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Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Arundel & Brighton welcomes record number of new Catholics
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 A record number of new Catholics were received into the Church in Arundel & Brighton Roman Catholic Diocese over the Easter weekend: The Diocese which covers Sussex and Surrey has seen an increase of over 50% this year in the number of men and women received into the Church. More than 50 of them were baptised during the Easter ceremonies. A similar pattern was reflected in the statistics across England and Wales with at least 3,630 people received as new Catholics.

Barbara Hopper who works for the diocese with those being received into the Church said she believes the current financial difficulties have made people revaluate what is important in life: “In situations of adversity we look at the basics and what’s really important.”

Deacon Mark Woods from the parish of St Michael’s, Worthing who is responsible for the New Catholics programme in the parish, which this year welcomes five people into the Church, said: “This is a good news story not only for the Catholic Church but for the community as a whole as people begin to reconnect themselves with God and each other. As people of faith we believe together we are called to love God and love neighbour not just in word but also in deed, which must be good for everyone. “

One of those baptised was 19 year old Callum Day who is training to be a mechanic. He was baptised by full immersion in a special ceremony on Saturday evening in front of friends, family and parishioners. He had not been baptised a young child, although his mother is a Catholic, who herself has just been reconciled to the Church, but he had as a young man felt the call of the Lord to faith. Callum reflecting on his Easter baptism said: “I feel as if I have been reborn and made clean, and that I am able to face the world as a new person loved by Jesus and called to share that love with others.”

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