Welcome to the Parish Groups page of Olton Friary. We are blessed with a very vibrant and active parish and there are many groups to suit all ages and interests.

Parish groups help make our parish a community and we actively encourage you to become involved in a group that appeals to you.

Our parish groups are listed below with a brief introduction. Some groups have a seperate page where they can provide more information and communicate what they do in enriching our parish life.

For all groups published on this page please contact the Parish Office if you require more detail or the contact details of the group organiser. For some groups a direct contact is available and therefore you may contact the group organiser directly if you wish.


Parish Groups

Sunday Family Mass 9am

Young people of the parish are able to become Readers, Singers and Musicians at this Mass. The music to lead the congregation is provided by an enthusiastic, mixed age group who enjoy singing. We welcome those who want to praise the Lord. A good voice is helpful but not essential. If you would like to join us in singing- just come to the front before Mass begins.


11 O' Clock Choir 

The Parish Choir rehearses each week on Tuesday evening from 8.00.p.m. – 9.45.p.m and sings at the 11 o'clock Mass each Sunday (apart from August).  They sing a variety of music, from a Latin Mass (once a month), to many  modern settings of the Mass, including four part Motets and other works.  They are always open to suggestions and requests for specific music and receive a number every year.  A sub choir sings at weddings throughout the year and they join with other groups on occasions such as Easter and Christmas.  Any choir is, of course, always on the look-out for new numbers and they are no exception.  They recognise that it is sometimes difficult for potential members to pledge themselves every  week, so they try to aim to have a sufficient number of singers to allow for some flexibility of commitment.  So!- do you enjoy singing?  If so, come forward and contact the choir Leader in church or any other member of the choir after 11 o'clock Mass on any Sunday.


6 O' Clock Group

Music at the Sunday evening Mass is provided by a group of young parishioners, using a variety of instruments. Their ages range from secondary to early twenties. They meet to practice on Monday evenings (8.00pm to 9.00pm) and before the Sunday Evening Mass, starting at 5.00.pm. They are always on the look out for any new members who are able to sing or play any kind of musical instrument. We also sing for weddings and take part in major parish events and join with the other parish groups at Christmas and Easter. If you are interested in joining the 6' 0' Clock Group contact Martin Hayden or the Parish Office. For further information please visit our parish webpage page 6 O' Clock Music Group.


Altar Servers (Guild of St. Stephen)

The aim of the Guild is to assist the celebrant(s) in the celebration of Mass, and other services. Open to boys and girls.


Association for the Propagation of the Faith Mill Hill Missionaries (APF)

Fund-raising mainly through Red Box Scheme for the Church’s official Society, supporting every missionary diocese in the world, to develop and spread the Faith. If you are interested in receiving a red box or assisting with APF please contact the parish office.



Every Thursday 7.00.p.m. – 9.00.p.m. at Solihull Sixth Form College. Social rather than serious, all age groups welcome!


Bereavement Group 

We are a small group who visit relatives of deceased parishioners. We organise the annual Celebration of Life Mass for relatives of deceased who have had their funerals at the Friary or at the Crematorium. We meet every two months on a Monday morning. We are responsible for compiling a book of Remembrance for those who have died in the parish.


Catholic Women's League (CWL)

The Catholic Women's League Olton Section is part of Birmingham Branch.  We meet once a month on the 3rd Thursday in the Garicoit's room at Olton Friary at 7.45 pm, we have a varied programme throughout the year with speakers at most meetings on a variety of subjects, social and religious.  We are an active group of ladies assisting with Parish life and welcome new members at any time.


Children's Liturgy 

The Children's Liturgy takes place during the 9 o’clock Sunday Mass. There are 2 separate groups: Tiny Church for infants up to the age of school reception (4+), these children are accompanied by their parents/an adult; and Little Church for school age and upwards who come unaccompanied. Tiny Church, guided by a Leader, follow a programme reflecting the liturgy with sings, stories and a weekly craft activity. In Little Church, under the guidance of a Leader, the children study the Gospel passage of the day through mime, reading and prayer activities. The craft activity is displayed on the Little Church board. This is displayed by the priest to the congregation after the children have processed back into church. All children are welcome whether regular or visitors to the church.


