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Outreach To Lapsed / Resting Catholics

*NEW FOR 2008 - 2009 : 30th November 2008 - 31st January 2009
Last year the Catholic Enquiry Office, under the direction of CASE, created resources to equip parishes to reach out to lapsed / resting Catholics during the Christmas and New Year period. The initiative was called 'Come Home For Christmas' and the response from parishes was very positive. New materials are now available for Advent 2008 and January 2009. Please see below for more resources and information and don't hesitate to contact our office if we can be of service to you.

CHFC poster 2008

Press Release: ‘Returners’ inspire repeat Come Home For Christmas outreach (Web page) 09.10.08

News Sheet 2008
What were the fruits of last year's intiative? Did you or your parish take part? Read our latest news sheet on who and how people responded. Come Home For Christmas - April (pdf)

What resources are available this year?
Catholic Evangelisation is varied and diverse, and as such our outreach initiatives should reflect this. No 'one size fits all' and when preparing to engage with lapsed / resting Catholics we need to reflect on where they are coming from, and what might best appeal to the people in our locality. In light of that, this year we are providing a selection of poster and invitation cards which are designed to appeal to different constituent groups.

Please do take the plunge and ask to display the posters in public (non church venues). You might also want to consider pushing the invitation cards through doors or even setting up a 'home visiting' team.

How To Get Involved? Flier (pdf)
What is Come Home For Christmas? How can your parish participate? What resources are available in support of your efforts?

'Hands' Poster (pdf)
'Hands Invitation Card (pdf)
If your parish (area) is made up of a wide cross section of ages and backgrounds, this design might best suit your needs.
*Printed copies are available from the CASE office, or you are welcome to download the files from the links above.
(Image: 'hands' poster)

'Lights' Poster (pdf)
'Lights' Invitation Card (pdf)
If your parish (area) has a large number of young people in it and / or in a student area, our focus group work suggests this design might be the most appealing. This design can be downloaded from the links above.

'Chair' Poster (pdf)
'Chair' Invitation Card (pdf)
If your parish (area) has a substantial retired or elderly population, our preparatory work revealed that this design might be the best one to use. This design can be downloaded from the links above.

Catholic And Lost Touch? Leaflet (pdf)
This leaflet can be given to a lapsed / resting Catholic either during a one-to-one encounter, or perhaps pushed through a letter box. You might also like to leave them on display in the church porch.

You may prefer to use the materials provided for Advent 2007. Please feel free to do so: see below. Here's last year's poster and invitation card (pdf)

*Reaching Out To The Lapsed At Easter 2009
Some of the Come Home For Christmas resources can easily be adapted. Also see: www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk/kit

'In from the cold' by Sheila Keefe (The Tablet, 23rd February 2008)
A systematic programme for bringing those who have drifted from the Church back ‘home’ to
the Sacraments can bear much fruit – provided it is grounded in prayer. Pdf file


YEAR ONE: Outreach To Lapsed / Resting: 2nd December 2007 - 31st January 2008

Resources are also available from our Anglican brothers and sisters in Christ.
See: http://www.backtochurch.co.uk

Campaign image - stained glass nativity image

There's still time to join individuals, groups and parishes across England and Wales in reaching out to 'resting' or lapsed Catholics.

Come Home For Christmas is a new initiative of the Catholic Church which aims to offer a seasonal welcome to Catholics who for different reasons no longer or rarely attend Mass. Whatever your story or journey, the door is open for you.

CASE has created a range of materials to support individuals, groups and parishes to reach out to the lapsed. Please feel free to download and print out any of the below. Alternatively, you may order copies of them from the CASE office. To make an order or enquiry please e-mail: [email protected]

National Press Release 2007 (link to a web page)

Where are they now? 2007 PDF icon
Inspiring Ideas and Practical Suggestions for Parish Communities and Individual Catholics to ‘Reach Out and Welcome Home’.
(Booklet format)

Leaflet For The lapsed 2007 PDF icon

Initiative Flier 2007(Come Home For Christmas)PDF icon

Initiative Poster 2007 (Come Home For Christmas)PDF icon

Suggested Format For A 'Welcome Home' Evening 2007
(Come Home For Christmas) word icon

Welcome Message 2007 [To be adapted by parish priest for reading out at Christmas Mass or use in newsletter] word icon


A website from www.comehomeforchristmas.co.uk

A dedicated website has been especially created to accompany the initiative. It is designed to provide a space online where non Church-going Catholics can explore and receive an invitation to return.

