News & Photos
Highlights of parish life in Houghton Regis
Legal restrictions brought in during the pandemic have come to an end across England on Monday 19th July 2021; however, both the Church of England and HM Government have issued advice to churches on how to manage future months.
After considering the guidance received, the Parish of All Saints’ Houghton Regis has implemented (or retained) the following measures.
Face coverings and social distancing
Although legal obligations to wear face coverings have been lifted, people will be “expected” to wear them indoors (unless medically exempt). This policy is in line with both the Government’s and the Church of England’s advice.
Seating arrangements implemented during the lockdowns at both All Saints’ and St Thomas’ to facilitate social distancing remain unchanged. However, the requirements about social bubbles and households seating together are no longer in force.
At All Saints’ the maximum number of people allowed in the building is capped at 60, excluding individuals leading worship and performing key roles during pastoral offices.
Hand gel stations are still available in both churches. Please, sanitise your hands on entering and exiting the buildings.
Test and Trace and Checking-In
The QR codes used at All Saints’ and St Thomas’ to check-in using the NHS app remain in place. Please make use of these during your visits.
With fewer restrictions in place ventilation of our buildings during worship becomes all the more important. Main doors and certain windows will be open during services, save in extreme circumstances.
Singing is back! This is a great joy, but it should be approached according to the Government’ Suggested Principles.
Evidence shows that aerosol particles are emitted by singers in greater quantities than if they were speaking. Therefore, masks should be worn by anyone in the congregation intending to sing (with an exception we can make for choir members), while social distancing will enable us to minimise the risk of transmitting the virus.
Mass and Distribution of Holy Communion
We are now allowed by Church of England authorities to share the Precious Blood of Christ at Mass using the “common cup”. However, this will not be implemented given the high number of COVID-19 cases across the country. Holy Communion will continue to be distributed in one kind only.
A few individuals have voiced their desire to approach the altar rail to receive the Holy Communion (as it is good and proper), but this would require a two-way flow of people in the chancel which is not practical at present. The Sacrament will continue be distributed to the faithful in the nave, and to choir members and servers from their places.
Sign of Peace
Social contact is now permitted. However, the liturgical exchange of peace which takes place at Mass will remain in the form of a hand wave to safeguard those who need to (or prefer to) keep at a safe distance from others.
Refreshments after Mass
Refreshments after services can be served again.
Ringing with a full number of ringers can resume, as can ringing practice. Ringers are expected to wear face masks whilst indoors.
Pastoral Offices (Baptism, Weddings, Funerals)
The social distancing and face covering regulations listed above will apply. At All Saints’ the maximum number of people allowed in the building remains capped at 60, excluding individuals leading worship or performing key roles during pastoral offices.
In the case of Baptisms, only candidates from the same family, social group, or households will be baptised at the same service.
Updated 1 September 2021
Created 18 March 2020
All Saints’ Parish Church suffered a break-in on Saturday 22 August at about 10:55pm. The incident was caught on the church’s CCTV cameras. The footage shows a single white male in his 20s or 30s forcing two collection boxes and spending about 20 minutes in the building looking for money or valuables. The man gained access to the church by forcing a protection grill and breaking the lower section of a stained-glass window in the sanctuary (north-easternmost window). Another protection grill was also damaged in a failed attempt to gain entry to another part of the church.
Collection boxes are emptied regularly, and we can safely assume the man made away with very little cash. However, the damage done the sanctuary window is great, and it will be rather costly to put right.
If you wish to donate to All Saints’ please follow this link: https://www.allsaintshr.co.uk/giving.html
The incident has been recorded and investigated by Bedfordshire Police, Crime Number 40/45800/20
With the church building closed and social distancing in place we have decided to offer a weekly Coffee Morning delivery service beginning on 6 June 2020.
There will be a Standard Pack available to order consisting of :
2 scones, 2 cakes and 2 cookies for £4. (Gluten/milk free options also available)
Simply order your pack either by phone or by email before 11am on Friday for delivery on Saturday between 10.00am and 12.00 noon.
Please have the correct payment (plus any donation) ready in an envelope, we will place your Pack on your doorstep, knock on your door and step back to a safe distance. We’re happy to chat for a few minutes, then if you could take your pack and leave your envelope for us to pick once you have closed the door.
