About the CRASH Course

There are 1001 things more important than issues of sexual morality in the Spiritual Life of a Catholic. But sadly, it is one of the commonest reasons Catholics either stop practising their faith or do not experience the full joy of their faith because of difficulties believing what the Church teaches. The CRASH is an attempt to help address this serious issue. The Catholic Church is the family of God and even if just one member of the family is missing or not fully engaged, it is a great loss to the rest of the family.

The most important thing in our Catholic life is to build and sustain a relationship with Jesus Christ, lived out through receiving the Sacraments and living charitably and being attentive to the needs of the vulnerable. To help us with this, and recognising that the gift of life from conception to natural death is the most precious gift that we have, the Church has carefully considered the aspects of life that are about sex and morality. There are many things that can challenge us here in terms of being charitable and really seeking to do what is best for those who are most vulnerable. Church teaching on abortion, contraception, sex within relationships, and sexuality can all raise a lot of questions. For some people, these teachings are the reason why they stop going to Church. So how do we integrate these teachings into our lives, and how can we ensure that the Person of Jesus Christ shines through when we talk with other people about what the Catholic Church teaches? The CRASH course seeks to address these issues.

The CRASH provides lively seminars from speakers who are well versed in the teaching of the Church, speakers that have relevant academic credentials and who can give sensible, coherent scientifically analyzed and compassionate reasons for the teachings, using modern audiovisual techniques that engage the audience. Most importantly the presenters have fallen in love with Jesus Christ-because that is what Catholic Christianity is- it is a love affair with Jesus!

Pope Francis says that one very important reason why so many young people find it hard to believe in Jesus is because of “the Church’s difficulty in explaining her doctrine and ethical positions to contemporary society.” (Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christ is Alive, Pope Francis 2019). The CRASH is a novel attempt to remedy this deficit.

None of my friends believe what I do. I want to talk about my faith without causing an argument.
I can’t see anything wrong with sex before marriage.
The crash course can’t be for me because I’ve already slept with someone.
I am LGBT and I don’t think I am welcome in Church
I’ve looked at porn but I haven’t murdered anyone – isn’t God concerned about the bigger things?
I cannot see where the opportunities are for women in the Church
The Church’s teaching on sex is outdated, unrealistic and disproved by science. I simply cannot take it seriously.
If God is pure love, I do not understand why there are so many rules.

If you can identify with any of these statements, the CRASH course is for you!

CRASH Course Venue

Our Lady of Lourdes Pastoral Centre, 51 Cambridge Park, London E11 2PR

(3 minutes walk from Wanstead Tube Station on the Central Line and only 20 minutes travel from Central London)
CRASH Course Speakers
The organisers come with a broad range of expertise in Teaching, Religious Education, Ethics and Medicine. Most importantly they value their Catholic Faith and want to share the sensible and compassionate reasons why the Church teaches a counter-cultural message in the sphere of sexual morality. Most have children, so the urgency to communicate the truth to their own children is a driving force for their zeal.
I am a practicing Catholic and Head of Religious Education at a Catholic state secondary school. I enjoy working with young people, having undertaken youth work prior to teaching. I am passionate about conveying the faith to young people today, making Church doctrine accessible and applicable to their lives. I am a married man.
I am a Seminarian studying to become a Catholic Priest for Brentwood Diocese. I have had extensive experience in Youth Ministry and I have come to realize that the formation of the Youth so as they can develop a deep relationship with Jesus could be helped by opportunities to have the “hard sayings” of Jesus and his Church explained in an up to date and lively manner.
I am a practicing Catholic and a Theology Secondary School Teacher. I am recently married, and we are expecting our first child. I have a special interest in ethics. The rights and dignity of women are something dear to my heart. Being feminine is a unique creation equivalent but different to the masculine creation. Women are not made better by becoming masculine! The CRASH course offers the forum to celebrate this message.
I am a Consultant Chest Physician at Barts Hospital and a mother of two boys currently in Primary School. My Latin American roots add a trans-cultural aspect to the course. My clinical experience in Latin America included dealing with highly vulnerable indigenous women for whom sexual violence and abuse was an all too common feature of daily life.
I am a Consultant in Emergency and Intensive Care Medicine. I am married and we have two children in primary school. I am a Catechist and have had many years’ experience teaching Confirmation classes, Marriage Preparation classes and Catholic Medical Student and Junior Doctor ethics groups. I have reached a point in my career where I have been able to take a career break and have the privilege to become a full-time dad. I hold a Distinction in the Catholic Certificate of Religious Studies having achieved a Distinction in each of the assignments covering the broad fields of Catholic Theology, Morality and Asceticism. I am delighted to be the coordinator of the CRASH. "When I was a young person I can clearly remember struggling with the teaching of the Church in this area of life so I would like to help any person who is experiencing the same difficulties today. It really does all make sense, once it is explained life truly becomes a 1000 times more joyful!"
I'm the facilitator of Rachel's Vineyard for the Midlands. Rachel's vineyard is a safe place to renew and rebuild life after experiencing the trauma of abortion with a supportive, confidential and non-judgemental environment where women and men can experience God's love and compassion on a profound level. It creates a place where men and women can share, often for the first time, their deepest feelings about abortion. Rachel's Vineyard is a place of reconciliation. Participants, who have often experienced deep anger towards themselves or others, experience forgiveness. Peace is found, lives are restored. A sense of hope and meaning for the future is discovered. I'm delighted to contribute to the CRASH course, both to propose the moral and rational reasons why abortion is never acceptable and to recognise the dilemma that an unplanned pregnancy is for many vulnerable women and men.
Course Commendations
The Course Schedule
Evening Schedule
  • This first CRASH course is for those aged between 16 and 25. The course is spread over 8 engaging and challenging sessions, which take place on Thursday evenings between 19:30 and 21:00.

