WATCH: Altar Servers' Day

Altar servers from across the Archdiocese enjoyed a day of games, training and prayer at The Gillis Centre at the weekend.

Thanks to Fr Martin Eckersley of St Francis Xavier's in Falkirk for leading the day and to the priests and parents who came along to help make it a joyous event!



GALLERY: SPRED celebrates 25 years in Archdiocese

Congratulations to the SPRED family, past and present, who celebrated the Silver Anniversary of its presence in the Archdiocese at the annual commissioning Mass recently.

It took place at St Kentigern's, and Archbishop Cushley was joined by parish priest Fr  Jeremy Milne along with Fr Tony Lappin (St Joseph's, Peebles), Canon Brian Gowans (St Serf's, Kirkcaldy), Fr Jamie Boyle (St Mary's, Stirling), Fr Alex Davie (St Catherine's, Gilmerton) and Deacon Tom McEvoy (Sacred Heart, Penicuik).

SPRED has been helping people with learning disabilities develop their faith and spirituality in the Archdiocese for 25 years.

Archbishop Cushley said: "It was a pleasure to join the SPRED family at St Kentigern's in Edinburgh recently to celebrate their 25 years in the Archdiocese. Thank you for all you do."


FEEDBACK: Encouraging teachers to share the Faith

Helping children develop a love and knowledge of Jesus Christ and His Church is a key role of our Catholic schools.

The Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh is helping teachers do that by offering financial support to study for the Catholic Teachers Certificate (CTC).

This year, we have awarded 20 teachers a subsidy to study the CTC at Glasgow University.

What is the Catholic Teachers Certificate?

It is the qualification required for those eligible and wishing to teach Religious Education in Catholic primary schools or in Catholic secondary schools as a 'generalist' RE teacher.  Working in partnership with the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, the University of Glasgow is responsible for this award. Find out more here.

Margaret Barton, Archdiocesan Religious Education Advisor to High Schools, said: "Having the CTC is of great benefit to a teacher as it enables them to teach Religious Education lessons and prepare children for receiving the Sacraments.

"We're pleased to support 20 teachers again this year and its been great to have such positive feedback from teachers.


We asked teachers based in our Archdiocese who have just completed the CTC to give us their feedback, below.


I enjoyed studying the CTC because it has helped to develop my professional practice and enhanced my own understanding of my faith. It has allowed me to develop the knowledge and skills required to effectively teach the RE programme.

- Rebecca Stanford

The CTC course allowed me to build a closer relationship with the pupils on their faith journey whilst making the sacraments.

- Cameron Kildae, St Joseph's Primary, Whitburn

Through the course I made new friendships. We talked about our faith, our experiences, our jobs and and supported each other through the coursework.  Although a practicing Catholic, the course really made me think more deeply about my faith and gave me a better understanding of things that I was a bit unsure of before.

- Stacy Corrigan

It has developed my knowledge and understanding in order to lead our Faith within a Catholic primary school and has strengthened my own belief.

- Cheryl Evans

I enjoyed studying for the CTC because of the range of experiences it has afforded me, including in-person days to grow in community and personal reflections upon my own faith journey. I found the course tutors to be supportive and approachable.

- Lucy Walker

It was great being able to get together with other Catholic teachers and discuss our roles, ideas, and share our experiences.  I now have a better understanding of the This is our Faith resource and how it should be used across the school to ensure progression and depth for our learners.

- Louise McCauley


Reflection Day for Diploma in Catechetics Students

A day for students taking our Diploma in Catechetics to get together to pray and learn more about the Catholic faith in a relaxed informal setting. Time to be confirmed.

New atrium helps children grow in love of the Good Shepherd

Archbishop Cushley blessed a new atrium at St Theresa's Church in East Calder today (Thursday 6 July) where children will grow in their knowledge and love of God.

The catechesis space is where they can have a fun, hands-on experience learning about prayer and liturgy from specially trained catechists.

Archbishop Cushley gave a blessing to the new atrium and to Catechetists.

The training of the catechists has been taking place at the church all this week, run by Catechesis of the Good Shepherd UK.

Four parishioners from St Theresa's were joined by others from across the Archdiocese and beyond.

Parishioner Blanca Rangel said: “Our parish priest Kevin Douglas asked me to get involved, and it's been really engaging.

"I'm looking forward to sowing that little grain in which to help kids grow up in the Faith."

Johnny and Maria Welch (below), from London, travelled north for the training with their four-month old daughter Rosamund.

Johnny and Maria Welch travelled from London with daughter Rosamund for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training course at St Theresa's.

Johnny said: “We came here because it was an opportunity to do the first stage of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training in one week.

"There’s an atrium in our parish in London - Holy Trinity Parish in Brook Green - which bears beautiful fruit in the children who attend it. That's what attracted us."

