I am always hoping and praying for more young people to be engaged with their faith and involved in parish life. I know I am not alone in this. Equally, I am well aware of my inadequacy, my inability to make this happen. Again, this frustration may well be the experience of the adult members of our parish.

Thankfully, there are people close at hand who are gifted in working with young people. Sue Longhurst is the Catholic Youth Ministry Co-ordinator for Bromley Deanery and over the last few years she has been encouraging young people to become involved in various initiatives which help them live out their Catholic faith more fruitfully. With the help of other adults Sue has made the CYM programme an effective instrument in helping young people believe they are valued and have a role to play in the Church.

One of the recent initiatives is the launch of the Deanery Youth Council. In a recent email to me and the priests of this parish Sue explained, ‘The aim of the Youth Council is to give our older youth an opportunity to guide and shape the youth ministry events and initiatives going forward and to represent the needs of the young people in their respective parishes. It will provide them with an opportunity to gain experience as youth councillors, to engage in training to develop key leadership skills and to socialise with others from all over the deanery’.
There will also be an opportunity to get involved with bigger projects such as youth pilgrimages to Taize or the Camino de Santiago Compostela.

Sue is looking for 2 or 3 young people aged 15 years+ from each parish to attend the first Deanery Youth Council meeting on Saturday 19 October from 12 – 2pm at St Joseph’s Church, Plaistow Lane/Orchard Road roundabout, BR1 2PR. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Please let me know if you are interested and I can supply you with relevant information and a form to fill in. Also read more in our NEWSLETTER.

Speaking of youth, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Joe who is studying for the priesthood at St John’s Seminary in Wonersh and will be with us until next summer as part of an ex-tended parish placement. I’m sure he won’t mind me saying so but Joe has a number of talents one of them being his ability to work with young people and get the best out of them. He arrives this weekend and I’m sure you will make him feel very much at home as he engages in the life and work of this parish.

I came across this little gem from an old Readers Digest magazine: The lion and the calf shall lie down together, but the calf won’t get much sleep.

Fr Steve