St Anne's & St Joseph's RC Parish

——  Accrington • Diocese of Salford  ——

St Anne's & St Joseph's
RC Parish

—  Accrington • Diocese of Salford  —


Catholic Education

On 10th September we celebrate Education Sunday when Catholic Church congregations commemorate their predecessors of the 19th century, many of whom were living in poverty, paying for schools to be built.  Our parishioner forebears and their bishops rightly saw education as the principal means of handing on the faith and improving the spiritual, moral, social and cultural lives of children and young people. Their sacrifices helped re-establish the 2,175 Catholic schools and four universities that we celebrate in church on 10th September. Established by the bishops in 1848, Education Sunday is one of the oldest Days of Special Prayer in the liturgical calendar of England and Wales.

In the 175 years since then the Catholic Church has become the country’s largest provider of secondary schools and second-largest provider of primary schools. Catholic education is by far the largest charitable activity of the Church here, and we give thanks for the many thousands of teachers, lecturers, academics, support staff, leaders, governors, advisers and others who have found their vocation in Catholic education, and without whom this would be impossible.

Catholic schools continue to be true to their mission: they educate more pupils from the most deprived backgrounds; outperform national GCSE English and Maths averages by five percentage points; and are more ethnically diverse than other state-funded schools.

This reality was highlighted for me this afternoon in our Primary School.  I know that I can speak for our High School in the same way.  Whilst discussing our Mission and Ethos the teachers spontaneously said that ‘we take and care for every child that comes across our doorstep regardless of faith, educational or economical background.  We recognise in each child the face of Jesus.’ 

For this success to continue, however, the help of the whole Catholic community remains essential. As throughout history, all Catholics need to be prepared to support, promote and defend Catholic education. There are many ways to do this: in prayer for vocations to Catholic education; asking your diocese about becoming a school foundation governor; or encouraging a young person to become a teacher in a Catholic school.

In this way, we can hand on to the next generation the great educational legacy of those poor and immigrant Catholic communities of the Victorian era who built our schools and universities. Catholic education is indeed a tremendous achievement to be celebrated –

Happy Education Sunday.


St Anne’s, Cobham Road,
Accrington, BB5 2AD.
Tel: 01254 232 920

St Joseph’s, Belgarth Road,
Accrington, BB5 6AH.


Rev Fr Francis Wadsworth (parish priest)
Rev Fr Robert Livesey (retired)

Parish Administrator

Mrs Siobhan Wood
Tel: 01254 232 920

Office Hours

Mon: 8:30am to 12:30pm
Tues, Thurs: 8:30am to 1:30pm