Author Archives: John Barrie

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.

Teaching Sexuality Following the Mind of the Church – Book now!

Teaching Sexuality Following the Mind of the Church

a lecture by

Louise Kirk

on Thursday, 18th June, 2015 at 6.30 pm

at Trafalgar Hall, Notre Dame University

1 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HG

Louise Kirk is UK Co-ordinator for the international PSHE programme Alive to the World and author of Sexuality Explained: a Guide for Parents and ChildrenShe serves on the Commission for the New Evangelisation in Shrewsbury Diocese and writes and speaks regularly on topics promoting family life and true education in sexuality. She is married with four children (aged 23 – 17).

The last decades have seen an explosion of ideas about human sexuality which can make it difficult to give young people clear guidance which makes sense of their Catholic faith. Louise will give an optimistic picture of how recent science backs up Church teaching, offering young and old alike a deeper understanding, than has ever been known before, of the truth of the human person. She will suggest ways of teaching which confirm the parents as prime educators while involving the active support of school and parish within current sex education guidelines.

The lecture will be followed immediately by a short reception at which light refreshments will be served.

Admission to the lecture is FREE, but as accommodation is strictly limited you must apply to the Office:

download the application form 

You can return the form by post or email (contact details are on the form), or you can phone 020 8749 1321 with the same information.

CU publishes Restoring Faith in Public Life Pamphlet

The Catholic Union of Great Britain has produced a pamphlet entitled ‘Restoring Faith in Public Life’ with the forthcoming General Election in mind. The pamphlet is a reminder on the issues facing Catholics today. It is aimed at helping to prompt and remind us of the questions we should be considering when we come to vote on 7 May. As Christians we have a duty to reflect and carefully consider how public policy will impact on our life and the common good.

This pamphlet has been sent to over 1,400 parishes across the UK. Click here to view.

Catholic Union Charitable Trust Launch Reception

His Grace the Most Reverend Peter Smith hosted a reception at His Grace 307Archbishop’s house on Tuesday 10th February launching  the Catholic Union Charitable Trust (CUCT), the charitable arm of the Catholic Union of Great Britain.

The purpose of the CUCT is to advance the Roman Catholic religion by means of a series of seminars, lectures and conferences. It will take over all the activities formerly operated by the Catholic Union, other than lobbying, the Parliamentary and Public Affairs committee and the medical ethics committee. Being a registered charity the CUCT can attract funds from other grant making trusts and obtain Gift Aid refunds from donations.

About eighty invited guests and members enjoyed a convivial evening 289with His Grace the Archbishop, Sir Edward Leigh, the President of the Catholic Union and Jamie Bogle chairman of the CUCT. Mr Robert Rigby chairman of the Catholic Union was also present as were a number of trustees of the CUCT and members of the Council of the catholic union.

Jamie Bogle welcomed all present and outlined the need for the CUCT and the type of work it will undertake in the future.

Sir Edward Leigh spoke about the difficulties of a Catholic member of the House of Commons in this secular age. He described the loss of the vote last week concerning the regulations for three parent IVF babies and how he and a number of like minded Catholic MPs struggle to present the Catholic Christian point of view to Parliament.325

His Grace the Archbishop affirmed his support for the work of the Union which is so important to the Catholic community





Catholic Union Charitable Trust to be Launched

We are pleased to inform  you that the  Catholic Union Charitable Trust will be formally launched at a reception  to be held at Archbishop’s House, Southwark on Tuesday 10th February 2015 at 6.30pm in the presence of His Grace, the Most Rev. Peter Smith, Archbishop of Southwark  and  Sir Edward Leigh,  President of the Catholic Union of Great Britain.

The Catholic Union of Great Britain (CUGB), was formed in 1871, and is the leading Catholic lay organisation to promote the spiritual, moral and social teaching of the Catholic Church in the public arena. It has successfully achieved this aim mainly through the work of its Parliamentary and Medical Ethics Committees.

However the CUGB has been operating at a disadvantage because of its lack of charitable status. This is because some of its activities, such as Parliamentary lobbying, do not meet Charity Commission (and HMRC) requirements for obtaining Gift Aid.

The CUCT has now been set up as a registered Charity in order to overcome this problem.  The CUCT intends to use such funding to promote the CUGB, by holding seminars, lectures and other events highlighting Catholic social teaching and values.