Bishop Of Shrewsbury Endorses YCW Leadership Programme

The YCW has been rolling out its own leadership programme - called Be The Difference - following a launch at National Council in March. Since then, resources have been produced and training undertaken to officially begin in September.

The purpose of this course is to give young people a definitive pathway to becoming a YCW leader. It is not an award scheme. Becoming a YCW leader is just a beginning!

We have sought endorsement for the programme and been incredibly grateful to have such a positive response. One of these endorsers is the Rt Rev Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury. He met with our National Training and Development Worker, Marc Besford, to discuss the programme and look at how best it can supported.

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Marc said: “I am very thankful that Bishop Mark took the time to meet and discuss our new leadership programme. His endorsement will help us to get more young leaders on board and we hope to see more YCW Groups across Shrewsbury soon.”

The course is designed to help you develop leadership qualities and skills through a programme of 12 units, each with 3 stages. For each stage there are instructions on how to complete it and where to find the necessary information.

After completing Stage 1 of Units 1 & 2 you can complete the other units in any order.  You should try and complete the course in 9-12 months.

After each stage fill in the Record Card to keep track of your progress and ask your Adult Companion or a YCW National Leader to countersign.

When you have completed all units please send your Record Card and Final Reflection sheet to National Headquarters.

The National Team will arrange for a Recognition Ceremony, either locally or regionally, for groups of new leaders.

Catholic Universe Youth Hub Article On YCW

For those who have not had the chance to read our feature in the Catholic Universe, we have scanned a copy below for you to read. We wanted to share the fundamentals of the movement and give some examples of the impact we can make and why we are still going over 80 years on.

A big thank you to the Catholic Universe for the opportunity to share our mission.

Have a read below!

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Update On Leeds Diocese Youth Project

Earlier this year, we highlighted how the YCW had been invited to support an exciting new project being set up in Leeds Diocese by the Leeds Justice and Peace Commission, which aimed at engaging more 16-30 year olds around the issue of Catholic Social Teaching.

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The steering group has been making good progress on the project - named SPARK Social Justice - and a lead worker has been hired to deliver on the action plan. The first priority has been to establish a series of workshops aimed at young people, in order to determine the realities they face within their lives.

As part of this, contact with schools and parishes has already begun and there has been a effort to engage with young parents too. The project also has a social media presence, including a Facebook page, and posters have been produced to be put up around the Diocese.

The YCW experience of using the See-Judge-Act Method will inform how this initial phase goes and our National Training and Development Worker, Marc Besford, has agreed to sit on the steering group to help with this.

He said: “This is a really exciting project and the YCW are very happy to be involved in it. We know from our experience that when you let young people step up as leaders and listen to their voices, it can be an incredibly powerful thing. I’m hoping to see some great ideas coming out of this project over the coming years.”

Refugee Week 2019 - YCW Sandbach Action Example

Last week was Refugee Week 2019, an opportunity to discover the experiences of displacement that are found in our families, neighbourhoods and history. This year’s theme, ‘You, me and those who came before’, allows us to explore the lives of refugees – and those who have welcomed them – throughout the generations.

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People escaping war and persecution have been welcomed by communities in the UK for hundreds of years, and their stories and contributions are all around us. From the Jewish refugees of the 1930s to people fleeing Vietnam in the 1970s, Kosovans in the 1990s to those arriving today.

One example from the YCW is our Sandbach IMPACT! group. Since 2017, the young leaders there have been raising money within their Parish to sponsor a refugee family and build a welcoming community of people to support them once they arrive. This involved sorting out accommodation, home improvements and on-going support.

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It is essential that we maintain our global solidarity and be inspired by the words of Pope Francis: “The most economically advanced societies are witnessing a growing trend towards extreme individualism which, combined with a utilitarian mentality and reinforced by the media, is producing a “globalisation of indifference”. In this scenario, migrants, refugees, displaced persons and victims of trafficking have become emblems of exclusion.

In addition to the hardships that their condition entails, they are often looked down upon and considered the source of all society’s ills. That attitude is an alarm bell warning of the moral decline we will face if we continue to give ground to the throw-away culture. In fact, if it continues, anyone who does not fall within the accepted norms of physical, mental and social well-being is at risk of marginalisation and exclusion.”

St Anthony's Mass In Trafford Park

Our neighbours in Trafford Park - St Anthony’s Centre for Church and Industry - organised a Mass at St Anthony’s Church to celebrate the feast of St Anthony of Padua last week.

The YCW joined with the Centre, former parishioners and friends to acknowledge the rich heritage of the Church’s presence in this area and the special place of St Anthony in the mission of serving the poor.

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Christ Is Alive! YCW Training Day With Bishop Ralph Heskett

Last month the YCW held a national training day for our Adult Companions and Chaplains, with our guest speaker the Rt. Rev. Raplh Heskett, Bishop of Hallam and Designated Bishop for Youth.

The theme of the day was how we can respond to Pope Francis’ message in Christus Vivit (Christ is Alive) to make young people the “now” of God and support them to become leaders in both the Church and the World.

To start with, Bishop Ralph outlined his experience at the Synod on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment. This gathering brought together a global reality of young people in the world today, capturing the various perspectives, challenges and hopes of the universal Church.

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The Synod followed a See-Judge-Act method, to structure the discussions around being missionary disciples, formation and accompaniment. This was all very interesting for the YCW adult companions and chaplains in attendance, as this is very much part of their mission within the movement.

Following this, the Bishop then spoke about Christus Vivit, highlighting the three truths within Pope Francis’ writings - God is Love; Christ Saves Us; He is Alive. The apostolic exhortation contained many passage to inspire the companions and the Bishop helpfully talked through some of these.

After questions about both the Synod and exhortation, there was time for the group to split off and talk through some of the issued raised and how we could respond to them within the YCW movement. There was also the opportunity to hear more about the YCW leadership programme and share experiences amongst the companions.

Marc Besford, the YCW National Training and Development Worker, said: “I would just like to thank Bishop Ralph for taking the time to come and share his experiences of both the synod and Christus Vivit. His commitment to supporting young people having their voice heard is a very welcome thing. We hope to see many more opportunities for young leaders to step up and be the change.”