For a number of years, the Catholic Union, in association with the The Keys, the London branch of the Catholic Writers’ Guild, has sponsored this award which is open to all Catholic Secondary Schools across the country. Participants are invited to submit pieces of work each spring, and the pieces are judged by a panel over the summer.
This year’s first prize has been awarded to Cecile Janssen, of St Mary’s School Ascot. She received her prize, a shield to be kept for one year as well as a cash prize (£50), and books donated by the Catholic Writers’ Guild. These were presented at a meeting of the Guild at St Mary Moorfields, the only Catholic Church within the precincts of the City of London, whose Parish Priest, Canon Peter Newby is Chaplain to the Guild. The presentation included dinner and a talk by Catholic Journalist and writer Christopher Howse, a columnist on the Daily Telegraph.
The theme of this year’s Award was God’s mercy and forgiveness, and students had to discuss the importance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, writing a letter to an imaginary friend who had challenged them on the subject.,
Pupils at a number of other schools gained runner-up prizes, including copies of YOUCAT, the new Youth Catechism, donated by the international charity AID TO THE Church in Need.
Commenting on the award, Catholic Union Chairman Robert Rigby said “I am very pleased by our continuing association with the Catholic Writers’ Guild, which does important work in allowing Catholic writers in this country a forum for the exchange of ideas and mutual support. Joanna Bogle, who is our main link with The Keys, has, as always, done sterling work in promoting this Award, which is a great way to develop budding young Catholic writers. It is an important part of our outreach and educational work in promoting the Common Good amongst a younger generation. All the prize winners deserve hearty congratulation and we especially congratulate Cecile on her excellent performance”.
The Catholic Young Writers’ Award falls under the remit of the Catholic Union Education Committee, whose recently appointed Chairman Stuart Sexton, was a one-time special adviser to Sir Keith Joseph, and brings to the role his long experience in education, both at local and national level.
Pictures from the event will be posted shortly.