Campion Hall is the preferred venue for the regular conferences organised by the British Jesuit Institute of Education, a thriving partnership of UK Jesuits and lay people who work to provide inspiration, resources and training for the eleven Jesuit schools of the British Province of the Society of Jesus.
The Institute is guided by the experienced Jesuit educationalist, Fr Adrian Porter, who is the former head of St Aloysius' College, Glasgow, later of London's Wimbledon College. It aims to help its members (governors, school leaders, teachers, support staff, parents and pupils) to understand, promote and live out the vision and spirit of St Ignatius Loyola, the 16th century founder of the Order, who gave Jesuit colleges the aim of "improvement in living and learning, for the greater glory of God and the common good."
Good practice from around the world
In its regular meetings and conferences the British Jesuit Institute shares resources and good practice from around the world, while it creates and commissions new resources for Jesuit schools and, by invitation, schools belonging to other traditions.
Their recent Campion conference in November 2014 comprised sixteen Deputy Heads of School, men and women, who were addressed, and reflected prayerfully, on the subjects of:
- The Jesuit Identity and Mission of Our Schools
- Using the Jesuit Pupil Profile
- The Spirit of Jesuit Education; and
- The Apostolic Core and Staff Formation.
Time was made available to tour the neighbouring (Jesuit run) University Catholic chaplaincy, and also to meet and chat with some undergraduates who are former students of British Jesuit schools.
Are three Heads better than one?
One unique feature of the latest conference was that its members had the occasion to meet and listen to three former heads of St Aloysius' College in Glasgow, the originally boys only school dedicated to the Jesuit student saint which made a major contribution to creating a Catholic professional middle class among the Irish immigrants of the West of Scotland, as well as educating many of their future local Catholic clergy. Adrian Porter, now Director of the Institute, who was Head of St Aloysius from 1995 to 2004, had invited as guest speakers both Mr John Stoer, the College's first lay head from 2004-2013, and Rev'd James Hanvey, SJ, now the Master of Campion and host of the conference, who had previously been head of St Aloysius from 1991-1995 before becoming Head of Department at Heythrop College in London. One young participant observed that she found it alarming to find herself in the company of three headmasters at the same time!
"The Spirit of Jesuit Education"
A new film exploring the British tradition of Jesuit education has been released, and information about this and further details of the Institute are obtainable here