“What is the difference between a friar and a monk?” asked Sister one day in catechism. Several hands shot up enthusiastically. “The difference is,” answered one child somewhat naively but honestly, “that a monk has the back of his head shaved and a friar does not.” 


“How many people do you think converted when the Holy Ghost first descended on the Apostles at Pentecost?”

“Three! And they were all pirates with eye patches!” came the answer from one very earnest seven-year-old. 

Catechism, with the older primary children at St Benedict’s, takes the form of questions, memorisation and repetition – not without amusing anecdotes. Every week the children memorise several short extracts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, linked to the topic of the week, to be tested at the beginning of each class. During the break before the class the children can all be seen eagerly clutching their textbooks for last-minute revision. It is impressive just how much they are able to memorise; in the end-of-year test several quoted passages they had memorised during the year. Some passages will be forgotten, but it will be revisited in future lessons. One day, a pupil seemed very worried: “Sister, I didn’t find any Catechism extracts to memorise.” We had finished the book! “Sister, will we have the blue boxes next year? I like learning the Catechism extracts.”

This year, most of the work in the books has been done at home, leaving the class at school for questions – an attempt to lift Catechism out of the textbook and apply it to everyday situations. As the children already have a good grasp of the basics, it has been an opportunity to present problems or less obvious situations to which the children have to find solutions. It is also an occasion for them to ask (often very profound) questions, something they enjoy: if the Child Jesus was perfect and Our Lady was conceived without original sin, how could St Joseph (as just a normal man) be part of the Holy Family? How could Our Lord, aged 12, disobey His parents in staying behind in the Temple in Jerusalem? Interestingly, this question had already come up the previous year: those that had been there the first time remembered some of the answers that had been given. Why should we fear God? Why did it have to be Jesus who died on the Cross for our sins and not just any man?

In early Spring, the children had to repeat, over several weeks, the definition of a sacrament. How edifying that, in the end-of-year exams months later, every child gave the same answer, “a sacrament is an outward sign, instituted by Christ, that gives us grace.” Deo gratias!  

Bridging the Gap

On the last day of term, the youngest children were set a challenge: make a bridge long enough to span a desk using art straws and a small amount of tape. We had a look at some famous bridges and talked about what made them strong. It was harder than we thought; the straws bent easily and were too short so we had to learn how best to join them. We had a lot of fun and a few collapses along the way.

Sister and one of the older pupils gave us a hand and everyone succeeded in making a bridge before it was time to get ready for Holy Mass. The only challenge then was how to get them home in one piece!

One cardboard box!

In Primary 1 we had a large, empty cardboard box. We were sure it would be useful for something so we kept it.

The children have been studying Medieval history and art as a combined topic this year. They have looked at illuminated manuscripts, altarpieces, decorative metalwork and jewellery and learned how they were made.  Inspired by the Wilton Diptych and other altarpieces, the children wanted to make their own diptychs and triptychs.

Luckily, we had a large cardboard box. Using all the folds and flaps of the box, we had enough cardboard for everyone. Working over many weeks, each child designed and painted the pictures: favourite saints and a coat of arms for the back and scenes from the lives of Jesus and Mary for the front. We took our time and did our best work, just like the artists who painted the originals.  We were very pleased with the results.

O Sacrament most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine!

Each morning at the Saint Benedict Academy, we begin the day by greeting Our
Lord truly present in the tabernacle. Likewise, at the end of the day’s studies, we kneel
before the tabernacle and give thanks for the day’s graces.
Every aspect of an authentically Catholic life draws strength from this most august
Sacrament, and so it is a great joy for our families to worship Our Blessed Saviour
through the solemnities of the feast of Corpus Christi, within the beautiful setting of our
home church of St Thomas and the English Martyrs.
May God ever increase the devotion of our students to His Body, Blood, Soul and
Divinity in the Holy Eucharist!

