New National Headquarters

The National Executive Committee are delighted to announce that from Monday 28th September the national headquarters for the YCW in England and Wales will be located at St. Antony's in Trafford Park, Manchester.

The move, from St. Joseph's in Hendon, North London, is a major change for the movement having been in various locations in North London for over 50 years. 

Commenting on the new headquarters, Phil Callaghan, National President of the YCW, said, 'We are delighted to be moving to Trafford Park. The YCW has a long history within Manchester and our presence in Trafford Park marks a new era in our mission to reach out to young workers. We are grateful to Bishop John Arnold for allowing us to establish our national headquarters within the Diocese of Salford.'

Trafford Park is the largest industrial estate in Europe and therefore is an ideal location for the YCW to have their base. Fr. Joe Carter, who was the parish priest of St. Antony's for a great number of years and the industrial chaplain in Trafford Park was, for many years, the regional chaplain to the YCW in the Manchester area.  

The full address will be as follows:

St. Antony's House

Eleventh Street

Trafford Park


M17 1JF

Phone: 0161 872 6017

YCW European National Leaders' Meeting

Between Thursday 18th and Sunday 21st June, representatives from the national YCW team's in Europe met together in Turin, Italy for training and support. Phil, Paul and Father John as President, Secretary and Chaplain were the representatives of the YCW in England and Wales. 

 Phil and Paul present the reality of the YCW in England and Wales

Phil and Paul present the reality of the YCW in England and Wales

The meeting was organised by the European Commission of the International Coordination of  Young Christian Workers in collaboration with the International Secretariat and the movements represented were England and Wales, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Catalonia. 

The theme of the meeting was the consolidation and extension of the national movements and what this definition meant in regards to the training and development of young leaders. As with any good gathering of YCW leaders, the meeting was conducted using the See, Judge, Act methodology. The delegates shared the reality of their own national movements including their resources and training materials before turning to The Gospel and the words of Cardijn to help them reflect upon what leadership means in the context of the Christian faith. 

The meeting coincided with the visitation of Pope Francis to the city of Turin. Consequently, the European leaders took part in an audience with the Holy Father where he spoke directly to young people. In typical Pope Francis fashion, he put aside his prepared homily and instead spoke openly to those gathered on a range of issues including politics, economics, charity and purity. All of which, he said, had an impact on the way in which we express our love to others and to Christ. The video of this event can be viewed at the bottom of this page. 

Upon returning to England, Paul said, "This was my first experience of a European YCW meeting. It is really inspiring to see that the methodology of the YCW crosses borders and enables young people to grow as leaders, despite the situations of their reality." Phil added, "This gathering has confirmed that there is so much we can learn from our European brothers and sisters. It's very important that we continue to work together for the good of all young people."


Laudato Si!

The YCW in England and Wales have welcomed the publication of the Laudato Si', the latest encyclical from Pope Francis. The document is a fervent exhortation to people across the world to realise that care for creation and the world in which we live is entwined with our care for each other and the future generations.

The Holy Father correctly identifies the desire that young people possess to see change in the world, something that YCW members are already acutely aware of.


The document sets out the problems in the current situation of the world around us,  before reminding us of our Christian duty to care for creation and each other as set out in the Scriptures and other Church teaching. Pope Francis then offers us some practical solutions to how we change our attitudes and care for one another. This is evidently rooted in the See, Judge, Act methdology of our founder, Joseph Cardijn.

In a section entitled, 'the need to protect employment', Pope Francis highlights that any talk of ecology must not exclude human beings and that it is extremely important that we take into account the value of human labour.  He states, 'We were created  with  a vocation to work. The goal should not be that technological  progress  increasingly  replace  human work, for this would be  detrimental to  humanity.  Work is  a necessity, part of  the meaning of  life on  this earth, a path to growth,  human  development  and personal fulfilment.'

Phil Callaghan, National President, responded, 'This encyclical is an important addition to the rich social thought of the Church.  Pope Francis highlights the sacred nature of human work and how this is intrinsically linked to the way in which we think about our ecology.' He continued, 'The Holy Father understands the change that young people long to see, an economic solution which is centred around the protection of the world and which fully recognises the dignity of human life and work."

You can read and download Laudato Si' on the Vatican website:

YCW backs campaign for votes at 16!

The YCW in England and Wales is pleased to announce that it is formally placing its support behind a campaign to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in the upcoming referendum which will determine whether the United Kingdom remains a part of the European Union.

The British Youth Council, a charity which empowers young people to have their voice heard within society, has been campaigning for the enfranchisement of 16 and 17 year olds since 1998. The BYC have written to David Cameron, Prime Minister of the UK, to urge him to change the rules to allow the voice of young people to be heard in this important decision for the country.

This call comes after the Scottish government allowed young people aged 16 and 17 to vote in the recent referendum on Scottish independence, which many commentators admit was a factor in the engagement of young people in the political debate. 

Phil Callaghan, National President of the YCW said, 'The referendum on whether the UK should remain part of the European Union is a tremendously important event in the history of our country. It is only right that young people should be able to take part in a decision which could have a real and lasting affect on their futures.'

The YCW has contacted the British Youth Council to offer their formal support to this important campaign.  

Fr Peter Ward - Rest in Peace

We are sad to announce the passing of Fr Peter Ward CSSp. As a priest for 48 years, Fr Peter tirelessly served the Church including a period as National Chaplain of the YCW in England and Wales between 1988 and 1992. For funeral arrangements please contact the YCW National headquarters. May he rest in peace.


May Day celebration, a great success!

YCW members past and present as well as chaplains and friends of the movement were amongst those who gathered on Monday 4th May at St Joseph's in Ordsall, Salford to celebrate May Day and the Feast of St Joseph the Worker. 

The Rt. Rev. John Arnold, Bishop of Salford was the principal celebrant at a Mass in which those present gave thanks for the actions that the YCW methodology has inspired and the leadership that it has developed in young people.

In his homily, Bishop John referred to the importance of the unique charism that Joseph Cardijn, the founder of the YCW, received from God and how this has been passed on throughout the world through reaching out to others.

Following the Mass, there was a reception where Phil Callaghan, National President gave a short speech in which he paid special tribute to the presence of the priests and religious present. Referring to the important element of chaplaincy in the movement he quoted a famous line of Cardijn, 'everything by the young people, nothing without the chaplain.'

The parish of St Joseph's in Ordsall has a long connection with the YCW movement in England and Wales and at one point was the home of the national headquarters of the girls movement. Therefore it was fitting that a national celebration of this kind should take place there.

The gathering took place in Salford, with the Bishop, to mark the beginning of the process that will see the National Headquarters of the YCW relocated from the current home of London to a location within the Diocese of Salford. 

To keep in touch with all of the latest news on the relocation of the headquarters, keep checking the latest news on our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, links to which can be found at the bottom of this page.


 A group of YCW leaders gathered at the May Day celebration

A group of YCW leaders gathered at the May Day celebration