In the 1960s three priests in Europe struggled with the question of HOW to do Religious Education with people who had a learning disability. Realising that a rational, logical and wordy method was totally inappropriate, they developed an intuitive approach, paying much more attention to the environment and the sense of the sacred within the context of community. They wrote down their "lessons" in books called the Method Vivre.
This written text was discovered by members of the Religious Education Staff (Special Needs) in the Archdiocese of Chicago. They translated the books into English and spent two years studying and researching the Method under the guidance of the priests from Europe. The result was SPRED.
SPRED was introduced to Glasgow in 1984. A catechetical programme for children, teenagers and adults, it is parish-based and has flourished in the rich soil of the archdiocese.
Today there are 200 trained volunteer catechists working in 27 groups in 22 parishes.
A SPRED one-year full-time course was set up so that SPRED Directors for other diocese and leaders from other denominations could be trained. To date there has been outreach to Paisley, Motherwell, Galloway, St Andrew’s & Edinburgh, Down & Connor (Belfast), Church of Scotland and Church of England. Two of the SPRED Staff have been to Malta to conduct the course there with great success.