Trinity Catholic School is well known locally and regionally as a progressive Catholic school.
At our Open Evening yesterday, a parent from a local Catholic feeder school challenged me about what ‘progressive Catholic education’ actually means. To advertise oneself as a progressive Catholic in many circles is to self promote rebelliousness and what could be construed as disloyalty, so I thought it useful to explain what progressive Catholic education at Trinity actually looks like, feels like and can do.
In responding, my first comment was that, ‘I want people who come here to know we’re Catholic, but by the way we treat each other, and not because of a cross on the wall’. Catholic iconography is not necessarily traditional, but to focus on ideals of love, equality, social justice, support for the vulnerable and moral action rather than the quality of statues is, given the tradition of most Catholic education internationally, a progressive act.
The more traditional things we do, like celebrating Mass, liturgies and Exposition are always within the prism of our overall mission – that we are all made equal in the image of God. That equality forms the basis of our community – and that when we stand as a school in God’s presence it unites Catholics with those of other faiths, or no faith, and does so in a way that welcomes all. We trade in the currency of love – not just respect or tolerance – and that makes us a traditional Catholic school indeed.
Chris Gabbett NPQH, FRSA