We are blessed with a wealth of dynamic young people in our 3 Churches, and surely we all feel it to be so important to cultivate this vibrant gift. Now a programme has been put together to give the younger members of our parishes a voice, and the opportunity for some fun together.
This initiative will take the form of a 3 Churches youth group for ages 11-13, (pre-Confirmation), meeting each Sunday evening in term time for an hour and a half. We believe that people of this age want more from a youth group than simply socialising. So, taking inspiration from Pope Francis’s letter “Laudato Si” we have devised a programme which enables our youth to get into some ecological discussion and action on a global, community and personal level.
The sessions will be friendly and informal, involving speakers, relevant videos and topical discussion, mixed in with games and refreshments. The goal is to encourage and support our young people in planning and carrying out initiatives themselves, while enjoying creating their own community and friendships.
We hope to plan walks and trips, perhaps start a parish garden or give an opportunity for music or drama, and so enable our rising generation to share their own gifts and talents. There will be scope for them, if they wish, to organise prayer services or Mass. We will also take a lead from them in planning nights out…..pizza, bowling, cinema…..
Do you think this all sounds interesting, exciting? It can happen – with your help. We would be so grateful for adult volunteers in three capacities: leadership, specific skills and supervision. As with all voluntarily run groups, the more people we have, the less often you will be needed. So…
Can you lead and inspire young people? We currently have three leader volunteers. We need more, in order to have a required minimum on any particular night and, at most, every fortnight.
Do you have a skill you could share with our youth? We hope to tap into the vast pool of skilled and talented adults in our churches. If you can volunteer to share your particular skill, or know someone else who could, we would be delighted to create one or more sessions around it.
Can you give some precious time to the youth of our parish? All this can happen only if we have a substantial number of adult volunteers to help supervise on a rota basis.
Pope Francis says that ‘young people have a new ecological sensitivity and a generous spirit’ and that ‘Christian communities have an important role to play in ecological education.’ He goes on to say, ‘we must not think that these efforts are not going to change the world. They benefit society, often unbeknown to us, for they call forth a goodness which, albeit unseen, inevitably tends to spread. Furthermore, such actions can restore our sense of self- esteem; they can enable us to live more fully and to feel that life on earth is worthwhile.’
We are inviting our youth to come forward with their ideas and vision. We appeal to our adults to join us in volunteering to help with this brave initiative for the benefit of our young people and all of us.
Fr Matthew and Helen McSherry for the 3 Churches Youth Task Group