How to Join Us

If you are interested in joining the world’s largest Christian denomination or wish to find out more about what the Catholic Church is all about, your first step is to telephone St Thomas’ (01227-462896) or to visit the presbytery (59 Burgate, Canterbury CT1 2HJ) in order to speak to a priest. The first step is as easy as that. You will receive reliable, basic and essential information that will give you some idea if you wish to pursue your interest further.Joining the Catholic Church is not merely having a pleasant chat with either Catholic friends or the priest and then completing a few forms: you must have a desire for faith and the rewards that faith will bring and this requires commitment.

No one expects you to know all there is about the Catholic Church, which traces its history back 2000 years to Christ’s life on Earth and to the apostles and first disciples. By committing yourself to visiting the priest, it is your opportunity to ask all those questions that you have about the Catholic Church and Christianity. So much false information circulates about many religions that clear answers to your questions will provide you with the truth. Questions always arise about the infallibility of the pope or about the Immaculate Conception (this concerns Mary and not Jesus) or about the role of Mary, Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Or questions about the possibility of becoming a Catholic if you are divorced. These questions can be answered.

Becoming a Catholic requires that those who have already received baptism (christened) previously, whether it be, for example, in the Church of England or the Seventh-day Adventist Church, need to be received into the faith through confirmation. For those who have not undergone baptism, then you will undergo baptism and confirmation, generally at the Easter during the Easter Vigil, the most important feast in the Catholic Church.

Different programmes are available for different age groups. Adults, both young and old, tend to undergo the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) programme which meets on a weekly basis , whereas children will normally undergo a First Communion Programme.

Your first step, though, is to make personal contact with a priest and to see for yourself whether the Roman Catholic Church is for you. It only requires a little of your time for an initial meeting. The Church welcomes all who seek her.

For further information:

There are brochures in the entrance hall to the church and booklets available from St Thomas’ Bookshop in Canterbury Lane.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church: paragraphs 27-175; 1210-1321