As a Pax Christi school, Trinity has been involved in a number of social justice initiatives over the past five years. Students drew on these experiences to deliver a conference to fellow Key Stage Three pupils from Cardinal Wiseman (Coventry), Bishop Milner (Dudley), St Thomas More (Nuneaton) and St Benedict’s (Alcester). They were supported by Matt Jeziorski, Education and Youth Officer from Pax Christi UK.
Cerys, in year eight, said, ‘It was our goal to teach people how much they could get for themselves out of doing things like Pax Christi’. The visitors to the school were inspired, attending workshops showing how the Trinity Design Technology department recycles plastic to be remodelled in school and how the students have raised money for refugees and the homeless.
Pax Christi is an ecumenical organisation founded in France in the final year of World War Two. It is a lobbying presence against violence of all types.
Trinity Principal Chris Gabbett said, ‘I am so proud of our students. The calibre of the workshops they delivered was so incredibly impressive. It fills me with real pleasure to lead a school like this, with young people so independent and focussed on improving the world around them’.
All of the invited schools have been tasked with establishing their own Pax Christi groups. Trinity will look to host a ‘Faith in Action’ day in summer 2019, inviting clergy, Pax Christi and more schools to further spread the peace message.
TRINITY CATHOLIC SCHOOL IS A VOLUNTARY-AIDED CATHOLIC SCHOOL IN THE RC DIOCESE OF BIRMINGHAM
Permanent link to this article: https://paxchristi.org.uk/2018/07/12/trinity-catholic-school-students-host-pax-christi-conference/
The day, organised by St Paul’s, Pax Christi, and the Northampton Young Ministry Office, began with a chance for students to grill Bishop Peter on issues as varied as the importance of prayer, how he puts his faith into action, and the role of women in the Church.
Workshops gave the students chance to delve deeper into the issues with sessions on the dignity of work, peacemaking, and a presentation from Siobhan Doyle, a past pupil of St Paul’s who is currently a CAFOD Step into the Gap volunteer. Meanwhile the teachers had their own workshop exploring how peace and justice education can be incorporated more fully into the classroom.
In the afternoon James Trewby from Columban Justice and Peace Education led an entertaining and inspirational presentation reflecting on how we are called, as Christians, to act for justice and peace in our World.
Tracy Bempong, a St Paul’s student said ‘I felt like it was a great, fun experience’ while Eva Ukeleghe, also from St Paul’s said ‘I enjoyed learning and experiencing new facts about faith with new schools. I would recommend doing it.’
Jennifer Rowlands, a teacher from St Paul’s said ‘It was fantastic to see so many young people from across the diocese coming together to share their faith and to learn from one another’.
Permanent link to this article: https://paxchristi.org.uk/2018/07/12/northampton-diocese-faith-in-action-day/
Working with artist Abbey Thornton our friends at Quaker Peace Education have produced this excellent poster highlighting some of the many examples of Everyday Militarism that we encounter day-to-day in Britain and its effects on British life. It is a great way to spark off conversation about the roots of war and the kind of society we need to build peace and is suitable for use with children or adults.
Click to explore an interactive version here.
Alongside the poster is a set of ideas for learning and discussion activities which can be downloaded here.
The poster is also available in Welsh
Permanent link to this article: https://paxchristi.org.uk/2018/06/29/everyday-militarism-poster/
Reflecting on Pope Francis’s words that we can all be artisans of peace Matt explains how, by fostering a culture of peace, our schools can play a central role in the forming of those peacemakers that our world so urgently needs.
The full article can be read here: Creating a culture of peace in our schools
Permanent link to this article: https://paxchristi.org.uk/2018/05/01/creating-a-culture-of-peace-in-our-schools/
Encounter was the theme as a dozen sixth form theologians from St Paul’s Catholic School in Milton Keynes gather at St Columban’s in Solihull earlier this month for a retreat exploring the Christian vocation.
The retreat, jointly facilitated by Pax Christi and the Columban Missionaries, gave the students and staff alike the time and space to reflect on what it means to be a Christian and how we respond to the question Christ poses in the Gospel; Who do you say that I am? [Mk 8:27-33]
The undoubted highlight of the day was our encounter with Steph who reflected on how her Christian discipleship had led her to living a life of prayer, service, and action in a radical Christian community. Steph works supporting refugees and asylum seekers, in involved in campaigning against the arms trade, and recently she and her husband bought a house and donated it to be used by refugees.
Steph reflected on the centrality of prayer in her daily life and how time spent in prayer allowed her to open herself to loving and being loved. She challenged us all to be open to the transformative power of love in our lives.
Elsewhere we reflected on Pope Francis’s words on mercy, celebrated those people who have inspired and encouraged us in faith journey, and heard from Fr Peter Hughes SSC about the many years he spent ministering in Chile during the military dictatorship there.
The day concluded with a celebration mass led by Fr Peter at which we reflected prayerfully on that key question of our day, who do you say that I am? A joyful shared meal of pizza followed before we headed back to Milton Keynes encouraged and inspired.
Reflecting on the event in the days afterwards some of the students said:
“It was a good opportunity to reflect, not just on yourself, but also on our world and the wider community”
“The retreat was very good in so many different ways!”
“The talk with Steph was very good, it made you think about what you will do to help other people. The reflections also were good as it meant you could step back and pause. The time playing table tennis together was enjoyable too.”
“[I enjoyed spending] time talking to your friends and we had some interesting discussions”
“[I enjoyed] the time we had to spend with other people to encounter their opinions”
If you are interested in organising a similar retreat for your students contact Matt at our youth desk.
Permanent link to this article: https://paxchristi.org.uk/2017/11/30/encounter-a-retreat-for-sixth-form-students/