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“‘I can see heaven thrown open’ [Stephen] said
‘and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’”

- Acts 7:56

On Saturday 2nd October, Proximity 2021 is the first of what we intend to be an annual event each autumn, for altar servers of all ages. The aim is to form servers in faith as those who come close to Jesus at the altar, so that they may grow closer to him in their lives.

This year, we've chosen to base our day around the life and witness of recently-beatified teenager Blessed Carlo Acutis.


Hosted in the inspirational setting of St. Mary’s College, Oscott, our diocesan seminary – where men are formed for the priesthood – the day involves:

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  • an exploration of the life of Blessed Carlo, led by Mgr. Mark Crisp,

  • Mass with the seminary community,

  • testimonies from those for whom altar serving has been part of their vocational journey,

  • age-appropriate workshops for younger, older and adult servers,

  • concluding with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. 


The day is also a wonderful opportunity to meet other servers from across the Archdiocese of Birmingham and find out about other opportunities to grow in faith.

We are asking for a donation of just £5 to attend (subsidised by the diocese). The day will be led by the Diocesan Vocations Office (which administers the Guild in the Archdiocese of Birmingham) and the Kenelm Youth Trust, with contributions from the Oscott seminary community.

Those attending will need to bring a packed lunch and we'll provide drinks throughout the day. Unlike the annual Mass, there's no need to bring an alb/cassock and cotta. You'll go home with a goodie bag too! 


The day is open to all servers in parishes affiliated to the Guild of Saint Stephen. An adult from a parish or school will first register their group, by clicking here (this will open a new window on an external site). Once the registration is complete, you can invite individual servers (or their parents) to book themselves onto the day as part of that group, using a link sent to the group leader.


Contact Deacon Owen at the Diocesan Vocations Office.

Key information:

Saturday 2nd October 2021

The day runs between 10:30am - 4:30pm.

St. Mary's College, Oscott

Chester Road

Sutton Coldfield

B73 5AA

The College gates will be open to allow arrivals from 10am. There is ample parking on site.


Alternatively, the College is a 1.3 mile walk from Chester Road Train Station.

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