Below are some of the questions visitors ask frequently about our four 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.
Questions about Mass.
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 (5.30pm St Pius X, 7pm St Marys) are generally quieter and shorter.
The Sunday 8.30am St Edward Mass is generally attracts an older congregation with traditional organ music but with a small number of local families and children.
The other Sunday morning Masses (9.30am St Pius X, 11 am St Joseph's, 11.30 am St Mary's) attract a diverse mix of families and older people.
The popular Sunday 5 pm Mass at St Joseph's has a youthful & dynamic feel with vibrant contemporary music and attracts many students, young people, families and older people. During term times a children's liturgy of the Word takes place during this Mass.
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 and train station.
Questions about Sacramental Preparation.
How do I get my baby baptised?
The first step is to check out the baptism web page with the key details and how to express an interest. 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 July, August and September each year there will be notices in the newsletter with details about the Sacramental Programme. If you are registered on the database, and your children are of the right age you will receive an automatic email. 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 confirmationwebsite 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; theRCIA 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 decisions about the wedding they want. Many couples do live together before marriage, and still can be married in the Church.
Questions about School Forms.
What do I need to do if I require a priest to sign a school form, a passport application, or identity verification?
To obtain the signature of the Priest and the Parish stamp your completed school application forms and a copy of the Baptism Certificate should be delivered to the parish office at 12 Eastgate Gardens GU1 4AZ. As the Parish Office is closed there are two options either: Make a note of the church you attend and the form will be returned to that church for collection after Mass on Sundays OR include a Stamped Addressed Envelope large enough for the form and Baptismal Certificate to be posted back to you.
Please note for all of the Catholic schools in Guildford you DO NOT need a copy of a first Holy Communion certificate.