Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) Special Religious Education (SRE)
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest" (Mt.9:37-38.)
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor" (Lk.4:18). The diocese provides a ministry to students in state schools through groups of volunteer Special Religous Education (SRE) Teachers in each parish. Volunteer SRE teachers and assistants carry the message that Jesus came to bring to the students in the state schools. Since this ministry is carried on within a school context, it is necessary that the ministry must be of a sound educational activity. SRE teachers and assistants teach from a cirriculum that has been approved for use by priests, ministers and pastors from the community. In order to enhance their teaching skills and their own confidence, SRE teachers and assistants are encouraged to complete a Basic Training programm recommended by the Inter-Church Commission of Religous Education in Schools (ICCREIS) offered at different centres throughout the diocese and each year thereafter two hours of child related training.
Authorisation of SRE teachers and assistants
Volunteer SRE teachers and assistants are authorised by the leader of the local faith community, the local parish priest, to teach in specified schools within the parish. SRE teachers and assistants go to the local state school on behalf of the local parish who support the ministry of the SRE teachers and assistants by their prayer and interest.
Before the SRE teacher and assistant can be authorised by the parish priest, they need to apply for a Working With Children Check (WWCC) number. This can be This can be obtained from the Children’s Guardian. A Teacher Engagement form needs to be filled in and sent with your WWCC “Notice to Employer’ letter received from the Children’s Guardian, are to be sent to the Catholic Chancery Office P O Box 246 Bathurst, to be verified.
Parishioners are encouraged to become prayer support people for specific SRE teachers and assistants. In larger centres, it is desirable that a SRE Coordinator be appointed by the parish priest. The role of the SRE Coordinator is to liaise with the parish priest, school authorities and the regional coordinators. The SRE Coordinator can organise meetings for the SRE team of the parish and social functions.
The diocese provides support and encouragement to SRE teachers and assistants through regional co-ordinators, under the leadership of the Director and Regional Co-ordinator. They regularly visit schools and centres to encourage the SRE teachers and assistants in their important work. They are also involved in training programs organised by the Western Region Inter Church Committee for Special Religious Education WICC SRE). Training days are planned at five different centres each year.
Each term, a newsletter "Spreading Good News" for the priests and SRE teachers and assistants is publised as resource for pir Diocesan SRE personnel.
Each year, Catechist Sunday is held throughout the Diocese on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. The purpose is to focus the attention of the whole parish community on this important ministry.
The strength of SRE in public education:
SRE helps children learn about their faith. See how this can be achieved by viewing a short video HERE>