We are really excited to present our first event for families. Come along for family fun and prayer and to meet other families who are passionate about growing in faith together. All the details are on the poster but please get in touch with Nora if you want any further info.
Last night the Seekers Youth Group spent the evening using up huge amounts of energy at Rascals play centre. Having the place to ourselves meant that there was more than enough room on the climbing frames, slides, trampolines, scramble nets etc to keep the young people entertained for a couple of hours only stopping half way through for pizza and chips followed by jelly and ice cream. Everyone had a fantastic time – we managed to get one sensible photo of them all but the following photo probably captures their personality and their evening more accurately!
In February Half-Term we took our young leaders away for a retreat full of teaching, prayer, creativity and training. They responded so well with their openness to the Spirit, their love for one another and all their hard work. We stayed with Fr Philip Conner (and of course Bosco the dog) at St Joseph’s in Lancaster where we were made to feel really welcome and at home. The church in Preston is blessed to have such a dedicated, talented and holy bunch of young people who are leading the way for others. Here are what a few of them said:
This mid-week residential in Lancaster was a more in depth, personal and mature retreat in which I learnt some answers to questions about my faith and formed more questions. The blend between praying, learning and getting to know everyone was perfect as it didn’t leave me bored or fed up; but instead got me realising the importance of God which I may have been neglecting. Tushar
The retreat definitely helped me to develop my own personal relationship with Jesus. It made me realise how much I need Jesus in my life and that being without him is not an option for me. It also helped me to bond with my peers, deepening my relationship with other Christians as well as God. Richa
It helped me to develop a deeper understanding of why I am a Christian and to understand the importance to open up my heart to him. The retreat also allowed me to delve further into my purpose in the world and how I can help bring the word of God to others as a community. Alvina
The retreat allowed me to know Jesus better and gave me the opportunity to experience his love more. The times of prayer were really good as it gave me time to reflect and allowed me to be opened up to the Holy Spirit in a way that I haven’t been before. All in all, it was 3 days filled with spirituality, teaching and chances to bond with others in a way that may not have been possible without the retreat. Anto
The retreat has helped to form a much deeper personal relationship with Jesus. It has also helped me to understand how I can spread the word of God and what makes me a Christian. I also believe that I have formed a closer relationship with my teammates. Alfi
The retreat has changed the way I see my faith. I feel like I have grown closer to god and have been more willing to let the holy spirit in. It has also helped to bond with others in our group allowing us to come closer as a community. I have realised that god loves us so much that he won’t force his way into our lives, we have to let him in and after this retreat I feel more willing to let him into my life Ellie
We are about to head off for a Christmas Break so we would like to wish you all a blessed and holy Christmas. If you have a few minutes over the Christmas period why not have a read of our latest newsletter.
See you in in 2018!
On Wednesday 29th November 32 young people from the Seekers youth group came with us to Energi Trampoline Park. This group have huge amounts of energy to burn off so this was the ideal place for them! I was very impressed by the skills that many of them had – including even a backward somersault landed perfectly by one of them! I have lots of very blurred photos from trying to capture their fun as they moved way too quickly for my skills…However here are a few that came out okay. It was a great evening with lots of very hot and tired young people at the end!
Sunday 26th November was the Feast of Christ the Universal King and each year the Church in England and Wales asks us to celebrate National Youth Sunday on this great feast. So we gathered the young people who attend our groups together at St Clare’s and spent a few hours with around 50 young people exploring the theme of Christ the King and preparing for Mass. Then we joined the Parish for the evening Mass during which the young people provided the music, readings, bidding prayers including a sung response with sign language, and a dance with flags to the entrance hymn. They also made a banner which was displayed in the church.
After Mass the younger ones went home and we were left with around 30 teenagers for an evening meal to which we had invited the local Clergy. The theme for Youth Sunday this year was ‘Something to Say’. With the Synod approaching that will focus on Young People and Vocation the idea was to start (or continue) the conversation between young people and Priests. We had a yummy three course meal with each course accompanied by some conversation starters which started casually but grew in depth to encourage honest sharing. Judging by the questions that Fr Andrew was having to field, I think that was definitely successful! All the young people and the local clergy who attended found the experience rewarding and enjoyable and there were definitely bridges built.
Josna said: ‘Youth Sunday was a really good day to spend time together while worshiping God. I really enjoyed singing with others and praising the Lord. I also enjoyed talking to other priests and getting their insight on our faith’
Corpus Christi High School are generously helping us to provide a rucksack full of useful things and a message of love to each person who uses our Wednesday Drop-In over the Christmas period.
We went into School on Tuesday 28th and Thursday 30th to address two assemblies about the appeal. We took some time to explain some of the situations that can lead to people sleeping on the streets and to suggest some ways that they can help. This Advent each of the form groups will raise money and the School SVP group will then use that money to buy and fill as many rucksacks as possible.
We can’t wait to see the result!
On Wednesday 29th November we worked with around 60 Year 6s from several of the smaller Primary Schools around Preston. The smallest school only had 3 members of Year 6! St Andrew’s Parish, Cottam hosted us all for the day.
We explored the Advent theme of staying awake with a particular focus on prayer. We started the day by joining the Parish for their morning Mass and for the rest of the morning we played games that helped us think about communicating with God, listened to the Word of God in the Bible and made posters to share what our small group’s Scripture passage taught us about God and who we are in His sight. After a packed lunch and a run around outside we split the group in half and experienced two other ways of praying. One group came into church with Ruth to think about using our bodies to worship the Lord. We thought about different ways we use our bodies in the Liturgy, different postures we might use for prayer and sang some worship songs using our bodies to accompany the words we were singing. The other group stayed in the Hall with Joe to focus on using our minds in prayer. After learning about St Ignatius and his encouragement to use our imaginations and all of our senses in prayer, we were led in a guided mediation based on the Nativity story. Once the groups had swapped around and experienced both ways of praying we rounded off the day by hearing from the young people what they had learned, what had touched them and what they would be taking away from the day. It is always a pleasure to work with the Small Schools Cluster, to see the young people interacting together and of course even better to hear how they have encountered God through the day.
On Wednesday 22nd November we spent the day with Year 10 at Corpus Christi High School. The whole school had an extended learning day and the focus for Year 10 was Faith and Justice with a theme of ‘Called’. We led a workshop ‘Called to Relationship’ in which we set up eight interactive prayer stations each with a different aspect of God’s character for the young people to engage with. Each form group then came in turn around the different workshops and the response from the young people was great with many being able to share something that had touched them during the session. We ended the day with the year group coming together to celebrate Mass and we led the music for the liturgy.
When Rise Theatre came to town, we made sure that all our young people had the opportunity to watch the play too. Here is what one of them, Ben, had to say about it…
A few weeks ago I went to a play performed by Rise Theatre on the life of Oscar Romero. After enjoying a slice of pizza and a drink we entered St Wilfrid’s church and sat down for the play to begin. Throughout the whole play I was captivated. I didn’t know three actors could put on such an amazing performance. The life of Oscar Romero was hard for him yet he brought out the best of everyone and would never give up – I can certainly see why he is becoming a Saint. And the best thing is, I got so much out of the experience. It has affected my life drastically and I now feel my faith is stronger with God and my actions are influenced by Him. That night was one of the best of my life!