Welcome You to Church
We welcome you to the Catholic
The Catholic Church is a colossal family which includes about
1.13 billion people throughout the world. Catholic means universal
– which means everyone is welcome into the Church. That
includes you too, even if you’re not currently a practising
The Church exists to help people develop their relationship
with God through the Good News of Jesus Christ. Part of being
a Catholic is striving to become better, to become more loving
- of ourselves and of one another. Is that a vision you share?
If you’re not currently in contact with the Catholic
Church, we’d really like to hear from you. So if you
are a ‘resting’ Catholic or if you are not a Catholic
but would like to know more about the true meaning and purpose
of life and experience the intimacy of God’s love, the
Catholic Church welcomes you. You are warmly invited to join
your church family in our journey through life together. Come
and be enriched. The Catholic Church is waiting and wanting
to help you.
Please see below the various messages to you from Cardinal
Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster and the
Bishops of England and Wales. They, along with their priests,
are the 'spiritual fathers' who serve the English and Welsh
If you would like to become an active member of the
Catholic community the best person to speak to would be your
local parish priest. If you are uncertain who this is please
use our ‘church finder’
please click here
if you would like to become a Catholic
please click here
if you are already a Catholic but have stopped practising
your Catholic faith.
A warm welcome awaits you. At your own pace and in your
own time, we'd be interested to hear your story and
learn from your experiences. You are an important and
much-loved member of the Body of Christ. Come.'
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop Emeritus of Westminster
'Today many reasons
are given why people stop practising their Catholic
faith. This is an easy step to take. Much more difficult
is to take up again the practice of the faith. It’s
well worthwhile because it gives a right and healthy
context in which to live our lives and cope with all
its pressures. So I invite Catholics who have let things
go to return to the practice of their faith. There will
be a warm welcome for you.'
Most Rev Vincent Nichols,
Archbishop of Westminster
I imagine that the Catholic Church can seem quite an
intimidating organisation, full of people who are fearful,
guilty, pious and joyless. Ask a Catholic in church
on a Sunday, and they won't know what you are talking
about. Catholic churches should be welcoming places,
but we need to ask ourselves what we look like to people
who don't know us.
I was in Istanbul not long ago, and wanted to visit
the famous mosques there, but was not sure how welcome
I would be. It was only when I saw streams of other
visitors heading in that I had the courage to follow.
And it was all very easy - take your shoes off and be
respectful. If there are people who want to come into
our Catholic churches, I would say that you are most
I am sure that there are people who lost contact with
the Church long ago, and now, with all the changes that
have happened, might feel too shy to come back in, afraid
to embarrass themselves by doing the wrong thing. I
would say to them, don't worry, come in and see. Sit
at the back and do what the rest do. You might be pleasantly
Rt Rev Kieran Conry, Bishop
of Arundel and Brighton
'There is a repining
restlessness in each human person which only God can
Rt Rev Thomas McMahon,
Bishop of Brentwood
and His Church loves you and welcomes you. We are all
a pilgrim people and have different stories of faith
to share. These are important and as a Catholic community
we’d like to listen to yours and welcome you back
to a fuller life in the family of the Church. Whatever
our history, nothing can ever separate us from the love
and compassion of Christ, so please don’t be afraid
to explore the possibility of coming back and joining
in the life God’s family, the Church.'
Most Rev Peter Smith,
Archbishop of Southwark
that the love and mercy of God are available to everyone.
If you’ve not been to Mass for a while, I’d
like you to know that you’d be very welcome. Please
don’t let any obstacle - small or large - hold
Rt Rev Declan Lang, Bishop
community is opening wide its doors and, at your own
pace and in your own time, would be happy to welcome
you. For all of us, our faith journey has many ups and
downs. But by being part of a parish, we support one
another on that journey. Come and journey with us towards
truth and the love and mercy of God.'
Rt Rev John Rawsthorne,
Bishop of Hallam
'My Dear Friends, whatever your reason for staying away, and no matter how much time has gone by, an open door and warm welcome await your return to your Church. No need to be afraid, we want you back. God never stops loving and wanting you. You are important to Him and you are important to us. Now is a good time to come home to Him. Come and talk, and take your rightful place at His table.'
Rt Rev Seamus Cunningham, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle
I want you to know that as the local Church we are delighted
that you have taken up your rightful place at table.
Let’s pray together, stay together and journey
towards eternal life together.'
Rt Rev Patrick O’Donoghue, Bishop Emeritus of Lancaster
'My dear brothers
If it has been some time since you regularly attended
church I know that it is not always easy to take the
first step back but I want you to know that when you
do you will find a generous welcome. The Church is your
home and it is where you belong. Let us travel together.
