Getting our young people's voices heard
IN THE Catholic Church, National Youth Sunday is fast approaching. This celebration of young people takes place on Sunday, November 24, the Feast of Christ the King. It is an opportunity for Catholics in England and Wales to pay particular attention to the significant role young people play in the life of our Church.
I'm sure many of us watched the final episode of Educating Yorkshire on Channel 4 where Musharaf, a pupil in year 11, made a moving speech in their closing assembly. This might not seem unusual to hear a pupil taking part in this way. However, what made this moment in Musharaf's life extraordinary is that he is trying to overcome a severe stammer. With the help of his English teacher Mr Burton and other support staff, he manages to complete his English oral exam and make this speech to his whole year group.
Through the perseverance and hard work of Musharaf's teachers and supporters, he had the opportunity to inspire a nation!
I find young people inspiring. Many would say it's my job to say these kinds of things, but it's the reason I went into youth work, it's the reason I'm not a F1 driver (boyhood dream)!
In the Clifton diocese we have been working hard to give young people a voice, an opportunity to share their story and inspire a nation!
We recently began a young leadership project in partnership with CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) and the Secondary Schools and Colleges in the diocese.
Hosted by St Brendan's College, Brislington, the day encouraged young people to be leaders in their school communities. This first session has laid a strong platform for the group of over 50 young people to further look at work CAFOD is doing and at the management of their own projects.
To celebrate National Youth Sunday, we are inviting young people from our parishes in the diocese to join together as one voice. The Faith Story takes place at Clifton College Prep School and is an opportunity for young people to share what their faith means to them.
We'll hear from inspirational speakers, young and not so young, and take our story onto Clifton Cathedral where we'll join the celebrations to end the Year of Faith. More information can be found by visiting www.cliftondiocese. com.
I finish by asking the question: What more can we do to enable young people's voice to be heard in today's world?