What is a family day?
These four days are unique experiences for families, across our parish, to come together and pray together, in a fun, interactive and engaging way.
We transform our hall at St Joseph's into a beautiful prayer space and set up prayer stations around it. Each day has it's own atmosphere, according to the theme being explored, you can find out a bit more about each one below.
Families are also able to relax together in the café area and enjoy freshly made milkshakes, coffee and delicious homemade cakes.
When are they?
We run these days on 3 or 4 weekends across the year usually from 10-4. They are advertised in the newsletter, on this website and at Mass. The days are free to attend (sometimes we ask for a donation for craft activities) and the activities run all day so families can pop in at a time that suits them and stay for as long or as little as they like. We do ask our FHC families to sign up for a time slot just to ensure we don't get too busy and the hall remains a calm and prayerful space throughout the day.
Who are the family days for?
All of our FHC families attend these days as it is part of their programme, therefore the stations are primarily targeted at primary school aged children but at all the days there is plenty for all the family to engage with, so bring your children, your grandchildren, your mums and your dads.
These days are a wonderful opportunity to take some time out from our busy lives and explore our Catholic faith as a family. We look forward to welcoming you to a family day soon.
Purchasing our resources
As a result of the great success of our family days, many churches have expressed an interest in using our family day resources in their church.
These are now available online.
For each prayer station we include:
All Family Day resources are NOW AVAILABLE and can be purchased online by clicking the button below.
Dates for 2021-2022
Advent Family Day: 27th/28th November
Jesus Family Day: 29th/30th January
Reconciliation Family Day: 26th/27th March
Advent Family Day
Together we journey to Bethlehem. We begin by decorating a bag to take with us on the journey. There is an opportunity to visit Mary's house and Joseph's bedroom, to imagine their experience leading up to Jesus' birth and to draw some parallels with our own lives. A highlight of this day is the opportunity to create an advent wreath, which families take away to help them as they prepare for Christmas.
Jesus family day
We divide the hall into 3 separate sections to focus on Jesus' life, death and resurrection.
To begin we explore some amazing things Jesus, said, did and taught about himself. Then we journey through the stations of the cross and move into a more quiet and sombre space to sensitively examine what Jesus' death means for us and finally we step into a bright light and joyful space to celebrate Jesus' resurrection.
This family day uses all our senses we get to taste bread and grapes to reflect on Jesus as the bread of life and the true vine. We get to smell the scented oil as we think about the woman who anointed Jesus' feet with perfume. We get to feel different objects and consider what they represent about Jesus' life.
RECONCILIATION FAMILY DAY
During this day children who are preparing for their First Holy Communion, will receive their First Reconciliation and this day is a wonderful opportunity to explore this sacrament together.
At one station you write sins on pebbles and wash them clean with water to remind you that you are washed clean in the sacrament of baptism. At another, families are invited to sit quietly with their eyes closed and notice the fragrance coming from a bowl of scented oil to help them think about the presence of the Holy Spirit. There is even a fun activity with fizzy vitamin tablets! When families are ready, they follow an illuminated path up to the church to receive reconciliation.
As you can see from the photos we take special care to ensure the atmosphere in the church is a relaxed and welcoming one, to ensure the experience of reconciliation is a really positive one.
The Beauty of the church Family day
There is so much beauty in the traditions and practices of our church and this day is the perfect opportunity to explore them. There is a giant jigsaw puzzle of the parts of the mass, a chance to "walk" the rosary, an opportunity to dress a model of a priest as you pray for our priests. You can make a play-dough model of your family as you reflect on how our family reflects the image of God as community and as you make a pyramid with building blocks, you're invited to reflect on how you are one of these building blocks of the Church. A highlight of this day is also a tour of our church, led by our priests.