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Catholic Life

Catholic Life and Mission

As a Catholic Sixth Form College we strive to be a centre of educational excellence for the community built on faith, respect and trust.

Our mission and ethos shows that we celebrate diversity amongst all our students and staff and seek to nurture the gifts of each individual through high quality teaching and learning and dedicated pastoral care.

Our commitment is the pursuit of academic excellence and to develop a community in which every student reaches their potential. Therefore, we passionately believe that this can only be achieved if students enjoy their time at College. Above all, students will thrive within a happy, safe and supportive environment.

Our Values

Cardinal Newman College is a community which aims to live out the gospel values of service and love.

This means that:

  • The individual student is central to all our endeavours
  • The College values each individual as a unique person and regards each person, made in the image and likeness of God, as worthy of the utmost respect
  • The College strives to develop each person intellectually, socially and spiritually through an inclusive programme of study and enrichment
  • The College values the spiritual journey of each individual and will offer opportunities for each to engage appropriately in their spiritual search
  • The College is committed to creating a culture that is open and welcoming, free from fear and from violence of any kind, in which all individuals feel safe, happy and secure
  • The College provides learning environments that are stimulating, enjoyable and challenging to students, fostering their creativity, imagination and search for truth

The College encourages individuals to contribute positively to the world in which they live, to challenge injustice and to seek out more co-operative, just and peaceful forms of human existence.

As a Catholic College the Catholic faith and Catholic Social Teaching are the cornerstone of Cardinal Newman College.  Following the words of our patron that every member of our community has a distinctive mission,
’The College encourages individuals to contribute positively to the world in which they live, to challenge injustice and to seek out more co-operative, just and peaceful forms of human existence’ (College Mission & Values statement).
We do this by following the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, which are relevant not just to Catholics, but to those of all faiths and none​

Catholic Social Teaching


Catholic Life and Mission

October 2023MicrosoftTeams image (5)

To celebrate October’s Black History Month departments were asked to nominate inspirational black role models following the theme ‘saluting our sisters’. The nominations included Anne-Marie Osawemwenze Ore-Ofe Imafidon, a British-Nigerian social entrepreneur and computer scientist; the American abolitionist and women's rights advocate Maria W. Stewart  and Law-Jessikah Inaba, the  first blind and black woman barrister in the UK.


Picture1Year 12 EPR student, Daniella attended a weekend Advent Retreat for young people.

Daniella said, “It was absolutely amazing, and I loved every second of it! I left feeling really refreshed, and I have made some amazing memories that will last a lifetime! I have also met some incredible people and made some lovely friendships. Over my time at Castlerigg I have grown in my personal faith journey, and I hope I will carry the lessons I have learned there over the course of my life.”

If you want any information about Castlerigg and what they offer, especially for young people like you, contact the College Chaplaincy Team or see the website: Lancaster Youth Service // Castlerigg Manor – Diocese of Lancaster Youth Service

Sleep Out 2024   

Sleep Out 1On Friday 19th April a number of staff and students took part in a sleep out on the college campus, a total of £1672 was raised for Shelter who will use the money to help support local people who are facing homelessness or find themselves in unsafe housing.

Winter Appeals

MicrosoftTeams image (14)In the Winter term staff and students at college arranged a huge range of charity events organised for a variety of excellent causes including purchasing gifts for children living in temporary accomodation, reverse advent calendars and other food bank collections, hampers for local elderly residents, craft stalls with Newman-made crafts raising money for a range of worthy causes and much more. The total raised was £4,113.13 - Thank you to all those involved!

Baby Beat 

Supporting Babies & Mothers across Lancashire &Baby Beat Logo South Cumbria

Well Done and a massive thank you to everyone that donated to our Baby Beat Charity, on Baby Loss Awareness Week. We raised an incredible £400.04

Cardinal Newman is a Catholic Sixth Form which benefits from a rich diversity of religious traditions. Our Core Religious Education (RE) programme is fundamental to the education we seek to provide for all of our students, in educating the whole person. 

