Press release – CatholicYouthWork.com Launch, Feast of St John Bosco, 31st of January
Don Bosco Goes Digital! A Fresh Resource For Youth Ministers
Today, on the feast of St John Bosco, the Salesians re-launch CatholicYouthWork.com a resource for everyone who is involved in working with young people in the Church. It offers a place for resources, jobs, a forum to share ideas and find support as well as somewhere to keep up to date with the latest youth ministry news and events. Dermott Donnelly, Chair of CYMFed, the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation in England and Wales, said, "this is a fantastic resource that will help strengthen and support the Church's important work with young people".
"We know there are lots of people out there doing great work with young people", Chris Knowles, Editor of the site said, "they're all doing fantastic things, having amazing ideas and putting exciting plans into action, but the problem is that we're too often disconnected from one another. This site is a place we can all come together to share ideas, resources and good practice, and was designed specifically to facilitate this. So we invite you to come onto the site, join the forum and start to share ideas and resources!"
The Salesians have invested in the site since taking it on last summer, Provincial Fr Martin Coyle thought it was important to start this new project because "it's a great way to use new technology to help those who minister to young people, there really isn't anything else like this out there. This year we celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of St John Bosco, so while he wouldn't recognise a website if he saw one, he did love new technology like the railways and the modern printing presses of his time, things that made it easier to bring people together and share the Gospel. This project is particularly appropriate way for us to continue to live out his mission today"
The site is a resource that is offered completely free of charge, anyone can register to get involved in the forum and receive our resource and ideas emails. The site is strengthened by more people getting involved because as they get involved in sharing resources and ideas, we can better resource and support people in their work. Last year we attracted between 5 and 11 thousand page views each month, and we hope this will grow as we keep the site up to date with new resources and ideas for people who work with the young in the Church.
Notes for editors
- http://CatholicYouthWork.com - new site live now
- The site relies on local practitioners getting involved in the site, sharing resources, ideas and good practice as well as being there to support others.
- CatholicYouthWork.com has over 900 registered users and last year attracted between 5 and 11 thousand page views each month.
- Jack Regan created the site in 2007 out of a desire to use the internet to bring people in Catholic youth work together to share ideas and resources. Over the years the site grew and had a thriving community forum, but in time became too big to be managed on a voluntary basis alongside full time work. Jack Regan is now Youth Advisor for Arundel and Brighton Diocese.
- The Salesians bought the site in the summer of 2014, and they have been planning and developing the new site in consultation with many people involved in youth ministry. Responsibility for it going to Salesian Link, the Media and social communications office of the Province.
- Chris Knowles, the new editor has been involved in youth ministry for many years, having worked as a Lay Chaplain at Loreto 6th Form College in Manchester and Savio House, the Salesian Retreat Centre in Macclesfield
- The site is supported by donations, paid job adverts and a substantial contribution from the Salesians of Don Bosco in Great Britain.
- The bicentenary of the birth of St John Bosco is on the 16th of August 2015, a series of events celebrating it are planned, more information about this can be found here http://www.salesians.org.uk/bi-centenary/2015-celebrating-the-bi-centenary-of-don-boscos-birth.html
Flame2 is the largest National Catholic Youth event of 2015, taking place in the SSE Wembley Arena on Saturday 7th March 2015.
Doors open at 11, and Flame2 starts at 12, finishing at 5.30pm.
The SSE Wembley Arena will be filled with 10,000 young people from across the country, receiving faith-filled inspiration from world class speakers. Confirmed speakers include Cardinal Luis Tagle from Manila, Philippines; Baroness Sheila Hollins; Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP; and David Wells.
Throughout the day speakers will give bursts of input, interspersed with world class music and drama, in an atmosphere full of joy. Music will be provided by double grammy award winning Matt Redman and his band. The day ends with a time of Adoration led by Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
Flame2 is open to anyone in school year ten and above, up to young adult (i.e. aged approx. 14-21).
Bookings will be accepted from groups of ten or more.
Below is a letter from Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbiship of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
Press Release - 15th December 2014
The goal of Parliament Week is to engage young people with the democratic process, and this was certainly embraced by the pupils of Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe. As part of Parliament Week the pupils engaged in a multitude of activities aimed at raising awareness and understanding of Parliament and democracy in the UK.
The aim of Parliament Week is to highlight the work and history of the UK Parliament, how it is relevant to UK citizens and how pupils can get involved in the democratic process. The event was founded in 2011, and is co-ordinated by the House of Commons with support from the House of Lords.
At Saint Paul’s, the pupils took part in an open debate group, a Question Time with the Head Teacher and the week culminated with whole school parliament elections.
“We were very keen to get our pupils involved in Parliament Week and raise their awareness of the democratic process,” explained Ms Michelle Davies, School Parliament Link teacher. “The programme of events at Saint Paul’s was designed to inspire, engage and connect our pupils with parliamentary democracy. It’s been a fantastic opportunity for them to take part in a nation-wide initiative that helps them become better informed about their Parliament.”
“Parliament Week was a great opportunity for our pupils to engage and connect with politics and their Parliament,” commented Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “The Week also offered a fantastic opportunity to highlight the work and history of the Houses of Parliament and to discuss Parliament’s relevance with students.”
Press Release - 15th December 2014
St Benedict's Catholic School in Bury St Edmunds was shocked to learn that the school has been placed on an Ofsted list of schools that are not dealing effectively with extremism and radicalism, despite Ofsted inspectors highlighting none of these concerns in their recent no-notice inspection in September.
Mr O'Neill, Headteacher of St Benedict's, said, "I can only suppose that the inclusion of St Benedict's on the list was the result of the first "flawed" inspection report. I could just about understand how that error might have occurred. What worries me is that Ofsted were informed of the mistake two weeks ago, and have failed to provide an adequate response. It is also very disturbing that, if they do maintain that the dangers of radicalisation and extremism still exist at St Benedict's, they have done nothing to inform me, the governors or the Diocesan Education Office of the danger.
"We have had to accept that the no-notice inspection was not triggered by the "Trojan horse" affair, but was a routine inspection- despite the fact that it took place less than 18 months after our previous inspection. The continuing accusation that this school is one of a handful identified with radicalisation and extremism concerns is hugely disturbing. I think parents and the local community deserve to know why St Benedict's Catholic School remains at the centre of this Ofsted focus, when their Senior HMI, Asyia Khazmi, assured both me and the governors that she was satisfied that no such concern remained.''
Paul Barber, Director of the Catholic Education Service, said, "We are extremely concerned that Ofsted is publicly listing St Benedict's as one of the eleven schools which 'were not preparing pupils for life in Britain today.' These concerns cannot be found in the School's Ofsted report. This is an unjust and unsubstantiated accusation and we hope Ofsted will clarify this matter and apologise to the school and parents for the confusion and upset caused.
"We are proud that Catholic schools promote values that are both Catholic and British, including: respect for the individual, democracy, individual liberty, respect, tolerance and inclusiveness. Our schools promote cohesion by serving more ethnically diverse and poorer communities. Catholic schools provide high standards of education which are popular with parents from all social, economic and faith backgrounds.
"We welcome the role of Ofsted in ensuring accountability, transparency and inclusive education for all, regardless of belief. However it is essential that Ofsted provides support and clarification for their own staff on the matter of British Values to prevent mistakes like this from reccurring."