History of the Citizenship Awards
On 23 May 2002, Catholic schools in the Diocese were invited to nominate pupils who had displayed outstanding awareness of good citizenship. Recipients were to be presented with an award in St Helen’s Cathedral Brentwood by Professor Lord Alton. The initiative was inspired by Lord Alton, a former pupil of this Diocese, and supported strongly by the Brentwood Religious Education Service to encourage schools to respond to Government requirements that Citizenship be included in the curriculum.
Brentwood Diocese is committed, as is Lord Alton, to the idea that to be a good Catholic involves being a good citizen, ‘the Gospel of Jesus Christ requires us to “love our neighbour as ourselves” and that is at the heart of the Christian interpretation of citizenship’.
Although the initial celebration involved only 11 of the 98 schools in the Diocese, in 2019 65 schools participated in the event in a heart-warming ceremony at Brentwood Cathedral: https://www.dioceseofbrentwood.net/news/diocese-honours-young-citizens-2/
Pupils receiving the awards were the highpoints and embodiment of what their schools teach and stand for and, are examples of what all our Catholic schools are striving to achieve.
It is important to state that our Catholic view of citizenship is a willingness to act for, speak for and serve the needs of those who, on their own, cannot do it for themselves. In a word, Catholic citizenship is service.