Thursday and Friday, 30-31st January, 2014
Thistle Hotel, Marble Arch
"Where All Are Valued"


Our speakers so far include Bishop Kieran Conry, Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, Fr. Christopher Jamison, OSB, Director of the National Office for Vocation; Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools; Paul Barber, Director of the Catholic Education Service for England and Wales (CES); and John Pridmore, a former East End 'enforcer' who became a Christian, joined a Franciscan order, and now devotes his life to fighting gang culture.

Also joining us will be representatives from CAFOD, CES, the DfE "Pupil Premium" Team, and the CATSC President, Mary Sainsbury, and other members of the Executive.

For more information and the booking form, please click on the attachment below.

Monday, 11 November 2013 16:16

Taizé School & College Weeks 2014

Taizé is an international and ecumenical monastic community founded in 1940 in the village of the same name, in Burgundy (France). From the 1960s the Community has welcomed young adults (minimum age 15) for week-long international meetings. 80,000 young people from all over the world participate in these meetings each year.

In 2014, some weeks in June and July are designated as school and college weeks for which school groups (Years 10-13; Scotland: S3 - S6) and 6th-form college groups are especially invited.

For more infomation please click on the link below.

What the week is about?

A stay at Taizé helps young people mature in a safe but challenging environment. Each day includes biblical reflection, small international discussion groups, some practical activity and prayer with the whole community. It is a kind of slice of Christian community life which, because it is experienced rather than just talked about, is accessible to those who do not think of themselves as religious, or who are of other faiths. Nearly all school groups in previous years have included non-Christian young people.


Dates and times 2014

• Any of these weeks are suggested for schools and colleges in England and Wales: 22-29 June, 29 June - 6 July, 6 - 13, 13 - 20 or 20 - 27 July.
(Scottish schools can also come earlier in June.)
Easter break is also possible. Other weeks by arrangement.

• Groups should arrive if possible on Sunday and leave the following Sunday, from midday on. Groups may leave instead around 10pm on Saturday, after the evening service, if students need to be home on Sunday.


For more infomation please click on the link below.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 13:36

Living Wage Week

Living Wage week is approaching quickly and the CES, as an active participant in the Living Wage initiative, are eager to support it. We have been working recently alongside various organisations to help promote and implement the Living Wage resolution in dioceses and schools. The Living Wage week, which will begin on 4th November 2013, is aimed at promoting the concept of the Living Wage and celebrating the achievements of the initiative so far. In the lead up to 4th November we have produced a range of resources containing information for schools on how the Living Wage may affect them and also how to become accredited. So what exactly is the Living Wage?

As we all know employers must pay workers at least the national minimum wage, in order to ensure fair and just payment for their labour. Unfortunately however, we are seeing living costs rise year upon year and it is becoming increasingly difficult for people on the lower end of the pay scale to survive on the national minimum wage. This is where the Living Wage comes in...

The Living wage rate has been calculated by independent authorities and reflects an amount which is considered to be necessary to cover the costs of basic everyday living. There are two Living Wage rates; the current Living wage rate outside of London is £7.45 per hour, while the London rate is slightly higher at £8.55 per hour. This is due to living costs in London being higher than other parts of the country. These rates are adjusted annually to make sure that they remain in line with living costs, and so these rates will change in November, with the new rates being announced during Living Wage week.

Why are The CES supporting Living Wage Week?

In November 2012 the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales endorsed the Living Wage and passed a resolution encouraging its organisations to work towards its implementation. As a result, there are now many Catholic organisations taking an active interest in the Living Wage initiative.
The Church has a mission to the poor and a commitment to combating poverty. In the current economic climate wages are simply not stretching far enough and as a result of this 60% of the children deemed to be living in poverty in Britain today are growing up in working households. The Church wants to strive to ensure that work will always provide a way out of poverty. Therefore, we at the CES believe that paying the Living Wage is a practical step that we can take to support the Church's mission to the poor; putting our Catholic Faith into action.

Citizens UK, who are a founding member of The Living Wage Foundation, have stated that over the past decade 45,000 families have been lifted out of working poverty as a direct result of the Living Wage. This shows just how much of a positive impact implementing the Living Wage can have and for this reason, we are encouraging Catholic schools and colleges to consider taking steps towards becoming accredited Living Wage employers.

The internet can provide us with a vast world of knowledge, education and entertainment but, like most things, it comes with its risks.  Children can often be exposed online to harmful content, such as sexually explicit or violent images.  While it is the responsibility of the parents to protect their children online, it can be a complex task, which is why the government are putting measures in place to support parents in the protection of their children. 

In recent months Catholic organisations such as the Catholic Education Service and CSAN have been supporting the government’s focus on online safety.   There has been a conscious effort made to improve the online safeguarding of children and young people through putting in place measures such as a block on pornography through public Wi-Fi as well as the appointment of Claire Perry MP as the Online Safety Advisor.  Whilst the Catholic Church greatly welcomes these changes we feel that there is more to be done to protect the wellbeing of our children and young people.

Exposing children to harmful or explicit content can potentially damage their ability to build relationships and can create mental health issues, as well as having an impact upon the child’s emotional state and wellbeing.  Recent research by the Children’s Commissioner has shown that a significant number of children and young people are exposed to unwanted sexual content online despite the efforts taken to increase internet safety. 

In light of this, many Catholic organisations and agencies are showing their support for the Online Safety Bill sponsored by Baroness Howe of Idlicote.  The bill proposes an ‘Opt-in’ system which will require internet providers to provide a service which automatically excludes adult content, but will provide access to such content to adults who want it and can provide notification and proof of age. 

We sincerely hope that the government will offer its support to this bill and the actions it proposes.         


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