A new Diocesan Parish Youth Leaders Network - Gathered - is to be launched online next month.

It is aimed at all volunteers engaged in youth ministry, or who are looking to get started, and will be launched online on Zoom on Thursday 22 September 2022.

The Kenelm Youth Trust (KYT), in partnership with the Archdiocese, is launching Gathered to respond to the needs of young people and parish youth leaders.

It will be led by the Birmingham Catholic Youth Service (BCYS), the parish youth ministry branch of KYT.

The Gathered initiative developed out of a conversation earlier this year with current parish youth leaders and prospective leaders at KYT’s ‘Proud 2 Profess' event at St Mary's College, Oscott.

Freya Scott, Engagement & Accompaniment Youth Ministry Worker at KYT, explained those in attendance had been discussing the recent Synodal conversations they’d experienced and the development of the Diocesan Vision, Unfolding God’s Plan.

“How could we use what we’d learnt to assist people to grow as leaders and accompany our young people?” said Freya.

“Whilst talking it became obvious there was a yearning for community, and a place where youth leaders could come together to learn from each other, share resources, receive training and be able to support each other in ministry - hence our Gathered initiative was born!

“We hope it will help to retain and grow leaders' confidence, skills and joy as we continue to learn about the ever-changing world that our young people are growing up in, and help leaders create fruitful and intentional disciples in the young people they minister to.

“The aim is to get more parishes to start thinking about youth initiatives again and to reach out to KYT and those dedicated to providing help and opportunities for young people.”

Currently one in five parishes (20%) have youth groups that have re-engaged or started as a new initiative since the pandemic. It is hoped Gathered will see this number escalate.

And so far in 2022, KYT have trained 16 youth leaders serving five parishes through the Bethsaida Parish Youth Leadership course. A further six volunteers from two more parishes have already signed up for the autumn course.

“We hope Gathered will create a culture of community across our parishes,” added Freya. “We hope this will allow youth groups/initiatives to work together, grow together and support each other.

“A big part of Gathered will be to connect youth ministers, parish volunteers and those wanting to start a youth initiative, to each other. Creating a network of support, resources, knowledge and help to prevent burn out and working in isolation.”

Please join us for the Zoom launch on Thursday 22nd to join in and to find out more.

Book to join Gathered online launch

Visit the Kenelm Youth Trust website