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Visitor Information

One of the key things that we always try to maintain in our parish is the special welcome we extend to any visitors to our church - whether they are on their own, accompanied by a member of the parish or simply visiting the parish for a funeral, wedding or some other special service.

There are a few things that visitors to our parish may wish to know in case they aren't familiar with the local area or services and traditions within a Catholic Church.

Where the churches are and how to get there - Click on the individual page of each church for its address and a map of the location (Kelvedon, Coggeshall, & Tiptree).

Parking - Click on Locations

Where should I sit? Unless there are ushers showing people to their seats, you may sit anywhere you choose. It is unusual that seats are reserved - normally only in the event of first holy communions or confirmation, for the parents and families of candidates. However, we do ask that you are mindful of the handicapped or disabled and give up your seat for those that need it more if there are not enough. The row seats to each side of the altar is left specifically for the altar servers and generally, the raised area to the right of the altar at Kelvedon is used by musicians and the choir.

When they enter the church, most catholics will make the sign of the cross using the blessed water in the stoup (a small dish, fixed to the wall just inside the entrance to each church). Upon entering the main body of the church, they will walk to their chosen seat/pew and genuflect (kneel on the right knee) to the tabernacle as a sign of acknowledging the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and God in the Church, and then sit down.

There will be occasions in our masses and services where the congregation will stand or kneel - either to pray or as a significant mark of respect. If you do not fully share our faith, you are free to sit or kneel during the service according to your own beliefs and customs. Should you wish to do so, there is no reason why you shouldn't copy the actions of the rest of the congregation.

Communion - the focal point of each Mass is the distribution of Communion. Although in physical form of bread and wine, we believe that through the consecration the spiritual nature of these substances changes to become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ - even though there are no visible or tasteable changes. During the time of communion when the congregation goes forward to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, it is usual for non-Catholic members of the congregation to go forward as well, to receive a blessing. If you are not Catholic and do wish to go forward for a blessing, you should indicate this by crossing your arms across your chest as a sign to the Priest.

Thanks to Gareth Talbot for this information.

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