'It is education which gives a person a clear, conscious view of their own opinions and judgements, a truth in developing them, an eloquence in expressing them, and a force in urging them’ 

John Henry Newman 

A 50 minute lesson of core RE is compulsory for all students at Cardinal Newman. Our RE programme aims to encourage the formation of the whole person and seeks to be inclusive, challenging and affirming to all, irrespective of faith or perspectives. Through reflection, discussion, simulation games, trips, meditation, music and art, we encourage students to consider and evaluate their own thoughts, beliefs and faith, as well as to understand that those around them may think very differently. For 50 minutes each week students are encouraged to stop and think about issues they may not have considered before, in a safe environment in which their views are heard and valued and without the pressure of coursework or exams.  Every lesson includes a minute of silence for students to reflect on the Gospel, pray or just sit and be still.  

What our Students say about RE at Newman


A Catholic College for the Whole Community 

The chaplaincy team lives out the college mission to value each individual as a unique person, made in the image and likeness of God and worthy of the utmost respect.  We are there for our whole community in times of joy and sorrow, to provide a listening ear and support when needed. Working alongside the College pastoral team, our chaplains help to support individuals coping with the stresses of daily life, and those faced with particular challenges, such as bereavement, ill health and loss. 

The comfortable chaplaincy room is open to all. Students are welcome to drop in to relax, meet with friends, discuss, and debate issues or participate in an organised activity. You don’t have to be religious to join in, but we provide a variety of opportunities for prayer and liturgy. We create space for faith, so that God is accessible, and we walk alongside each member of our community wherever they are on their journey. 

‘Let us love one another, 

Let us be meek and gentle, 

Let us try to improve our talents, 

Let us do good not hoping a return’ 


St. John Henry Newman 

Chaplaincy is at the heart of the life of College and is here: 

  • To provide a welcome to all: students, staff and visitors regardless of their beliefs 
  • To provide a non-judgmental listening ear and practical care 
  • To accompany everyone spiritually along their journey through life 
  • To provide optional opportunities for prayer and worship, an encounter with God, especially through the Liturgy of the Church 
  • To support students in their service to others, for example working with CAFOD, providing outreach to the local elderly, fundraising for charitable causes, raising awareness on issues to promote justice and peace, young leaders qualification 
  • To encourage and support other areas of college in their fundraising efforts to serve others 

Student Chaplaincy Team

The student Chaplaincy team meets weekly to discuss issues, plan events and fundraising endeavours. They receive support, training and experience retreat opportunities. This role helps students to grow in confidence, develop teamwork skills and to make a difference to their communities.  

What our students say:

Chaplaincy is a place where I feel comfortable and safe. I help raise money for charity and come up with fun ways for students to get involved. 

Chaplaincy allows us to be more involved in college life and the community.  
I value chaplaincy because it is a calm and safe space filled with supportive people. 

Chaplaincy allows me to become more confident and has allowed me to make new friends.  

Christ has no body now but yours, 
No hands, no feet on earth but yours, 
Yours are the eyes with which he looks 
compassion on this world. 
Christ has no body now on earth but yours. 
 St. Teresa of Avila 

‘Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them’       
Matthew 18:20 

The Chaplaincy provides opportunities for prayer, reflection and spiritual growth for those students and staff who choose to get involved. There are regular optional weekly services, as well as occasional retreats for staff and students. 

We offer: 

  • A period of silence for students at the start of RE lessons in which students are invited to pray, focus on the Gospel or simply sit and be still
  • ​The use of our beautiful chapel every day for quiet prayer and reflection 
  • Two alternative quiet prayer spaces 
  • Whole staff prayers on a Friday at 9am
  • Mass every Thursday from 8.50-9.10am
  • A welcome liturgy for new students 
  • A Christmas Carol Service 
  • An opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent & Advent and after Thursday morning Mass if required 
  • Morning prayer online on a Tuesday and Wednesday at 9am 
  • Stations of the Cross during Lent 
  • A leavers’ service 
  • Eucharistic adoration at various points in the year 
  • An Ash Wednesday Service 
  • An Easter Mass 
  • Opportunities to pray the Rosary during October 
  • A book of remembrance and prayers for the deceased during November 
  • Retreats for staff and students 
  • Pilgrimage to Lourdes with the Liverpool or Lancaster Diocese Chapel (1)

John Henry NewmanJohn Henry Newman was born on 21st February 1801 the eldest son of a London banker.  His family were church-going members of the Church of England.  They had no strong religious tendencies, but John Henry did develop a love for the Bible. 

