This page covers a selection of questions that get frequently asked in phone calls to Bishop's House. We hope this may save you an unnecessary call !
How do I get hold of a copy of my Baptismal Certificate?
People need these for a variety of reasons, mostly to do with getting married.
In general, they should be requested from the parish where you were baptised
– this is where the registers are held.
If you know where you were baptised, use our Church Finder
to locate the parish and then contact the priest or parish office. Some of our priests are better than others at answering e-mails, so a phone call or even a letter might be safer ! Don't
leave it to the last minute. They will need your full name at the time you were baptised, your parents’ names, and the date as far as you know it.
If you are not sure where you were baptised – e.g. you only know it was in a particular town – you may just have to contact all the parishes in that town until one of them finds your name in their registers. If your family recalls anything at all about the church (e.g. “ it was near the railway station”) that may help a lot.
Although there is no single central register of Catholic baptisms, in certain cases the baptismal records are held at Bishop's House in Northampton. This applies when the person was adopted at the time of their baptism, or when a church has since been closed down (although not always. In some cases the records will have been transferred to a nearby church.) If you cannot find the church in our lists, start by contacting Bishop's House – click here.
All the above information also applies to getting a Confirmation certificate
which may also be required on marriage.
I'm moving into (or visiting) the Diocese. Where's the nearest Catholic Church ? (and/or Catholic school)
Use the Church Finder
- zoom into the area you'll be in, and the churches will show up as blue crosses. If you want schools, use the drop-down menu to select schools in the relevant county. Clicking your mouse cursor on any of these will bring up a pop-up with details, including Mass times for churches, and contact details for schools.
I want to contact a specific priest
Check our Priests and Deacons
page (see the link at top left). If he is not listed there, he may be deceased, or have left the priesthood. Enquire via Bishop's House. If he is listed, use the Church Finder to locate the parish
Getting Married in a Catholic Church
to download our document "Getting Married"
Family history research
Please contact Bishop's House by letter (not e-mail or phone), giving as much information as possible about the nature of the enquiry. If from the UK, please include a stamped self addressed envelope. Address your enquiry to the 'Archives Department'. The enquiry will be dealt with as quickly as possible, although we have to ask for your patience in view of limited resources.