Adult Education

A variety of opportunities for adult education in faith is provided each year. They include:

  • Food for Thought: a series of lunchtime talks (spread through the year) by visiting speakers on issues of current social and religious concern (dealt with in more detail in the section on Ecumenism)
  • ‘Together in Epping’ (T.I.E.): our local ecumenical social justice group organises several talks in the course of each year on a theme of social justice from a Christian perspective (please also see the section on 'Ecumenism' below)
  • Scripture Reflection Group: A Scripture Reflection Group meets Fridays after the 9:30am Mass and focuses on the Scriptures for Mass the following weekend (dealt with in more detail in the section Scripture Study).
  • Occasional speakers: In addition to these regular programmes each year we normally have at least one series of talks by a visiting speaker or a member of staff on a topic of faith formation.
  • The Parish Library: is a rich resource of reading material for on-going faith education (dealt with in more detail in the section on the ‘Library’).
For information on any of these programmes please contact the Parish Office.

Altar Society

The Altar Society is a group of parishioners who help with the weekly preparation of the church on a rostered basis (usually on a Friday morning at Carlingford and on a Saturday morning at Epping) for a couple of hours. Duties include arranging the flowers for the week, cleaning the sanctuary and sacristy, polishing the brass etc.

If you woul’d like to know more, please contact Judy Wright at Carlingford and Jenni Scarfe at Epping via the Parish Office.


Antioch is a group based in the Carlingford community (but serving both communities) for young people run by young people from Year 10 upwards. The group meets on Sunday evenings at 6:30pm in the Carlingford Parish Meeting Room. The group aims to give young Catholics a support community and a chance to develop their faith with friends in a parish setting. Normal introduction is through one of the two weekend experiences held each year.

Please contact the Parent Couple, Susan and Mark Burnet-Smith or the Youth Ministry Coordinator via the Parish Office if you'’d like more information.

Care and Support Network

Care and Support is a parish based voluntary network which aims to provide companionship, practical assistance and social support for members of the parish community, especially during times of need. Volunteers participate in the following ministries: home and hospital visitation, transport to Mass and the Healing Mass, and cooking meals (for emergencies).

If you wish to become involved in Care and Support as a volunteer or would like to discuss your need for assistance from the network please contact the Parish Office.


Catechists are entrusted with the religious education of Catholic students in the State schools in our two communities. Please contact the Parish Office if you are interested in becoming a catechist or helper, or if you would like some more information and the office will put you in touch with one of the Catechist Coordinators.

Children's Liturgy of the Word

The Children's Liturgy of the Word is celebrated each Sunday during school terms in both our churches, except on the first Sunday of the month at Carlingford and on the third Sunday of the month at Epping when we have our Children's Mass. It is held in the Parish Meeting Room during the 10am Mass. It is for children from Kindergarten to Year 6. It is not a Sunday School, but is rather a liturgical celebration of the Word parallel to that same celebration in the church with the adult community, but presented in a way that helps the children liturgically celebrate the Liturgy of the Word (Scripture readings). At the conclusion of the Liturgy of the Word the children return to the church to be with their families for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

The Coordinators can provide further information and can be contacted via the Parish Office.

Children's Mass

Every third Sunday of the month at Epping and every first Sunday of the month at Carlingford (excluding school holidays) at the 10.00am Mass the children of two communities are actively involved in the Mass. They look after the Procession of the Gifts, the choir and the Readings. They also have an opportunity to show their creativity and talents in their worship. It is an enjoyable and fun time for our children, without being hard or onerous. It also gives all children of the Parish community an opportunity to meet, regardless of which school they attend.

The children also take part in the Christmas Eve Vigil Mass which is our Christmas Children's Mass.

These Masses are organised by a roster of adults, each group coordinating one Mass a year.

If you would like to know more please contact the Parish Office.

Dads' Club

The Dads' club gets together on the first Friday evening of every month in the Parish Meeting Room on our Carlingford site from 7.30pm - 10.00pm. All Dads are welcome to join us for a chat and some time together enjoying a few drinks and some pizza while watching some sport on a big screen. Our aim is to encourage us to have some time out together building connections and community and support each other in our efforts to balance family, work and parish life.

No RSVP needed just come along and feel free to bring a few Dads with you. For further information contact Mark Smith via the Parish Office.


Both communities are involved in a wide range of ecumenical activities with other Christian Churches in the area.

At Pentecost 2004, a formal covenant was entered into by the Catholic community at Epping, the Anglican Parish of Epping, and Epping Uniting Church, Epping. This covenant gave formal expression to many of the joint activities that were shared by our three communities and expressed a commitment to continue these activities. As a result of an extended relationship that developed between our Catholic community at Carlingford and West Epping Uniting Church and Carlingford Baptist Church in Advent 2008 an extended covenant was entered into by our parish of Epping and Carlingford, the Anglican Parish of Epping, Epping Uniting Church, West Epping Uniting Church, Epping Baptist Church and Carlingford Baptist Church.