Christian Aid

Christian Aid involves itself with the plight of the world’s poorest communities. Its aim is to reduce poverty in the Third World by finding projects which help the people to help themselves - e.g. in food production and health care. The national envelope collection takes place in May each year, and here in Olton we have had a Christmas collection since 1991. It is an inter-church organization.


Church Cleaners 

Six teams of six people clean the Church each week on a rota basis. If you are interested in joining one of the teams, please contact the coordinator.


Church Flowers

A rota of people arranges the Church Flowers each week throughout the year. They also undertake the extra arrangements for weddings, Feasts and other special. Anyone interested in joining the rota should contact the Parish Office.


Church Unity 

The aim of this group is to link together Christians socially and spiritually, giving them deeper understanding of one another’s beliefs. We are represented on the Churches Together in Olton which plans inter church activities. We organize the week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Lenten Interdenominational Services and ecumenical discussion groups. Help is always given to Christian Aid. If you are interested in being involved in this must important work in the life of the Church, please contact Fr. Wilfred.


Companions of Bétharram 

They are lay associates attached to the SCJ Fathers and Brothers of Bétharram and meet on the first Thursday of each month in the Common Room. Their main objective is to follow the charism of St Michael Garicoits and deepen their faith. All are welcome.



Classes for Confirmation. Classes are not confined to children of the parish, but permission is required by those not living in the Friary parish from their own Parish Priest.


Finance Committee

This meets several times a year to review the accounts and cash flow of the parish. It is responsible for the Gift Aid scheme. It reports to the PPC and produces financial information in the Parish Newsletter. For further information please contact the Parish Administrator Rheann Byrne.


First Holy Communion

The role of the First Holy Communion Group is to prepare the children of the parish to make their First Holy Communion. We are a group of Catechists who teach the children for one and a half hours each month. Sessions are on a Saturday morning. We follow a Redemptorist programme called “I Belong” We aim to guide the children through all aspects of the Mass, theory of the bible and the teachings of the church. Children whose parents register them in July begin their preparation in September and are prepared to make their First Confession before Easter and First Holy Communion in the following May. Children who have reached the age of seven by 1st September of year before First Communion year, ie those in Year 3 age group, will be eligible to be considered. Applications should be made before the end of July as the Programme begins in September. For further information please contact the programme co-ordinator Sarah Wood.


Friends of the Holy Land

This group is an interdenominational based at Olton Friary. We have a very small group and join with Our Lady of Compassion and St Augustine's.  Our Chairman is Kit Morton, our Treasurer Richard Bird (St Augustine's) and Jenny and Steve Roper jointly work as Secretary. We hold a pancake lunch at the Friary on Shrove Tuesday, and this starts our fundraising for the year. FHL objectives are raising awareness of the challenges facing the Christians of the Holy Land, encouraging prayers for their intentions, generating and channelling financial resources to give them a sustainable future and encouraging visits to the Holy Land to meet local Christians.

For more information, or to receive regular updates of the work being carried out in the Holy Land and to receive a crib collecting box for your home, please email Jenny Roper


Gardeners' Group

We are an active group that enjoys the great outdoors and maintains the extensive Friary Gardens. For further information please visit our parish webpage page Parish Gardeners' Group.


Journey in Faith (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)

This is a programme of exploration and discovery about the Catholic Faith. It is intended for Catholics who wish to develop a deeper understanding of their faith, people who wish to be received into the Catholic Church, and anyone who is interested in learning more about the Church and its teachings. Meeting weekly during term times from early October through to late May we explore the Sacraments, major doctrines of the Church and other issues in an informal and friendly gathering. Our meetings consist of a talk, some group discussion, some social time with refreshments and a brief Act of Worship.

* Meetings are held in the Friary Library on Mondays from 8.00 pm – 9.30 pm.

* Programme details are posted on the Church Notice Boards and in the Newsletter.

* All are welcome to the whole programme or to individual sessions which may be of interest.


Justice and Peace Outreach

An open group of concerned parish members who are either actively engaged in or welcome information on a wide spectrum of Justice & Peace issues. Meetings are now kept to a minimum and use is made of both emails and the J&P board in the Narthex.


