Lenten Resources For YCW And IMPACT Groups

The Young Christian Workers in England and Wales have a resource for the Lenten season - including a Review of Life and a Gospel Enquiry

Beginning on Ash Wednesday (6th March 2019) and ending on Easter Sunday (21st April 2019) Lent is that special time of prayer, sacrifice, good works and preparation for the wonderful celebration of Easter when we, as Christians, celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Many people use the forty days of Lent as a time of soul searching or sacrifice, giving up something they enjoy, like sweets, chocolate or alcohol.

Others use the time to take up something new, like good works or acts of charity.

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But Lent can also be a time for us to consider how we might live out our faith in our everyday lives as we journey towards the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection. Through the method of See, Judge, Act we invite you to explore the Gospel with us as you journey through the season of Lent in preparation for the wonder of Easter.

New Leeds Diocese Project Partners With YCW

An exciting new project is being set up in Leeds Diocese by the Leeds Justice and Peace Commission, which aims to engage more 16-30 year olds around the issue of Catholic Social Teaching .

The two year project is looking at how this can be done in Groups and sustain itself after the 2 years are up. It was the YCW’s experience of working with young people in groups that meant we were called upon to see if we could help.

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In response, Marc Besford, YCW National Training and Development Worker, joined the Project Steering Group and went along to speak with the representatives. The Steering Group members first decided to focus on developing a common understanding of what the project was and hoped to achieve.

After this, the discussion moved towards how best to engage those not already involved in Parish life. There were suggestions for a series of workshops to be put on that may focus on a range of issues young people face and are interested in getting involved with.

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The YCW approach is always to be led by the reality of young people, and we helpfully shared how the use of the SEE-JUDGE-ACT method is a fantastic basis for any discussion with young people. Through this Method, young people gain confidence and develop their leadership qualities but also a deeper understanding of the Gospel message and what it calls us to do in society.

Marc Besford said: “We look forward to continuing with the Steering Group and sharing some more examples of how empowering young people in the Church can lead to amazing results. It sounds like a very worthwhile project.”

YCW Leader's Reflection On World Youth Day

Callum from the Billingham YCW Group has kindly offered to share his thoughts about the experience of World Youth Day in Panama this year. Thank you for sharing this Callum.

World Youth Day in Panama was truly an amazing experience, not only was my faith strengthened more than I knew it could, I made lots of great new friends and memories which will last a life time.

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Masses of young people sang ‘We are the youth of the Pope’ in Spanish throughout the city with flags being waved from every corner of the globe. The people of Panama were all extremely friendly and welcoming, with many wanting to be pictured with the Union Jack, they offered cool water for pilgrims and the volunteers made us all feel very safe.

A pilgrimage would not be a pilgrimage without some form of hardship, and this for me was definitely the heat and humidity and although tough this made everyday more rewarding.

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I enjoyed every moment of my trip to South America and to pick a highlight is difficult but for me it was at the overnight vigil. As we knelt in front of the Blessed Sacrament with around 1 million other young Catholic’s from all around the world, accompanied by the Holy Father, the sheer silence during this time was breathtaking and overwhelming. Never have I experienced this many people my own age demonstrate an incredible amount of faith, it made me very proud to be a Catholic.

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The trip also made me realise my place in the Church today, as the Holy Father said that the young people are not the future of this Church but are the ‘Now’ and as a young person my role is just as important as any other and I can make a difference.

My first World Youth Day will go down as a huge success and I can’t wait till the next one in Portugal, at least the journey won’t be as long!

YCW NEC Enlists Support Of Local MP For Mental Health Project

Late last year we announced that as part of the “ACT” stage of our national campaign called MIND! The Gap, which focuses on young people and mental health, we would be developing a scheme at our National HQ site. Since then, we have been working up some funding options for the plan and have enlisted the support of our local MP.

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In our research we found that increasingly, mental health is closely linked to the whole question of the environment and communities we inhabit, a point that Pope Francis makes in “Laudato Si’” in relation to the growth of cities: [they can become] huge, inefficient structures, excessively wasteful of energy and water (in which) neighbourhoods, even those recently built, are congested, chaotic and lacking in sufficient green space. We were not meant to be inundated by cement, asphalt, glass and metal, and deprived of physical contact with nature.”

At the meeting, we discussed our vision of transforming the garden which surrounds our HQ into a place of relaxation, peace and community for the workers, parishioners, young people in the area and all YCW members.

As you may know, our HQ is currently in the centre of Europe’s biggest industrial park, next to a busy daytime shopping parade, with effectively no communal green spaces to use.

We would also see the growing garden and allotment aspects of this project as a unique opportunity to engage more deeply with former parishioners of St Antony’s, many of whom still regularly visit the site and have expressed their support for and willingness to help with the proposals.

Further updates will be shared on our website, so please keep an eye out for this.

Can You Help Support The YCW?

The YCW has recently moved into the heart of Europe's biggest industrial estate, with strong historical ties with the YCW movement.

We've re-established ourselves in the North of England and already we've doubled the number of groups here, from 15 to 30. This has all been achieved with only 1 full-time staff member, supported by 1 part-time worker.

Help us continue building on this work so we can double the number AGAIN. 

Your contribution would help:

  • develop a new generation of YCW leaders equipped through the SEE, JUDGE and ACT method.

  • train and develop new “Companions”, the adults who accompany and support us

  • produce new resources

  • organise events across the country

To continue this vital and unique work we hope you can help support us financially.

Please download our standing order form to make a regular donation (including gift aid). Just fill it in and return to us at:

Young Christian Workers, St. Antony's House, Eleventh Street, Trafford Park, Manchester, M17 1JF

If you would like more details or to speak to us directly about our work, please contact us on 0161 872 6017.

Upcoming Training For YCW Adult Companions

The founder of the YCW, Joseph Cardijn, once said: “Everything by the young people, nothing without the Chaplain!” . This commitment to having an organisation ran by and for young people remains as true today as ever before but for Groups to exist we need an adult (over the age of 18 for an Impact group or over the age of 30 for a YCW group) who is willing to act as a chaplain or adult companion to the group.

The “adult companions” act as a sounding board for the young people, giving advice and guidance when necessary and support their journey of faith through many of life’s challenges. It is important that we maintain our engagement and training with these companions, to keep up with the changing needs of our Groups and share best practice.

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This upcoming training is on Monday 11th March, 7pm and is being held at the YCW HQ in Trafford Park.

In the past we’ve covered topics such as mental health, loneliness and how to recruit young leaders. It is also helpful to develop “active listening” skills, so that the adult companions can build the confidence of young leaders and help them develop their own skills.

Please get in contact with us if you are interested in attending - open to new and existing adult companions.