As a young man John Henry studied at Trinity College, Oxford and came under the influence of other colleagues who taught him to think critically about theology.   He was ordained and worked as a curate and later a Vicar of the University Church and had a charismatic influence on his parishioners and members of the community.   

A series of events within the Church of England caused him to question his spiritual path within the Anglican faith.  For three years he led a very strict religious life, praying for light and guidance.   In 1845, he knew his path lay within Catholicism and on 9th October of that year, he was received into the Roman Catholic Church. 

His choice to convert to Catholicism meant he was ostracized by his family and friends.  Undeterred, he set out to study for the priesthood and he was ordained a priest in Rome.  In 1851 the Bishops of Ireland decided that there should be a separate University for Catholic students.  John Henry became its founder and first Rector, establishing what is known today as University College Dublin. 

In 1879, Pope Leo XIII made John Henry Newman a Cardinal in tribute to his extraordinary work and devotion.  Between 15,000 to 20,000 people lined the streets to pay their respects at his funeral in 1890.  The Cork Examiner noted ‘Cardinal Newman goes to his grave with the singular honour of being by all creeds and classes acknowledged as the just man made perfect’. 


On January 22, 1991, Pope John Paul II declared that John Henry Newman had lived all of the Christian virtues in a heroic degree and was thus henceforth to be called by the title “Venerable”. In 2001, John (Jack) Sullivan, a 62-year-old Boston man, who had asked Venerable Newman for his intercession, was miraculously cured from lumbar disc disease that had produced severe pain and incapacity to walk. A study by physicians concluded that there was no medical explanation for the man’s instantaneous cure, and in 2009, the Holy See approved the cure as a miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Newman. 

On September 19, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI, a long- time admirer of Newman, proclaimed him as one of the blessed in Heaven during a visit to England. The second miracle attributed to Blessed John Henry Newman, occurred in May 2013. An expectant mother, Melissa Villalobos, was suffering from unstoppable internal bleeding which threatened the life of her child in the womb and in prayer she directly and explicitly invoked Newman’s intercession to stop the bleeding. The miraculous healing was immediate, complete, and permanent. 

Once the second miracle was formally recognised there would only be two further steps to sainthood:

1. A commission of Bishops had to approve of the canonisation  

2. Pope Francis had to declare Newman a saint.  

On 13 October 2019 Blessed John Henry Newman was canonised by Pope Francis. 

Saint John Henry Newman is well known as a speaker and writer of some of the best words spoken to inspire people and guide them to a properly lived life. He spoke vastly on liberal education and the kind of education system that should prevail in universities.  

Some of his most famous quotes include: 

"God has created me to do Him some definite service.  He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another.  I have my mission – I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. Somehow I am necessary for His purposes, as necessary in my place as an Archangel in his – if, indeed I fail, He can raise another, as He could make the stones children of Abraham. Yet I have a part in this great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connexion between persons.  He has not created me for naught.  I shall do good.  I shall do His work.  I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling." 

"We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe." 

 "To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often." 

"Growth is the only evidence of life." 

"Good is never accomplished except at the cost of those who do it, truth never breaks through except through the sacrifice of those who spread it." 

"Animals have done us no harm and they have no power of resistance. There is something so very dreadful in tormenting those who have never harmed us, who cannot defend themselves, who are utterly in our power." 

"It is as absurd to argue men into believing, as to torture them into believing." 

"Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning." 

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Lark Hill House is the original building on the Cardinal Newman campus, built in 1797 as private house for Samuel Horrocks, a cotton manufacturer and later Mayor and Member of Parliament for Preston. The house was unoccupied after the deaths of both Horrocks in 1842 and his son four years later. In 1860 it was sold to the sisters from the order the Faithful Companions of Jesus, to become Lark Hill House School for girls. On 21 January 1861 a day school was opened for four pupils, each paying fees of one pound and five shillings per quarter. The first boarding pupil was admitted in April and her fees were twenty-five pounds per year. The number of students gradually increased to 28 students by 1862 and 61 students by 1897. 