Knights of St Columba

An order open to all practicing Catholic men. There are more than 400 Councils in Britain; worldwide the Alliance of Christian Knights numbers in excess of one million. Aims: Give entire loyalty to the Apostolic See and provide help and services to the hierarchy in cooperation with other Catholic organisations. Council 481 meets at the Friary on the second Monday of every month.


Life Group (Solihull)

The local group belongs to the National LIFE Organisation which is a non-denominational and non-political organisation set up to support women who find themselves for whatever reason, in a crisis pregnancy situation.


Lectio Divina at the Friary

We meet in the Friary lounge on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm except during the month of August.

What happens? - We begin with a short time of silence, to relax, allowing God to look at us, just as we are.  A member of the group reads a passage of scripture slowly, which is usually the Gospel of the following Sunday. As we listen, a word or phrase may speak to us, 'grab us' in some way.  We share this word or phrase, only if we wish. In this, we are breaking open the Word of God for each other.   We read the passage again.  In a time of silent reflection, we savour our chosen word or phrase, allow it to 'roll around' in our hearts and minds and allow God to reveal its mystery to us.  We notice any feelings or memories that the Word may evoke. They may be comforting, challenging, delightful, or painful. We just notice them. God already knows what we may tell him but He is bringing them to our notice.  A time of sharing follows, always if we wish to do so.  We conclude by thanking God in a moment of prayer. 

Praying with Scripture using the method of Lecio Divina (Sacred Reading)- There are different ways of praying with scripture one of which is known as Lectio Divina.  Lectio Divina is an ancient form of praying with scripture and has its roots in Benedictine monasticism. In the days of early monastic life, most people could not read and that included some of the monks. They found a method of combining scripture with their personal prayer life. A passage of scripture was read, and re-read, by one of the monks who could read. The invitation to the others was to choose any word or phrase that touched them and then take that back to their cells and make it the focus for prayer that day. Pope Francis, in his exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium - The Joy of the Gospel, writes:

'There is one particular way of listening to what the Lord wishes to tell us in his Word and of letting ourselves be transformed by the Spirit. It is what we call Lectio Divina . It consists of reading God's word in a moment of prayer and allowing it to enlighten and renew us.'

Later, he writes, ''It is good to ask, for example, 'Lord, what does this text say to me?' What is it about my life that you want to change by this text?''


Lourdes Group

Every year a group of parishioners join the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes during Spring Bank Holiday Week (late May).


Marriage Preparation

Couples marrying here are expected to respond to the wishes of the Church and attend a Marriage Preparation Course. The Course lasts for 3 evenings and 1 whole day Sunday Session. The course covers couples relationships and preparation for the wedding ceremony. Details concerning the course and wedding arrangements are made through the Friary. For further details please email the Wedding Team.


Parish Pastoral Council (PPC)

This is composed of elected parish representatives and co-opted members at the discretion of the Parish Priest. They meet on a regular basis to advise, suggest and co-ordinate activities in the Parish. For further information please visit the Parish Pastoral Council webpage or contact the chairman Jim Hiscox.


​Renewal Group

Renewal have offered a number of different spiritual activities at the Friary over the last 10 years. This has included several CaFE (Catholic Faith Exploration) programmes on Thursday evenings with for example, in 2014 a 6 week series named "Strength to Strength", which focused on Prayer.  The CaFE programmes comprise of DVD presentations followed by group discussion in the relaxed, informal environment of the Friary Library.

In 2012 the Renewal Group organised a one day Saturday Retreat  with the title "Finding God in all things", a quiet time of prayer and reflection at the Friary which was led by the Sacred Heart Fathers and Brothers.

On other occasions we have heard invited guests speak about their personal lives and individual faith journeys. These have included Tim Oxley, Fr Simpson, Fr Austin, Fr Wilfred, Sister Maureen Murphy, Don Maclean, Archbishop Longley, David Payne


St. Vincent de Paul

A conference of the S.V.P. is in the Parish and is very active visiting a number of housebound people. The group meets once a month on the first Wednesday at 8.00.p.m. in the Garicoits Room.


St Peregrine Prayer Group

This is a group of people who meet in the Day Chapel at 2.30pm on the last Friday of the month to pray for all people suffering from cancer and other illnesses.  All are welcome.


Welcomers' Group

We are an active group that welcomes parishoners and visitors to each Mass and other parish events. Please visit our Parish Welcomers' Group webpage.