CES News (131)


For immediate release – 5 November 2013

To coincide with Living Wage Week, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales together with three of its leading Catholic Agencies: the Catholic Education Service, CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network) and CAFOD, have reiterated the Church’s teaching on just wages and its support for the Living Wage and its importance for the support of workers’ families.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the Catholic Education Service have produced a Living Wage Resource encouraging Catholic organisations, schools and charities in England and Wales to work towards its implementation.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, the Catholic Education Service, CSAN and CAFOD are all accredited Living Wage Employers.

Quoting the resolution which the Bishops’ Conference passed in 2012, Mgr Marcus Stock, General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said:  

“The Bishops’ Conference fully endorses the principle of the Living Wage and invites Catholic organisations and charities in England and Wales to work towards its implementation.”

Paul Barber, Director of the Catholic Education Service, said:

“We welcome the Bishops’ invitation to support the Living Wage. The importance of a ‘just wage’ can be found in Catholic Social Teaching, spanning over 100 years.”

“Schools and colleges play a central role in our Catholic communities and we recognise that, though schools often face financial pressure, this is one way in which we can live out our faith in service to the Common Good.”

Helen O’Brien, Chief Executive of CSAN, the domestic social action agency of the Catholic Church, added:

“Many Catholic Charities are increasingly witnessing more families living in ‘in-work poverty’ and struggling to afford the very basic costs of living such as food, utilities and rent payments. We recognise the importance of just wages as well as fair terms and conditions of employment”

“CSAN is committed to the principle of a Living Wage, which not only enables individuals to provide materially for their families but also allows them to spend quality time with their children”.

Chris Bain, Director of CAFOD, commented:

"Scripture makes many references to the importance of paying a right and just wage for work done. Although we were already paying the Living Wage for our staff before the joining the campaign, our Facilities Manager was also able to secure a Living Wage for the contract staff who deliver some of the services for CAFOD through third parties. We also feel that it was important to become a Living Wage employer as an expression of our solidarity with the principles of a paying a living wage and with those individuals and organisations striving to achieve fair pay."


Notes to Editors

1)    The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, CES, CSAN and CAFOD are all accredited Living Wage Employers.

2)    The Catholic Education Service (CES) is an agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in England and Wales, and works closely with the 2300 Catholic schools, colleges and university colleges, which the Church is responsible for across England and Wales.

3)    Caritas Social Action Network is the official domestic social action agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and comprises over 40 Catholic Charities, many of whom work closely with children and families living in poverty.

4)    CAFOD is the official overseas development and relief agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, working in countries across Africa, Latin America and Asia to support local communities in their fight against poverty and injustice.

5)    The importance of paying a ‘just wage’ is central to Catholic Social Teaching:

Rerum Novarum (1891) Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on Capital and Labour

Quadragesimo Anno (1931) Encyclical of Pope Pius XI on Reconstruction of the Social Order

Mater et Magistra (1961) Encyclical of Pope John XXIII on Christianity and Social Progress

Laborem Exercens (1981) Encyclical letter by Pope John Paul II on Human Work

Centesimus Annus (1991) Encyclical letter by Pope John Paul II on The Hundreth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum

In the last few days, Heythrop College has received copies of decrees of the Congregation for Catholic Education dated 17 September 2013 re-activating the ecclesiastical faculties of Philosophy and Theology.

Since the 1920s, Heythrop has been dedicated to St Robert Bellarmine, the sixteenth century Italian Jesuit, Cardinal and Doctor of the Church. The ecclesiastical faculties together form a specialist institute of the College known as the "Bellarmine Institute". The decrees were signed on St Robert Bellarmine's feast day.

The ecclesiastical faculties were first approved almost 50 years ago in November 1964 when the College was located near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire. On joining the University of London in 1970, the College focussed on the award of University degrees rather than on teaching for ecclesiastical programmes and the ecclesiastical faculties have since then been in suspension.

More recently, those in the Heythrop student body preparing for the Catholic priesthood and engaged in ministry, who are an increasingly international group, have looked for civil and also church qualifications which enable them to teach in seminaries and Catholic universities. Consequently, the College has for some years offered the 60 or so Jesuit scholastics, seminarians and members of other religious congregations studying for the priesthood, the opportunity to prepare for an ecclesiastical bachelors degree (STB) in conjunction with the University of London Bachelor of Divinity (BD) programme. This has been possible through an arrangement with the Catholic University in Leuven and the Westminster diocesan seminary, Allen Hall.

