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With One Voice

The Catholic Parishes of St Agnes’ Crawcrook, St Joseph’s Highfield and Our Lady of Lourdes Chopwell

Part of the Ovingham Parish Partnership in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle

Becoming a Catholic

Have you thought about becoming a Catholic?

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a faith journey of opportunity in which you can deepen your relationship with God and make friendships with other travellers on the journey through prayer, reflection, sharing and learning more about the teachings of the Catholic Church.  Are you as a Catholic preparing your children for Baptism, First Holy Communion or Confirmation and would like to know more about the Catholic Faith? The RCIA Group could be just what you are looking for.

This group meets every autumn until the Easter Vigil Mass when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Those wishing to become Catholic can be baptised and receive the Sacrament of Confirmation at this Mass and are initiated fully into the Church.

If you are interested in joining or just want to know more,  please contact the Parish Priest or call Deacon Derek on (01207) 561445 or Email 

Here is a testimonial from Paul Elliott-Kowalczyk , who was received into the church on Easter Sunday 2017 at Our Lady of Lourdes, along with Karen Margaret Bell:


For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. 1 Peter 2:25

The church have the tagline for the RCIA as a "Journey of Faith" and it truly is, as at the beginning, it is quite a nerve racking affair, as you think it is all incredibly formal.  But once you finally start with friendly faces in Deacon Derek, Liz and Ann, who are always there to help in answering any questions that you may have, you will realise its quite the opposite. I will admit you do start quite bewildered and lost, with thoughts about why you are doing this but as we build up over the next six or seven months you will realise it is a truly spiritual, magical and amazing time in your Life as you enter the church at Easter.

Our group started life as two members, then three, four and finally five, as more lost sheep started to enter the church, and these are the people that we may never have met if we all hadn't been called by God at the same time in our lives.  We all started to create meaningful bonds and supported one another as we realise that we are all in the same boat (or Ark), but with the support you get from Derek, Liz and Ann who are always at hand, as well as your fellow catechumens and candidates, there will never be daunting aspect of this journey, as we feel the togetherness that exists between us. We all begin with the nerves in meeting new people and maybe asking a silly question or two, but here ,there will never be a silly question during the group as we all need to learn, and the only way to learn is to question, "What is this all about?" This journey leads us to knowledge, community, togetherness, friendship and a deeper understanding of the Catechism, Scriptures and Catholic traditions and the true love of God.

Paul Elliott-Kowalczyk