Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for such is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:14)


Children have a natural awareness of God in the world about them. We only have to watch their fascination and ability to gaze in wonder at whatever attracts their attention to notice this.  

Yet, from a strikingly early age, children also ponder on existential matters, about birth and death, about the meaning of life, of their life. Totally dependent on adults, children recognize that nothing is matter of course, that essentially everything is gift. 

Children are naturally aware that there is more than just themselves, that God is a reality in their lives. This is something they recognize from their own experience long before they have the words to be able to express it.  

As with every personal relationship, our relationship with God needs to develop, change over time, to mature. As with every journey, we need to learn how to adapt to life on the road when things are not always as smooth as we would like. 

St. Hilda´s RC parish wants to accompany and support all children and families who are seeking to grow in Christ.

Getting to know God – at home 

The first place where children get to know God is at home and in the family  (CCC* 1655-58). This is why it is so important for parents to grow in the faith themselves so as to be able to pass on their own personal experience to their children.  

Getting to know God – in church

Here, in Whitby we want to be a welcoming parish, open to families, whether those who live in town and surrounding area or else those who are spending time here on holiday.  We love having families and children celebrating with us at mass and at other events and always try and include them in any way possible. 

Children´s liturgy

We want to invite children to get to know God in ways that are appropriate to their age and levels of understanding.  At present, however, we are unable to offer a regular children´s liturgy without prior notice that this is being sought.  If you are planning to come to our Sunday mass at St. Hilda´s (10.30 am), and would like to know if a children´s liturgy is available, please contact the co-ordinator (see below). We are very keen to be of assistance.

Preparation to receive the sacraments

As a Catholic parish, we want to help children to explore and discover increasingly their experience of the presence of God in their lives and to begin to encounter God in an ever deeper way.  The sacraments of Christian initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist) are important and essential stages on this journey of faith. A healthy introduction to the healing and life-giving sacrament of Reconciliation (commonly known as “confession”) will stand every child in good stead in coping in Christ with the challenges of their future life.

If you are seeking Baptism for your child, please contact Father Pat to discuss how to prepare for this important beginning to your child´s life in Christ, and how our parish community can help to accompany your family on this spiritual journey.

If you have a child who wants to prepare to receive First Communion, Reconciliation and/or Confirmation, you are also very welcome to get in contact with Father Pat so that an appropriate preparation can be organized. 

A number of our children choose to become altar servers. This ensures deep involvement in the significance of the rituals of mass and other servers, apart from giving them an active role. Appropriate raining will be given and appropriate clothing provided. Please contact Malcolm Hall for more details.

Altar Servers

As a Catholic parish, our desire is to invite children to

  • learn how to pray and encounter God in the world
  • be part of the celebration of Holy Mass 
  • share in the full life of the Church community in the parish and in their surroundings
  • grow up to love and serve the Lord actively: at home, in the Church and in the world at large.

Family activities

Please keep an eye on the “Latest News” for information about up and coming parish events  and activities.

* – note that CCC numbers refer to the relevant sections in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church”