Scripture lessons resume in public schools

By Cecilia Zammit, 22 June 2020
Image: NeONBRAND/Unsplash.


Some great news for Special Religious Education (SRE) also known as Scripture in Schools, has been received from the NSW Department of Education.

After almost four months of absence from the classroom due to COVID-19, catechists will be able to resume their SRE lessons from Term Three.

The Catholic Church, together with other providers of SRE, has welcomed this announcement and Dioceses are now preparing catechists who feel comfortable in returning to the classroom, on how they will be able to do so.

Public schools will contact local parish SRE coordinators in these final weeks of Term Two with clear guidelines for the catechists to follow once back in public schools. Still in these COVID -19 times where no vaccine is yet available, each catechist needs to manage their own health wisely by following the NSW Department of Health guidelines, and judge their readiness to return to schools in Term Three, Term Four this year. For others, they may not return until 2021 or perhaps they might stop being involved in this ministry altogether. Parish Coordinators will contact catechists in the next couple of weeks to discuss the return to teaching.

Thank you to catechists

Thank you to all our parish catechists for your faithful service, and to parish coordinators for maintaining contact with the staff of local public schools whilst SRE lessons were suspended. We are grateful to the many schools that placed on their school websites the link to the Catholic SRE online lessons whilst in-person lessons were suspended. Several schools have expressed a desire for SRE/Scripture to be reinstated in the school timetable and that the SRE teachers have been missed.

Training Courses

Now that movement restrictions are easing, face to face SRE training programs and formation will also resume next month:

  • Dr Laurie Woods returns to present the final two sessions of Level Three – on the Gospel of Matthew at IFM Fridays July 24 and 31 from 10am-2pm. Returning participants of this course will have the first option on the 20 places available, but otherwise, the sessions will be open to others.
  • The Level Two Training course will begin on Mondays from 27 July at Marayong from 9.30am-2.30pm.
  • The Level One Training course will begin St Monica’s Parish Hall North Parramatta on Friday 31 August from 9.30am-2.30pm.
  • Sr Grace Roclawska CSFN is facilitating a workshop entitled Invisibility to Invincibility at IFM (Marion St Blacktown) on Monday 17 August from 9.30am-1pm.

At each of these events, there are limited places so registrations are essential. When the 20 places are booked no one will be able to join. Contact Maree on 8838 3486 or email for enquiries and bookings.

The CCD regional coordinators have remained busy these past months updating resources and Zoom meetings with parishes. They look forward to seeing and meeting with catechists in Term Three.

For more information about CCD in the Diocese of Parramatta, please click here.

Cecilia Zammit is the Director – Confraternity of Christian Doctrine in the Diocese of Parramatta.


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