The Archdiocese of Birmingham - The Parish of the Immaculate Conception

The Sacrament of Reconciliation

Sacramental Programme 2023-2024

Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation,

All children who do not attend St Mary’s School please contact Clare St John (Parish Catechist) or the Parish Office.

Parents of St Mary’s children please do not contact the school. The school will send you the required information.

Commitment Masses

Reconciliation Commitment Masses take place prior to the course.


As part of the programme on the Sacraments of Initiation, the Parish of the Immaculate Conception offers its young people the opportunity to make their First Confession as a stepping stone to receiving their First Holy Communion. Parents are invited to bring their children to this Sacrament via an application form available from the parish office or website.

They and their children will then be required to publicly ask for this Sacrament for their child at one of the Sunday Masses and to bring their child to a series of preparation classes.

If they are not already regular Sunday Mass goers, they will be asked to regularly attend weekend Masses so that they and their child may gain the full spiritual benefit from this Sacrament. The children then make their First Confession on a pre-arranged date.

Registration, requesting the sacrament and attendance at the preparation classes are compulsory.

There is a small fee, payable on booking, to cover the cost of the book that forms the back-bone of the preparation course.

In keeping with the requirements of the diocese, all the children’s sacramental programme volunteers are DBS checked.


Children’s ‘First Confessions’ will usually be heard by prior arrangement with the parish clergy. They will receive a certificate for this at a distribution of certificates Mass or event.

The Church also calls its faithful to frequently receive the graces that come from the Sacrament of Reconciliation; the minimum requirement is at least once a year and if possible close to the great feast of Easter (Catechism 1457).

On a normal Saturday, confessions are heard between 11.00 a.m. and 11.30 a.m. and between 5.00 p.m. and 5.30 p.m or by appointment. 

Penance Services

Advent and Lenten Penance services take place where a number of priests are available to hear confessions.

These take the form of introductory prayers, a reading from scripture and a communal examination of conscience. The priests hearing the confessions then move to various parts of the church to ensure privacy while they hear individual confessions. The congregation are free to whichever priest they wish. After this the penitent is free to leave.

It cannot be stressed too strongly that any priest hearing a confession is not there to condemn or to judge. He sits there in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive sins and to heal a wounded soul. Anything, no matter how grave or serious, told to a priest under the seal of confession, that priest takes with him to his grave. He is not permitted, under any circumstances, even at the peril of his own life or liberty, to divulge what he has heard to anyone; not even through any action on his part to give any indication of what might has been said. He is not permitted even to mention the matter to the person concerned unless that person raises the matter again.