowed to enrol their child .

Classes take place in the Parish Hall on Saturdays in the afternoon during term times. Occasionally, while their children are attending their class, reflection sessions are held  for the Catholic parents at the same time. Catholic Parents have the primary role in assisting their child prepare to receive these Sacraments – the generous sharing of faith by the Parish Catechists during the children’s classes is intended to assist and reinforce what the children’s parents do by word and example.

The first celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation usually takes place before Christmas, with another close to the time of the First Communion Mass.


The Sacrament of Reconciliation – Individual Confession
The Parish Priest is usually available to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation with individuals on Saturday mornings between 11am and 11.30am in the Church. Appointments can also be made.

In Advent and Lent a Penance Service with the opportunity for individual confession is usually held in our parish, at which other confessors also participate.

A joint celebration for all the parishes of the Wandsworth Deanery is usually also organised in one of the parishes during Advent and Lent.

Updated: 07/02/2015 — 11:01 pm
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