Archbishop Cushley said: "It's very encouraging to see the growth of atriums in various place in the Archdiocese. The one here will be at the service of the village and the rest of the Livingston churches.

Archbishop Cushley with Catechists at St Theresa's in East Calder. Also pictured are parish priest Fr Kevin Douglas (right), Sr Anna Marie (right of Archbishop), Catechetical Advisor for the Archdiocese, and Sr Anna Christi Solis OP (left of Archbishop), the Formation Leader of the training programme.

"I hope that many young families will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to bring their children.

"The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd has simple and proven learning techniques that help children to a knowledge and a love of the Lord.

"It's a beautiful journey and I can warmly recommend it."

A mini altar and vestments in the atrium helps children understand the basics of the Church's liturgy at an early age.

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Christian catechesis programme for children aged 3-12 years, which "enables them to experience and form an authentic relationship with God".

The Catechesis is rooted in Scripture and the Liturgy of the Church and is inspired by Maria Montessori’s principles of education.

Sr Anna Marie McGuan RSM, the Catechetical Advisor for the Archdiocese, said: "The Atrium is a dedicated catechetical space for children.

Mums and dads realise that their children are desirous of God’s love and this is a way that they can encounter it.

"Right now, it is for children aged 3 to 6, to give them a place where they can encounter the Lord.

"The environment allows themto learn to listen to the voice of God, and so open themselves to the covenant of love that God desires with each person.

"Mums and dads realise that their children are desirous of God’s love and this is a way that they can encounter it in a personal way."

Young mums are among the catechists in training.

Sr Anna Christi Solis OP, the Formation Leader of the programme, said: "We started our first formation in Scotland in 2015 then came back in 2021 in Edinburgh and also at Craig Lodge (retreat centre in Dalmally), so it’s wonderful to plant this.

"Fr Kevin Douglas had an atrium at his previous parish of St Columba’s in Edinburgh, and when he moved to East Calder he wanted to open one to support the young families in the parish."

To find out more about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd UK, click here.

Festival Mass at St Mary's Cathedral

We look forward to welcoming His Excellency Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendía, Apostolic Nuncio for Great Britain, to the Annual Festival Mass at St Mary's Catholic Cathedral, Edinburgh at midday. He'll be joined by dignitaries from across the city. (The Apostolic Nunciature is the diplomatic office of the Holy See in Great Britain.) 


Supporting the Church in Catholic Legacy Week

This week is Catholic Legacy Week. Wills and legacies are an important way to fund the work of the Church throughout the world.

Having just celebrated Pentecost, when we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit, this year Catholics are being asked: What will be your gift to the world?

Visit  and see how you a legacy can support a charity of your choice. You will also find a will-writing guide there.

Could you help?

Perhaps you would like to help fund the education of a seminarian in our Archdiocese? It takes seven years to train a priest.

Or maybe you want to support our retired priests? After a lifetime of service to the Church, they should benefit from a safe & warm home, or have support if they are suffering from ill health.

You may decide to support your own parish; many church buildings need to adapt to a world of rising energy costs amd invest in heating, lighting and making buildings watertight and energy efficient.

In coming weeks we will be sharing information about legacies and wills on the Archdiocesan website.

If you would like to receive an information pack about legacies when it is produced please email

Called & Gifted Workshop

This workshop will help you identify your charisms (spiritual gifts) and begin to discern God’s call through the Called and Gifted Workshop.

Register here.

You have received gifts in Baptism and Confirmation through which God intends His love to reach others.

You will learn:
• The five steps of discerning the charisms that God has given you, and how they can change your life.
• How discerning your charisms can change the world and help spread the Gospel.
• How discerning and using our charisms together can help transform and renew our parishes.

The workshop will also look at the fascinating ancient teachings of the Church on how the charisms of the Holy Spirit work in your life and in the life of your parish community. We will delve into the signs and characteristics of the most common charisms of the Holy Spirit. Come and discover these charisms in you!

The event is on from 9:00am to 3:30pm with lunch included from midday to 1:00pm. The cost is £25 and includes materials, online access, and lunch (midday to 1pm).

This event is hosted by the Archdiocesan Catechetics Commission in collaboration with the Catherine of Siena Institute. Free parking onsite.

Queries? Email

Church objects to Midlothian primary school closure

Catholic Church leaders have raised concerns over plans to close a second Catholic primary school in Midlothian in a year as part of budget cuts, writes Marie Sharp in the Southern Reporter.

Midlothian Council has published a wide range of proposals to help it bridge a £14million budget gap for the coming year including closing St Matthews Primary School, in Rosewell, which has 51 pupils.

