With the support of the Columban Missionaries, the 13 schools of the Our Lady and All Saints Catholic Multi Academy Company launched a new programme beginning on Monday 20th September 2021 that will see young people in schools across the West Midlands challenged to think about caring for the Earth.

Through a series of activities spanning over two weeks, students will be engaged to take action to bring about change. This will set the stage for a celebratory Mass at 10am on the 4th October 2021, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of the environment, at St. Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham.

In November this year, the UK is hosting the UN climate summit, known as COP26, in Glasgow. This will be the most ambitious climate summit ever. The programme has been designed to engage students to prepare for the COP26. It takes into account the upcoming ecumenical ‘Season of Creation’, an annual occasion when the global Christian family unites to pray and take action for our common home, and ‘Great Big Green Week’, an opportunity for communities to hold events that raise awareness of climate change and the need to protect the planet.

The initiative is backed by the Columbans in Britain who share their experience of cross-cultural mission with students and educators across the country. The Columbans Justice and Peace Education Worker James Trewby explains “It is fantastic for the Columbans to be a part of this programme and to be able to help educators and young people explore the relationship between faith and action on social justice issues.” He adds, “It is a privilege to work with a team of over 700 staff in their work with over 4,500 children across the Solihull, Birmingham and Warwickshire.”

The programme will begin on the Monday morning with schools across the MAC sharing an online assembly, including an encounter between young people and Marjorie Engcoy, a Columban Lay Missionary who lives and works in Fiji and advocates for climate justice. She will explain the devastating impact of climate change on those living in the country. Marj will explain our role as Christians is to listen and respond to the cry of the earth. She will challenge the young people to be bold and to stand up for the voiceless.

Students will be encouraged to put their faith into action. A variety of activities have been organised to improve the student’s understanding of the climate crisis and what caring for creation looks like. With the help of their teachers, students will be stimulated to think creatively about things they can to which will raise awareness of climate change and motivate others. This might be through the composition of pieces of music, choreographed dance routines, artwork made from recycled materials, banners and prayers. Some of these will be used in the Mass at St. Chad’s Cathedral on Monday 4th October 2021.

Students will write letters to their local MPs challenging them to put pressure on the UK Government. Bringing the two week long programme to an end, students will have the opportunity after the Mass to meet with political leaders in Victoria Square. They’ll be able to hand in their letters and explain why tackling climate change is extremely important not only for creation and to protect marginalised communities around the world who experience the worst of the climate emergency, but for them, their futures and generations to come.

The Society of St. Columban is an international Catholic missionary organisation that crosses boundaries of culture and religion to reveal, by word and by action, the Good News of Jesus Christ. In Britain, they run workshops, assemblies and retreats for dioceses, parishes, educators and young people covering themes such as ‘Care for Creation’, ‘Exploring Mission’, and ‘Welcoming the Stranger’.

Our Lady and All Saints Catholic Multi Academy Company was formed in April 2021 and comprises of 12 Catholic Primary Schools and 1 Catholic Secondary School across the Birmingham, Solihull, and Warwickshire areas.  As a Catholic Multi Academy Company we have high expectations within our family of schools that each provide a fully inclusive and comprehensive Catholic Education offering in a diverse society. We are dedicated to developing all our children into successful, ambitious, and compassionate future leaders by securing the absolute best outcomes for all both in terms of their qualifications, as well as providing wider opportunities for them to develop as rounded and confident young people.

A sense of community is at the forefront of all that we do to ensure our children, our families and our parishes and communities can flourish.  We are proud to serve our communities that include the full range of social demographics, each having their own challenges and unique opportunities.   Christ is at the centre of all that we do.  For more details see our website

Our Lady and All Saints MAC

For further information about the Columbans please email [email protected]