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Welcome Messages

A very warm welcome if you want to explore becoming a more active member of the Catholic community. The 'spiritual fathers' who serve the the Catholic community in England and Wales are the bishops and their priests. Here are some welcome messages and invitations from some of them. The bishop who covers your geographical area may be listed.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor

'My dear friends,
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

Most Rev Vincent Nichol

'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.'
Mt Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

Rt Rev. Kieran Conry, Bishop of Arundel and Brighton

'From outside, 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 welcome.

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 surprised.'
Rt Rev Kieran Conry, Bishop of Arundel and Brighton


Rt Rev Thomas McMahon, Bishop of Brentwood

'There is a repining restlessness in each human person which only God can fill.'
Rt Rev Thomas McMahon, Bishop of Brentwood

Most Rev Peter Smith, Archbishop of Cardiff

'Jesus Christ 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.'
Mt Rev Peter Smith, Archbishop of Southwark

Rt Rev Declan Lang, Bishop of Clifton

'Jesus teaches 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 you back.'
Rt Rev Declan Lang, Bishop of Clifton


Rt Rev John Rawsthorne, Bishop of Hallam

'The Catholic 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

Rt Rev Patrick O’Donoghue, Bishop of Lancaster

'Welcome home! 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

Rt Rev Arthur Roche, Bishop of Leeds

'My dear brothers and sisters,
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.'
Mt Rev Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

Rt Rev Mark Jabalé, Bishop of Menevia

'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

Most Rev Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool

'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.'
Mt Rev Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool

Bishop Terence Drainey

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

Rt Rev Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton

'Disconnected 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 of Northampton

Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon, Bishop of Nottingham

'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

Rt Rev Christopher Budd, Bishop of Plymouth

'Dear brothers and sisters,
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

Rt Rev Crispian Hollis, Bishop of Portsmouth

' "Keeping 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 communities.'
Rt Rev Crispian Hollis, Bishop Emeritus of Portsmouth

Rt Rev Brian Noble, Bishop of Shrewsbury

'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 looked!'
Rt Rev Brian Noble, Bishop Emeritus of Shrewsbury

Most Rev Kevin McDonald, Archbishop of Southwark

'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.'
Mt Rev Kevin McDonald, Archbishop Emeritus of Southwark

Rt Rev Edwin Regan, Bishop of Wrexham

'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

Rt Rev Tom M Burns, Bishop of the Forces

'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

For more information on how to return to the practice of your Catholic faith, please contact your local Catholic Church.


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'In My Father’s house there are many places to live in; otherwise I would have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you.'
Jesus Christ, John’s Gospel, chapter 14, verse 2

'Those who drink of the water that I shall give will never be thirsty; for the water that I shall give will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'
Jesus Christ, John’s Gospel, Chapter 4, verse 15

'Give me this water, that I may never be thirsty and never have to come here to draw water.'
Woman at the well, John’s Gospel, chapter 4, verse 15

'Come and see a man who told me everything I did! Could he not be the Christ?'
Woman at the well, John’s Gospel, chapter 4, verse 29

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit of God and make yourself present to me now.

Come Home For Christmas. The door is open and you’ll be made very welcome.