Success with this initiative led the College to investigate how it might be extended. Now the faculties have been revived, students will be able to study for ecclesiastical bachelors (STB, BacPhil), licentiate (STL, PhL) and for doctoral degrees in Theology (STD) and Philosophy (PhD) in conjunction with degrees of the University of London.

The work of the Bellarmine Institute will be informed by responsible scholarship, fidelity to God's Word and the teaching of the Catholic Church. All programmes of the ecclesiastical faculties will be subject to the College's full quality assurance procedures.

A ceremony to mark the re-opening of the faculties will take place in January 2014.

Archbishop Nichols, the Patron of the Bellarmine Institute and Visitor of Heythrop College, University of London commented: "I am delighted that Heythrop College will once again be offering the full range of ecclesiastical qualifications alongside its existing University of London degrees. This development will give new opportunities to those training for the priesthood and those already in ministry to study for ecclesiastical licentiate and doctoral degrees in philosophy and theology."

Fr Michael Holman SJ, the Principal of Heythrop College said, "The mission of Heythrop College is to serve the Church and the common good. The additional ecclesiastical programmes and qualifications will enable the College to be of greater service to those engaged in ministry not only in this country but also overseas and that pleases us very much, not least as we celebrate the 400th anniversary of our foundation."


Contact: Michael Holman SJ, Principal, on 020 7795 4203; Elizabeth Thussu, Director of Administration, on 020 7795 4269 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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.

Press Release – 15 October 2013

The Catholic Education Service and Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales have produced a series of theological and practical resources for schools that are interested in discovering more about the Living Wage campaign.

The focus on the Living Wage stems from last November's Catholic Bishops' Conference Plenary meeting in Leeds during which the Bishops passed a resolution endorsing the principles of the Living Wage and encouraging Catholic organisations and charities in England and Wales to work towards its implementation.

Bishop Malcolm McMahon, Chairman of the Catholic Education Service, said "A Living Wage is essential in the promotion of family life in our society. It ensures that the worker has enough money to cover the basic living costs for both themselves and their family. Catholic organisations have the responsibility to promote human flourishing through the dignity of work and the Living Wage plays an important part in this. I congratulate those Catholic schools, charities and universities who are already Living Wage employers and thank them for the great example they set us in their work for the Common Good."

The collection of online resources includes a series of videos of guest speakers looking at the view of Catholic Social Teaching and the Living Wage, downloadable copies of the Papal encyclicals which focus on the Living Wage, a downloadable HR and implementation guide for schools and colleges who are considering becoming a Living Wage employer, and a short film produced by the students of St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College, London on the Living Wage. The resources are available on the Catholic Education Service and Catholic Bishops' Conference websites.

Notes for Editors

1. The Catholic Education Service (CES) is an agency of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW).

2. The Living Wage is an independently calculated hourly wage rate designed to pay employees enough to cover their basic living needs (eg. cost of food, housing and basic needs). For more information please see The Living Wage Foundation website (www.livingwage.org.uk/)

3. Resolution from the Catholic Bishops' Conference Plenary Meeting in November 2012 in Leeds:

The Bishops' Conference recognises that fair wages are essential to the common good of our society. In accordance with Catholic social teaching, and as part of its mission to support the poor and vulnerable, the Bishops' Conference fully endorses the principle of the Living Wage and encourages Catholic organisations and charities in England and Wales to work towards its implementation.

4. The resources can be found online www.cbcew.org.uk/living-wage & www.catholiceducation.org.uk/campaigns/living-wage

Press Statement – 23 July 2013

“As the agencies of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales concerned with the education and welfare of children, we welcome yesterday’s announcements on increased online protection for children.

“We welcome the proposals to filters potentially harmful content unless an adult ‘opts-in’ following age verification and the steps further taken to make public Wi-Fi’s safer for children; namely the participation of the six companies which provide 90% of public Wi-Fi’s to introduce family friendly filters and adopt a ‘Family Friendly Wi-Fi’ symbol.

“We feel these are important steps in assisting parents to keep their children safe online, which should be complimented with education on online safety.

“At this point it is important to recognise that inappropriate online content is not solely limited to pornography. Websites containing extreme violence or promoting self-harm, suicide and eating disorders also present great risk to children. Governmental figures show that 13,231 childhood admissions to hospital last year with the primary diagnoses of deliberate self- harm and 1,141 childhood admission to hospital with the primary diagnosis of an eating disorder. 

