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  Headteachers, Teachers and Governers - Feedback  

Home, School and Parish praying together
for the best for our children.

Family Feedback

Jesus Christ

St Austin’s Primary School, Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
A request was made for families (practising and non practising) to volunteer feedback regarding their experience of The Wednesday Word Family Time. Excerpts from their interviews are included below.

Statement from:

Angela Deevy - The Wednesday Word Interview Team

Angela Deevy
The Wednesday Word Interview Team
(Class Teacher at St Austin’s School, Wakefield, West Yorkshire)


I interviewed a total of 6 parents/families. 2 of the families were not currently practising Catholics; the remaining families comprised a mixture of practising and non practising Catholics and Protestants.

I asked each to feel free to be open with their responses and reassured them that their responses would be anonymous. I explained to them that all feedback was important, positive or negative, and was welcomed by the team as a means of developing the programme.

I felt moved, really touched, by their sense of commitment to the programme, even the non-church attendants. Their strong desire for this kind of quiet, quality time with the family enriched with prayer was a privilege to hear about. All without exception acknowledged the special time that The Wednesday Word had created for them, and for most it seemed to be becoming a habit.

I felt both energized and humbled by the parents' enthusiasm and thirst for a deepening of their faith. In the case of the several non Catholic partners/husbands/wives there was a searching for an understanding of the Catholic faith. I have felt privileged to be involved in this Wednesday Word pilot scheme.


Statement from:

Mary O’Connell - The Wednesday Word Interview Team

Mary O’Connell
The Wednesday Word Interview Team

(Family Life Minister at St Austin’s Church, Wakefield, West Yorkshire)


I was amazed at the open response of parents to give constructive feedback so that other people and families in other schools could possibly benefit from The Wednesday Word.

The families I listened to seemed to have a very clear understanding of the pressures on themselves and families in general. I was taken aback at the very warm welcome The Wednesday Word had received in each of these homes, and when reflecting afterwards, thought, "Is this how they would have welcomed Jesus into their homes had He knocked on their door Himself?" (though He did in essence, through His Word).

The warmth of the welcome for The Wednesday Word in people’s homes and the way that they wanted to share it with other families had an impact on me. Whilst interviewing and reflecting upon the interaction that took place I was very much aware of the great privilege it was for me to listen to the parents share intimate aspects of their faith and lives and that in turn priests, bishops and laity would have the opportunity to hear what they thought and said.

One of the words echoing in my ears from this is the word "structure"—not my word, but the word that parents used…. something to work with….to build on.


Some statistics that were captured from the pilot scheme questionnaires:

  • 87% of respondents said they did not currently read the Bible in the family home on a regular basis and 67% of families said they did not pray together on a regular basis.
  • 100% of respondents believed that The Wednesday Word was a good way for the school and church to support their family.
  • 90% of those who did participate in the Family Time custom said it was something they would consider doing on a regular basis.
  • 75% of those who participated said that The Wednesday Word could help to renew their own adult faith, and 97% said that this family custom helped them to transmit faith to their children.

The comments below are just a small selection of the many positive remarks that we have received from practising and non practising parents who have used The Wednesday Word.

  • I liked the family time together, listening to the children's insights into the Gospel and family life, and having a structure to work on.

  • This is a way to reinforce good values in children; it supports the family well.

  • I enjoyed the togetherness and the way that The Wednesday Word involved non-Catholic members of the family. This was excellent and fun.

  • It prepared the children for Sunday Liturgy with simple and direct messages which can also be expanded on. It was simple to understand, thought provoking, child and adult friendly and teaches us how to pray together as a family.

  • It made us sit down as a family and discuss the Gospel and say how we felt about it. It brought us closer together.

  • The Wednesday Word gives a simple message about faith and everyday life and created positive time together that helped our children relate the Gospels to their own life and situations. Anything that has a positive impact on children should be shared and made widely available.

  • Without The Wednesday Word we would probably never have done this kind of thing. If it wasn't coming through school I cannot imagine how I could set out to do it myself. I think it is great. When we did the family time I felt closer to my daughter; we shared something special together. Listening to my daughter's opinions and observing her enthusiasm and her genuine interest actually helped my own faith.

  • I think many people who don't go to church are being misled by TV soaps, advertisers, etc. and need something to bring sanity back into their lives. This could be one way to do that. I have a friend who does not go to church but he told me that he has done The Wednesday Word with his family and he enjoyed it. I would like to think that this may help him come back to church one day.

We liked The Wednesday Word because it brought our family closer together and gave us an opportunity to discuss and hear each other's opinions about the Gospel. Even though we go to church this actually made God real to us in our real life outside church. It was easy to do because it was all set out for us. We both thought it was a good way for the church to input the Gospel into lots of families and also give us good advice. The children saw that we were interested in their answers and opinions. It was good quality time together, which I think would help most Catholic families. It also got us to stop and think about God in the week, which can be difficult as most evenings are usually so busy.

