LANDINGS is a a lay-led programme based on
faith-sharing within a small group which offers a safe, comfortable “landing
place” for Catholics who have been away from the Church
and who are thinking about coming back. Our parish has been running
Landings since October 2001.
There are many reasons people choose to stop
practising their faith: some may have had unpleasant or painful
experiences within their Church community, others will simply
have drifted away. You may well ask why ‘returning Catholics’ need
a programme like Landings to help them come back to the Church,
for as long as there is no obstacle to them receiving the Sacraments
they could come straight back to the Eucharist via the Sacrament
of Reconciliation (Confession). Some might prefer not to join
a group at all; Landings does not claim to be the best solution
for everyone, but many seem to feel a need for support and friendship
within a small group before venturing into the wider parish community.
Landings provides a confidential environment in which people
who are considering returning to regular worship can re-examine
their faith and at the same time get to know some parishioners
(the group's 'welcomers'). A typical group comprises 4 or 5 'welcomers'
and 2 or 3 'returners' meeting once a week (usually on a weekday
evening, in the parish office) for 8 weeks, followed by a final
Retreat Day. It offers an opportunity for everyone in the group,
whether 'welcomer' or 'returner', to tell their stories, air
their grievances and share their beliefs; a gentle process which
many seem to find both helpful and enjoyable. There is no formal
element of teaching but we nevertheless all find that we learn
from listening to one another. The meetings also include a weekly
topic for discussion (loosely based on the Creed) as well as
a time for prayer. Many people who come along as 'returners'
enjoy the group so much that they continue in future groups as
If you are a Catholic who has been away from
the Church and you think that you might like to come along to
a Landings group, please email LandingsUK@hotmail.com or ring
07717 224 072 to find out when the next Ealing Abbey Landings
group will be running.