Our Disappearing Faith: A Work Experience Project

The CTS was delighted to host a work experience student from a nearby Catholic school for two weeks this summer.

Marcus Stalmanis, a year 10 scholar from the Cardinal Vaughan School in West London, took two weeks out from preparing for his GSCEs to learn about all the different aspects that go into producing the CTS’s ever-developing roster of booklets and pamphlets on the Catholic Faith.

During his time here, Marcus worked with our publishing team to produce his own detailed proposal for a CTS booklet, complete with a cover design, chapter summaries and even a marketing plan.

Marcus had seen plenty of CTS publications before, both at school and at his local church, but he was surprised at just how many different things need to happen in order to get an idea from one of our authors’ heads onto the printed page. His proposal took him on a tour of our small but diverse team, taking input from colleagues working in finance, fundraising, sales and social media to ensure that his idea had the best chance of success.

An examination into our disappearing faith

Marcus’s proposal was for an investigation of the decline in religious practice in the UK during the 21st century, which has seen the proportion of those describing themselves as ‘nones’ (i.e. having no religion) go from 40% in 2000 to 53% in 2016.

The proposed booklet, titled ‘Our Disappearing Faith’ would present a challenging picture for the Church and Society as a whole, looking at how the decline in faith communities leads to isolation and the breakdown of a shared ethical framework.

Marcus pitched his idea to an audience of CTS staff and volunteers on his last day – an incredible achievement given how new he was to the world of Catholic Publishing. The centrepiece of his pitch was an honest appraisal of the difficulties and opportunities facing the Church in modern Britain, and the urgency of our task to evangelise. He wrote: “Our Society is underpinned by Christian values, and relies on these values to prevent decline. Furthermore, religion creates a community and binds people together.”

The CTS has been providing work experience to Catholic school students for many years. General Secretary Fergal Martin regards this as a small but essential part of our mission. He said: “We value highly any input we can give to young people to discover their vocation and the world of work. They are keen to find their place, make a contribution and live with sense and purpose.

“Marcus fully engaged in the creative and technical process we offered to be passionate about his beliefs and share them with others through the published word. He got us all thinking too!”

 


Check out Marcus’ blog post on how YOUCAT Confession helps him feel at ease with going to Confession here.

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