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Faith in Politics is a Catholic Parliamentary and Public Affairs internship scheme which began in 2003. The scheme uniquely offers a foundation of Catholic faith and spiritual formation for those who believe they may have a vocation to public service in politics or public affairs. Interns commit to a varied year working in Parliament or in the public affairs teams of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, the Catholic Education Service, and CAFOD. They explore the political landscape and the Church’s involvement in social action through a series of events, including a visit to Rome on pilgrimage, to learn how the Vatican works, and how the UK relates to the Holy See. Interns undertake the first year of a part-time Master’s Degree in Catholic Social Teaching at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. Importantly their journey begins and ends with a retreat, and spiritual guidance is an integral part of the year. The group lives at More House in Kensington, and at the end of the year they join a network of over 100 alumni. Faith in Politics is named on the Vatican’s website Laity Involved as an example of best practice formation of the lay faithful.


My time on the scheme was a lot of hard work but it was a fantastic year. It has opened up so many opportunities and I can’t speak highly enough of it.

Education


I believe it's important that young Catholics engage with political structures. By working to promote human rights, I feel my role's hugely rewarding as I can put my faith into action.

Public Affairs


What's unique about the Bishops’ internship is how faith becomes an integral part of daily life, rather than an additional aspect to it.

MPs and Peers


My internship at CAFOD has enabled me to put my faith into action, whilst gaining experience of the international development sector

CAFOD

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at a glance requirement

To apply for the Internship you must:

1. Be a Catholic

2. Be academically strong, having achieved or expected to achieve either a good 2:1 or a First.

3. Have UK Residency or indefinite leave to remain in the UK

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Frequently Asked Questions Our FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions

How will the Catholic Parliamentary and Public Policy Internship benefit me?

Whether you work in Westminster or in public affairs at a Catholic agency, you will, at the end of the scheme have gained invaluable experience, knowledge and networking opportunities, as well as a deeper insight into Catholic Social Teaching and familiarity with the work of the Catholic Church and its agencies. The spiritual guidance and retreats will provide you with opportunities to reflect on the faith dimension of the experience and assist you in discerning your future vocation.

Why do I have to be a Catholic?

Faith in Politics is an initiative of the Catholic Bishops in England and Wales specifically aimed at young Catholics seeking to discern a vocation to public service and political leadership. The year’s internship consists of four related elements designed together to provide an intensive experience of social and political engagement in a spiritual context. These comprise individually guided retreats, studies of Catholic Social Teaching, a series of visits to secular and religious institutions including to the European institutions and the Vatican, and finally work in the office of a Christian MP or public affairs team of a Catholic agency. The interns all live together in More House, a Catholic chaplaincy in South Kensington, London. These combined elements are designed to deepen the experience and Catholic faith of the interns.

At the outset of the scheme it was agreed that we should work not only with Catholic but also other Christian MPs. We seek to work with different MPs each year, and it is understood that the interns are there for an educational experience. However, the scheme is designed and funded through fundraising specifically for young Catholic graduates, and the elements of the scheme come together taking this as a starting point.

There are also other internship programs through which graduates can seek to work with MPs. These include schemes likes the CARE Leadership Programme and the Buxton Leadership Programme, both run for Christians of other denominations with whom we liaise. These programmes work with Christian MPs of varying denominations.

The requirement for a Catholic is appropriate under Schedule 9 Part 1 Para 3 of the Equality Act.

How is the scheme funded? Where will I live?

The scheme is funded through fundraising. Interns will have subsidised catered accommodation in central London and an allowance to cover living and travel costs for the duration of the internship. Tuition fees are also paid for through this fundraising. When added together, this amounts to more than the London Living Wage. As interns, you will be selected on the basis of ability and potential to gain most benefit from this experience.

Will there be someone I can go to in case of problems?

There is a team at the Bishops’ Conference who will keep in touch regularly and ensure all the practical aspects of your internship are going well throughout the year.

Am I the kind of person you’re looking for?

We are looking for current final year undergraduates or recent graduates who:

  • Are committed Catholics with integrity, a strong sense of vocation to social action, seeking to bring their faith to life
  • Have varied life experiences
  • Are academically strong, having achieved or expected to achieve either a good 2:1 or a First
  • Have exceptional initiative, drive, flair and creativity
  • Are highly responsible with good interpersonal skills and discretion
  • Have excellent oral and written communication skills
  • All applicants must be resident in the UK

 

Information for Members of Parliament and organisations taking an intern

The scheme runs from September each year to the following July. The internship year combines four elements: work in the office of a Member or a Catholic agency, study (a Postgraduate Certificate in Catholic Social Teaching with St Mary’s University, Twickenham), spiritual formation including an opening and closing retreat, and a series of meetings and visits (including a pilgrimage to Rome). The scheme is fully funded from donations to the Bishops’ Conference specifically to support the initiative. The scheme runs at no cost to the Member and although the internship scheme is an educational programme rather than employment, interns all receive grant support equivalent to the London Living Wage, including free accommodation. It is expected that interns will also receive pro-rata annual leave. The scheme is run on an all-party basis and each year we seek to place interns with Catholic MPs (or Christian MPs of other denominations) from different parties.