Catholic Voices Speakers’ Programme 2011

Following the success of last year’s Catholic Voices Speakers Programme, created for the papal visit, Catholic Voices is holding a second training, this time in Leeds in October, November and December, following interviews at the end of September. Last year, the training was held in London on ten Tuesday evenings and three Saturdays over six months, followed by a four-day retreat at Worth Abbey. This year the training will take place on three weekends over three months. We will be based at a retreat centre near Leeds for two of the weekends; the third weekend we will be at Leeds Trinity University College, staying at local B&Bs. The training will be led by the three coordinators, with input from some members of the existing Catholic Voices team. The more compressed training programme is partly to keep down costs and travel time, and partly because the training this year will benefit from the work done in the briefings last year, summarised in a forthcoming book by Austen Ivereigh and Kathleen Griffin, Catholic Voices: putting the Church’s case in an era of 24-hour news (Darton, Longman & Todd) to be published in August. Whereas the existing CV team is heavily London-based, it is hoped that the new CV team will attract people from outside London, and especially the north and west. The training will use methods and insights Catholic Voices has developed which aim at creating an attitude which is vital for good communication – positive, humane, succinct – and to look for values behind the criticism of the Church with which to connect. That said, we are looking for Catholics who can think quickly on their feet, and are passionate about communicating the Church. If you think this may be you, please bear in mind the following:

  1. Availability [I]:  you must be free to come to Leeds on the following weekends:  8-9 October, 12-13 November and 16-18 December; you also need to be free for interview on the weekend of the 24-25 September. 
  2. Availability [II]:  it is important that you are not balancing heavy work and family demands to the point where you are unlikely to ever be available for media interviews.
  3. Age. You need to be preferably between the ages of 25 and 45.
  4. Catholicity. You need to be a practising Catholic, in communion with the Church and content with its leadership – that is, not angry or upset with Rome or the bishops of England and Wales.
  5. Lay people. We prefer “ordinary” rather than “professional” Catholics (that is, employed by the Church), but very much welcome members of associations, charities, movements, etc.
  6. Cost. The training itself is free but you will need to cover your own travel costs. If you are able, we would like you to contribute to the cost of accommodation and food – but no one should be deterred from applying because they are unable to contribute.

The application procedure:

  • The deadline for applications is 31 July 2011.
  • Please download, fill in and return a pre-interview form.
  • Email the completed form to
  • You will know by 15 August if we are inviting you to the interview on 24/25 September. Before then, you may receive a call from one of the coordinators for an informal chat.
  • If you have any queries, please email one of the coordinators will get back to you.
Event Category: 
Speakers course

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