Category Archives: News

Craigmyle lecture 2016

‘Christian Response to Refugees’ – Sarah Teather

On the 2nd of November 2016 a record number attended the lecture titled ‘Christian Response to Refugees’ kindly given by Sarah Teather former MP and Director of the JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service) at the University of Notre Dame, Suffolk Street. In what was an insightful talk, Sarah gave anecdotal evidence as to why the JRS’ work is so important and how it needs to continue and there was a clear feeling in the room of empathy as the audience listened to the hard truths and painful stories that were told.

However, it was not all bad, Sarah spoke at length about how the JRS has many success stories. Topics such as refugees finding work in this country and giving back wages to the JRS to support others were incredibly humbling and showed how great the work of the JRS is. Sarah also touched on biblical references to refugees or migrants throughout scripture. Abraham travelling in search of hope to escape famine and Moses leading the Jews out of Egypt in the wake of oppression can be duly linked to matters today as 13 million Syrians were forced to leave their homes under these almost similar circumstances. This reinforces the Church’s stance to act on behalf of these refugees and the others around the world that make up the devastating number of 65 million.

The plight of refugees all around the world was made unequivocally clear by Sarah who used concepts like the ‘collapse in hope,’ to describe the current situation and how ‘limbo becomes intolerable’ for these refugees as a different hardships rears its head at every turn. This really allowed the audience to connect with the message and through her own tales of walking across borders with these people, Sarah was able to deliver a clear and concise account of how the Church helps these refugees and how vital it is that their work continue.

2016 Catholic Young Writer Award

The Catholic Young Writer Award 2016
sponsored by the Catholic Union Charitable Trust
The winner of the 2016 Catholic Young Writer Award is Charlotte Watson of St Gregory’s Catholic High School, Warrington, and the winner of the second prize is Tom Lees of the London Oratory School.
Students at Catholic secondary schools across Britain were invited to write about a saint of the British Isles, and were given a selection from which to choose. Charlotte’s essay on St Thomas More, and Tom’s on St Edward the Confessor were deemed to be of a very high standard. Charlotte wins the coveted Young Writer Shield and a cash prize of £50, and both she and Tom receive a selection of books by Catholic authors.
Students from the following schools won book prizes:
Cardinal Newman School, Luton
St Mary’s Catholic High School, Astley, Manchester
Gumley House Convent School, Isleworth
Blessed William Howard High School, Stafford
St Mary’s School, Ascot
The London Oratory School
St Joseph’s Catholic High School, Horwich, Bolton
Oaklands Catholic School, Waterlooville, Hants
Blachelande College. Guernsey
St Anne’s Catholic High School, Southampton
St Gregory’s High School, Westbrook, Warrington
St Richard’s Catholic College, Southampton
The Award was initiated by The Keys, the Catholic Writers’ Guild of England and Wales, and as it grew larger it was taken on by the Catholic Union Charitable Trust. It now attracts large numbers of entries from Catholic schools across Britain. The winning entries, and a selection of the runners-up will be brought to the Annual Meeting of the Catholic Union in London.

Catholicism in the Secular World

Francis Campbell 308Lecture by Francis Campbell, Vice-Chancellor of St. Mary’s University, Twickenham

Press Release
Available for Immediate Release.

On Thursday 25th February, Francis Campbell BA, MA, gave a talk to the members of the Catholic Union at the University of Notre Dame, Suffolk Street. The topic of Catholicism in the Secular World proved to be an insightful look into how Catholicism is evolving in the UK and the world based on current events.
There were many sub-topics that were covered with Mr Campbell using the concept of Faith Schools and their importance to British culture to battle the concern of radicalisation. This comes at a very opportune time with Louise Casey’s reports on cultural differences that are being used to show the positives and negatives of secularism.
It was certainly a talk that the members found thought provoking as Mr Campbell delved back centuries to other cultural divides such as the various Enlightenments to show how reason and faith have always been linked. This was accompanied by quotes from academics and Pope Francis himself to show how identity and individuality, religious or not is vitally important to create a functioning society.
The Catholic Union would like to thank Francis Campbell for taking the time out to give this informative presentation and answer questions on a subject that is a concern not just for Catholics but the United Kingdom as a whole.