The house was modified in 1870 to include a chapel, which still remains on the College campus today, followed by additional classrooms in 1893, 1907, and 1932. The school became a grammar school in 1919 and was known as Larkhill Convent Grammar School.. 

Cardinal Newman College Opens 

The introduction of comprehensive schools in Lancashire forced the school to stop admitting pupils under the age of 16 from 1978, but in that year, the sixth form merged with the sixth forms of Winckley Square Convent School and Preston Catholic College, to form Cardinal Newman College, named after John Henry Newman with the property acquired by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lancaster.  

For some years, the buildings in Winckley Square that had housed the other two former schools were still needed because of the large numbers of students now part of Cardinal Newman College. The premises that had been Winckley Square convent school finally closed their doors on 31 August 1981 and the students based there were transferred to one of the parts of Cardinal Newman College. At the end of the summer term 1986, a science and technology block - the St Mary Building, costing three-quarters of a million pounds, was opened by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Lancaster. In the same year the former Preston Catholic College premises were relinquished, with the sole exception of the large sports hall in Garden Street which remained part of Newman College. At last, all 850- 900 students could be educated on the Lark Hill site. 

1989 onwards 

The whole college has benefited from refurbishment over the years and with the growing number of students the College has needed more space. Over the past few years, there has been an extensive redevelopment programme with huge investment in state-of-the-art facilities, which perfectly combine the old with the new. In 2009 we saw the addition of the St Cecilia Building and the St Augustine’s Building in 2010, which was renovated and refurbished to house classrooms, drama/dance studios, as well as the original sports facilities. 2015 saw the addition of yet another new building in the form of St Francis, which is home to new classrooms for Sociology and Maths, as well as Open Learning Centres, Seminar rooms and now houses our Student Advice Hub.

A further addition to the College’s already outstanding facilities, in the form of a brand new state-of-the-art gym in the St Augustine building, opened in October 2016. This was accompanied by a complete refurbishment of the social space and café area of the St Augustine’s building. In 2021 we opened our brand new T-Level building St John Henry, located on Carr Street just opposite the main campus. Spread over three floors, it is home to classrooms, offices, a conference room and includes state-of-the-art T-Level facilities. In 2023 work started on a new St. Teresa’s building for RE and St. Catherine’s Building on the site of the St. James’ car park. 

The chapel’s interior layout remains almost completely unchanged from it's original design, only being altered in keeping with modern liturgical needs. The chapel has been used for a number of ceremonies over the years, including weddings of former students.

The original house, built by Samuel Horrocks, which sits at the heart of the College, also remains largely untouched by recent changes and many visitors, who knew it in its earlier days, have expressed their pleasure at finding it so little altered. The grounds are also unchanged, essentially the same for nearly two centuries.


The Lark Hill Association 

From its early beginnings in 1861 until its closure in 1978, thousands of local girls between the age of 4 and 18 received a Catholic education at Lark Hill. The Lark Hill Association, of which all former pupils are members, continues today to keep memories and friendships alive and also maintains links with Catholic education in the town. 

An Association Day reunion is held every June in Cardinal Newman College. Mass is celebrated in the Chapel followed by an A.G.M. and an enjoyable afternoon spent reminiscing and catching up with old friends. 

The Lark Hill Association offers bursaries each year to students from Cardinal Newman College who are volunteering as helpers on pilgrimage to Lourdes. In this way, the former pupils of Lark Hill Convent are able to support and encourage today’s young people in demonstrating their Catholic faith. 

If you would like to learn more about the Lark Hill Association, please contact Pauline Noblet (Secretary) at pno.teresa@sky.com

A fascinating book entitled ‘The History of Lark Hill, Preston, 1797-1989’ by Margaret Burscough, a former Lark Hill Convent girl, can be purchased on Amazon.