The Immaculate Conception, Rotherham

01709 363753 * 
Clergy Fr Desmond Sexton Fr Leonard May  
The Presbytery 238 Herringthope Valley Road
S65 3BA

Celebrating the Sacraments

More good news, I am now able to conduct baptisms, hear confessions and begin to organise taking Communion to the housebound and the sick.


I am now able to conduct infant baptisms and I am ready to arrange dates with the parents. There will be some preparation before the ceremony as usual and there is a restriction on the number of people able to attend. However, it is now possible to conduct the baptismal rite so if you wish to know more please do contact me.


I am also able to hear confessions. You can arrange a time with me that is mutually convenient and I am also available at the Immaculate Conception 6-30pm on Thursday evenings and at St Gerard’s 10-30am on a Saturday morning.

Communion to the Housebound and the Sick.

The diocese is making arrangements for the member of a household or social bubble to be able to take Communion to someone in the same household or social bubble who is unable to attend mass. If someone who is unable to attend mass but would like to receive Communion wishes to contact me I will be able to arrange for another member of their household or social bubble to bring Communion to them. Some training will be required and will cover how to administer Communion safely.
If you are interested in learning more please do contact me.

First Holy Communion

This will be a challenge but it is not impossible. We have a lot of children who have celebrated their First Confession and are now waiting for the opportunity to make their First Holy Communion. What will not happen are large gatherings where numbers of children are making their First Holy Communion at the same time with large numbers of families and friends with them. It is more than likely that it will be two or three children at a time with a limit on the number of people present. Preparation can take place from home, (sorry, more learning at home) the learning material can be supplied and also there will be a session with me in the church.
So, if you wish to proceed further do contact me.

Fr. Desmond.  


Good afternoon everyone I have some good news. As from the 4th July I will be able to celebrate mass in our churches. I will celebrate mass on Sunday 5th July but this will only be for the stewards and their household. This is to give the stewards an opportunity to experience for themselves the changes necessary to keep everyone safe and be able afterwards to help you feel safe when you come to church. I have a programme of masses for people to attend starting from the 6th July but because of social distancing (2metres) there is a restriction on the number able to attend. People will need to book a place in advance by emailing me at and give a contact phone number for the purpose of test and trace. Alternatively you may ring 01709 363753 and leave a message on the answer phone. If you are attending as a family or social bubble I will need to have the names of everyone attending. Lack of information will invalidate the booking. We will begin taking bookings as from Friday 3rd July. There is an alternative system of booking being tested elsewhere and if it proves to be successful it may be employed here at a later date.

The role of volunteer stewards is crucial so much so that without stewards present I am not able to celebrate mass. This means that we need as many volunteers as possible to help to keep our churches open. If you are below 70 years of age and not clinically vulnerable please consider volunteering. Let me know asp. So far between St Mary’s and St Gerards we have 30 volunteers but we could do with more to help share in the responsibility.

The schedule for opening is as follows.

Monday St Mary’s open at 9-30 mass at 10am

Tuesday St Gerards open at 9-30am mass at 10am

Wednesday St Gerards open at 9-30am mass at 10am

Thursday St Mary open at 6-30pm mass at 7-00pm

Friday St Mary open at 9-30am mass at 10am.

Saturday St Gerards open at 10-30am mass at 11am

St Mary’s open at 5-30pm mass at 6-00pm

Sunday St Mary’s open at 8-30am mass at 9-00am
St Gerards open at 10-30am mass at 11-00am.

People must arrive before mass begins, late arrivals may not be admitted.

The Sunday obligation does not apply. This means you do not have to go to mass on a Sunday. There will be people who, because of work commitments, can only attend on a Sunday but if you are able to choose from a number of days then you may pick a day other then Sunday for your regular visit to mass.

Finally, while we are able to return to attending our services we are not going back to how things were. We cannot because we still have to live with the virus. New ways of behaving have to be accepted and I ask that we all approach this moment in the life of our parish with a generous heart. May God Bless us all.

Fr D

Archbishops’ Letter on Resumption of Collective Worship

A Message from the Metropolitan Archbishops of the Catholic Church in England regarding the resumption of collective worship in England:


Last Thursday the parish church of the Immaculate Conception passed its inspection for reopening. People will be able to visit the church for private prayer as from this coming Friday 26th June from 11am to 12 noon and from then, on every Friday, Sunday and Monday 11am to 12 noon provided we have the stewards present.

Read more

Good news, Immaculate Conception can officially open.
After training of volunteers we open on Friday 26th June 11/22noon for private prayer and every Sunday, Monday Friday at the same time.
I hope to have St Gerards ready by 1st July and open Wed Sat Sun also at 11/12non.
One small step in the right direction Deo Gracias
100 club.
I am very aware of the precarious position of our churches finances following the lockdown with covid 19. I am, therefore, intending to reopen the club from 4th July.
Because of the constraints of the virus we will need to revise drastically, the way we collect money. Please put your money in an envelope with your name and club n o (if you can remember but don't worry if not) the amount enclosed (or if you wish a cheque payable to st Mary's rotherham (100 club)). And
1. If church is open place in a basket as you enter church or in Fathers letterbox or

2. If church still closed put in Farhers door. You can do this at any time.

3. You can also if you wish pay by bank transfer (details below). If you do this please email Fr Des when transaction completed and copy to me at and state how much transferred. This allows both of us to update our records.

