St Dominic's Catholic Church

Downham Market

Welcome to the website for Saint Dominic's Catholic Church, Downham Market.

A parish in the Diocese of East Anglia.

Fr Erico Falcão and his parishioners welcome you to our church and community.


The Church of Saint Dominic’s in Downham Market is a small church, but one where visitors and new parishioners are assured of a warm welcome. Our parish community endeavours to live out the commandments of Jesus that we should love God and love one another. Our main work is the worship of God through the liturgy of the Church and we seek to accomplish this with simplicity, dignity and reverence. There is an emphasis on the teaching of the faith, and its implications for our daily lives. As a Catholic Parish we seek to manifest the love, joy and peace which God the Holy Spirit wishes to bestow upon us.

This is the second edition of Saint Dominic’s Welcome booklet. It has been produced primarily for people who are new to the parish. Any booklet of this nature cannot hope to capture the whole range of parish life and any serious omissions will be rectified in subsequent editions.

On the following pages you will see many names and telephone numbers given as “contacts”. These people will be happy to give you further information and answer any questions you may have.

Father Erico Falcão

May 2017


The Reverend Father Erico Falcão

Times of Services

Sunday Mass:

Saturday at 6.00 p.m. and Sunday at 9.30 a.m.

Week-day Masses are celebrated at 9.30 a.m. on the following days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Early morning prayer on Tuesday and Thursday at 9.10 a.m. before Mass.

Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confessions):

Saturday evening before Mass; 5.15p –5.40pm, and Sunday Morning before Mass; 9am–9.30am.

Any alterations to the above schedule of services is published in the weekly Parish Newsletter and on our parish website:

The Presbytery

17 Howdale Road, Downham Market, PE38 9AB

Telephone: 01366 382353

Emergency Priest

If you need a priest in an emergency, and Father Erico is not available, please telephone one of our neighbouring parishes:

King’s Lynn: 01553 772220.

Wisbech: 01945 583466

Swaffham: 01760 721418

Ely: 01353 662759

Parish History

A chapel dedicated to Saint Dominic was established at Tower House in 1937. Before that time the small number of Catholics living in this locality were looked after by occasional visits from the priest at Swaffham and for a time there was a chapel in a private house in Bridge Street in Downham Market, dedicated to Saint Joseph.

The present church of Saint Dominic was blessed and opened by Bishop Leo Parker, the Bishop of Northampton on 6th August 1941. The extension of the church was opened by Bishop Alan Clark on 2nd October 1980. The church was consecrated by Bishop Michael Evans on the 28th November 2006.

Parish Boundaries

The parish covers a geographical area of some 150 square miles. It is centred on Downham Market and incorporates thirty-six villages. Going North on the A10 the parish boundary extends to include the villages of Watlington and Tottenhill and in the South the boundary coincides with the Norfolk/Cambridge County border at Brandon Creek. In the West the boundary extends to the Mullicourt Aqueduct on the Sixteen Foot Drain between Nordelph and Outwell, and in the East the boundary includes the villages of Barton Bendish, Stoke Ferry and Whittington.

The villages within the boundaries are: Barton Bendish, Barroway Drove, Boughton, Brandon Creek, Crimplesham, Denver, Fincham, Fodderstone Gap, Fordham, Hilgay, Marham, Nordelph, Runcton Bottom, Runcton Holme, Ryston, Salters Lode, Shouldham, Shouldham Thorpe, Southery, South Runcton, Stoke Ferry, Stow Bardolph, Stowbridge, Stradsett, Ten Mile Bank, Thorpland, Tottenhill, Watlington, Wereham, Wereham Row, West Briggs, West Dereham, West Head, Whittington, Wimbotsham and Wretton.

The Fenland districts are: Barton Bendish Fen, Fordham Fen, Great West Fen, Southery Fen, Marshland Fen, Methwold Severals, Northwold Fen, Southery Fen, Stoke Ferry Fen, Stow Bardolph Fen and Upwell Fen.


Chairman: Joe Walton

The Parish Pastoral Council meetings are held on a quarterly basis, usually in January, April, July and October. The exact dates are advised in the weekly newsletter. The meetings are open to all parishioners.

Council of Laity

A consultative body of lay persons that meets the Bishop twice a year. Membership is made up of the Chair of each parish council/forum in our diocese.

Parish Secretary:


Chairman: José Villatoro

Treasurer: Mr Eddy Luyten

The Finance Committee meetings are also held on a quarterly basis during the week before the Parish Pastoral Council meetings. They are attended by the Parish Priest, the chairman, the treasurer and the Finance Committee members.