Anne-Theresa Lawrie appeared on behalf of the Archdiocese and quoted the late South African leader Nelson Mandela as a reminder to councillors about the importance of education.

On behalf of the Archdiocese we oppose this closure and the impact it would have on the community and the education for young people

She said: “Nelson Mandela said education is the most powerful weapon with which we can change the world. It has an impact on the lives of vulnerable young people and affects their life chances.”

Urging councillors to reconsider the inclusion of the school in the savings plan, she said: “We are very concerned this proposal is on the table. The Catholic estate has been reviewed and as a result of that St Margarets Primary School, in Loanhead, was closed.

“We are very concerned that it is another denominational school which is on the agenda for possible closure.

“On behalf of the Archdiocese we oppose this closure and the impact it would have on the community and the education for young people.”

St Margarets Primary School was told it was closing last February after education chiefs said it did not have a single pupil on its rolls.

They denied claims from some parents that they were discouraged from registering their children at the school or told they could not in a bid to “run down” the school.


At the meeting Conservative group leader Councillor Peter Smaill described the inclusion of the school in the savings proposals as “problematic” as he questioned the legality of such a move.

He told the committee: “It is by law the case that schools cannot be closed on financial grounds and I will be pursuing that in the weeks ahead.”

The savings plan says of the proposed closure “The proposal is to seek council approval to undertake a statutory consultation on the closure of St Matthew’s RC PS.

“There is currently 51 children over three classes attending the school.”

It adds as well as a saving of £290,000 over the next two years “there may be further benefits in terms of educational outcomes as pupils would be able to experience a broader range of learning experiences, in which they could interact with a larger group of peers at their age and stage.”

The savings proposals have been put out for public consultation before decisions are made.

Register now for the Diploma in Catechetics 2023!

Register now for our Diploma in Catechetics which begins in January!

It's a great way to explore the richness and depth of the Catholic spiritual tradition with course leader Sr Anna Marie.

She and a range of guest speakers bring you weekly lectures, with guided reading, conversations, retreats, and supplementary courses available.

Need to know


Do I have to sit an exam? No. Each module concludes with a one-to-one session with one of the course leaders. In the meeting, you’ll have a chance to talk about what you’ve learnt and ask any questions that weren’t answered in the lecture.

Do I need to buy course material? No. We do recommend you have a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is available free online.

Do I need to be Catholic to take part? No, all are welcome to explore the Catholic faith in this course.

Is the course difficult? Like any course, some elements will be challenging. That's why we have gathered a range of speakers who are experienced in simplifying difficult concepts in an engaging way with. Plus, each session has a Q&A session where you can ask the speaker to to clarify anything you might still have questions about.

Can I take part if I'm not in the Archdiocese? Everyone is welcome to take part regardless of where you are based.

What if I miss a session? No problem, each session is recorded and available online the following day allowing you to catch up.

How do I log in to sessions? Sr Anna Marie will send you a link by email each week that you simply click to enter the session.

I've never used Zoom! Don't worry, we can help set you up. It's a simple process.

How do I register? Register on Eventbrite here.

I have more questions! Please get in touch for a chat. Email


Here's what previous students have said about the course:

“A life changer, I learnt so much and it really deepened my faith. I can’t recommend it enough.” - Margo Saliba, Edinburgh

“The diploma in catechetics is invaluable, there is no one who I wouldn't recommend this course to!” - Sarah Schuler, Edinburgh

“I recommend this course to anyone who will listen; it has given me a thirst for knowledge and, hopefully, has made me a better person.” - Peter McCaffery, Cowdenbeath

“Our faith explored. Go deeper with this highly enjoyable course.” - Janice Mary Evans, Falkirk.

“The Diploma in Catechetics really stirred up my faith and has given me a thirst to delve even deeper into the riches of our beautiful catechism.” - Brenda Drumm, Ireland

“Inspirational. You won’t want to miss a session. Please give it a go - it’s a course for everyone.” - Liz Brown, Edinburgh

“As a ‘cradle Catholic,’ this diploma helped to enable me to develop my Faith and deepen my understanding of scripture.” - Gwen Gemmell, Dunfermline

“So interesting that I wish there was a 2nd year of study. I can’t thank the presenters enough for their sessions. I urge all interested Catholics to give this a go.” - Ian Neilson, Glasgow

“Really enjoyed this and would recommend it to anyone. The classes are made very welcoming and inspiring, (even on zoom) by the wonderful speakers. The family of God has a whole new meaning now. Thank you to all involved.” - Anne Collins, Kilsyth

"The speakers' commitment, knowledge and delivery of the Catholic faith has been illuminating and transformative throughout a period that has challenged many of us. Sincere thanks." - Anne Marie Docherty, Linlithgow.

Register for the Diploma in Catechetics 2022 here.