“We hope these safeguards will work to ensure that children are protected from the dangers posed to their development, mental health, relationships and self-esteem from harmful and explicit online material.

“The Catholic Education Service and CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network) have been campaigning for greater online safety for children and we welcome these steps from the Government to increase protections for children.”




The Catholic Education Service (CES) is an agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW).

CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network) is the social action arm of the Church in England and Wales. CSAN comprises 41 member charities who work with prisoners, homeless people, refugees, travellers, victims of trafficking and domestic abuse as well as with children living in poverty.


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.         


Press Statement – 18 June 2013

The Catholic Education Service and CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network) welcome the government’s focus on protecting children from harmful and explicit online content.

Today’s meeting at Downing Street chaired by Culture Sectary, Maria Miller provides an opportunity for the government to consider the impact that pornographic, violent or other harmful online content has on children’s’ development, mental health, relationships and self-esteem.

As the Catholic agencies with responsibility for education and welfare we hope that both the Government and internet service providers will take steps to allow children to explore the online world without fear of accessing adult or inappropriate content.  

Detailed research by the Children’s Commissioner shows that significant numbers of children are still exposed to pornography, despite efforts to increase online safety, through the removal of adult content on public Wi-Fi and the appointment of Claire Perry MP as the Online Safety Advisor.

Parents have a duty to educate their children about online safety. However, it is important to provide them with necessary support to help them in this role.  We support Baroness Howe of Idlicote’s Online Safety Bill as a means of providing this protection. The Bill proposes that Internet Service Providers and Mobile Phone Operators provide an opt-in service for adult content and we hope the government will offer support to the Bill and its proposals.



The Catholic Education Service (CES) is an agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW).

CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network) is the social action arm of the Church in England and Wales. CSAN comprises 41 member charities who work with prisoners, homeless people, refugees, travellers, victims of trafficking and domestic abuse as well as with children living in poverty.

Note to editors

Online Safety Bill, sponsored by Baroness Howe of Idlicote, makes provision for the promotion of online safety; to require internet service providers and mobile phone operators to provide a service that excludes pornographic images; and to require electronic device manufacturers to provide a means of filtering content. The Bill has completed second reading and it Committee stage.

The Children’s Commissioner for England - “Basically... porn is everywhere” A Rapid Evidence Assessment on the Effects that Access and Exposure to Pornography has on Children and Young People – highlights children’s exposure and access to pornography and  makes a series of recommendations to the government.


The Cathedrals Group 

20 May 2013

A new study of the implications for RE of the ongoing changes to Initial Teacher Education and follow up concerns about the state of Primary provision in RE is underway by Janet Orchard and Lesley Prior. This follows Janet's previous work on secondary RE teacher education. Find out more about the study and how you can be involved in it by downloading background information here.


News from The Cathedrals Group

At the Group's 2012 AGM, Janet Orchard gave a presentation on work she and Hugo Whately were conducting, funded by the Culhan St Gabriel's Trust, into initial teacher training for secondary RE teachers. This study has now been completed. It criticises reductions in the numbers of specialist RE teachers trained each year and calls for a richer professional formation that equips teachers to handle moral and ethical judgements in the classroom and enables pupils to understand the significance of religion in the modern world together with the beliefs and values that shape it.

Click here for the report.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013 09:42

Kolbe's Gift

In 1941, Polish priest Maximilian Kolbe entered the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz.

A gifted man, Kolbe was the founder of monasteries in Poland and Japan, produced a monthly magazine with a circulation of over one million, and formed an international movement to help bring people to the Catholic faith. Then, a chance encounter with an ordinary soldier, Franek Gajowniczec, led Kolbe to an extraordinary act – walking away from all that he had and could have achieved.

David Gooderson’s powerful play tells the true story of these two men. One became feted across the globe. The other faded into obscurity. This is their story.


“Kolbe’s Gift” will be a fully-staged by Ten Ten Theatre, including a cast of seven professional actors and a full professional creative team.

The Leicester Square Theatre is a 400-seat theatre in the heart of Central London staging an eclectic range of music, comedy and theatre.

Notre Dame de France Church which sits directly above the theatre, will host a range of related events including a photographic exhibition, a post-show talk and education workshops.

Ten Ten will run Education Workshops free of charge for secondary school students. These workshops will enrich the experience of watching the play for your students.

See the flyer below for more information.

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