Let us come to know Jesus more deeply and open our lives
to all that he offers us… the gift of life.'
Rt Rev Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
'As a Catholic
Community we welcome you and want to listen to your
story. If it’s been a long time since you’ve
been to church, or perhaps you visit now and again,
come and see. The holiday season is a wonderful time
to revisit people and places of your youth. A feast
awaits you at your local Catholic parish.'
Rt Rev Mark Jabalé, Bishop Emeritus of Menevia
'I agree with
the assertion: There is Les Miserables and there are
other musicals. Les Mis remains unique. "Empty
chairs and empty tables", sung after deaths on
the barricades, stays with me. And surely it describes
the reality of Mass on Sundays: there are empty chairs,
empty tables: we need you back home at the feast.'
Most Rev Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool
'The first step is always the hardest and most frightening. That's why I want to assure you that there are many hands stretched out to you in welcome even as you read this. Belonging is part and parcel of being human. At our baptism we become members of the Christian family. I can't tell you how happy it will make us all to have you with us. Come home. You are really welcome especially this Christmas.'
Rt Rev Terence Drainey, Bishop of Middlesborough
from the Church and wondering about a fresh start? Here
is an opportunity to explore where you are and where
the Church is. Perhaps the time is right for you to
come back to the Lord who has never stopped loving you.'
Rt Rev Peter Doyle, Bishop
'My dear friends,
Whatever your situation or circumstances; however much
time has lapsed since your last visit to a church, there
is a place for you. The door is open and you are very
welcome. You might have questions to ask which is good.
We are happy to try to answer them and listen to your
story. The Church will not judge you. Come.'
Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon,
Bishop of Nottingham
People cease coming to Church for a whole variety of
reasons. However, those who are left behind would love
to welcome you back. To Christ you are important and
belong to His Body, the Church. Do please come and talk
to us, you will always be welcome.'
Rt Rev Christopher Budd,
Bishop of Plymouth
in Touch" - KIT for short - has been spearheaded
in the Portsmouth diocese and it's all about maintaining
contact with those who, for whatever reason, have drifted
away form the Church. I want to assure anyone who wants
to return to the Church that they will be warmly welcomed
and received in our churches and in our worshipping
Rt Rev Crispian Hollis, Bishop Emeritus of Portsmouth
'Are you an individualist
– someone who likes to do their own thing –
make up their own mind? If so, why not back the trend
and take another look at Catholic Faith? What you find
may be a discovery more worthwhile than when last you
Rt Rev Brian Noble, Bishop Emeritus of Shrewsbury
'I warmly invite
those Catholics who no longer come to Mass to be open
to the call of the Holy Spirit and to respond with trust
to this invitation to return.'
Most Rev Kevin McDonald, Archbishop Emeritus of Southwark
'Only God can
judge the human heart. There are many reasons why Catholics
stop going to Mass, but so often the Faith remains alive
in their hearts. Please accept this invitation to return
so that God’s Holy Spirit can blow the embers
of Faith into a living flame in your life. The Catholic
Church is your home, where God wants you to be. There
will be a welcome on the mat!'
Rt Rev Edwin Regan, Bishop Emeritus of Wrexham
'I ask you to
do something difficult - difficult, because if it was
easy you might have done it already. Ask yourself: does
Church mean anything to me? Would I like to renew my
association with the Church? If the answer is NO, then
God and His priests have a tough task on their hands!
But why not give them a chance to respond, anyway? If,
on the other hand, your answer is YES, then strike while
the iron's hot! Call a priest and ask for an appointment,
saying it's about coming back to the Church. If there's
been a problem with your marriage, be open and honest
about it. If you've been disappointed in the past about
the way a parish or school has spoken to you, draw a
line in the sand. Have you been nursing a grievance?
Start again. Let you and a priest talk together about
the Church you both love: its strengths, its weaknesses,
its opportunities, its threats. Get them all in perspective.
You might be surprised at the outcome. Everyone deserves
a welcome, and that includes you, not least of all for
making the effort to find a way back into the fold.
As pilgrims, all of us can help one another to find
the Lord in our lives, so that we can be supported in
prayer and worship throughout the rest of our days in
joyful as well as difficult moments. Those already who
have devoted time and effort to this objective will
tell us that it is not easy but definitely worth it.
After going back there's no going back!'
Rt Rev Tom M Burns, Bishop of Menevia
The above Messages have been taken from the the Catholic
Bishops' of England and Wales Come Home
for Christmas campaign (a CASE initiative).
Please click here
to see the full website which contains excellent information
and contact details for those who are enquiring about The