Gift Aid / Weekly Offertory Envelopes / Standing Orders / Online Giving

Gift Aid is a mechanism whereby the Government gives a charity 25p for every £ 1 donated by the tax-payer. The Roman Catholic Church is a charitable organisation, and as such the parish can claim this benefit for parishioners who fill in a gift aid form. It only asks for your name and address. This is open for all taxpaying parishioners and visitors including one-off donations. The option also exists to give by standing order from your bank (preferred) or by using Weekly Offertory Envelopes which can be obtained from the chairman of the Finance Committee. The option also exists to give by standing order from your bank (preferred) or by using Weekly Offertory Envelopes which can be obtained from the chairman of the Finance Committee.

To keep up with modern technology we are now introducing Online Giving. The more attentive parishioners will have spotted the addition of the DONATE button at the top of the different web pages of our newsletter. When you click on that button a new window will open allowing you to make a single payment using your debit or credit card.

The process to donate is simple and self-explanatory:

Click Donate on the St Dominic’s website,

Put in the amount you want to donate and click DONATE,

Fill in your name Credit/debit card number, expiry date and security code.

You then can gift aid your donation following the next set of prompts,

Fill in your first name, then your last name, then your house number or name, and then the post code. Finally, you write your email address.

If you want to subscribe to promotional emails from St Dominic’s, click YES when prompted. Then read the terms and conditions and click CONFIRM. And that’s it.

The Church relies on the generosity of parishioners for its maintenance and upkeep. Please consider joining in or creating fundraising activities, covenant giving and standing orders.


Evangelisation is at the heart of our mission as a parish. We are called to proclaim our faith with confidence; to witness to the joy of the Gospel; and to help others to encounter Jesus Christ. Our Parish Evangelisation Team embrace this mission and aspire to be intentional disciples, to walk in the way of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. The team meet monthly to share their experiences of evangelisation in their everyday lives, to explore ways how they may help others to encounter Christ and to spend time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. The team always welcome more parishioners to come along to their meetings and join the team. We are always looking for new ideas as we strive to create a truly missionary parish. Meetings are publicised in our parish newsletter and on our parish website. See also and our diocesan Yearbook and newspaper for news of our diocese's department for the New Evangelisation and initiatives around our diocese.


Our diocese is fully committed to safeguarding in the Church in order to ensure that we maintain peaceful, loving and safe Christian communities in which everybody, particularly young and vulnerable members, can confidently participate. We recognise the personal dignity and rights of all vulnerable people, to whom we have a special responsibility.

The National Catholic Safeguarding Commission provides advice on all safeguarding matters. See and for more information.

Our Diocesan Safeguarding Commission implements national policies and procedures, and carries out advisory and supportive functions. See

Each parish has a Safeguarding Representative who has special responsibility for promoting good and safe practices in all activities involving children, young people and vulnerable adults within the parish. Our Parish Safeguarding Representative is Lourdes Luyten-Coelho. Her contact details are on the Safeguarding information poster in our Parish Room.

Altar Servers

Any person who has made their First Holy Communion is welcome to serve Mass. Full training will be given. Please contact Father Erico.


If you wish to read at Mass on Saturdays, Sundays or Weekdays please speak to Father Erico. The annual recommissioning of readers takes place each year during Advent.

Lay Ministers of the Eucharist

In our Diocese anyone taking on such a ministry must be invited by their Parish Priest. They must attend both parish training and a Diocesan commissioning day. They are commissioned by the Bishop for one year, renewable on an annual basis by the Parish Priest. Anyone in school year 10 and above who has been Confirmed may be a minister. In addition to assisting with the distribution of Holy Communion within Mass, they may be asked by their parish priest to take Holy Communion to the sick and housebound, and to expose the Blessed Sacrament for periods of adoration and prayer. The annual recommissioning takes place during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

Downham Market Churches Together

D.M.C.T. hold meetings six times per year to plan local ecumenical services, meetings and events. Saint Dominic’s Church is represented at these meetings by two Representatives. Web page:

Church Flowers

Please contact Lourdes Luyten-Coelho.

Offering flowers is another way of praising and thanking God. If you would like to be part of this on a regular basis, or to coincide with a personal event or memory, please contact Lourdes. The rota, which is done on a yearly basis, can always be adjusted if requested.


St. Dominic’s is a Fair Trade parish.

Fair Trade goods are sold monthly at St Dominic's on our Traidcraft stall. For more information, contact Joe Walton, the Parish Council chairman.

Or see and

CAFOD / Survive Miva

St Dominic’s supports these two charities by means of a weekly “bucket collection” after week-end Masses. Regular news letters from CAFOD and Survive Miva are displayed in the church porch. The parish contact is Eddy Luyten, the Parish Treasurer.


Our local food bank is situated at Eternity Church, Trafalgar Industrial Estate, Sovereign Way, Downham Market PE38 9SW.

