Vicariate for Faith & Mission

New to the Faith


All of us are called by God to know him, love him and to serve him. The greatest discovery that we can make is to realise that we are loved by God and that he has a plan for each of us. We believe that sharing in the Christian Faith helps us understand this more clearly.

In this section of our website you will find advice on how to arrange for the Baptism of your child and how adults can learn more about the Catholic Church and how to become a member.

"Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God’s children; and that is what we are."

First letter of Saint John 3:1

Becoming a Catholic

Go to a Church

You might wish to go to one of our local Catholic churches and attend a service there; you would be very welcome to do this. You might like to introduce yourself to the priest after the service and talk to him about how you could find out more about the Catholic Church.

If you have a friend or relative who is a Catholic and goes to mass then perhaps you would like to ask them if you can go along to church with them, or you might want to ask them about the Catholic Faith or what their faith means to them. They will be happy to answer you, and even if they are not able to answer all your questions they can put you in touch with someone who can.

"Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood."

Acts 20:28


FIRST STEPS – Exploring the Catholic Faith Online

Are you looking to explore the Catholic faith?

Are you wondering about your relationship with God and not sure where to start? Join us on a journey and see if the Catholic Church can help your relationship grow. This may be the right path for you. It may even help you take the next steps towards coming into the Church.

Future First Steps courses will be advertised here.

Journey in Faith

RCIA or Journey in Faith is the programme local Catholic Churches use to help people find out more about the Church and discover what it means to be a Catholic. It can lead to becoming a full member of the Church. RCIA courses often start in the Autumn and run through till the following June.

RCIA stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and is often also called Journey in Faith. It is indeed a journey – it is a gradual process that takes place within the community.

It is marked by different stages, with special Rites which mark entry to the next stage.

The first stage is one of initial thought and enquiry and is one where the person interested in becoming a Catholic thinks about making initial enquiries, and wants to find out more. It is a time of initial discovery and encounter with Christ, with the Church, and with other Catholics. It can be formalised by attending RCIA meetings or course sessions which, when the time is right, can lead to the next stage.

During the next stage the enquirer becomes a Catechumen or Candidate, and enters a period of more intense learning, study, formation and prayer.

The Rite of Election is a special service which marks the entry into this phase. This is on the first Sunday in Lent and is attended by people from all over the Diocese.

During Lent the catechumen or candidate goes through a final period of purification and enlightenment, ready for entry at the Easter Vigil.

In the final weeks candidates are presented with the Creed and Our Father.

At the Easter Vigil the Elect will receive the Sacraments of Initiation and become full members of the Catholic Church.

After the Vigil there is a further period – the Mystagogia, during which the new Catholics are invited to reflect on their experience, and during this period there is a special Mass of Welcome for them in the diocese.


Let's talk


Tel: 0191 243 3316 (office*) or 07375 934713 (mobile)

*Your call may be automatically diverted to the mobile number.

Admin office hours:
Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm, excluding Bank Holidays.

To see a full list of Vicariate contacts and leads, please visit our Faith & Mission page.