Building the relationship between faith, politics, and what it means to live out a vocation in
The aim of the 12-month programme is to help form the consciences of the next generation of Catholic lay
leaders: people deeply committed to their faith, who have a vocation to public service and a desire to
put their faith into practice by working towards the common good.
These internship placements have been chosen in order to emphasise the relationship between faith and
politics, and what it means to live out a vocation in public life.
Two possible internship streams
An internship with Faith in Politics involves working either in the office of a Member or Parliament or
in the public affairs office at CAFOD, the overseas aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and
There are three places available in Parliament, and one place at CAFOD. Applicants are welcome to
apply for both but will only be considered for the positions for which they have applied.
There are four key pillars central to the Faith in Politics experience
There are four key pillars central to the Faith in Politics experience: faith, learning, pilgrimage and community. Together with their work placements, these four pillars form the unique foundation of Catholic faith and spiritual formation which this scheme provides for those who believe they may have a vocation to public service in politics or public affairs.
Faith and spiritual formation are a crucial part of the internship scheme. Led by the Jesuits’ Young Adults Ministry Team – the Laudato Si’ Community, the interns participate in a beginning and end of year week-long retreat, held at the St Beuno’s Jesuit Spirituality Centre in the beautiful surroundings of the north Wales countryside. There is also a shorter mid-year retreat which is combined with a mid-year review with the Faith in Politics team.
Each intern is allocated a personal spiritual director for the year who also accompanies them in individually guided sessions. These are treated as private and up to the individual intern to arrange with their spiritual director. While it may feel unusual at first, the interns end the year saying how valuable they found them as they negotiated this transition from student to working life. Punctuating the year between the three retreats and individual session are group spiritual direction sessions which take place every 6-8 weeks.
The interns are embedded in the Catholic Social Teaching of the Church as a core part of their year on the scheme. They take part in a monthly seminar programme, in which experts in aspects of Catholic Social Teaching will join the group for a session of discussion and debate on a particular aspect of Catholic Social Teaching. These sessions focus on practical applications of Catholic Social Teaching in public life and society more widely, for example, domestic abuse, criminal justice, dignity in the workplace, and more.
Combined with these monthly sessions is a programme of volunteering opportunities and additional meetings with Catholics in public life and visits to organisations who are all putting the Church’s social teaching into action in their daily lives. This includes meetings with Members of Parliament, journalists and businesspeople, to a day at Tilbury Docks to learn about the work of Apostleship of the Sea, to visiting a prison where the interns in learning about the work of prison chaplaincy.
The aim of this multi-faceted programme of “learning, seeing and doing” is for the interns to immerse themselves in discussion, debate and action on the social teaching of the Church and contemporary issues. The result will be that the interns are well-versed in Catholic Social Teaching and its practical application.
The interns participate on two foreign trips during their year on the scheme. The first is a trip to the Holy Land, which will take place in March 2022. The second is a visit to Rome and the Holy See, which will take place in May 2022.
While the interns’ relationships with each other and the scheme’s leadership grows throughout the year, it is often on these once-in-a-lifetime foreign visits that a real team dynamic is built and fostered.
A new addition to the internship scheme from 2021, the visit to the Holy Land will consist partly of pilgrimage, and also as a way to learn about the Catholic Church and the relationship between faith and politics in this region.
The Christian community in the Holy Land represents a physical link between the modern world and the life and times of Christ – they are the ‘living stones’ of our faith. We hope that this trip will help the interns to be able to contextualise and understand the rich and often complex history of our faith, and the politics challenges which this region continues to face today.
The interns have visited Rome each year since the scheme began, and it is without doubt one of the highlights of the year. The trip has two main focuses: pilgrimage and learning about the Holy See. Over the years, we have built good relationships with the people with whom the interns meet, including officials in the Holy See and the British Embassy. The trip’s pilgrimage focus includes a day trip to Assisi, Mass every day in churches around Rome, including a chapel in St Peter’s Basilica, and a visit to the Venerable English College. Plenty of time is also allocated for walking around Rome, learning about its ancient and more recent history and politics, and of course sampling its famous food!
The Faith in Politics internship scheme is more than just a stepping stone into a career in politics or public life, it is also a year which the interns spend closely as a group, learning and growing together, supporting each other, having fun, and cementing strong friendships.
New to the scheme for 2021 is that the interns will live together in a house-share, which will form their community for the year. Also living in the house will be 2-4 other Catholic young professionals who are not on the scheme. This new community house-share will emphasize the scheme as a transition into independent working life in which faith and friendship play a central role.
The community will be based in central London with good transport links to both Parliament and CAFOD. The accommodation will be self-catered, and the interns’ monthly allowance will reflect this. The rent and bills will be paid directly through the Faith in Politics team, not by the interns. Living as a community will also form part of their immersion in practical applications of CST and develop their understanding of what it means to be a Catholic today.
Be a committed Catholic with
integrity and a strong sense of
vocation to social action.
Be academically strong, having
achieved or expected to achieve at
least a good 2:1.
Have UK Residency or indeﬁnite
leave to remain in the UK.