Faith in Politics is a Catholic Parliamentary and Public Affairs internship scheme
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.Faith in Politics is named on the Vatican’s website Laity Involved as an example of best practice formation of the lay faithful.
Two internships options to choose fromInterns commit to a varied year exploring the political landscape and the Church’s involvement in social action. This occurs first and foremost in their work placements with Members of Parliament and CAFOD, the Church’s overseas aid agency.
Integrated spiritual guidanceImportantly, the internship journey begins and ends with a retreat, and spiritual guidance is an integral part of the year. The group lives together in a community, and at the end of the year they join a network of over 100 alumni.
Immersive teaching and regular volunteeringInterns take part in a Catholic Social Teaching seminar programme which, combined with regular volunteering opportunities, means the year is an immersive experience designed to develop interns’ understanding of what it means to be a Catholic today.
Pilgrimages to Rome and the Holy LandDuring the year, the Faith in Politics team leads the interns on two pilgrimages: to Rome and the Holy Land. The visit to Rome includes a pilgrimage to Assisi, as well as meetings with officials to learn how the Vatican works and how the UK relates to the Holy See. In the Holy Land, the interns will make pilgrimages to holy sites and learn about the history of the Church and the ongoing challenges in the region.
Who we are
Meet the Bishop’s Conference TeamThe Faith in Politics internship scheme and the Faith in Politics Network sit within the Department of Social Justice of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. The Chair of the Department is Bishop Richard Moth, with whom interns have contact during the year. The lead bishop for the Faith in Politics internship scheme is Bishop John Arnold. Molly and Marie are the co-ordinators for the Faith in Politics scheme, and work closely with Greg, the Executive Director of the Bishops’ Conference.
Bishop John Arnold +
Bishop John Arnold is the Bishop of Salford Diocese and the lead bishop for the Faith in Politics internship scheme. Bishop John is also a member of the Bishops’ Conference Department for International Affairs; Chair of CAFOD’s Board of Trustees and a Trustee of Caritas Social Action Network.
Greg Pope +
Greg has worked for the Church in several roles since stepping down as an MP in 2010. He is currently Executive Director of the Bishops’ Conference and Secretary of the Department for Social Justice. He is a politics graduate who once walked from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea in Central America (the narrow bit). Occasionally mentions that he is from Lancashire.
Molly Conrad +
After taking part in the Faith in Politics scheme as an intern herself, Molly began working as a Public Affairs Officer for the Catholic Education Service, an agency for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. In January 2021 she became the Partnerships & Public Affairs Officer for the Bishops’ Conference which includes co-ordinating the Faith in Politics internship scheme. Molly holds an undergraduate degree in Theology from the University of Exeter and is particularly interested in areas such as gender, disability and spirituality. Outside of work you will find her cooking and baking, walking in the countryside, and enjoying the musicals and plays that London has to offer.
Marie Southall +
Marie has been the Director of Partnerships & Public Affairs for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales since January 2021. Before that, she managed the Catholic Education Service public affairs team. After completing her Masters degree in Geography, Marie became a Faith in Politics intern herself in the scheme’s seventh year. She was the first ever CAFOD intern. Hiking up mountains, travelling the world with family and keeping busy with house renovations are just some of the things she enjoys outside of work.