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Catholic Life and Mission

Live Simply

The parish of St. Joseph’s RC Church, Birtley, were awarded the Live Simply Award, in 2022.

St. Joseph’s Catholic Infant and Junior Schools helped to form part of the award application.

We are going to launch the Cafod Live Simply Award for Schools, in January 2023.

Mark Maughan from Cafod delivered an assembly to our community, on Friday 13th January to launch the schools’ Live Simply Awards.

Mrs Prior, together with our Mini-Vinnies is going to help to support our commitment to the award.

Within the assemblies, we discussed our current contribution to ‘Living Simply’:

  • Supported the St. Vincent De Paul Charity based at New Bridge Street in Newcastle by offering our Harvest donations to them.
  • Made a commitment to participate in ‘The Big Walk for Lent’ for Cafod. The Big Lent Walk – Cafod
  • Prayed for those in the local and global community including: Ukraine, Birtley Belgians and our local community.
  • Planted-up the local ward planters with our local councillors and Eco-Council.
  • Offered food donations to the local food banks as part of the Parish Partnership strategy.
  • Arranged for a charity clothes bin to be installed on-site.
  • Singing Club support singing to the elderly at Covent House at Christmastime.
  • Singing Club sang their hearts out at Komatsu as part of the workers’ Christmas lunch day.

We are deeply committed to our faith and have close links to our local parish – this enables us to live in solidarity with our local community. The reciprocal relationships enables us to support the causes which matter to both parties.

Deacon Peter Lavery is also a local governing committee member and is a great supporter of our schools. As a consequence of our close parish links, we regularly celebrate liturgical prayer, Mass and Service of the Word and the Eucharist.

We recognise the importance of the church building and we ensure that are regular visitors to the parish of St. Joseph’s. We celebrated our Key Stage 1 Nativity and Key Stage 2 Carol Service in St. Joseph’s.

Deacon Peter Lavery, Mrs Prior and Mrs Snaith also help to facilitate the catechetical aspect of the Sacrament of Reconciliation programme for our Year 4 pupils.

Mr Taylor comes to St. Joseph’s Catholic Junior School to deliver a monthly Bible Story. He remembers the Bible Story ‘off-by-heart’ to enable us to focus on the power of story telling through his felt depictions of the people of the Bible.

Mr Taylor recounts a passage from the Old or New Testaments and then asks us to remember a ‘memory verse’ at the end of the session. When we next see Mr Taylor, we try our hardest to recall the memory verse, which we aim to put into action.

Many people say to me: The youth of today are not interested in this. I disagree, and I am certain that I am right. The youth of today are not as superficial as some think. They want to know what life is all about….This book is exciting because it speaks of our own destiny and so deeply engages every one of us.” – Pope Benedict XVI.

As part of our commitment to Religious Education, we provide pupils in Key Stage 2 with access to YouCats and YouCats for kids to ensure that they are able to find out what the Catholic Church teaches, direct from the Catechism.

These books enable us to appreciate the need to Live Simply, Live in Solidarity and Live Sustainably.


We support charities which are important to us. Please find below a selection of our fundraising photographs for Children In Need! We did this with the fantastic support of our catering team.