Category Archives: Events Past

Talk by Patrick Grady MP on Wednesday 12 June at 6.45pm


A full report on this talk is available courtesy of Independent Catholic News at

The Catholic Union Charitable Trust has organised a talk by Patrick Grady MP on Wednesday 12 June 2019 at 6.45pm in Committee Room 6 in the House of Commons.

The title of the talk is “Catholicism and Public Life in Scotland

Patrick Grady is the Chief Whip of the Scottish National Party and was elected MP for Glasgow North in 2015.  Between 2011 and 2015 he worked as Advocacy Manager at the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund.

Members of the Catholic Union are also invited to attend Holy Mass in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft at 6pm by kind invitation of the Catholic chaplain, Canon Pat Browne.  The chapel is located in the south west corner of Westminster Hall.

The Committee Room holds only 65 people.  Please register to attend with the CUCT office on 020 8749 1321 or at




Summer Gathering on 29 June 2019 at CHC Stonyhurst – Full details

Please see all the details about the 2019 Summer Gathering and the booking form in the link below.   We look forward to welcoming you to the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst, Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 9PZ on Saturday 29 June. Perhaps you will be able to stay overnight in one of the attractive en suite rooms and explore the Tolkien Trail the next day!

Summer Gathering 2019

Photos of Theodore House are on this site:

Any questions?  Please email

Summer Gathering 2016

The 2016 Summer Gathering was held on Saturday 25 June 2016 at St. Mary’s University.

Strawberry HillThe day’s events started with Mass at the University’s chapel, which His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI visited during his visit to the UK in 2010. Mass was celebrated by Rev Fr John Dickson SDB. David O’Mahony, chairman of the Union spoke about his visit to Rome. Next was Tony Cole, chairman of the Parliamentary and Public Affairs Committee (PPAC). Since the last gathering the Liverpool Care Pathway has been dropped, the Physician Assisted Dying Bill was defeated in Parliament by a vote of 330 to 118. However the issue has not gone away and the BMA debated the matter again only last week and decided to maintain their opposition .

Another issue is modern slavery with which Teresa May the Home Secretary (now Prime Minister) and Cardinal Vincent Nichols have been involved. The scientific section of Laudato Si the Pope’s exhortation deals with climate change. Abortion is back on the agenda and there is a Parliamentary enquiry into abortion law. The question of Genocide should be referred to the UN Security Council, while HM Government maintains that it is a matter for the courts to determine. On a positive note we had a small victory in keeping the Sunday trading laws without amendment. Last to speak was Sir Edward Leigh, President of the Union. He explained how hard it is to have a Catholic perspective on many issues which come before the House of Commons.

Strawberry Hill (2)Luncheon with wine was served in the splendid Waldegrave Drawing Room. Following lunch, some of the attendees toured Strawberry Hill House, which adjoins the University’s buildings. This house was owned and developed by Horace Walpole, politician, writer,  collector and son of Sir Robert Walpole, Britain’s first Prime Minister.


Summer Gathering 2015 – Report


Summer gathering

Robert Rigby, Chairman addresses the gathering

This year’s Summer Gathering was held on Saturday 27th June at St James’s, Spanish Place.  The central London location enabled a higher turn out than usual with some 50 members and their guests in attendance.

Mass was said by Fr Christopher Thomas our new Ecclesiastic Advisor, before the day’s conference opened.  This year saw our new President Sir Edward Leigh MP attend, together with Fr Christopher both of whom helped ensure the day was fulfilling and thought provoking.

Sir Edward’s reminder to us of the difficulties, which Catholic MP’s face when it comes to debates about issues relating to human life, was telling.  He spoke about assisted dying and said the debate to take place in Parliament this autumn would probably see the Assisted Dying (No 2) Bill 2015-16 defeated. However a similar Bill will undoubtedly be introduced in the future with an eventual outcome that could see the legalising of some form of assisted dying.  He went on to speak about both migration and trafficking and although acknowledging the need to help in both areas from a Christian perspective, recognition had to be made on the enormous pressures migrants placed on the State and the need to have some form of control despite how painful this may seem.

Fr Christopher ensured we not only received a spiritual input but also a fascinating insight into his work at the Bishop’s Conference.  He spoke about the political work being undertaken at the Bishop’s Conference, which included the assisted dying bill, international religious freedom, restrictions within prisons on collective worship, catholic education and human trafficking, providing much food for thought and interest in all these areas, for members.  He also touched upon the Synod coming up in October and challenges around family life in today’s society.

Then followed an enthusiastic question and answer session on an eclectic number of topics, and Fr Christopher dealt with all the questions raised, none of which stumped him.

Unfortunately time did not allow us to discuss the Catholic Union and our work especially around the launch of the Catholic Union Charitable Trust (CUCT) and the very real challenges we face on increasing our membership base.

It is worth remembering back in February we formally launched the CUCT and produced the election pamphlet ‘Restoring Faith in Public Life’ which was distributed to both members and non members, together with an appeal letter asking for much needed funds.  The response has so far been positive, although a follow up appeal letter will be mailed out in the summer.

We continue to seek new members and will be offering free membership to Members of Parliament and anyone under the age of 25. Our programme of picking off three or four Dioceses and approaching the Bishop in each and identifying potential ambassadors in those Dioceses has started and although slow, is showing some signs of progress.  I would ask for any additional thoughts or ideas members may have which we can consider and hopefully implement in the coming 12 months to increase our membership base substantially.

The day was completed by all those who attended, moving to the Wallace Collection where a most enjoyable lunch was had by all, before members and their guests departed for home.

Robert Rigby, Chairman
12th July 2015

Photographs of the gathering may be viewed here, with thanks to Dylan Parry, Editor, Oremus (Westminster Cathedral Magazine).