    7.00pm to 7.30pm - Arrival & Welcome
    7.30pm to 8.00pm - Speaker Session
    8.00pm to 8.15pm - Refreshment Break
    8.15pm to 9.00pm - Speaker Session & Question Time
    9pm - Close

    (Please note: The Speaker sessions will start promptly at 7.30pm)

The organisers shall be presenting the CRASH Course for Parents, Catechists and Teachers in the near future. The time and venue shall be published on the website. Other course dates for young people shall be published in the near future. Please monitor the website and/or register an interest below and we’ll keep you updated.

Thursday - 10th October
  • October 10, 2019 19:30
    BACK TO BASICS

    What is all of this Catholic Christian thing about? Why should I listen to Jesus and His Church teaching about sex? Why does Pope Francis keep on talking about the devil and Adam and Eve? What have they got to do with all of this sex stuff?

Thursday - 17th October
  • October 17, 2019 19:30
    ABORTION

    Is abortion sometimes the lesser of two evils?

Thursday - 24th October
  • October 24, 2019 19:30
    SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE, MARRIAGE AND MOVING IN

    If I am in a stable relationship, what is wrong with having sex with my partner? Is there really much difference between marriage and long term cohabitation? Pope Francis says that a family is a married man and woman and the familial bonds that result from that union. That sounds offensive to single parents, please explain?

Thursday - 31st October
  • October 31, 2019 19:30
    CONTRACEPTION

    Why does the Catholic Church ignore the benefits of contraception? Science has freed us to choose how we live our lives, and surely that is a good thing?

Thursday - 7th November
  • November 7, 2019 19:30
    ADULT CONSENSUAL PORNOGRAPHY AND MASTURBATION

    Surveys show that people think these activities offer positive contributions to human well-being. Why does the Church disagree with this? Is God really bothered by masturbation?

Thursday - 14th November
  • November 14, 2019 19:30
    FEMINISM AND FEMININITY

    Surely the historical undermining of the role of women, especially not permitting women priests in the Catholic Church, are just two signs of a misguided understanding of the differences between men and women?

Thursday - 21st November
  • November 21, 2019 19:30
    SEXUALITY AND GENDER - PART 1

    The Catholic Church has an outdated and judgemental attitude to anyone who identifies as LGBTQI. Does the Church only welcome those who “conform”? Calling homosexuality unnatural and disordered just sounds insulting.

Thursday - 28th November
  • November 28, 2019 19:30
    SEXUALITY AND GENDER - PART 2

    The Catholic Church has an outdated and judgemental attitude to anyone who identifies as LGBTQI. Does the Church only welcome those who “conform”? Calling homosexuality unnatural and disordered just sounds insulting.

``A small step, in the midst of great human limitations, can be more pleasing to God than a life which appears outwardly in order but moves through the day without confronting great difficulties.`` Pope Francis
Registration / Contact Form
It is important that we know if you are coming so that we can plan the seating and refreshments. We undertake to confirm receipt of your application within 7 days. There is no charge, but every week a collection will be made to cover the cost of refreshments. Any residual money shall be donated to the Catholic Charity WONDER FOUNDATION, a charity supporting vulnerable women in the UK and worldwide. Participants are encouraged to attend all the sessions if possible.

I understand that if I am 16 or 17, I will have to be escorted to the venue by a parent or guardian on the first day, so that the CRASH team can ascertain that I have consent from my parent/guardian to be exposed to presentations with sexual themes.

Please enter an email address for your application, so that we can acknowledge your registration without any risk of transcription errors.

Your data is important to us. The Data Protection Act 2018 is the UK’s implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

For ease of compliance with this Act when registering please only provide the following information:

  1. Your first name or pseudonym if you prefer
  2. Your contact details
  3. Confirm that you are 16-25 years of age
  4. If you are 16 or 17 years of age, it is necessary to be escorted to the venue on the first day of your attendance, to allow us to ensure that your parent/guardian is happy for you to attend the whole CRASH Course. This is an essential requirement because of Child Protection considerations.

The CRASH Course team shall delete all personal information after the course is completed and undertake not to use your details for purposes other than acknowledgement of your application and any unforeseen subsequent changes to the programme.

DISCLAIMER: the organisers reserve the right to change the order of the sessions and/or the speaker so that unforeseen events can be swiftly and effectively ameliorated.

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