Skip to main content

The Common Good and the Catholic Church's Social Teaching 25 Years On

Date: Wednesday 26th January 2022

Time: 11:00am to 7:00pm

Venue: The Waldegrave Suite, St Mary’s University / Online via Zoom

In the autumn of 1996 the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales published a teaching document entitled The Common Good and the Catholic Church’ Social Teaching.

This aimed to help guide Catholics and others in the months leading to the May 1997 General Election. It rapidly attracted attention and had to be reprinted; Catholic and other parishes organised study courses on it in the months after it came out; the bishops were also attacked in the tabloid press for interfering in politics. The document was the first substantial teaching document on Catholic Social Teaching issued by the bishops of this country; they have followed it up with shorter publications before all the general elections since 1997, and it played a very big part in helping Catholics and others learn more about this branch of moral theology.

To mark the twenty-fifth anniversary St Mary’s University is organising a study day on Wednesday 26 January. The speakers are journalist Clifford Longley and Dr Pat Jones, who were both involved in drafting the original document, Jon Cruddas, Member of Parliament for Dagenham, Professor Francis Davis, recently named as the new Head of the Digby Stuart College at the University of Roehampton, Raymond Friel, Chief Executive Officer of the Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN), the Revd Dr Ashley Beck, Programme Lead of the MA programme in Catholic Social Teaching at St Mary’s University, and the Rt Revd Richard Moth, Bishop of Arundel and Brighton and Chair of the Department of Social Justice of the Catholic Bishops Conference.

St Mary’s University in 2017 pioneered the unique MA in Catholic Social Teaching and the study day is linked to the teaching programme. The history and ethos of the university reflects strongly the commitment of the Catholic Church to social justice, so it is fitting that we are able to mark this important anniversary

Speakers include:

  • Clifford Longley
  • Pat Jones
  • Jon Cruddas MP
  • Francis Davis
  • Raymond Friel
  • Ashley Beck
  • Bishop Richard Moth

Booking form

Upcoming events: stay updated

Want to be notified about upcoming events at St Mary's? Make sure to sign up to our event mailing list.

Media enquiries

For media enquiries, please contact:

St Mary's University logo

Press team

020 8240 8262