The Very Reverend Nick Welsh VE has been appointed the Vicar Episcopal for Catholic Education for the Archdiocese.

The post replaces his former role as Head of Schools and he will continue working closely with Eileen Rafferty (main pic, left), Religious Education Adviser to Primary Schools. They are joined by Margaret Barton (main pic, right), who takes up the part-time post of Religious Education Advisor to High Schools.

Fr Welsh said: “Schools are a big part of what we’re doing in the diocese, so it makes sense to have a Vicar Episcopal for Education to be part of discussions on the Archbishop’s Council.

“That means I’ll get a good idea of what’s going on across the diocese, along with the other VEs, and the vision Archbishop Cushley has for our schools.”

The team are currently busy putting together new sacramental material for primary teachers.

Catholic schools

Fr Nick continued: “One of the unique parts of a Catholic school is that we prepare our kids for the reception of the sacraments.

“But a Catholic school is much more than that; the encounter with Jesus Christ and the mission to educate our children according to our beliefs, values and faith is the most important thing. One of the challenges is making that clearly known to local authorities.”

Fr Nick is currently parish priest at Our Lady & St Andrew in Galashiels, also serving Our Lady & St Joseph's in Selkirk and St Cuthbert's in Melrose. He has two primary schools in his parish, St Joseph’s in Selkirk and St Margaret’s in Galshiels.

He said: “I genuinely love going into the schools. There’s a great energy that comes from being around kids who, because of the environment we create in our schools, are confident and feel safe. That makes them open to the message of the gospel."

Margaret Barton started her role today (Monday) at the Gillis Centre in Edinburgh. She is a former principal teacher of RE at St Aidan's HS in Wishaw, where she worked for 20 years.