I have had an interesting few days, met a few wonderful people and, I guess, got that affirmation of mission that everyone needs once in a while.
My team took part quite recently in a Go 4 Growth (G4G) ecumenical event at the Unity Centre in Welwyn Garden City. We hosted two outbreak sessions during G4G and spoke with some passion about our role in the diocese and our focus on parish youth ministry; we do build and develop lots of other connecting activities but Parish is at the heart of our mission. After each session at G4G, it was wonderful to have a number of people from other faiths spend time with us and many of them asked for advice and guidance with their own youth ministry; we have a visit or two on the calendar which is wonderful!
A couple of days ago I had dinner with Elroy Fernandes, he leads a large Catholic Young Adults Group in Westminster called Westminster Catholic Under 35s. It was encouraging to hear from Elroy that he too sees Parish as the heart of his mission and we discussed how his large group of young adults could help us develop young adult groups throughout the diocese but at a parish level. Elroy has wonderful connectivity throughout Westminster and with some prayers on both sides maybe we can start something interesting!
Today, I had a meeting with Paul Murphy, the Coordinator of Youth Ministry for the Redemptorists (London Province) – a truly inspirational guy. It was interesting that he too focuses on the need to support our young people at a parish level. A subject that he’d been discussing recently with… Elroy Fernandes!
Here’s hoping that all these connections, the sharing of a mutual positiveness and common purpose will help us continue our mission at parish level. It’s truly needed.
As mentioned previously, quite a bit of parish youth worker recruitment is underway right now so whilst we have lots of work to do, the signs are really encouraging.
Prayers please and be careful out there!