The site includes: video testimonies, welcome messages from the Bishops of England and Wales, articles about possible obstacles and how to come back, free downloads and contact information. Please do help publicise the address in newsletters, on websites and perhaps make it part of your e-mail signature?



Invitation Cards

Invitation card We are also offering invitation cards and have created sticker templates to faciliate the easy insertion of your Advent and Christmas service times. The sticker templates exactly fit the space available on the back of the cards. The size of sticker needed is: Avery J8161 (63.5 x 46.6mm).

Invitation cards (four to an A4 sheet) PDF

Stickers word icon


PowerPoint Presentations

Presentation powerpoint icon you could use as an introduction at a parish planning meeting
If you would like information on how to adapt this to your own circumstances, please click here to send an email.


*Using Parish Records To Contact The Lapsed - Copyright And Data Protection Considerations
CASE has received a question about the legality of using information on parish records to send out invitations to lapsed Catholics. We have researched this and advise:

Additional materials from sources external to CASE

Everybody's Welcome (Website link)
Everybody's Welcome is supporting parish communities to become more friendly, more family-sensitive, and more welcoming of all, including those at their heart as well as on the margins.

Keep In Touch (KIT) (Website link)
Keeping In Touch is a resource which has been developed by the diocese of Portsmouth. It aims to serve as a tool through which Catholics can reach out to adults who are either non Church-going or who are on the fringes of Church life. Summary sheet word icon Invitation Flier word icon Prayer word icon

Landings (Website link)
LANDINGS is a lay-led programme which offers a safe, comfortable “landing place” for Catholics who feel distanced from the Church and who are thinking about coming back. Also see their entry in our Evangelisation Directory

St Benedict’s Parish Office (Ealing Abbey)
2 Marchwood Crescent
London W5 2DZ
07717 224 072
E-mail: [email protected]
Landings UK web site: www.LandingsUK.org.uk
Landings International web site: www.landings-international.org

Alpha (Website link)
The Alpha course, which originated in Holy Trinity Church, Brompton, London, is one of the best known evangelisation programmes throughout the world. Although it is of evangelical Anglican origin, it is now widely used in the Catholic Church and by many other denominations .

Good News Magazine (Website link)
DON’T MISS THE SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2007 ISSUE OF GOOD NEWS MAGAZINE, linking in with Home Mission Sunday, with a special emphasis on evangelisation and ideas for reaching out to the lapsed.

Welcome card for visitors (Microsoft Publisher file)
This resource was kindly sent to CASE by members of the Seekers' Centre team at the Franciscan Friary in Pantasaph, North Wales. For more information about the Seekers' Centre, please see here

Search and Rescue (Website link)
"How do you bring a friend or relative back into the Church? First, you pray. Then, you follow Patrick Madrid's advice in Search and Rescue." Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York

'Coming Home' leaflet word icon
This leaflet has been kindly made available by the Diocese of East Anglia.

'Welcome Home' leaflet word icon
This leaflet has been kindly made available by the Diocese of Leeds.

Step by Step: what do we do? word icon
This resource was kindly made available by the Diocese of Leeds.


KEEPING IN TOUCH (KIT) Parish Ministry Reaching Out To Non Church-Going And Church-Going Catholics

Prodigals CrossNon Church-Going And Church-Going Catholics

Would you like to reach out to those in your local community who are non church-going? There is a large group of people who have never had contact with a Christian community and / or once used to, but no longer attend Church. Try KIT which is a tailor-made programme.

Summary of KIT and Meeting Plan (Word doc.)

The KIT Handbook 3rd Edition (PDF doc.)


Prodigals Conference - February 2006

Attitude Shift Key to Welcoming Back Non-Practising word icon

Landmark Conference to help parishes re-engage with the lapsed
Press Release word icon


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