Putting All Children First



Helping children think of others

The Good Shepherd Programme has been offered by the Catholic Children’s Society to Catholic primary schools across the diocese since 2001.

Using a variety of materials appropriate to the ages of the children concerned and focusing on the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, children are encouraged to think about the needs of other young people who might be less fortunate than themselves.

In recent years the programme has developed to enable schools to interact with the materials independently rather than relying on trustees to visit the school. Resources have been offered here on the website and in 2014 an assembly took place via the internet which enable a number of schools to join one assembly at the same time.


Cribs for kids 2
In 2015 the Good Shepherd programme was presented at Christmas rather than in Lent to encourage children to consider what Christmas is like for families that are struggling and have very little money, poor living conditions or lack family support. The focus of the programme was the crib or nativity scene and children were encouraged to make their own crib scenes and use it as a focus for prayer for those less fortunate.
CRIBS FOR KIDS presentation v2

In 2016, the focus has moved on to The Epiphany with the


How many of us really celebrate the Epiphany? For most people, Christmas finishes just as it starts with decorations taken down on Boxing Day and ‘Sales’ starting in the shops. And for those of us that do observe the twelve days of Christmas we don’t actually celebrate the feast, unlike countries such as Spain, where they celebrate Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day) and exchange gifts.

The Catholic Children’s Society is encouraging parishes across the Diocese to hold a CribFest on the weekend of the Epiphany, when parishioners lend their nativity/crib scenes to create a diverse, colourful and inspiring display for people to come and enjoy.

The feast of the Epiphany is so often lost in the return to school and work and therefore the CribFest provides an opportunity for everyone to focus on the events of the day and to appreciate the true meaning of Christmas and consider those who may have struggled over the Christmas holidays to have a very special time and to pray for better times for them in the year ahead.

The following leaflet out lines the idea of a CribFest and getting your school involved in your parish CribFest (if there is one) or organising one at your school.

CribFest Epiphany 2017

and the following notes provides ideas for an Epiphany Liturgy, Mass and prayers:

We hope you are inspired to celebrate Kings Day


a modern prayer request to God for protection, provision and shelter for children in hardship or difficulty from www.lords-prayer-words.com

O Lord,
Be warmth
Be light
Be food
Be sleep
Be encouragement
Be protection
Be peace
Be father
To the children who are
cold, hungry, in darkness, tired,
hopeless, frightened, sad or worried across the world.
We believe you can shelter these little ones.
Hear their prayers.