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The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust

Our Crest

The logo for our Catholic Academy Trust is Bishop Wheeler’s Episcopal Coat of Arms.


In accordance with the heraldic tradition of the Catholic Church, each Bishop has their own Coat of Arms.

Bishop Wheeler agreed the design of his own Coat of Arms in March 1964 with J P Brooke-Little, the Bluemantle Pursuivant of Arms.

The Symbology of Our Crest

The Hat

The pilgrim’s hat (known as the galero) is the heraldic emblem for all prelates and priests of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. For the rank of bishop, titular and residential, the pilgrim’s hat is always worked in deep forest green. The green represents both Christian charity and the rejuvenation of one’s soul through good works. Green is also the colour of everlasting life and of the Ordinary Time in the Church. For this rank and office in the episcopacy (Bishop of Leeds Diocese) there are six tassels (fiocchi) suspended on either side of the hat like a pyramid.

The Catherine Wheels

The Catherine Wheels are a play on the bishop’s name (Wheeler) but also a symbol of martyrdom (the Catherine Wheel, also known as the Breaking wheel was a torture device) and a reminder that a bishop must be ready to give his life to God.

 The Martlets (birds)

The martlets are the symbols of University College, Oxford, and Westminster Cathedral – important places in Bishop Wheeler’s life. A martlet in English heraldry is a symbol depicting a stylized bird similar to that of a house martin or swallow, though missing legs.

The Maltese Cross

The bright red Maltese Cross is a reminder of Bishop Wheeler’s link with the Sovereign Order of Malta. The Maltese cross, also known as the Amalfi cross is associated with the island of Malta. The eight points of the cross have been said to represent the eight Beatitudes.

The White Rose

The White Rose of York represents the county of Bishop Wheeler’s birth and the location of his new see. The White Rose of York is the symbol of the House of York and has been adopted as a symbol of Yorkshire as a whole.

The Motto

Appearing below everything, a scroll with Bishop Wheeler’s  personal motto. In Church heraldry, a cleric’s personal motto has always been intended to represent his personal spirituality and theologically based philosophy of life and is most frequently grounded in Sacred Scripture or in a prominent prayer or litany.

For Bishop Wheeler, this symbolism is found in the simple words: Truth and Love (Veritas et Caritas in Latin). Bishop Wheeler chose the words from St Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians (Chapter 4, Verse 15): “Speaking the Truth in Love”. Bishop Wheeler said “It is no use having love without truth…or truth without love.”

You must have the truth about whom Christ is. And you must have the love that Christ shows”
— Bishop Wheeler

When choosing his motto, Bishop Wheeler was also inspired by a phrase used by Pope John XXIII – ‘Follow the Truth in Charity’ – in connection with the ecumenical movement.