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Bishop Douglass Catholic School

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Catholic Ethos

Spiritual Life

In the context of a Catholic Christian School it is vital to create opportunities whereby our pupils can take time out to come together outside of the school environment to continue to build community and reflect on their reasons for living and hoping.

In Years 7, 8 and 9, the Religious Education department organise a one day retreat experience. These retreats are for all pupils at KS3.  In Years 10 & 11 pupils have the opportunity to participate in the SPEC retreat in Harrow. Retreats have always been a very important in the lives of those who have been fortunate to go. Whilst we are not able to ‘measure’ the value of such an experience, nonetheless it is apparent that for our pupils, it remains a treasured one.  

The academic needs of our pupils are given a high priority at Bishop Douglass, and it is recognised that the provision for retreat work impinges curriculum time.  As a Christian school, however, we also recognise that we are concerned with the whole person, and that includes the development of the physical, social, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs.  Retreat work plays a large part in helping our students to grow in some of these important areas.


Ramblings from the Chaplain’s Desk

Thoughts run through my head: the music of CSI “Who are you?” rings in my ears. Who am I? Good question. I am the result of much work and much love. I come from a large Irish/Scottish background as you can probably all tell form my accent!  I have five sisters and one brother: seven nieces and nephews and three great-nephews and one great-niece. So, I’m older than this school but younger than others. 
I always wanted to be a missionary priest. The role of the Lone Ranger and Robin Hood were already taken but the desire to “do good by helping others” was in my DNA! Hence my love for CSI!

I was ordained a priest after studies in Scotland (Coatbridge and Glasgow mainly), Italy (Parma) and finally completing my degree at the Missionary Institute in Mill Hill and was ordained in 1979 at my home parish of St. Therese, in Newarthill, Motherwell.  I spent my first five years in Coatbridge as Vocations Director, three years in Chicago in Formation and Ministry before reaching my main goal as Missionary in Sierra Leone on the West Coast of Africa. 

Lots of other experiences in hospital and hospice work when I returned from Africa and I have been in London since 2006 taking up a permanent post here at Bishop Douglass School the following year! I only came in a couple of times to celebrate mass as my colleague couldn’t manage!  I was “detained” by the then Head and have been a permanent fixture ever since!

As Chaplain I shepherd the sheep where they need to be lead. We have many celebrations and services most, if not all, are student “prepared” and prayed!  My role is leading and guiding and helping out when and where necessary. The Chaplaincy is in the RE Corridor in the Sixth Form Area. As Chaplain I like to think of myself like Mr. Arkwright – as we are “open all hours” – we never close.

We have had our moments of sadness and grief and loss and my role is to help and comfort and see through those moments.   If the door is closed the ears are always open and folk know where to find me or how to get in touch.  All the staff at BD are able and willing to help when the need arises. So if you have an issue; if you have a problem come and see us.  Just know that if and when you might just need an ear – we are here for you….

Every blessing to you and yours.

Fr. Kevin Ryan S.X

TEL: 0208  815 5057 (d.l.)
07711 334470

School Prayers

The “Our Father”

Our Father who art in heaven
hallowed be your name
your kingdom come
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.

The “Hail Mary”

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you,
blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your
womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now and at
the hour of our death.

The “Glory Be”

Glory be to the Father
and to the Son 
and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

The “Eternal Rest” 

Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. 

Our School Prayer

Thank you, O God, for another day. Help me to spend it wisely and to spend it well. Grant that everything that I do today may be done as well as I can do it. Grant that everyone I meet may be happier for the meeting. Keep me all through today conscientious in my work; truthful in my speaking; loyal to my friends; faithful to those who love me through Jesus Christ my Lord.  Amen.

House System

Bishop Douglass House System

The house system contributes significantly to the culture and organisation of the school.  When pupils first come to the school they are placed in a form group which is part of one of six house groups. These are named Campion, Fisher, More, Line, Ward and Owen. There are plenty of opportunities throughout the school year to take part in inter-house activities such as poetry, art and sporting competitions. All houses support different charities such as CAFOD and the North London Hospice.