We are both non-Catholics. The Wednesday Word was enjoyable. It got us to sit down together as a family and the children enjoyed it. It seems to clearly be a way to form an excellent link between the church and school. I think The Wednesday Word would help people to focus more on each other, value other people more and would help keep families closer together. Anything that can do this should be shared with other people.

Saturday nights are always busy and on Sunday mornings we go to football training. We have attended mass on odd occasions, particularly when the headmaster has encouraged us to do so for a special family mass. I enjoyed The Wednesday Word family talking time and I think it is a good habit to get into. I think the school is a better religious educator than we are but maybe discussions on this level may make us feel more confident to get involved. Later in the evening to my husband's amusement I told him I wouldn't mind going to Mass this Sunday.

The kids enjoyed the attention; this is probably something we need to do more of. Many people choose Catholic schools because of the morals and values. I am sure they appreciate the need to support the school by reinforcing the moral messages at home. I think the children's enthusiasm had a positive impact on me. As adults we can sometimes lose the simple outlook on life. I actually felt I entered my child's world and it felt very freeing. Having a resource like this helps you to get beyond the peer pressure that sometimes stops this kind of thing happening in homes.

I am not a Catholic but I have 2 children in the school - one in reception and one in year 2. My husband is Catholic but he has left me and I don't think he is currently practising. Being involved with The Wednesday Word has made me want to go back to church. As a single parent it is a problem for me to attend any kind of faith programmes in the evening due to lack of child care. I think we need The Wednesday Word and it's something I would prioritise, as it is a good thing to do. This has also left my oldest child wanting to go back to church again. For us, The Wednesday Word was simple and straightforward and helped us to understand the faith and the Bible. I think this is a really good way that the school and church can support me and my children.

I do not attend church or belong to any denomination, although I have been baptised. It is not always easy to put aside time to do things together; there are just so many other demands. But this helped us because it was already prepared and ready to use. I think it will help me consolidate what my son may hear at school but not fully understand. I think it is a good way to link the spirituality of the school with the home and it might spark a bit of interest in my faith. It is always good to spend time with children as it can often lead to talk about other things that concern them.

My husband is a lapsed Catholic but I am still practising. We have 3 children, the oldest is in year 7. I encouraged my husband to join us in Family Time, and even though he won't go to church with us he agreed to do the Family Time. He was actually comfortable with it and found it to be a positive experience. The Family Time allowed our children to hear about their dad's faith, which is not normally something that they would hear about because he does not go to church. I think that this may also open up conversations with other families, if we knew others were participating in The Wednesday Word. I think this is a really good way to encourage family conversation and a good way to teach the children listening skills and respect for other people's opinions. I also think it might encourage more families to come back to Mass.

We have 2 children in St. Austin's School. I'm Catholic but my husband is a lapsed C. of E. My oldest child is in year 2. He was very interested and enjoyed The Wednesday Word. I found The Wednesday Word very helpful. It is normally hard to think what to say about religion to my son. I think this really helps us to grow in our faith and it brought us closer together. I think we really need to do this and I really loved the experience.

My husband and myself are both Catholic but we have been lapsed for over 20 years although we do have 2 children in the Catholic education system. We were reluctant to even try using this resource but were then amazed how well our 9 year old son engaged in the deep and meaningful conversation that followed. We wouldn't have thought to talk on this level about such things with our children; for us it created a link between spiritual and earthly things. This resource promoted meaningful discussions and thought, and it got the kids thinking more about themselves and others and how different things affect people's lives. I found this quiet time made me stop and think what is happening in my life.

When we had finished my 6 year old son asked if he could take it to bed with him because he wanted to read it again. My other child was openly excited about the attention she received in this family time and our 3rd child surprised us by coming out with a biblical quote that had obviously been discussed at school which was related to this passage. This seems a great way to consolidate the work that already takes place in school and Children's Liturgy. Many parents support their kids with homework in other subjects so I can't see why most parents would not engage with this. When I asked my husband his opinion he said it brought us together and made us talk in a very helpful way. We need to do this more.

My partner and I are both lapsed Catholics. I think The Wednesday Word would raise the profile of the Catholic faith and perhaps bring people and families back to church. We found The Wednesday Word guidance to be a great help. It helped us to remember and to bring it all back. The children enjoyed it. On a regular basis I believe The Wednesday Word would help to keep the family on track and to remind all family members how to be good people. Receiving this through school broadens our awareness of the presence of God in our lives and reminds us of real values. I think this helps us as parents, is very informative and to the point.

If this came through school I think it would help us and our children to learn and talk about God in a different way. It's a good way for the children to voice their opinions about the faith and we were able to help them with this. I can't see how any people who want their children in a Catholic school would refuse to do this. It's so simple, but so helpful; it brings goodness into the house and it's already prepared for them. We hope it continues as it's a good base for families to build on.





"Imagine a sower going out to sow. Some seeds fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."

Matt 13:3 & 8