It is open on Tuesdays 12.30pm to 2.30pm and on Fridays 10.30am to 12.30pm.

We have a collection box at St Dominic's for items you may wish to donate and there is also an option of leaving food at the end of the checkout tills in Tesco for your convenience. . For more information about foodbanks see .

Apostleship of the Sea is an agency of the Catholic Church which supports seafarers visiting UK ports. We have a parish rep. for AoS and a collection box for items you may wish to donate. See for more information.

Our DIOCESAN YOUTH SERVICE runs a variety of events and pilgrimages across our diocese and supports youth ministry in our parishes. Its Ignite Team shares the Gospel message with young people through music, drama, games, multimedia and personal testimony. See for lots more information. Email:

Our DIOCESAN WEBSITE ( has lots of useful information about our parishes, diocesan departments, commissions, organisations and societies; schools; hospitals; and events happening around our diocese.

Evening Prayer and Benediction take place every Sunday at 4pm, followed by refreshments in the parish room.

Please see the weekly newsletter or parish website for news of services and events in our parish, local community and diocese.

Tea and coffee are served after Mass every Sunday in the parish room. It's a nice, friendly way to meet and get to know each other and to build up our parish community.

Parish suppers take place at 6.30pm on the last Friday of every month in the parish room or a parishioner's home. They are very friendly, relaxed and enjoyable occasions. This is a regular fundraising event for the much needed Parish funds and everyone is welcome.

Our diocese publishes a Yearbook and Calendar every year, available in every parish and on the diocesan website. It is full of helpful information about the life and work of the diocese.

Our diocesan newspaper, "Catholic East Anglia", is published every month and available free in every parish and on the diocesan website. It offers a vibrant picture of life in our diocese...essential reading!




Baptism preparation: it is Diocesan policy that every parish provide a full and adequate preparation programme for infant baptism, and that attendance be required for parents having their first child baptised as well as others when appropriate. Godparents should also attend when possible.

First Holy Communion

Each year the parish provides a course of preparation for children who want to make their first Holy Communion. It is Diocesan policy that this should be done in primary school year 3 (the school year in which a child reaches the age of 8) or above.


A course of preparation will be arranged for any people who wish to receive this Sacrament. It is Diocesan policy that, except in the danger of death, Confirmation will be administered in the secondary school year 10 (the school year in which a person reaches the age of 15) or above.

Holy Matrimony

Six months notice is required.

Marriage Care:


For an appointment or further details contact your local centre at:

Newmarket & Cambridge: 0800 389 3801

Norwich & Peterborough: 0800 389 3801

Marriage Care, address is: Huntingdon House, 278-290 Huntingdon St, Nottingham NG1 3LY

Anointing of the Sick

The sick may receive this Sacrament at any time, either in their homes or in hospital or during a celebration of Holy Mass.

Communion for the Sick at home

Holy Communion can be taken to those members of the parish community who are sick or housebound. This will be done either by the Parish Priest or a Lay Minister of the Eucharist, either on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. In the first instance please speak to Father Erico.

Hospital Visits

If you are ever in hospital and wish to see the Roman Catholic Chaplain or receive the Sacraments tell the staff on your ward that you are a Roman Catholic and inform them that you would like to see the R.C. Chaplain. Please also make your wishes known to your family or next-of-kin in case you are unable to speak for yourself (e.g. after a stroke). Do not assume that the R.C. Chaplain will automatically know that you are in Hospital. NHS Trusts, being bound by the Data Protection Act, are no longer able to give patients’ information to Hospital Chaplains.

Requiem Mass / Funeral Service

Every baptised Catholic who is in good standing with the Church has the right to a Requiem Mass (Funeral Mass) before their burial or cremation. Please make sure that your family know what your wishes are concerning your Requiem Mass or Funeral Service. It is an ancient and laudable custom of the Church to receive the body of the deceased in the church on the evening before the funeral and to offer prayers for the deceased (Vigil) at this time.

Cremated Remains

It is more fitting that the cremated remains of the deceased person be buried (interred) by a priest or deacon rather than being scattered.

Public Cemetery and Crematorium

The cemetery in Downham Market is in Rouses Lane. The nearest crematorium is at Mintlynn, King’s Lynn.

Can you help us?

We are always looking for help in many areas of parish life and for caring for our parish church. You may have professional skills which might be of help in the field of, for example, accountancy, law or teaching. If you are new to our parish you may have done jobs in your old parish which you would like to take up again.

The church flower arrangers are always looking for more volunteers and we always need more readers, altar-servers and Mass-welcomers. The more people there are on the rota the less often your turn will come around. We also need helpers for our fundraising and social activities. New ideas are always welcome!

Can you spare an hour once in a while?

If you can help with any of these jobs or in any other way please contact father Erico.