The tour is called ‘Crossing the Threshold’ and has been organised in response to concerns repeatedly expressed by priests and parishioners about the large number of baptised who never or rarely attend Sunday Mass. It is estimated that at least two-thirds of the baptised Catholic community in England and Wales is non churchgoing which equates to approximately four to five million people. This makes for a significant constituency of people who, in most cases, self-identify as Catholic but never or rarely attend Mass.
Five days are being offered: 12 November (2011) in York, 4 February (2012) in Birmingham, 3 March in Crawley, 28 April in Westminster and 23 June in Cardiff. The day in York will take place at English Martyrs Church, 9.30am – 3.30pm. Bishop Arthur Roche (Leeds), Bishop Terence Drainey (Middlesbrough) and Bishop John Rawsthorne (Hallam) will attend the event. Everyone is welcome.
‘Crossing the Threshold’ is an initiative of the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. Department Chair, Bishop Kieran Conry, said: “I would like to encourage every parish within easy travelling distance to send at least one representative to the tour day closest to them, with the initial focus the day in York.”
The tour is part of a three-year project to develop this area of ministry and outreach. During 2010 a national core group for this ministry was formed, in March of this year a day for 90 diocesan personnel was hosted in Westminster, 2012 will see the completion of the national tour, climaxing with the publication of a step-by-step resource in 2013. The project is being coordinated by the Home Mission Desk of the Bishops’ Conference.