News & Photos
Highlights of parish life in Houghton Regis
The churches of All Saints and St Thomas, the worship we offer in these places, and our ministry in Houghton Regis are signs of God’s presence – they witness of his enduring love in our town and the communities we serve.
These are the regulations in force whilst the "Third Lockdown" is being lifted (and/or reviewed) by HM Government.
Vestry Hour and Confessions
Vestry Hour (on Saturday mornings) is suspended. Please contact the Parish Office to arrange a virtual meetings or telephone converstations with Fr Diego.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is still avaialbe, but this requires meeting in person. Please contact either Fr Diego directly or the Parish Office to make an appointment.
Mass (Public Celebration)
Mass will be celebrated publicly on
Please note that there are hygiene, social distancing, and additional safety measures in place for these celebrations.
Wearing face coverings is compulsory - disposable face masks will be available at the door.
In line with Church of England guidelines Holy Communion will be distributed in one kind only, under the form of Bread. The Precious Blood (the chalice) will not be distributed among the faithful.
There will not be congregational singing at these celebrations.
Mass (online), Worship, and Teaching
During lockdown we have taken Mass, other forms of worship, and Christian teaching online - on Facebook Live and YouTube. Mass will continue to be live streamed from St Thomas' Church at the following times:
Opening of church buildings
According to Government advice churches across England can open.
All Saints' Parish Church may open to the public for private prayer following the safety requirements put in place by the Church of England. Check our Facebook page for opening times.
St Thomas' Church on Lowry Drive remains closed to the public except for Mass and for meetings of community groups which can still take place in person.
Baptisms (as stand alone services) will not take place during lockdown except in case of emergencies (e.g. "death-bed baptisms").
Ouside lockdown the same hygiene and social distancing regulations used for Mass (above) still apply, and we must limit the numbers of people attending to 30.
Weddings can take place.
Outside lockdown the same hygiene and social distancing regulations used for Mass (above) still apply.
The Government strongly advises that the number of people attending the ceremony is restricted to 6. This maximum number includes all those at the ceremony, but not the officiating minister and other workers (e.g. organist) or volunteers employed by the church such as vergers or churchwardens. This maximum number is set to change gradually; later this years to 30, and then abolished later in Summer.
The service should be kept concise while still consistent with the nature of the occasion, focusing on those parts of the marriage that are required in order to be legally binding under the law of England and Wales.
Funerals and Memorial Services
Funerals can take place in church. The same hygiene and social distancing regulations used for Mass (above) still apply.
Only immediate family members can participate to the funeral service to facilitate social distancing - up to a maximum of 30.
Alternatively, funerals services can take place at Crematoria or at the graveside - where other local restriction may apply.
Worship in Care Homes and Hospital Visits
Worship in care homes led by parish volunteers is suspended as this would usually see a group of up to 10 church volunteers entering places of care and increasing the risk of spreading the virus.
Hospital visits by the Parish Priest or parish volunteers are suspended. Please, contact the Hospital Chaplaincy Team or hospital staff to arrange Pastoral Care on-site. The Luton and Dunstable University Hospital Chaplaincy team can be reached by calling 01582497370, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Home Visits by the Parish Priest
Home visits by the Parish Priest or a designated lay minister are suspended according to guidelines about indoor mixing of households.
"Door Step Communions", where the Sacrament is distributed to the faithful at their door with minimal contact, are available.
Ministry to the dying
Visits to those who are dying will continue wherever possible. Please, contact the Parish Office on 01582867246 without delay if you wish to request or discuss a visit.
As time progresses, these directives may be altered in accordance with advice from the Diocese of St Albans, HM Government, and Church of England guidelines.
Thank you for your co-operation.
Updated 20 March 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: email@example.com
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.