Rite of Election: Weekend of joy for the Catholic community


Thousands of people gathered to pray in Catholic cathedrals across England and Wales last weekend to support and welcome those people preparing to join the Catholic Church.

The Rite of Election is a significant step for those who are preparing to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist. Election in our contemporary culture often signifies a contest or our choosing something or somebody. The Rite is not about the candidates choosing the Sacraments of Initiation, rather, as in the great scriptural tradition of election, it is about God’s choice of the person. For Christians this is the call to embrace the mission of Jesus, the mission of God’s Kingdom.*

Gerry attended the Rite of Election last weekend and said: “Although my life wasn’t empty or bankrupt, there were definitely some deficiencies there. Coming along to St Teresa’s and meeting people there, it has elevated who I am.”

Meanwhile Jessica shared: “My family is close but going to church together brings another dimension to our lives. It is a community thing. It has made a difference for the better…. So many times we are afraid of rejection and I was welcomed as if I was just what people were looking for. It was wonderful.”

Malcolm said: “It really has been a fabulous experience. I am really looking forward to Easter Sunday when I will finally be able to receive the Body and Blood of Christ as a member of the Catholic Church. I would thoroughly recommend the Catholic Faith to anyone who wants to fully embrace Jesus, Our Lord.”

More about Gerry, Jessica’s and Malcolm’s journeys of faith can be found on

The numbers for the Rite of Election are as follows:

(Arch) Dioceses Rite of Election numbers
Westminster 797
Arundel and Brighton 180
Brentwood 306
Cardiff 80
Clifton 84
East Anglia 65
Hallam 75
Hexham and Newcastle 120
Lancaster 43
Leeds 109
Liverpool 121
Menevia 24
Middlesbrough 91
Northampton 110 (plus 12 children of catechetical age)
Nottingham 127
Plymouth 130
Portsmouth 201
Salford 128
Shrewsbury 115
Southwark 517
Wrexham 15

Bishop Kieran Conry (Arundel and Brighton) is Chair of the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis and said: “The growing numbers of people coming forward to become members of the Catholic community give the lie to those who suggest that religion is gasping its last breath. On the first weekend of Lent, cathedrals across England and Wales will have seen excited, nervous and happy adults and young people looking forward to full membership of the Catholic community, and a Catholic community delighted to welcome them.”

He added: “I know that for many people it might seem a daunting step to take, but I hope that anyone who does want to take the step will find a welcome among friends and the place they have been looking for.”

For more information about the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) please see:

Further info

For more information please contact the Home Mission Desk on 020 7901 4818.


RCIA Network

The RCIA Network is made up of people who have leadership roles in the RCIA process in Dioceses and parishes, and exists to support them in their work and to promote an authentic understanding of the Church’s teaching about the Rite.

Catholic Enquiry Office (CEO)

The CEO is managed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. It exists to:

Stimulate interest in the Catholic faith
Promote a better understanding of the Catholic Church
Respond to enquirers


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Rite of Election reports on a selection of diocesan websites

Diocese of Arundel and Brighton

*Diocese of Clifton
Rite of Election pictures

Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle

Diocese of Southwark

Diocese of Westminster