The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education, praised the contribution of the Catholic Church to society in his foreword to the programme distributed to all participants at ‘The Big Assembly’, the celebration of Catholic education during ‘The Big Assembly’. He wrote:
“We can all learn from the Catholic Church, which recognises the importance of building strong communities who work together to help one another, particularly those less fortunate. The Catholic Church wants to improve the lives of all children, a goal shared by the Government.”
The Secretary of State’s foreword is reprinted in full below.
Foreword to ‘The Big Assembly’ programme
I am delighted to welcome you all to the ‘Big Assembly’. I am pleased so many of you have been able to take part in Pope Benedict’s first visit to the UK – a truly historic event. Today is particularly significant because it marks the importance that education plays in the lives of children around the world. Being able to go to school is something that many of us in the UK take for granted but in many parts of the world children do not have this opportunity. The Government is supporting the UN’s Education Millennium Development Goal initiative which aims to ensure that all children have the right to an education, a goal which I know is particularly close to Pope Benedict’s own heart.
We can all learn from the Catholic Church, which recognises the importance of building strong communities who work together to help one another, particularly those less fortunate. The Catholic Church wants to improve the lives of all children, a goal shared by the Government. Today we will hear from children from St John Vianney Basic Cycle School in Gambia on how going to school is helping them build a better life not just for themselves but for their families and communities. We will also hear how the school’s links with Holy Cross Catholic School, in Plymouth through the Government’s Global School Partnership programme, is helping children from both schools learn more about each other’s culture, beliefs, and challenges preparing them to become active global citizens in our increasingly interdependent world.
Today is a day many of us will never forget and I hope that you all enjoy the ‘Big Assembly’.
The Right Honourable Michael Gove MP
Secretary of State for Education