Saint Edmund Campion, S.J., (24 January 1540 - 1 December 1581) was a Roman Catholic Jesuit priest and martyr. A highly educated man, who attended Oxford University - Campion was an Anglican loyal to Elizabeth I. He took the Oath of Supremacy, and deacon’s orders according to the new rite. However, he gradually became more uneasy abut the Protestant movement convinced  that religious truth lay with the Catholic Church. In June 1571 he left England to study at the English College at Douai where he was received into the Catholic faith. Three years kater he moved to Rome and entered the Jesuit novicate, afterwards spending time in Vienna and Prague. He was ordained priest in 1578. In 1580 he returned to England to minister Catholics. While conducting and underground service, Campion was arrested by priest hunters. When challenged about the excommunication of Elizabeth by Pope Pius V he replied with a prayer for her, “your Queen and my Queen”. Convicted of high treason, he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. Campion was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1886 and canonised in 1970 by Pope Paul VI as one the forty martyrs of England and Wales.


Saint John Fisher (c. 19 October 1469 – 22 June 1535) was an English Catholic Cardinal-Priest, Bishop, and theologian. He was a man of learning, associated with the intellectuals and political leaders of his day, and eventually became Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. Fisher was executed by order of Henry VIII during the English Reformation for refusing to accept the king as Supreme Head of the Church of England and for upholding the Catholic Church’s doctrine of papal primacy. He was named a cardinal shortly before his death. He is honoured as a martyr and saint by the Catholic Church. He shares his feast day with St. Thomas More on 22 June in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints and on 6 July in that of the Church of England.


Saint Thomas More was born in London in 1478.  After a thorough grounding in religion and the classics, he entered Oxford University to study law. Upon leaving university he embarked on a legal career which took him to Parliament where he attracted the attention of Henry VIII who appointed him to a succession of high posts culminating in making him Lord Chancellor in 1529.  He resigned in 1532 at the height of his career because he refused to support Henry’s divorce and remarriage to Anne Boleyn. The rest of his life was spent in writing mostly in defence of the Church. In 1534, with his close friend, St John Fisher, he refused to render allegiance to King Henry as the Head of      the Church of England and was confined to the Tower. Fifteen months later and nine days after St John Fisher’s execution, he was tried and convicted of treason.  He told the court that he could not go against his conscience. On the scaffold, he told the crowd of spectators that he was dying as ‘the King’s good servant but God’s first.’


Anne Line was born in the early 1560s, and at some point, probably in the early 1580s, converted to Catholicism along with her brother William and Roger Line, the man she married in February 1583. Around 1594 Father John Gerard, S.J. opened a house of refuge for hiding priests and put the newly widowed Anne Line in charge of it, despite her chronic ill-health.  She continued to harbour priests, but in 1600 was arrested and sent to Newgate Prison.  She was tried on 26 February 1601 and was so weak from fever that she was carried to the trial in a chair.  She told the court that so far from regretting having concealed a priest, she only grieved that she ‘could not receive a thousand more.’  She was sentenced to death for the felony of assisting a seminary priest.  Anne Line was hanged on 27 February 1601.


Saint Margaret Ward (died 30 August 1588), the “pearl of Tyburn”, was an English Catholic martyr who was executed during the reign of Elizabeth I for assisting a priest to escape from prison.

Margaret Ward was kept in irons for eight days, was hung up by the hands, and scourged, but absolutely refused to disclose the priest’s whereabouts. At her trial, she admitted to having helped Fr. Watson to escape, and rejoiced in “having delivered an innocent lamb from the hands of those bloody wolves”. She was offered a pardon if she would attend a Protestant service, but refused. She was hanged at Tyburn on 30 August 1588.

Her date of birth is unknown, but she was born in Congleton, Cheshire.

Margaret Ward was canonised by Pope Paul VI on 25 October 1970, as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. Her feast day, along with all the English Martyrs, is on 4 May. However, in the Roman Catholic dioceses of England, she shares a feast day with fellow female martyr saints Margaret Clitherow and Anne Line, on 30 August.


Saint Nicholas Owen, S.J., (died 1606) was a Jesuit lay brother who built numerous priest holes during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England.  After his final arrest, he was tortured to death by prison authorities in the Tower of London. He is honoured as a martyr by the Catholic Church and was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970.

Owen was canonized as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales by Pope Paul VI on 25 October 1970. Their joint feast day was initially celebrated on the anniversary of the canonization. That feast has been moved in England to 4 May. His individual feast day is on March 22.  Catholic stage magicians who practice Gospel Magic consider St. Nicholas Owen the patron saint of Illusionists and Escapologists, due to his facility at using “trompe l’oeil” when creating his hideouts and the fact that he engineered an escape from the Tower of London.