INSPIRE 2018 – Day for Youth Leaders & Catechists
On Saturday May 12th, around fifty youth ministers and catechists from around the diocese gathered in Redhill for INSPIRE 2018, the diocese’s annual day for those who work with young people. It follows on from the ‘Breakthrough’ programme run in previous years, and will hopefully now stick around as a popular and useful annual event.
Unlike in the past when the day was led by one keynote speaker, INSPIRE featured an array of speakers. A TED-style event, if you like. Among them were Will Desmond, founder of theASCENT, Father Nick Crowe OP who talked about spirituality in ministry, Bishop Richard, Lizzie Wakeling who talked about young people and mental health, and others. It also gave participants a chance to network and to ask questions.
It seems to me, as the Diocesan Youth Officer, that we are at an exciting time in the Diocese where youth and young adult ministry is concerned. The Bishop has given us a clear vision to follow and we seem to be in a time when all sorts of things are really starting to blossom! The Wellspring community in Brighton are doing some trailblazing work with young adults and students; programmes like Youth Alpha are transforming parish ministry; diocesan programmes like the Redshirts and the ENCOUNTER programme are going from strength to strength, and the start of theASCENT programme in this autumn looks set to add an exciting dimension and to offer something to those young people wanting to take their faith a stage deeper.
This September, the INSPIRE process will continue with local groups. In fact, the new plan is for there to be three meetings a year: one diocesan meeting in the early part of the summer, one set of local meetings facilitated by me; and one set of local meetings which people arrange and sort between themselves.