WATCH: Archbishop's message for Catholic Education Week

It's Catholic Education Week 2021! Here is Archbishop Cushley's message to teachers, pupils and all involved in our Catholic schools.

Resources and ideas for school, parish and home can be found at https://sces.org.uk/

Apply now to study at the Gillis Centre in Edinburgh

St Mary's University will start teaching its master’s courses in Theology and Catholic Education this Autumn at the Gillis Centre in Edinburgh, and applications are now open

Students will study a taught postgraduate programme in Catholic Education, School Leadership or Theology.

St Mary’s, established in 1850, has a long history of academic excellence, and students  will be able to access the same expertise throughout their studies.

Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s University, Anthony McClaran, said, “After the unavoidable delay caused by Covid-19, we are pleased that we will be teaching our Theology and Education postgraduate courses in Edinburgh from September and we encourage people to apply now

"Our courses are open to students of all faiths and none, and our flexible programmes at the Gillis Centre will create new opportunities for mature students, teachers and others across central Scotland.”

Find out more

Watch: Archbishop Cushley on Catholic Education

Archbishop Cushley discusses ‘Catholic Education: Good for Scotland’ with Professor John Charmley from St Mary's University, Twickenham.

Part of the Newman Conversation series, hosted by St Mary's University Twickenham.

Check out the courses St Mary's are running in partnership with the Archdiocese at the new Gillis Campus in Edinburgh here.

Gillis Centre to welcome St Mary's students soon!

St Mary's University will start teaching its master’s courses in Theology and Catholic Education this Autumn at the Gillis Centre in Edinburgh, following a delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Students will study a taught postgraduate programme in Catholic Education, School Leadership or Theology.

St Mary’s, established in 1850, has a long history of academic excellence, and students  will be able to access the same expertise throughout their studies.

The University and the Archdiocese have agreed arrangements for St Mary’s to occupy part of the Gillis Centre, which houses the offices for the Archdiocese.

'Delighted'

Archbishop Leo Cushley said: “St Mary’s is the UK’s leading Catholic university, so we’re delighted it has agreed to offer courses here.

"It’s an ideal location and is consistent with our Archdiocesan aim for the advancement of Catholic education. It will help support the Roman Catholic community and give people the opportunity to study a fascinating range of subjects.”

"Our courses are open to students of all faiths and none, and our flexible programmes at the Gillis Centre will create new opportunities for mature students, teachers and others across central Scotland."

Speaking of the announcement, Chair of St Mary’s University Board of Governors, Bishop Richard Moth, said, “St Mary’s is very pleased to be working with the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

"Opening a postgraduate campus in Edinburgh is consistent with the mission of the University to promote higher education and to grow our postgraduate offering.”

Flexible

Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s University, Anthony McClaran, added, “After the unavoidable delay caused by Covid-19, we are pleased that we will be teaching our Theology and Education postgraduate courses in Edinburgh from September.

"Our courses are open to students of all faiths and none, and our flexible programmes at the Gillis Centre will create new opportunities for mature students, teachers and others across central Scotland.”

Find out more

WATCH: Support on the Sacraments for teachers

We've been helping teachers in the Archdiocese prepare children for the Sacraments of First Holy Communion, Reconciliation and Confirmation...with help from our priests.

Our Education team delivered three Zoom presentations recently, featuring video presentations from Fr Jamie McMorrin Fr Kevin Douglas, and Fr Tony Lappin (below).

The presentations gave teachers a step-by-step walk-through of delivering sacramental preparation. It coincides with booklets recently published by the Archdiocese for schools.

The three sessions were delivered by Eileen Rafferty, RE advisor to primary schools, supported by Margaret Barton (secondary schools).

Eileen said, "We've had positive feedback and it was brilliant to bring teachers together on Zoom to show how we can support them so they in turn can assist pupils and parents. We are grateful to Frs Jamie, Kevin and Tony for providing brilliant video reflections."

Archbishop welcomes relaunch date for postgrad courses at Gillis

The UK's leading Catholic University will relaunch its postgraduate course programme at the Gillis Centre, Edinburgh, in September 2021.

Archbishop Cushley welcomed today's announcement from St Mary's University to delay entry as he renewed the Archdiocese's commitment to helping people deepen their faith and knowledge through courses such as Theology and Leadership in Catholic Education.

A statement released today by St Mary's University said: "Following its February 2020 announcement that St Marys University would begin to deliver postgraduate courses at the historic Gillis Centre in Edinburgh beginning September 2020, the decision has been taken to postpone this initiative until September 2021 as a consequence of the Coronavirus crisis (COVID-19). This decision was taken with the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh."

Archbishop Cushley said: “The health and safety of staff and students are of paramount importance. We remain committed to ensuring the success of this venture with St Mary’s University and look forward to welcoming the first students there in 2021.”