Bank details-immaculate conception rotherham
Sort code 404107
Account no 51094262
HSBC bank
Carmel House
49 63 Fargate
Sheffield S12 2HD

The club was closed in March and money paid into your number is carried forward so you wont be out of pocket.
I know this is a bit complicated but if I can help anyone who finds it difficult please let me know. My mobile number is 07960351922.
Thank you all for the marathon read.
When Churches re open…
At the moment there is no indication from government as to when churches might reopen.
It will probably be, in the first instance, for private prayer, with no services, no recitation of the rosary, no Divine Office together. Churches will not open all at once, but only when each building has everything it needs in place and has been inspected by a diocesan official who will recommend to Bishop Ralph that it is ready to open.
Our churches in Rotherham will, to begin with, be open for up to two hours on a given day.

Foodbank update...
Last Monday, 10 parcels were sent out to help with children's lunches during half-term.
Then 103 of our usual parcels were delivered throughout the rest of the week... helping at least 280 people.
Our shopping list for next week includes sugar, pasta sauces, tinned spaghetti (hoops), corned beef, fruit squash/cordial to dilute and stock cubes.

Thank you again for your support.

You may recall that just before the lock down we began to collect information from people for a Spiritual Bouquet to be prepared for Dominic on his Ordination.

Read More
Re-Opening Our Churches.

The reopening of our churches when it comes will be a welcome but also challenging moment in the life of our worshipping communities for it has to be done in a way that makes church buildings safe to use while we learn to live with the threat of a virus for which at the moment there is no vaccine.

Read More

Hello everyone, it is heartwarming to hear how well the newsletter has been received. It’s no work of literature and has a few howling mistakes, I know, I typed it.
However, as I said in the introduction having the document in the hand will have meant so much to those who having no internet or iPhone now know that as well as the parishioners who have kept in touch with them over the past weeks we all have not forgotten them but have kept them in our thoughts and prayers.
Thank you so much to all who have helped with the distribution. Let’s start now with the preparation of the next edition due to be printed on the 13 June.
Any short article, prayer, funny story or mind tester appreciated but please, don’t leave it to the last minute.
God Bless and thanks again, Fr D

For Confidential Counselling

During these challenging times it can feel overwhelming, and you may wonder how you are going to look after yourself in the months ahead.
To support your mental health and well being Caritas Hallam are offering free counselling to anyone
within the Diocese.


Live Catholic Mass Online

Despite the fact that we can't gather for Mass in our churches, many priests and bishops are broadcasting their Masses live online.


Live Catholic Mass Online

How to wash your hands properly

One of our best weapons of protection to combat the spread of viruses and diseases is good hygiene. This starts with thorough hand-washing. This article offers NHS and World Health Organisation advice on how best to do so.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols released a truly uplifting video in response to the postponement of public Masses which you can watch here. In the video he reminded us that there are people all over the world who regularly cannot go to church, due to persecution. Cardinal Nichols asked that we keep them in our hearts during this difficult time. He asked that we dig deeper into the resources we have to celebrate Our Lady and Our Lord at home - we hope that our online prayer material can help you with this. Though this is a challenging time, we are pleased to invite you to say the Angelus or the Rosary with us. In the words of Cardinal Nichols, let us use this time to "put down deeper roots of the Spirit".

Your wonderful kindness and compassion is what keeps ACN going and without you our work would be impossible. We ask you to remember our dear brothers and sisters around the world, who face much greater difficulties than we do. Please keep them in your prayers.

You can have a Mass said for someone in need or light prayer candles on our website.


COVID-19 and the Ministry to the Sick

Provides advice on Ministry to the Sick during COVID-19 in hospitals, residential nursing, care settings and home settings.


Reading Matthew in Easter

We have uploaded the last episode of ‘Reading Matthew in Lent‘, but on our website, you can listen to the whole series again anytime.


Catholic Charities and

There is an urgent need to support our Catholic charities and the people they serve during the global spread of COVID-19

Resources: COVID-19

Here are some links to websites offering resources, advice and information on how to cope with the COVID-19 outbreak.


A Pastoral Note from Bishop Ralph Heskett

On this Good Shepherd Sunday, I wanted, as your shepherd, to take time out to write to you.

We are living in unprecedented times, and already we are in our fifth week of lockdown. 


Spiritual Communion – Prayer of St Alphonsus

My Jesus,
I believe that you are present in this Holy Sacrament of the altar.
I love you above all things
and I passionately desire to receive you into my soul.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,
come spiritually into my soul so that I may unite myself wholly to you now and forever.

Keep upto date with video messages from Fr Des

Catch it, Bin it, Kill it – Poster

You can download the ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ information poster.

Catch it, Bin it, Kill it – Poster