Assessing Catechetical Formation across England and Wales

Sermon on the Mount Credit: CBCEW

The long-awaited Directory for Catechesis was published by the Vatican on 23 March 2020 presenting the local church with the opportunity to re-examine the role of catechesis in today’s world.

The Bishops’ Conference has a Catechesis Committee that has been reflecting on the new directory and what it offers to the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Analysis phase

One of the directives issued by the Holy See on its publication was that each Bishops’ Conference should analyse the “situation of catechesis in its territory” with a view to producing “catechetical guidelines and tools to help the local Church to continue to develop catechetical materials – including the preparation of a local catechism.”

Bishop David Evans, an auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Birmingham, is Chair of the Catechesis Committee. Ahead of a June 2021 meeting with diocesan catechetical advisors, the committee is starting this initial ‘analysis phase’ to assess catechetical formation across England and Wales.

It will look closely at the formation process for catechists, and those involved in catechesis, with a view to understanding the local challenges and how better to support them in this important work. The fundamental link between Evangelisation and Catechesis will also be examined.

“The audit of catechists and programmes of catechesis that each Diocese is carrying out is the essential first step in the implementation of the new Directory for Catechesis,” says Bishop Evans. “This significant document gives fresh impetus to the Church’s work of catechesis. It gives a new prominence to the catechist’s role and presents the need for a continuing engagement with our digital culture, so that all those called by Jesus to know God through him may be accompanied on their journey towards the fulness of life.”

Virtual Conference

The Maryvale Institute, with the Archdiocese of Birmingham, is hosting a virtual conference to explore the Directory for Catechesis. This conference offers an opportunity for those either involved with or interested in catechesis, to explore the main themes and key emphases of this important text, and to reflect on its implications for their work in the Church and the world.

The first session, featuring a talk from Archbishop Rino Fisichella from the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation alongside Archbishop Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, was held on Friday, 12 March 2021.

There are three more remote sessions remaining. It’s free to register and attend.

Friday, 16 April
Friday, 14 May
Tuesday, 1 June – Wednesday, 2 June

Visit Maryvale’s website for more details and to sign-up.

What is Catechesis?

Simple one/two sentence definition here. This is what we’ve got on the site:

Catechesis is a ministry of teaching and forming that passes on the Word of God to inform the Catholic community and candidates for initiation into the Church about the teachings of Christ, transmitted by the Apostles to the Church. The word ‘catechesis’ comes from the Greek for ‘echo’ and is intended to nurture the Christian life through imitation in word and deed. The main sources for all catechesis are the Sacred Scriptures and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.


CBCEW have a dedicated section for ‘Catechesis‘ in the ‘Our Work‘ area of their site.

Source: CBCEW