This week Fr Timothy Radcliffe (S63) joined Peter Stanford and Rachel Kelly for an evening of interesting debate on Catholic education, co-hosted by Downside and The Tablet.

The event was held at Farm Street Church, Mayfair, starting with Mass in the church, followed by the debate and networking drinks in the Jesuit Centre next door.

A number of OGs attended, including the President of St Gregory’s Society, Rupert Orchard (R74), along with parents and educators from schools across the south-east.

During the debate, speakers delivered their thoughts with integrity and passion, and also raised smiles across the room with amusing anecdotes from their pasts.

The discussion covered a variety of sub-topics including the fundamental value of truth; the importance of identity for young people; the benefits of Catholic education for health and wellbeing; and that a Catholic education teaches one to think about others and the community one is part of, rather than to solely focus on oneself.

One of the high points of the evening was Rachel Kelly’s reading of Love (III) by George Herbert. It is a poem that imparts a compassionate and forgiving voice for in times of need, and Rachel delivered it with conviction and consideration.

The energy and enthusiasm throughout the room during the evening was undeniable. The consensus was that a Catholic education has more relevance than ever in our increasing complex modern world. That a Catholic education is an education for the whole being – body, soul and spirit – and that it gives one a strong self of self.

“The language of faith is the language of love.” Fr Timothy