Ealing Abbey, London
The Abbot of Ealing Benedictine Abbey in London is Fr Martin Shipperlee OSB and the Parish priest is Fr Peter Burns OSB. The appointment by the Abbey Fathers of Mrs Marianne Cuthbertson as Pastoral Assistant and Key Catechist in 2004 has enabled a lively partnership to develop. Mrs Marianne Cuthbertson has completed Maryvale’s BA in Applied Theology (catechesis) for the training of catechists in sound theology and the pedagogy of God as urged by the General Directory for Catechesis.
While coming to Maryvale over the five years of the course, Marianne became aware of Maryvale’s ladder of learning for adults, from basic formation to doctoral level study. The parish is the largest in London and has a large number of catechists. The Church’s principles of continual conversion and life-long learning stimulated her to recommend different programmes to parishioners depending on the rung of the ladder best suited to their situations and adult lives. Ten further parishioners are now supported in their lives by a renewed study of the faith and the availability of a team of professional staff providing email and phone helplines.
Marianne’s delivery of the parish-based resource for handing on faith, Echoes, written by Maryvale and co-published with CTS, has been so well attended so often that she has now been asked to deliver the eleven session programme annually. The Archdiocese of Westminster has now formally requested that Ealing Abbey be the venue of Maryvale’s two-year, distance-learning catechist training course, co-ordinated by Mrs Marianne Cuthbertson.