This service is only available for residents of LU5 area.
Call Suzy on 07946 627298 or text Rich on 07528 129115
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A message from Fr Diego, Parish Priest of Houghton Regis, following the suspension of public worship in the Church of England.
2019 has been a busy year at All Saints’ with many things for which to give thanks to the Lord. A detailed report of the year will be given to the Parochial Church Council (PCC) and the congregation in due course, but for the moment – as we begin a new year in the Lord’s name – let us look back at the past year with thankful hearts.
God is good. Even among the struggles and setbacks we had to face as a community, He has carried us through! Our parish continues to grow, the outside of the All Saints' has been beautifully restored, the back of church has become a flexible space where we can better provide hospitality, a regular study group now meets to learn about the Faith, and Mass is celebrated five days a week (room for improvement there…).
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labour in vain. (Pslam 127:1)
Father and Creator of all and source of all goodness and love,
look kindly upon us and receive our heartfelt gratitude for our parish.
Thank you for all the mercies, graces, and blessings
you have bestowed upon us in the past year:
perseverance in faith, love for community, commitment to your Church,
our volunteers, times of joy and spiritual growth, financial gifs, and religious heritage.
Father, in your infinite generosity,
grant us increased graces and blessing throughout this new year,
that under your tender care and protection
we may bring the Love of Jesus Christ to this town.
This we ask in the name of Jesus Our Lord. Amen.
Our Lady of Walsingham, Pray for us!
Saint Thomas Apostle, Pray from us!
All Saints of God, Pray for us!
Our service of Carols by Candlelight to place on the Fourth Sunday of Advent – the last Sunday before Christmas.
The first known Christmas service of lessons and carols took place at Truro Cathedral on Christmas Eve 1878. Since then countless churches world-wide have adapted that first liturgy for their use - including King’s College Chapel, whose yearly broadcast of Lessons and Carols begun in 1928.
Following this time-honoured pattern of worship, our service alternated reading and singing. As we listened to the readings, and sung joyful carols of prayer and praise, we travelled in spirit to the stable of Bethlehem, to see with the eyes of faith heaven united with earth, and our humanity united to the divine nature in the Child of Mary, Jesus the Son of God.
Another carol service – Carols around the Crib – took place earlier in December. At that service the congregation, helped by children and young people, set up the Crib in anticipation of Christmas.
We held our Christmas Fayre on Saturday 7 December – yes, the same date at the Mayor’s Carol Service. It was a fun and lovely day filled with festive cheer, homemade food, and caroling sung by our choir.
Visit our What’s On page to find out more about our regular social events.
Images from the Remembrance Sunday celebrations in Houghton Regis. The Solemn Requiem Mass was followed by a procession to the Memorial Stone on the Green for the Act of Remembrance.
The service to place in the presence of the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire and the Town Mayor. The Requiem Mass and the Act of Remembrance were attended also by many young people representing uniformed organizations of Houghton Regis and Dunstable.
Images of the Pontifical Mass on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Holy Cross Day) with the celebration of Confirmations. The service took place on Sunday 15 September at conclusion of the five-day mission led by Bishop Richard Atkinson, Bishop of Bedford, in Houghton Regis.
The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, usually celebrated on 14 September, recalls three historical events: the finding of the True Cross by Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine; the dedication of churches built by Constantine on the site of the Holy Sepulchre and Mount Calvary; and the restoration of the True Cross to Jerusalem by the emperor Heraclius II. However, in a deeper sense, the feast also celebrates the Holy Cross on which Our Lord Jesus Christ died as the instrument of our salvation. This instrument of torture, designed to degrade the worst of criminals, became the life-giving tree that reversed Adam's Original Sin.
Inscribed upon the Cross we see
in shining letters, 'God is love';
He bears our sins upon the tree;
He brings us mercy from above.
(Thomas Kelly, 1769 - 1855)
The Sacrament of Confirmation is a response to God’s love for us, and a special way of receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of the Bishop’s hands in preparation for a life of Christian faithfulness and service. Confirmation is also a step of personal faith: the candidates confirm that they take on for themselves the promises made at Baptism, confirming their faith and their membership of the body of Christ, the Church.