Faith Formation

For many people, experience of Catholic faith and life is challenging. The situation of the Church in Australia today points to a great need to return to the experience of God, to the reality of Christ in the ordinariness of life.

Many Catholics and other Christians are aware that they have a spiritual tradition but are unaware of what it actually means for their faith. Most people know what it is they are taught to believe in terms of Catholic teaching and doctrine but few people know what the Church teaches about where the heart of the tradition finds its inspiration.

The Diocese of Wilcannia- Forbes offers an online event each year called: Lessons from the Long Paddock . See Homepage

This resource opens the conversation for many people who are curious about what the experience of faith actually feels like in ordinary life. Through the lens of the lived experiences of specific characters from the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes, participants accompany others into a glimpse of some of the themes which lie at the heart of our spiritual tradition. Participants engage with conversations which signpost essential spiritual markers relevant to knowledge about what leads into fuller humanity, Christian, Catholic and Australian life. This formation resource draws participants to seek Christ at the heart of human experience and nurtures a capacity to trust that individuals have all they need to begin the journey into constant conversion.

The Lessons from the Long Paddock in 2017 had two keynote speakers: Bishop Columba Macbeth Green OSPPE and Fr Frank Brennan SJ who discussed Australian and Outback Spirituality.


Special Religious Education

“Catechesis is a pillar of faith education and we need good catechists! Thank you for your service to the Church and in the Church. Even if at times, it may be difficult and require a good deal of work and although the results are not always what we hope for, teaching in the faith is beautiful!”

Pope Francis, 27 September 2013

Special Religious Education (SRE) is education in the beliefs and practices of an approved religious persuasion. Under the Education Act 1990. S32. Government schools allow time for special religious education.

The SRE Teacher – Qualifications and Requirements 

Also known as a Catechist, the SRE Teacher is a volunteer who is approved and authorised by the parish priest to teach or assist with the teaching of SRE to children attending public schools in the Diocese of Wilcannia Forbes.

It is the responsibility of the diocese to provide initial and ongoing training for SRE teachers who undertake the mission to teach SRE to children in public schools.

What qualifications are required?

A Catholic SRE teacher (Catechist) should:

  • Have a strong personal commitment to the faith with a concern for the spiritual growth and wellbeing of children
  • Endeavour to transmit by his/her teaching and behaviour, the teaching and life of Jesus
  • Be willing to undertake the necessary training in order to develop the knowledge and skills required in this ministry
  • Be a citizen in good standing with the legal requirements in working with children.
Who needs to be authorised?

All catechists (SRE teachers or Scripture teachers), relief catechists, helpers and observers (those considering if they would like to become a catechist) need to obtain authorisation before going onto school property for the purpose of SRE.


Catholic Special Religious Education (SRE) Authorisation Process
Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes – SRE Authorisation Process

Catechists, helpers and observers are not to attend SRE classes without completing the Authorisation Process and been issued with an Authorisation Card. Should an observer become a regular helper or catechist please contact the Diocesan SRE Coordinator so records can be updated.

Authorised Curriculums
Walking with Christ

Walking with Christ is a Kindergarten to Year 6 program based on the Diocese of Broken Bay Special Religious Education Foundations and Syllabus document. The program consists of Student Books, Teacher Manuals, Music CDs and a demonstration lesson DVD.
This curriculum can be viewed here

Christ our Light and Life

Christ our Light and Life aims to provide an environment in which young children may develop a real relationship with God. It will be most effective in teaching contexts committed to the Gospel of Christ, to Sacred Scripture and the magisterium of Christ’s Church.
The curriculum is informed by the following practical principles:

  • Formation in faith is a life-long journey
  • The needs of the students change overtime. Therefore, a variety of teaching methods are required
  • The students’ lives influence their expressions of faith. Thus catechists teaching strategies will respond to and respect the cultural diversity.
  • The family is the basic community of the Church. Links between the home, parish and school are discovered and encouraged.

This curriculum can be viewed here


GodSpace is a curriculum widely used in joint denominational SRE in schools throughout NSW & Qld. It is a three-year curriculum designed to engage children in a relationship with God and his Word. The stories and activities have been written so that they are appropriate in an education setting for children aged 5 to 12.
This curriculum can be viewed here

Beginning with God

Beginning with God is a one-year program introducing students (ages 5-6) with little knowledge of God and Jesus. The teacher’s manuals provide 40 lessons, outlining full aims and preparation notes, learning outcomes and activities. A CD of songs, dramas and sound effects are also included.


Connect is a three-year Religious Education curriculum designed for use in Australian and New Zealand schools. It is Bible based and offers 20 lessons each semester at Infants (ages 5-7), Lower Primary (ages 7-9) and Upper Primary (ages 10-12) levels. In each lesson students engage with the Bible through music, drama, reading and writing, puzzle solving, drawing and asking questions.

This curriculum can be viewed here

Sunday Scriptures Alive

Sunday Scriptures Alive program is based on the Sunday Lectionary. The stories, activities and workshops explains the Gospel in a manner appropriate for primary aged children.

The following resources from the Department of Education are useful for SRE teachers and anyone interested in the SRE program.

Implementation Procedures

Learning across the curriculum Religion and Ethics


As well as the basic training that SRE teachers and Assistants complete prior to commencing teaching or assisting with SRE, all newly appointed teachers/catechists are required to complete an online training course during their first year of teaching. The course also caters for SRE teachers/catechists and Assistants who are currently teaching but haven’t attended a training course for more than five years.

The online training program includes modules in Child Protection, Classroom Management, Curriculum Use and Lesson Planning, Teaching Authority of the Church, Introduction to the Bible, Child Development, Mission and Ministry of the Catechist and Classroom Skills/Questioning. It builds on the work CCRESS and individual Dioceses have been doing in State Schools over 25 years.

To enrol in the online training modules please contact the Diocesan SRE Coordinator via email

The Diocesan SRE Coordinator will offer support and mentoring, and will observe at least one lesson over the course of the first year.


Teacher Basic Training
Interactive Whiteboards & Digital Projects
SRE Teacher Audit Process
Lesson Observation

Code of Conduct and Complaints Policy

Each SRE teacher is obliged by the NSW Child Protection legislation and other legislation to acquire certain requirements. Such legislation aims to protect aims to protect children for whom the Department of Education is responsible, as well as enhancing the effectiveness of the delivery of SRE to students.

Each school authority is allowed to send its SRE teachers into NSW state schools only on the condition that the Church has in place structures to ensure that its SRE teachers conform to the requirements of this legislation.

SRE teachers authorised by the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes adhere to the Wilcannia-Forbes SRE Code of Conduct.

If you feel that an SRE teacher authorised by the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes is not adhering to the Code of Conduct or have any other concerns, you may complete a complaint form and forward it to the safe-guarding officer at the Chancery: The Special Religious Education and Procedure will be followed to resolve the issue.

If there is a breach of Child Protection legislation, please contact the safeguarding officer at the Chancery on (02) 6853 9340.

Wilcannia-Forbes Code of Conduct

Wilcannia-Forbes SRE Complainant Form

Wilcannia-Forbes Complaints Policy and Procedures