St Dismas Chaplaincy & Mission

An organisation in the Old Catholic Tradition

Who is St Dismas?

Very little is known about St Dismas, also known as the Penitent Thief, except that he was crucified alongside Christ (Luke 23:33-43). When the other thief started to mock Christ, St Dismas admitted that they deserved their punishment, whereas Christ was innocent. He then asked Christ to remember him. At this point his acceptance of his sins and of his penance lead to him being canonized by Christ himself, with the words "Amen I say to you today you will be with me in Paradise."


As such he is regarded as the Patron Saint of:-

  • Condemned Prisoners
  • Penitent Criminals
  • Reformed Criminals
  • Prisoners and Prison Chaplains
  • People who are dying
  • Funeral Directors (along with St Joseph of Arimathea)
  • People who feel they have left it too late to repent of their sins.

St Dismas's story reminds us it is never too late to turn to God, and that it is always possible for those who truly repent to find forgiveness and love in his embrace.

Who are the Old Catholic Church?

The term Old Catholic Church originated with groups which separated from the Roman Catholic Church over certain doctrines, primarily concerned with Papal authority. These churches are not in full communion with the Holy See of Rome. Nevertheless, according to Roman Catholic teaching, the Old Catholic churches of the Utrecht Union have maintained apostolic succession and valid sacraments.

We differ from most Churches in that our priests are unpaid, but have to make their own provision for receiving stipend. They emulate the Apostles and early believers to receive payment for the good works they do. Priests minister within their diocesan geographical areas, but if called upon will minister to all no matter where, without bias.