Each of the churches in our covenant group share a series of five weekly Ecumenical Liturgies during the Season of Lent. There is also a liturgy at Pentecost and in Advent. The clergy from the Churches preach to their neighbouring congregations once each year. There is also an annual joint sitting of the Parish Councils of each of our Churches in the covenant group.

Other ecumenical activities in our local area include:

  • Carols in the Park: held each December is organised by the various Christian Churches in the area.
  • Food for Thought: Regular lunch gatherings, known as Food for Thought, originally an initiative of the Catholic community at Epping, St Alban's Anglican Church and Epping Uniting Church but now supported by all members of our covenant group, are held with various interesting speakers being invited to discuss relevant issues.
  • Together in Epping (TIE) is an ecumenical social justice group involving members of our parish, St Alban's Anglican Church and Epping Uniting and West Epping Uniting Churches. TIE has the twofold aim of offering opportunities for adult education in areas related to social justice issues, and arranging for opportunities for our communities to respond in practical ways to areas of a social justice concern. If you would like to become involved in TIE please contact the Parish Office.

Eucharistic Ministers

These parishioners assist in the celebration of the liturgy at Holy Communion. They may also take Communion to the sick and elderly who are unable to attend Mass.

Eucharistic Ministers To The Sick

Eucharistic Ministers take Communion to those who are sick or no longer mobile enough to come to Mass. If you or a member of your family would like to receive Communion at home please contact our Parish Office.


Exposition of the Eucharist takes place on the Fourth Thursday of each month at St Gerard's Church Carlingford from after the 9:30am Mass until 10:30am and every Saturday at Our Lady Help of Christians' Church Epping after the 9:15am Mass until 10:15am.

Family Groups

A Family Group consists of 10-15 families, with a cross section of ages, including some children of the same age —like an extended family. The aims of the Family Group Movement are for members to get to know other people in the parish, support each other in times of joy and sorrow and to involve their children in Christian sharing, directly if possible; if not, then indirectly by their example. The Family Groups operate within both our communities and as such contribute to the life of the parish community.

For more information or to join a Family Group please contact the Parish Office.

50+ Social Group

The 50+ Social Group is for parishioners from both St Gerard's Carlingford and Our Lady Help of Christians Epping and activities are combined. The aim of 50+ is to plan a variety of activities, outings and gatherings which provide opportunities for leisure and social interaction. The Group is open to all —single, widowed, married, separated and divorced and no proof of age is required! Participants have planning meetings twice a year to organise a six month program of events.

The contact is Marie Saul and can be contacted via the Parish Office.

Finance Committee

The Parish Finance Committee is appointed by the Parish Priest in accordance with the Code of Canon Law, and assists and advises the Parish Priest on the financial administration of the parish.

The current members of the Finance Committee are:

Greg Power (Chair)
Robert Crane
Gordon Floyd
Michael O'Brien
Andrew Stone
PPC Representative

Healing Mass

A Healing Mass is celebrated in each community once each month at Carlingford on the first Thursday of each month at 10am and at Epping on the third Wednesday of each month at 10am. During the celebration of the Mass, prayers are offered for those present, and for those who are being prayed for by those attending, and the celebrant lays his hands on each person's head as a sign of our prayer for God's healing strength. The morning concludes with a morning tea and good conversation. Every third month, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is celebrated within the Healing Mass.

For further information, please contact the Parish Office.

Junior Servers

Junior servers assist in the celebration of the Mass and are rostered in pairs. Any boy or girl in year 4 or above are welcome to assist with this important ministry.

Please contact either Parish Office. for more information.


The Parish Library is located in both our parish Churches (in the crying room at the rear of Carlingford Church, in the crying room and in the Parish Meeting Room underneath Epping Church) and books may be interchanged between the two sites. They have a wide range of contemporary books available for borrowing by parishioners.

To borrow a book please see the available borrowing information and proceed from there. A maximum of three books can be borrowed at any one time, and may be borrowed for up to a month.


The World Community for Christian Meditation is an International Community that practices and teaches meditation in the Christian tradition. A group meets fortnightly for an hour on Monday evenings in a Parish home.

For further information, please contact the Parish Office.

Music Ministries

There are a variety of choir/music groups active in our two communities. These groups illuminate the Mass with their singing and musical accompaniment. New enthusiasts are always welcome.

For further information please contact the Parish Office.


Our parish is divided into 12 Neighbourhoods for gatherings for particular purposes —for example an annual Neighbourhood Home Mass, our RCIA weekly gatherings, and an annual Advent Liturgy. Our aim in meeting in these smaller areas is to build the overall community of the parish by helping parishioners to get to know one another a little better. In the RCIA process by having our weekly catechetical meetings in the Neighbourhoods we provide an opportunity for our candidates who are seeking to join the Church to meet members of the parish at this local level and so help them to feel more welcomed into our community. Please support our Neighbourhood gatherings.

Please see the map of the Neighbourhoods by clicking the links below

Our Lady Help of Christians Before and After School Care

Both before and after school care is available for children attending Epping Parish School. The Centre is on the school premises and is run by a Parent Management Committee elected at the Annual General Meeting. The Committee employs a Co-ordinator and several trained staff. The Centre provides a safe and friendly environment that includes activities such as craft, art, outdoor play, reading, games and quiet time. A light breakfast and afternoon tea are provided. Fees are reasonable.