For the text of the speech please click this link Francis Campbell speech 250216

2016 Catholic Young Writer Award

The Catholic Young Writer Award includes a £50 cash prize, book prizes, and a shield to be kept for one year. The Award is open to all Roman Catholic students of secondary school age in England and Wales, and all pupils at Roman Catholic secondary schools in England and Wales.

 The Award is sponsored by
The Catholic Union Charitable Trust ( CUCT- Registered Charity No 1137317)

Choose one of the following saints, tell us about his or her life and work, and importance in the story of the Christian faith in Britain.
List every internet site that you access, and add a Bibliography of books, pamphlets or other material that you have consulted.

Your essay should be no more than 2,000 words in length. It can be handwritten or produced on a computer.  You can illustrate it if you wish. There should be no material that is simply “cut and pasted” from the internet.

 St Alban
St Augustine of Canterbury
St Columba
St David
St Edward the Confessor
St Hilda of Whitby
St John Fisher
St Margaret of Scotland
St Thomas More
St Margaret Clitheroe
Blessed John Henry Newman

We accept individual entries, but the project is really aimed at whole classes of groups of students. Entries should be collected together and sent as a group.


 Entries should be sent to:
Catholic Young Writer Award 2016
Catholic Union Charitable Trust
63 Jeddo Road
London W12 9EE

 to arrive no later than May 30th 2016

2015 Catholic Young Writer Award

2015 Catholic Young Writer Award: pupils study CS Lewis on the subject of Christ’s divinity.

The winner of the 2015 Catholic Young Writer Award, sponsored by the Catholic Union Charitable Trust is Joseph Ruane of Ampleforth College.

Second prizewinners are, jointly, Cicely Willis of St Mary’s School, Shaftesbury, and James Sykes of St Edward’s School Cheltenham.

Entrants were invited to analyse and discuss a passage from CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity in which he examines Christ’s claims to divinity.  Joseph Ruane is a VI former at Ampleforth and is a past pupil of Cardinal Heenan High School, Leeds.  His essay exploring the divinity of Christ showed maturity and understanding, and evidence of having studied the Scriptures and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He wins a £100 cash prize, a collection of books – including Lewis’ Mere Christianity –  and a trophy to be kept for one year. By tradition, the trophy – an engraved shield bearing the names of the various annual winners – is passed on personally from winner to winner each year. Joseph’s trophy will thus be sent to him by Leo Stoy, of St George’s VA College, Southampton, the 2014 Catholic Young Writer.

The Award was initiated some years ago by The Keys, the Catholic Writers’ Guild of England and Wales, and following its growth in scope and popularity is now organised through the Catholic Union of Great Britain.


Craigmyle Lecture 2015 – Report

The Craigmyle Lecture 2015 was delivered by Sir Rocco Forte.

Sir Rocco Forte

Sir Rocco Forte by Hugo-Burnand

Sir Rocco Forte MA, FCA, FIoD. was educated at Downside, and Pembroke College Oxford, where he read modern language. While studying, he also won a Blue for fencing. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1969 and started work in the Forte Group, taking over from his father as CEO in 1992.

Sir Rocco set up his own group of hotels in 1996, initially known as RF Hotels and re-branded as Rocco Forte Hotels. The group encompasses ten hotels in Europe, Russia, and is soon to launch into the Middle East.

Sir Rocco was knighted in December 1994 for services to the UK tourism industry. He received the highest Italian accolade, the Gran Croce dell’Ordine al Merito della Republica Italiana, for his entrepreneurial merits and strong links with Italy in 2005. He was President of the British Hospitality Association from 1991 to 1996, and a member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council.

The text of the speech is here.