Catholic Life

Catholic Life

Our pupils take pride in their faith and live out the Church’s teachings through their words and actions. This includes welcoming, including and celebrating pupils who have different beliefs. They have an acute understanding of what’s right and wrong. They achieve happiness through self-respect and respect for others. They embrace and understand their own community and are always curious and interested in the wider community and how they can contribute to a better world for all.

Throughout the year they direct and contribute to our learning environment, acts of worship, charitable activities, fundraising, and celebrations all of which develop the Catholic character of our school and prepare them for their lives beyond the school gates.

Our school has strong links with Holy Cross Parish; together we are at the heart of a close-knit and thriving parish life. Our Parish Priest, Fr Richard Hardstaff, plays an active part in daily school life and worship. Throughout the academic year, individual classes prepare and celebrate liturgies, which parents are invited to share in and the whole school worships together in the Church or the school hall.

Mrs Maria Williams (our Chair of Governors), a catechist at the Parish, helps Catholic pupils prepare for their First Holy Communion. This preparation includes receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation (First Confession), and several visits to the church to learn more about the Mass and our belief in the Eucharist. There is also an important role for parents in this preparation, which complements what the children are learning through the Year 3 RE curriculum.

A number of our children attend the popular Children’s Liturgy sessions at Mass each Sunday, which are also open to pre-school children, and from Year 3 upwards, both boys and girls are invited to learn how to serve Mass.

The Bishop of Nottingham

Rt Rev Patrick McKinney

Ordained priest on 29 July 1978

Ordained Bishop of Nottingham on 3 July 2015

Bishop Patrick’s Spiritual Vision

Encounter, Discipleship and Missionary Discipleship

In November 2018, the Bishop wrote a letter to be read out at all Masses.  In his letter, Bishop Patrick outlined his three-fold vision for the next three years:  ENCOUNTER, DISCIPLESHIP and MISSIONARY DISCIPLESHIP.

ENCOUNTER: Bishop Patrick would like to ensure that people of all ages in our parishes, schools, and chaplaincies are helped to discover, or discover more deeply, the importance of a personal ENCOUNTER with Christ; so that they can become convinced that they are each loved by God and are invited to grow in their relationship with him. Bishop Patrick would like to see the development of times of Eucharistic Adoration in our parishes, schools, and chaplaincies.

DISCIPLESHIP: With the personal encounter with Christ, Bishop Patrick would like to encourage each of us to hear and respond to his invitation to be his DISCIPLES, to follow him more closely, and to seek to serve him generously in our daily lives.

MISSIONARY DISCIPLESHIP:  With a greater recognition of, and openness to, the help, guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we can all become MISSIONARY DISCIPLES; faith-filled, joyful and outward-looking Christians who are growing in confidence to speak humbly of the difference that knowing Christ makes to our lives, and who bear witness to His love in our service of our brothers and sisters, especially those most in need. The service to which Christ calls us is always the action of the Holy Spirit working in us.  Each year, over the next three years, we will try to deepen our understanding of, and our response to, these core spiritual themes. Bishop Patrick is keen to emphasise that this is not just another diocesan plan. These themes remind us of what Jesus asks of his disciples, “Go, make disciples of all nations; they remind us that the Church is called to be missionary. 

The theme of ‘Encounter’ will be explored during Advent and Christmas, ‘Discipleship’ during Lent (Spring term), and ‘Missionary Discipleship’ from Easter to Pentecost (Summer term).  At Holy Cross, these spiritual themes will become more and more a living reality in school life and the faith journey of our children.    Please speak to your children about them and how we are making the Bishop’s vision come alive in our school.

Diocesan Canonical Inspection Reports

Diocese Reports

Catholic Life/Prayer & Liturgy Policies

Our Catholic Life, Prayer & Liturgy and Religious Education policies can be found on our website Policies.

Virtues for Catholic Schools

Virtues For Catholic Schools

Year of Prayer

Jubilee 2025

Pope Francis inaugurated a Year of Prayer ahead of the 2025 Jubilee.  He called on the faithful “to pray more fervently to prepare ourselves to live properly this grace-filled event”.

The Holy Father said that The Year of Prayer 2024 is dedicated “to rediscovering the great value and absolute need for prayer, prayer in personal life, in the life of the Church, prayer in the world”.  At Holy Cross we are encouraging each class to dedicate an area of their prayer table to encourage independent prayer:

We have also led an Our Lady of Lourdes Pilgrimage to allow for all children to experience a pilgrimage, a time for reflect and a time for prayer.  Each class has a prayer book, to record prayer and liturgies and celebrations of the word.  Each class also has a prayer bag. These go home with a different member of the class each week so they can write a prayer with their family and this is shared with the class during the following week.

Faith In Action

Recognising, rewarding and celebrating the active faith and service of young people. Our Year 6 children are currently preparing for their Faith in Action Award led by our School Chaplain.  Click on the link below to find out more

Pupil Voice:

We meet every week to explore the Faith in Action award and are working towards our Pin Level. Together, we look at the scriptures and Church teaching and think about how we can put our own faith into action through service in our school and community. We keep a journal to record our faith journey and at the end of the programme we will create a final project piece to reflect all that we have learned.

“We do Faith in Action to show our love for God.”
“ We pray together.”
“Like the name says, we try to show our faith in our actions.”
“I enjoy learning about God and the lives of the Saints.”

Protocol for Visitors to Catholic Schools

Protocol For Visitors To Catholic Schools CES

Way of The Cross

Resources/Additional Links


Our Lady of Lourdes Trust Chaplaincy


Nottingham Diocesan Catholic Youth Service – NDCYS

Diocese of Nottingham

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The God who Speaks in new tab)