Welcome to the Ponsonby Herne Bay Parish.
If you are visiting us for the first time, a warm welcome.
We have two churches in our parish – Sacred Heart Church, 16 Vermont Street, Ponsonby and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 84 Kelmarna Ave, Herne Bay. Our phone number is 09 376 4303.
Our Parish Priest is Father Rory Morrissey.
He is supported by:
Ally: Office Admin
Chris: Office Admin at Herne Bay
Maria: Accounts Admin
Catherine: Parish Pastoral Council Chair
Mass and Reconciliation times are on the parish website on the front page.
Spanish Mass (in Spanish) is on 2nd and 4th Sundays at 12 noon following by hospitality in the parish hall afterwards.
Covid-19 – We have hand sanitiser and provide masks. We ask that if you are unwell that you do not attend parish events or Mass until you are better. If you get Covid and have attended Mass, please let Fr Rory know.
Church Parking: Sacred Heart – there is parking outside the church in the top carpark (we ask that this carpark is left for elderly and disabled people for easier entry to the church, there is wheelchair access). There is plenty of parking behind the parish hall, which can be accessed by the driveway by the hall.
Church Parking: OLPH – there is parking outside the church and behind the back of the church. There is wheelchair access.
Hall – 24 Vermont Street, Ponsonby: Our parish has a hall next to Sacred Heart Church in Ponsonby. There is parking behind and in front of the hall for hall users. The hall is available for hire for groups and small events. We have a “carry in, carry out” waste and rubbish policy please take all rubbish away with you. Please contact the office for bookings.
Toilets: Sacred Heart – there are toilets on the left side of the church, the toilets are signposted as you enter the church or through the inside glass side doors on the left by the Sacristy if you are inside the church. There are also toilets inside the parish hall.
Toilets: OLPH – are at the back of the church, walk along the side of the church to the end of the building and turn right.
Food and Supermarket Cards Donations: In the foyer of both churches we have donations baskets for non perishable food. These donations go to our neighbours Catholic Social Services in Lincoln Street, Ponsonby, who in turn distribute the food to their clients in Auckland. We advertise in our newsletter if there are any particular shortages or needs from CSS services. We also gratefully accept supermarket gift cards and petrol cards, please attach the receipt. We give these to families in need who approach us directly for assistance. We are thankful and grateful for the donations to support those in need in our community.
We are also have a donation box of pantry staples for people to give and take as they wish. If you would like to donate the box is in the foyer, if you are in need, please take what you need from the box. The boxes are available while the churches are open.
Lent & Advent Outreach: During Lent we ask for donations of new winter pyjamas, warm socks, dressing gowns, hot water bottles etc. We give these items to Catholic Social Services who distribute them to families in need at Easter. Donations can be left in the foyer with the food donations, larger donations can be left at the office during office hours. During Advent we ask for food donations to provide food hampers for CSS clients. Every year we have a different target group to support – some years it is families, other years it is single and alone people – this is dependent on the needs of CSS’s current clients.
Ministries: We have opportunities for parishioners and new parishioners to assist at Mass and in the parish: Adult and Youth Eucharistic Ministers, Adult and Youth Readers, Altar Servers, Choir and Musicians, Children’s Liturgy Teachers and Sacramental Programme Teachers, people to operate the laptop for the Mass slides and collectors during Mass. Please talk to Fr Rory if you are interested.
Gluten Free Hosts: We have gluten free hosts for those with Celiac Disease. Please line up in the Priest’s line (rather than the line with the Eucharistic Minister) and advise the Priest when you are receiving Communion that you wish to have a gluten free host.
Parish Enrolment: If you want to become a parishioner, please fill in one of the enrolment forms that is in the foyer of both churches. You can take it to the Sacristy, put it in our letterbox, or bring it with you next time to Mass and give it to someone with a name tag, they are either staff or parish volunteers.
Planned Giving: if you wish to be part of the Planned Giving programme, please contact the office to arrange a set of envelopes or set up an automatic payment to our bank account BNZ 020 248 0112110 00 with your name and “Planned Giving” in the details. Please advise the office if you set up a bank payment as we will issue you with a tax receipt at the end of the financial year. Planned Giving helps the parish with a regular income stream and as it is a donation attracts a 33% tax deduction.
Activities in the Parish: We have ongoing Fellowship and Faith Formation opportunities for both adults and children. Check on the website under “Courses” these are usually run on Tuesday evenings in the hall. We have a Sacramental Programme for baptised children of practising Catholic families which is run every year, details are on the website and in our weekly newsletter. We run the Alpha Course every year, check the Alpha website or “Courses” for the next dates. We also have regular potluck dinners, DVD nights and motivating guest speakers. Details are published in the newsletter when the events are scheduled and everyone is welcome to attend.
Parish Pastoral Council: We have an active Pastoral Council. If you wish to be involved please contact Catherine Perry firstname.lastname@example.org
Holy Water there are large vessels of Holy Water in the foyers of the church. Please BYO smaller bottle or jar to put the water into. As it is a Sacramental, it must used appropriately for blessing people, your house and even your plants. If you need to dispose of it, please pour it on to the grass or the garden not down the drain.
Free Library/Book Exchange: We have a free library and book exchange for faith based books at the back of the church at Sacred Heart. Please help yourself to any books or magazines. Return them or pass them on when you have finished reading them. There are books available at Our Lady of Perpetual Help to read during Adoration, please return them to the book box after Adoration.
Weekly Parking: We have car parking available during the week at Sacred Heart, Ponsonby for people going to work or study. Our rates are $8.00 per day or $40 a week. Please arrange this through the office as there are Terms and Conditions and a parking permit which needs to be displayed to avoid being towed away.
For whatever reason you are visiting our parish, we are happy to see you. Please let us know when you arrive that you are a visitor.