Below are some of the questions visitors ask frequently about our 4 churches, we hope they are helpful. However if they do not answer your specific enquiry please feel free to contact our parish office or ask one of our welcomers or the priest on a Sunday.
General Mass Questions
I am not a Catholic; may I come to a Mass? What do I do, where can I sit, may I join in?
You are very welcome to all our Masses. There are four churches in our single parish, St Joseph's in the centre of town, St Mary's in west Guildford, Rydes hill,St Pius X in east Guildford, Merrow, and St Edward in north Guildford, near Jacobs Well. At the door, before each Sunday Mass there will be people to welcome you. Ask them any questions. We don’t have special places to sit in the church
I am a Catholic, I haven't been to Mass for a long time; can I go to Mass?
Please come, you are very welcome. You may find the Mass words have changed but we have leaflets and projector screens with up to date wording, and you will soon recognise the format
Are there differences between your sunday Masses?
All Masses follow the same format using the same liturgy or readings, however there are differences. The saturday vigil Masses (6pm St Pius X, 7pm St Marys) are generally quieter and shorter. While the sunday 8am St Josephs Mass is a quiet Mass with a generally older congregation. The 9am St Edward Mass is generally older with music but with a number of local families and children. The other sunday morning masses (9.30am St Pius X, 11am St Marys, 11am St Josephs) attract a diverse mix of families and older people, and during term times a children's liturgy (group) will happen during the first half of the Mass. The Sunday 6pm St Josephs Mass has a youthful & dynamic feel with vibrant contemporary music.and attracts many students, young people, families and older people.
What time should I arrive?
Whilst it is ideal to arrive a few minutes before the Mass starting time in order to allow you to find the most appropriate spot in the church. We know this is not always possible and so don't worry if you are a few minutes late as there will still be seats available
Do you collect money during services?
There is an offertory that takes place in the middle of the mass, where a monetary collection takes place, there is no expectation, the donation should be a pleasure for you to do so. That said, we do encourage members of the congregation to make a financial contribution towards the running costs of the church and a growing number of people give regularly to the church through a standing order and Gift Aid.
How can I get to church, where can I park?
St Pius X, St Edwards and St Marys have free car parks to allow easy parking, although we would advise you to arrive early to ensure you get a space. St Joseph's, has a car under the church that on weekends is a pay and display, costing around £1.50 for the day, as St Josephs is centrally located it is close to a number of bus stops
How do I get my baby baptised? The first step is to check out the baptism web page with the key details and an application form, if you fill this in and then contact the church parish office.There is a programme of baptism preparation, and baptisms take place in the church on set days in each month. A two month notice is advisable.
What happens about First Communion and Confirmation? In August and September each year there will be notices in the newsletter with details about the Sacramental Programme. The preparation takes place in the parish over several months. Information about the requirements and dates of the programmes will be published in the first communion and confirmation website pages. Application forms will be available at the on the respective web pages.
I am interested in knowing more about the Catholic faith, are there any programmes for adults? The church has the RCIA, Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, which starts in September; the RCIA page on the website has more details and you can then contact the parish office to request a chat with a priest or a catechist. This programme also applies to lapsed or adults Catholics who wish to return to the church or to be confirmed.
I am planning to get married. I am not a Catholic but my fiancé is. We live together; does that mean we can't be married in the Catholic Church? Congratulations on your decision to get married. The Catholic Church expects each couple to give six months’ notice to the parish that they want to get married, so in the first case get in touch with the parish office. Most couples who get married in the Church are of different faiths; the Church is able to help them make adult decisions about the wedding they want. Many couples do live together before marriage, and still can be married in the Church.
What do I need to do if I require a priest to sign a school form, a passport application, or identity verification? The first requirement is that you are a registered parishioner. Contact the parish office to make an appointment for a priest to sign the forms.
The Catholic Parish of Guildford
Church of St Mary: 157 Aldershot Road, Guildford, GU2 8BP Church of St Joseph: 12 Eastgate Gardens, Guildford, GU1 4AZ Church of St Edward: Sutton Park, Guildford, GU4 7QN Church of St Pius x: Laustan Close, Guildford, GU1 2TS