Enquiries are welcome on 9869 3635.

Parish Pastoral Council

The Parish Pastoral Council is the principal leadership body in the parish. Please click on the link Parish Pastoral Council’ for a fuller presentation on the PPC.

Parish Schools

Our Parish Schools provide an education grounded in Catholic faith for boys and girls from Kindergarten to Year 6.

The links to the websites of our two Parish Schools may be found on our homepage and the contact information for each school may be found by clicking on our Contact page.

Pastoral Companions' Group

A Pastoral Companions Group has been established in the Parish. It is a group of parishioners who visit members of the parish who are house-bound or who don'’t have friends or family in the close proximity and who would appreciate a weekly social visit for some companionship and a chat. If you would like to have someone visit you, or if you know of someone who would appreciate this ministry, please contact the Parish Office.

Play Groups

There are two Playgroups in our parish based at each of the two centres within the parish:

The Play Group based at Carlingford meets on Mondays from 9:30am to 11am in the Parish Hall at Carlingford [except in school holidays]. For further information, contact the Parish Office.

The Playgroup based at Epping ('Little Engines') meets on Mondays from 9:30am to 11am in the Parish Hall at Epping. For further information, contact the Parish Office.

Prayer Ministry

Prayer Ministry involves ministering to others in times of sickness or unhappiness by calling on the power of the Holy Spirit in prayer. Mindful that we come with our own wounds and pain when we respond to the needs of our brothers and sisters, we can participate in the work of God praying quietly at home for others: for strength and peace in illness, and healing where there are conflicts, worries and times of anguish. Prayer ministry does not involve contact by phone or home visitation.

If you would like to be part of our Prayer Ministry or would like to be supported in prayer please contact the Parish Office

Prison Ministry

Prison Fellowship is a ministry for providing Christian support to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families. Volunteers visit prisoners and their families and help them with their needs and to cope with the rejection they may be experiencing from the community. They also help and support prisoners upon their release.

The Fellowship is ecumenical and training is given to volunteers.

Volunteers visit Long Bay Gaol every fourth Sunday for Mass. After Mass we have a cuppa and chat with the inmates. A special Christmas visit is also organised.

For further information, please contact Margaret Wiseman via the Parish Office.

Sacramental Preparation For Confirmation, Reconciliation & First Communion

We have a Parish-based Sacramental Program to prepare the children who are to receive the Sacraments of Confirmation, Reconciliation and the Eucharist. Children from the State and Parish schools are placed in small groups. Each group meets on one of the parish sites on three or four occasions prior to the celebration. A parent facilitator leads the group with materials provided by the Diocese. The materials are very child-focused with simple messages and fun activities. The programme is organised by our two Sacramental Programme Coordinators who are assisted by a team of volunteer parents.

Our Sacramental Programmes are done in a collaborative way between our two communities. Our Sacramental Programme Coordinator/s are employed by the Parish and the Parent Meeting for each programme is a joint meeting for our two communities, the venue for the meeting alternating on each occasion between our two churches.

In the Diocese of Broken Bay the proper ancient order of celebrating the sacraments is observed so that the final sacrament in which the children share is First Communion, Confirmation having been celebrated the year before.

For further information, please contact our Sacramental Programme Coordinators via either Parish Office.

Further information may be found by clicking on the link for Sacraments

Scripture Study

The Scripture Study group meets on Fridays of each month at Carlingford (except December and January) and includes a short Scripture study and discussion to reflect on the Scripture passages for the coming Sunday. This takes place immediately after the morning 9:30am Mass and concludes by 10:40am.

Social Justice

The ecumenical group 'Together in Epping' (TIE) is a major focus of our social justice activity (see the section above on 'Ecumenism'). In addition we are currently exploring other ways that we can develop a social justice awareness and ministry within our two communities.

St Vincent De Paul Society

The St Vincent De Paul Society is open to all parishioners. An SVdP Conference exists in both our communities. Meetings are held weekly. Society members visit people at home who are needy, lonely, sick or bereaved.

For further information, please make contact via the respective Parish Office.

Welcoming Group

The Welcoming Group in each of our two communities provides hospitality in a variety of ways, including: greeting people as they arrive at church and handing them a copy of the parish bulletin, providing morning tea after the 10am Mass, morning tea at the monthly Healing Masses, suppers following ecumenical services and refreshments for new parishioner gatherings. Volunteers are always welcome.

Please contact the Parish Office.

Youth Groups

Our two communities currently operate a youth group in conjunction with another one, namely "Cana" (for Years 7 to 9). This group has activities each Friday evenings during school terms, 7:30pm to 9:00pm, at the Carlingford Parish Hall. For further information about activities are advertised in the Youth Pages in the Parish Bulletin.

If you know a young person who would be interested in coming along or if you would like to assist as a young adult leader (aged 16 to 30) please contact our Youth Ministry Coordinator or the Parish Office.