Contemporary Perspectives on Catholic Education

edited by John Lydon, Gracewing, 190pp, £20

One of the regular struggles of parish clergy today is trying to recruit practising Catholics to undertake roles in school governance. Expectations and levels of accountability are higher than ever before and many good people simply feel that it is too daunting a prospect to undertake.

The 13 essays in this book by prominent thinkers and practitioners within Catholic education are helpfully and accessibly structured into three themes: context; religious education and leadership; and governance.

At the heart of the book is the theme of mission, and there is a strong emphasis on how our schools should play a part within the wider work of evangelisation.

The idea of a spiritual capital which has been developed over many generations is explained with a warning that this may be eroded by factors such as the reduction in the number of Catholic teachers and pupils within our schools. The challenge is to ensure that this inherited gift is renewed for this generation and passed on into the next.

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