Three new Catholics tell their stories

 This Easter it is estimated that the number of people who will be received into the Catholic Church in England and Wales will be up by 20% compared to last year's figures.

People convert for many different reasons and in response to a wide variety of experiences. Every person's faith journey is unique and special. Here we share three stories of conversion: a model, a chief executive and a primary school teacher.

Barbara Field is a 59-year-old separated mother of three.

She has two daughters aged 25 and 20, and has a son who has died. She works for 'Treehouse' which is a school for children with autism and has recently featured as a model for the 'Dove Real Women Campaign'.

She said: "The change that the decision to become a Catholic has made to my life has been subtle and I think it is unfolding. It is the beginning of something new for me, taking me to a different level. I have so much to learn and I'm excited about it. It's an adventure, the beginning of a journey. It's like going on a trip. I believe that where I am going is more into the mystery of God's love. We are so much loved by Him. Once you go deeper into that reality, then everything opens for you in your life, your relationships with others, your service, everything."

David Wirrich is 55, lives in Torquay, is single and the Chief Executive of St John Ambulance in Devon.

David said: "This Easter is going to take on a deeper meaning for me. The significance of being received into the Church on Easter Sunday didn't strike me at first when the group leader at the RCIA (2) session made the announcement. I now realise why this timing is so right. It makes total sense because we are celebrating and experiencing the death and rising again of Jesus. This parallels with how I feel about my own journey dying to one path in life and entering into another and beginning again. My prayers at the moment are so much more meaningful and I am really excited about receiving Holy Communion."

Vivien is in her thirties and a single mum of one. She is a primary school teacher in Coventry:

"The turning point came one night when I called out to God for the first time in my life after thinking that things were so bad that life wasn't really worth living. As a single mum I was finding life difficult and had lost a sense of purpose to my life. I mused that there must be something else. To live and die in my current state didn't provide any motivation to go on at all. My prayer was very simple "God, if you are there, now would be a good time to tell me about it." I felt the presence of God in my heart almost immediately."
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