Sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.


The Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church


The Catechism of the Catholic Church lists the sacraments as follows: ‘The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments. There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation or Chrismation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.’


Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other Sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and return as children of God.
We become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in the mission. Baptism is a Sacrament of regeneration through water and the Word.

If you wish for your child to be Baptised please speak to Canon Bosco,
Fr Cavan, Deacon Kevin, Deacon James or Deacon Paul after Mass. If as an adult you wish to follow the life of a Christian in the Catholic Church, please contact Cathedral House to enquire about the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults through our ‘Knowing the Faith’ programme.

First Holy Communion

The Holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation, participate with the whole community in the Lord’s own sacrifice by the means of the Eucharist. At the Last Supper on the night Our Saviour was betrayed, he instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his body and blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages and until he should come again; and so to entrust to his beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace and a pledge of future glory is given to us. Children are prepared to receive Communion through the the First Holy Communion and Reconciliation course and should be aged 8 and in Year 4. Adults are prepared through the RCIA course.

First Holy Communion 2024

Application forms will be available from January 2024.  The Course will commence on the 7th March 2024. First Holy Communion Mass will be celebrated on 8th June 2024 at 9.30am.


Confirmation 2024

Preparation will begin in the early Spring on Tuesday evenings in the Apostle Room beginning with Mass at 7pm. Confirmation will be celebrated on Pentecost Sunday (19 May) during the 6pm Mass. Sessions will run weekly except for Holy Week and Easter Week. Further details will be advertised on the News section early in 2024.

If you are interested in being Confirmed you should have reached your 14th birthday by 1st September 2023, be baptised, and actively participating in the life of the Church by regular attendance at Sunday Mass. For further information and to register your interest please contact Paul Hill – Expressions of interest are also welcome from adults (18+) who wish to be Confirmed.


Sin is before all else an offence against God; a rupture of communion with him. At the same time it damages communion with the Church. For this reason conversion entails both God’s forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church, which are expressed and accomplished liturgically by the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.

Confessions are held after 9.30am Mass on Saturday or by appointment.


The Sacrament of Marriage joins a man and woman together in a loving covenant with God. A marriage in the Catholic Church must be permanent, exclusive and open to the possibility of having children and raising them within the Church. Catholics believe that marriage is a gift from God, as Jesus was united with his bride, the Church, and therefore husband and wife should grow together in love and trust. Marriage in the world of the church is a sacrament for life not just a wedding. Christian Marriage is a real and effective sign of the covenant of Christ with the Church. Marriage between baptised persons is a true Sacrament of the New Covenant.

The Catholic Church believes that this massive commitment and important sacrament warrants their active involvement and support during the build up and so asks all couples getting married in the Catholic Church to go through a marriage preparation programme before the marriage. We see marriage as a sacrament presided over by God and as such it warrants an appropriate degree of preparation. Marriage preparation is led by Canon Bosco, Fr Cavan, Deacon Kevin, Deacon James or Deacon Paul, who lead the engaged couple through the programme. Any of the clergy can be approached after Sunday Mass to enquire about a course of marriage preparation.

Wedding music

There is nothing better than music to create the right atmosphere at your wedding, and deciding which music should be played is one of the most important decisions you need to make when planning your big day. The music at Clifton Cathedral is provided by professional musicians who are well qualified,
so you can be confident and imaginative in your choices. Richard Jeffrey-Gray, the Director of Music, is a musician with over 30 years’ experience of playing for weddings. If he is unavailable to play for your wedding another professional organist will be booked on your behalf – there is no change in the fee if this is the case.

With the help of our music staff and the attached suggestions we endeavour to make choosing the music for your wedding an enjoyable and rewarding part of your preparations. If you are having a Nuptial Mass there are a few other aspects to consider which we will go through you with when we meet.


The Sacrament of Holy Orders is the continuation of Christ’s priesthood, which He bestowed upon His Apostles; thus, the Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to the Sacrament of Holy Orders as ‘the sacrament of apostolic ministry.’ Anybody thinking about entering an ordained ministry is encourage to visit for further information.

Sacrament of the Sick

The Church believes that among the seven Sacraments there is one specially intended to strengthen those who are being tried by illness, the Sacrament of the Sick. The Sacrament of the Sick is not only for those who are at the point of death – hence as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive the Sacrament has certainly already arrived.

If a sick person who received this Anointing recovers his health he can in the case of another grave illness receive this sacrament again. If during the same illness the person’s condition becomes more serious the Sacrament may be repeated. It is fitting to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a serious operation. The same holds for the elderly whose frailty becomes more pronounced.

If you or a member of your family would like to receive the Sacrament of the Sick please contact Fr Cavan (Assistant Priest for Pastoral Care) by calling Cathedral House on 0117 9738411, or (in emergencies) by calling 07757 677710.


We would like to restart Children’s Liturgy in the Sacristy during 9.30am Mass for children of primary school age. If you can volunteer to help– training will be provided – please contact Mary via Cathedral House 0117 9738411.