Canon R. Post

Open House at Saint Benedict’s Academy

Come and see!  Jesus addressed this warm invitation to His first disciples.  Likewise, we who would like to form young hearts and minds to follow Our Lord wish to extend a similar invitation.  Come and see the Saint Benedict Academy on Friday, 18th June!  Come and see the joyful Catholic spirit of our Academy, our dedicated priests and religious sisters, our wonderful families and happy students!

The day begins with morning prayer and a catechetical talk at 8:30 am.  Between 8:45 and 11:45, you will have the opportunity to tour the Academy, encounter the faculty and observe classes.  The morning ends with Sung Mass at noon in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite (the Traditional Latin Mass) followed by veneration of the relics of the English Martyrs.

If you would like to register for the open house, please contact Rev. Canon Post at or 07856 720 900.

The Great Feasts at Saint Benedict’s

If we desire that our children should have a deeply-rooted Catholic faith, it is essential that they enter into the great mysteries of the Church’s liturgical year.  In keeping with the spirituality of the Institute of Christ the King, Saint Benedict’s strives to impress this love of the liturgy upon the hearts of its students.

One of the means for doing so is the morning talk.  We begin each day with prayer and a short spiritual talk by the Principal.  This is often the occasion to explain the great feasts of both the temporal cycle (those mysteries primarily centred on the life of Our Lord) and sanctoral cycle (the celebration of the saints) in the liturgy.  

For the great feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, the families of Saint Benedict’s gathered together for a joyful meal and for both Solemn Mass and Vespers.  We are blessed to have these offices accompanied by the prayerful Gregorian chant of our Sister Adorers and served by our very enthusiastic altar boys, who are always eager to participate and learn new roles!  Our young ladies see the beauty and happiness of the vocation of the Sisters, while the young men draw near to the altar through the liturgical service.

Now we prepare with great zeal during the novena to Pentecost.  Come Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of thy love!

Presentation Video

Sign up for September 2021.

Saint Benedict’s Catholic Academy, in the city of Preston provides a classically taught curriculum for your children in a Catholic environment.

For more information please contact:

St Benedict’s Academy offers:

• A classically-taught curriculum including English Language & Literature, Maths, Science, History, Latin, French, Art, Catechism and Gregorian Chant;

• A curriculum which complements home- schooling;

• The opportunity to study Greek, Logic and Rhetoric for older children;

• Priests at your service who teach every day of the academic week (Mondays, Thursdays & Friday mornings);

• Sisters present every day in class, making the heart of our Academy beat with their beautiful charism and through their teaching of Gregorian Chant;

• Teachers who are well-credentialed and qualified;

• And a team of passionate and engaged volunteers.

Come and visit us to prepare for the new academic year starting in September 2021!

Sign Up Now!

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Deo Gratias!

Following the recent decisions of the government, Saint Benedict’s has been able to re-open its doors for the month of March after two months of exclusively online learning.  It is a great joy for teachers, students, and the principal to be able to return to the classroom and spend less time in front of our screens and monitors!

These last two months have not been without fruit though, both in the education of our children and the material progress of our Academy.  Since Saint Benedict’s is not a school, parents and children must work diligently at home to ensure that they receive an excellent education and that the love of learning will draw students to deepen their knowledge of both natural and supernatural truths.  We are confident that our children continue to be formed with great continuity, whatever the day-to-day or month-to-month circumstances may bring.  

Furthermore, it is fitting that this month of March, dedicated to the glorious Saint Joseph, has also seen the completion of important building improvements.  Formerly, we had to rely on electric space-heaters to keep a reasonable temperature in the front rooms of our Academy.  But now, thanks to the work of local plumber Dan Johnson, the central heating system has been extended into these rooms with several new radiators.  

Each morning at the Academy, the children pray to our holy patrons, the saint of the day, the English martyrs, and Saint Joseph.  His intercession is crucial, not only to provide us with what we need materially, but also to guide the children in virtue and in living closely united to Jesus and Mary.  

May all of our benefactors, who make these works possible, be blessed through the intercession of Saint Joseph!  May our Blessed Patriarch watch over the families of our Academy and reward the sacrifices that they make for Catholic education!

Ite ad Joseph!

Canon Post, Principal