Anglican contacting priest and attending mass


Hello, I’m not sure if i’m posting this in the right place, but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Until just before last Christmas, I, along with my Husband and our children had been attending an Evangelical Church where we became Christians over 8yrs ago. For various reasons we begun attending an Anglican Church ( they describe themselves as Evangelical Anglicans) so aside from the traditions of the Church of England it was much the same as before.

However, since feb/March time I have become increasingly interested in the Catholic church ( as a direct result of looking into the traditions of the Church of England) one thing led to another and I now feel hugely at odds with my Protestant teaching. Untill recently, I had never thought to look into Church history!

My husband has been supportive, although he doesn’t fully share my views, but he now thinks it time I visited a Catholic church. We have no Catholic friends at all, all are Evangelical or Anglican at the very least, and we don’t even know a neighbour or work collegue. I have been on to the website of our Parish Church and the Priest writes on there that if we have any questions about the Catholic faith or if we worship at a different church in the town feel free to contact him. If I knew someone to go to mass with, I would, and then speak to him, but having never attended mass in my life I really don’t want to go in without contacting the priest first as I wouldn’t have a clue what to do!

I am not a stupid woman, but every time I go to write him an email I just can’t think what to say without writing my whole life history! I just wondered if any one else had been in a similar situation or had any words of advice or encouragement.

Sorry the post is so long!



Thanks for writing Melissa. It sounds like the priest of that catholic church near you is very open and welcoming. Be assured that you dont have to do anything if you go to Mass. Just sit in the back and listen. I think you will find it very helpful. After Mass ask the priest if you can talk to him. I bet you will be surprised how much you will enjoy it. I wish you well on your journey. Let us know how it goes


what you wrote here would be fine for the priest.

Also, try the ordinariate. Our Lady of Walsingham in the UK.

This is a group of Anglicans who converted and use an Anglican Use Mass. The priest
of the ordinariate are former Anglican priests and will understand your interest and be in
a very good position to provide information and guidance.



Here’s a thought—Make a copy of the post you sent to us and mail it to him. Bet you get a very quick, supportive response.


There is no requirement to attend with anyone or get permission to attend first. Further, there is no requirement for a visiting non-Catholic to participate in any manner!

You may simply sit in the back and watch (you could also sit in the front, but you could better see what everyone else is doing if you sit in at least the second row :p). The hymnals often have a guide to the mass, which you could follow along in if you chose.

If you do contact the priest, I am sure he would be delighted to answer any question you have before visiting!


I didn’t contact anyone before I went to my first mass. I just went. I sat in the back the first time. There was a card in the back of the pew that listed most of what I needed to know to participate, and there was also a hymnal with the order of service listed at the front in more detail than the card.

I felt quite self-conscious the first time I went and would have been embarrassed to contact the priest to tell him I was attending, but I’m very shy so that’s just me. I think you should just send an email saying you are interested in Catholicism and will be attending your first mass. Then stop after the mass and introduce yourself to the priest.


The Catholic church is very receptive now of receiving people from the episcopal or anglican church.

Back in the 90’s I had a hard time finding someone to really help me with the questions I had and a desire to be Catholic. Times have changed as so many people have fled the episcopal church like I did.
I also tried the anglican church and it was still too protestant.
I converted in 2008. Since then they actually created an anglican use mass and ordinarates for those who want to be Catholic. I attend a regular Catholic church and felt right at home from the beginning.

Every Catholic church has an RCIA program for potential converts to attrnd. They usually start in the fall and you are received into the church at Easter. I would definitely encourage you to contact a priest ay a Catholic church near you. There is a lot to learn, but it is worth it and I still continue to learn. Let us know what happens. I was nervous too but I perservered and glad I did.


One other thing to remember you cannot receive communion until you have been received into the church so hurry and get started in RCIA!


If you just want to attend a Mass, then just go and sit in the back and watch what everyone else is doing - don’t worry about saying anything. The only thing is that you aren’t able to receive communion (it’s obvious, really, when everyone gets in line in the aisles just stay in your seat).
If you would like to learn more about the Catholic Church contact the priest or the Church office (just email him/them asking when the RCIA meets - no need to say anything else). RCIA is just for people wanting to learn about the Catholic Church and some actually enter the Church from it.
So, everything is really easy!

God’s Blessings on you.


First of all to attend mass, you don’t need to contact the priest. You can find whatever day you are planning on attending, their missal, online. You could print that out and then follow it during the mass. Often parishes also have the missals already there for people as well. Don’t worry if you don’t know when to sit and stand, generally speaking as long as you don’t sit in the front pew, you can follow the congregation. It is normal for visitors to not understand what is going on inside the mass. You can just sit quietly and listen and get a feel of it.

Afterwords if you feel comfortable, you can always introduce yourself and ask if the priest would be willing to meet with you to answer some questions. You can explain that you are from the Evangelical church and that you have been attending the Anglican church for a while. If it comes up, you can mention you are married with children. The first thing is to take it step by step.

Someone had mentioned that you cannot participate in communion. As an Anglican, if I’m not mistaken you can. Whether or not you decide to join them for communion, you would have to see if God was leading you there. Generally speaking the first time, I wouldn’t join in since some priests will allow Anglicans to participate in communion, while others won’t.

Happy journeying.



You do not have to contact anyone to attend Mass. Just go. You can participate in everything except receiving Communion or you can just sit and observe what takes place until you are more comfortable.
I was a born and brought up Methodist and married a Catholic. I attended Mass for 10 years with my wife before I finally converted.


Anglicans may not receive Communion. Catholic Communion is closed and only open to Catholics and in certain instances to Orthodox. Although Catholics are strict about this, some Lutherans are required to speak to the Pastor and prove they belong to the same synod, unless this has changed.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary



Thank you everyone for your replies,they have been really helpful. I’m going to attend mass tomorrow. The church have a welcome team on the door, so I should be able to speak to them as I go in.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks again





This is really great news! I am pleased to hear it, it is always wonderful to welcome new people to our Church- I don’t mean “joining” the Church- even just visiting. The Catholic Church is a very warm and welcoming place, we are a family and extend our love to you.

There are many people joining us from the Anglican Church recently, which is a good thing, it is not “turning your back” on your former faith, but, is enriching and completing it. I once heard that from a Priest and believe it very much to be true. You certainly have good and clear intentions and Our Lady & The Holy Spirit will guide you.


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