Southwark Catholic Youth Service

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The 2018 Synod

Local response to the Synod – Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment

Many of you will have heard about the 2018 Synod taking place in Rome and will have responded to the survey or encouraged young people to respond.

One of the key aspects of the Synod is listening to young people, it is important that we look at this on a local level in our parishes and schools.

“The Church has decided to examine herself on how she can lead young people to recognise and accept the call to the fullness of life and love, and to ask young people to help her in identifying the most effective ways to announce the Good News today. By listening to young people, the Church will once again hear the Lord speaking in today’s world.” Pope Francis

Events - 2018

10th March - Day for Youth Leaders

>> Saturday 
10th March – Training Day on the theme of the Synod.

A day for adult leaders working in our parishes and communities.
Amigo Hall, at 10:30am for an 11 o’clock start, and finishing at 4:30pm.

Fr David O’Malley will be providing input in key themes from the Synod preparation document and offering some practical guidance in working with young people.
In the afternoon we will provide workshops which will run twice.
Karen North – ‘Disrupting Non-Belonging – Engaging with Young People & Young Adults’
Susan Longhurst – CYMFed Faith in Action Awards
Salesian Signposts – Supporting young people in making decisions

We encourage parishes and communities to send representation
The day is free to attend. Tea and Coffee provided. Please bring a packed lunch.
Email to register.

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Event timetable

10:30 AM • Welcome/Refreshments
11:00 AM • Opening Liturgy
11:15 AM • Keynote Address
12:30 PM • Lunch Break
1:15 PM • Workshop Slot 1
2:15 PM • Break
2:45 PM • Workshop Slot 2
3:45 PM • Break
4:00 PM • Closing Liturgy


  • Disrupting Non-Belonging – Engaging with Young People & Young Adults – Káren North

Káren works part-time with Southwark Catholic Youth Service and part-time at St Mary’s University, Twickenham where she runs the Catholic Youth Ministry and Chaplaincy course.
Káren recently completed her PhD and will share some of her insights into engaging young people, looking at ways of supporting this important ministry in the life of the church.

Susan works in Bromley Deanery supporting youth ministry in parishes.
Susan and the team in Bromley have run the CYMFed Faith in Action awards.

The workshop will give an overview and useful insights into the programme as well as look at practical tools for running the Faith in Action scheme in your parish, school or deanery.

  • Salesian Signposts – Supporting young people in making decisions – Signposts Workshop Leaders

The Signposts workshop introduces practical activities to help individuals think about four key areas that can impact how choices are made. It is aimed at adults interested in finding out about making choices with a sense of confidence, optimism and resilience and can be a helpful precursor to exploring an individual sense of vocation.

Learn more about this in the Salesian Signposts workshop.

23rd June - Summer Youth Day

>> Saturday 23rd June 2018 – Summer Youth Day, for young people aged school years 7-11.

Details TBC


‘Life to the Full: A guide to making good decisions’ is a small pamphlet created using the themes found in the Preparatory Document for the 2018 Synod.

To develop these theme further and encourage reflection and thought into each area we are also providing a Leader’s Guide which will be available soon.

Synod preparation and reflection for parishes

Over this next year I would encourage all our parishes to make time to gather young people, to facilitate conversations, provide an opportunity to listen to young people and ask them to share their life experience, joys and struggles, their hopes and fears. Then we can reflect and pray along with the Church on how we respond. This may require us to explore different ways of engagement to share and pass on our faith and the message of the Gospel.

Archbishop Peter Smith  

The files below will provide a simple guide to hosting a group discussion, as well as suggested text for your parish newsletter and a copy of  Pope Francis’ letter to young people ahead of the Synod in October 2018.