Hi there and welcome! My name is Hannah Vaughan-Spruce and it would be an ever-so-slight understatement to say I have a passion for evangelisation, making disciples, catechesis, renewal of parishes… Welcome to my blog, where you are invited to join the conversation of how we more effectively bring people to know Christ deeply and become his disciple.
In 2009, I became Coordinator of Catechesis in a thriving and fruitful Catholic parish – Holy Ghost in Balham, south London. I arrived there with a degree in Theology from the University of Cambridge, but (I admit it) with not much catechetical experience. Fortunately, the parish priest’s gamble paid off, and over four years, I discovered the immense joy and privilege of the Church’s mission: of putting people into intimacy with Christ, of transmitting the Faith from person to person in the power of the Holy Spirit, and in the Body of the Church. I discovered that catechesis is all about people becoming transformed in Christ – discovering who they truly are in Him, and living out their lives in accordance with this truth. During this time, I also completed a Masters in Catholic Pastoral and Educational Studies (RE and Catechesis) through Maryvale Institute (2013).
In the past few years, I have taught catechetics to seminarians at St John’s Seminary, Wonersh, on the MA Theology programme at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, and have worked as an Academic Tutor for Maryvale Institute.
Over the last few years, the Holy Spirit has been sweeping through the Church with Evangelii Gaudium, Sherry Weddell’s Forming Intentional Disciples and Fr James Mallon’s Divine Renovation, to name a few. As with many catechetical leaders, my understanding about how to make disciples has shifted considerably, recognising that so much in our models of parish life need to change so that we can more effectively reach people with the only message worth hearing – that Jesus has died to save us, and that we can rise with him and become a beloved son or daughter of God!
As Director of Evangelisation and Discipleship at St Elizabeth of Portugal Church in Richmond since February 2016, I am working with my parish priest towards creating a culture of discipleship in our parish, where people naturally reach out and draw their friends in. I am also working towards a PhD at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, studying the role of a parish’s culture in its ability to evangelise. Follow our journey at St Elizabeth’s here!
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