Bishop Richard Moth, chair of the St Mary’s University Board of Governors, said: “I’d like to thank the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh for their on-going commitment to this project.

"This development is in accord with St Mary’s mission as a Catholic university. We are proud to be bringing postgraduate courses to the Gillis Centre and are committed to ensuring the success of our partnership with Archdiocese.”

Anthony McClaran, Vice-Chancellor of St Marys University, added: “The decision to postpone entry to 2021 was taken with the student experience at its heart.

"We are proud to have this opportunity to bring postgraduate study to the Gillis Centre, in partnership with the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh. We have been encouraged by the number of prospective students who has been in contact so far and we will be in close contact with them to ensure they are able to begin studying with us next year. We look forward to continuing our preparations to welcome students in 2021.”

Check out the available courses

www.stmarys.ac.uk/edinburgh

 

 

 

Catholic university to launch postgraduate campus in Edinburgh

The UK’s leading Catholic university has today announced it is to launch postgraduate courses in Scotland for the first time.

St Mary’s University, Twickenham, has agreed arrangements with the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh for a range of theology and education subjects to be taught at the Gillis Centre in Edinburgh.

The announcement has been welcomed by Archbishop Leo Cushley. He said, “St Mary’s is the UK’s leading Catholic university so we’re delighted it has agreed to offer courses here.

"It’s an ideal location and is consistent with our Archdiocesan aim for the advancement of Catholic education. It will help support the Roman Catholic community and give people the opportunity to study a fascinating range of subjects.”

The site, named after Bishop James Gillis, was home to the first post-Reformation convent in Scotland. For over 150 years it was St Margaret’s Convent and School before operating as a seminary from 1986 to 1993.

It currently houses the offices for the Archdiocese, which will be unaffected by the move.

Speaking of the announcement, Chair of St Mary’s University Board of Governors, Bishop Richard Moth, said, “St Mary’s is very pleased to be working with the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh. Opening a postgraduate campus in Edinburgh is consistent with the mission of the University to promote higher education and to grow our postgraduate offering.”

Interim Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s University, Dave Hartnett, said, “We are greatly pleased to have this opportunity to offer our theology and education postgraduate courses in Edinburgh. Our courses are open to students of all faiths and none. Our flexible programmes at the Gillis Centre will create new opportunities for mature students, teachers and others across central Scotland.”

The postgraduate part-time MA courses will begin at the Strathearn Road campus from Autumn 2020 and information will soon be available via the St Mary’s University website.

St Mary’s University hosts the only faculties in the UK with the ability to offer ecclesiastical degrees, the Mater Ecclesiae College (dating back to 1614). Its long-standing and nationally recognised Education programme was recently re-confirmed as Ofsted ‘Outstanding’.

Read the press release here

Education team revamp to benefit schools

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.

Catholic community unites to save education voting rights

Catholics are being urged to fight a Green Party proposal intended to strip the Catholic community of its voting rights on the City of Edinburgh’s Education Committee.

Archbishop Leo Cushley wants them to ask local councillors to show support and vote against the motion to ensure schools “continue to flourish”.

He warned that if it was passed, it would “effectively remove from the Church the ability to influence the running and direction of our Catholic schools”.

In a letter to be read out at Sunday Mass in churches across the city this weekend (see below), he wrote: “This motion presents a serious threat to the Catholicity of our schools in Edinburgh and is also, in all probability, just the first step in a process to remove faith education from schools in Scotland altogether.

"It casts into serious doubt the commitment of some of our elected representatives to the future of Catholic schools."

“To deprive the Church’s representatives of voting rights on the Education Committee, where they sit on behalf of us and our children, casts into serious doubt the commitment of some of our elected representatives to the future of Catholic schools.

“There is still time to act, however, and local councillors will be sensitive to your opinion. I would therefore ask you to write to your local councillor as a matter of urgency to ask him or her to vote against this motion."

Earlier this year, Perth & Kinross Council became the first in the country to remove voting rights from church representatives. Edinburgh City Council will consider a similar proposal from the Green Party on 22 August.

Around 20% of all pupils in Edinburgh attend Catholic schools with the city containing 15 Catholic primary schools and three Catholic secondary schools.

Eileen Rafferty, religious education adviser to schools for the Archdiocese, said: “It is only reasonable that Catholic reps vote when it comes to decisions affecting Catholic education and Catholic schools. The vast majority of our reps across the Lothians and Fife are not clergy but parents and/or educationalists with rich experience in Catholic education. It is their voice that is determinedly silenced by this proposal.

“We trust that the majority of councillors will stand up for the Catholic community by rejecting this motion.”

Pick up a pre-written postcard to send to your local councillor at churches within the Edinburgh City Council boundary this weekend. To find out who your local councillor is click here.