Looking back over the months since I joined the Ignite Team full-time at the beginning of September, it feels like quite a long time has passed because we've packed so much in!
The first few weeks allowed us a bit of time and space to grow closer as a team while the bookings to visit schools and parishes began to flow in thick and fast. It wasn't long before we had an increasingly full diary and were criss-crossing the Diocese through the course of each week, meeting children and young people of all different ages and sharing the most precious thing we have: our faith in Jesus.
The novelty of being able to dedicate myself full-time to something as important as evangelisation has still not worn off. In fact, it has allowed me to encounter all sorts of new people, situations and experiences. I have particularly liked the variety of ages that we get to work with. In the week that I am writing this, for example, we are working with 13-year-olds on Thursday, 18-year-olds on Friday, and four-year-olds on Tuesday!
Many hours are spent on the road in our van, but this means we get to see such a diversity of different places around our Diocese as we serve young people in settings ranging from secondary schools in cities to market-town parish churches.
In January, I was given the special opportunity to spend three weeks with overseas missionaries in Jamaica. This was an amazing experience which allowed me to meet Jesus in the poor and severely disabled people who are looked after by the Missionaries of the Poor in the ghetto of downtown Kingston. Our small diocesan group, of all ages, was able to spend time immersed in the universality of the Church, surrounded by a group of religious Brothers and Sisters from many nations whose faith was truly alive and active.
Returning to East Anglia, we had an especially full schedule during Lent. I enjoy the busy periods as it can feel particularly rewarding to know my time has been well-spent. Nevertheless, I am also grateful for the opportunities we have had to go on pilgrimage and silent retreat as a team ' allowing me to spend more time resting and praying. The brief pause in engagements over the Easter Octave was similarly beneficial as we entered the run-up to our biggest weekend of the year at the Ignite Festival in Swaffham (May 5-6).
I am sure this last part of the academic year will begin to disappear very quickly, as I come to conclusions about where God is calling me to be after July. In the meantime, though, I hope to continue to try and make the most of each day and the very different challenges and blessings it can bring.
If you are interested in joining the Ignite Team for a gap year beginning in September 2018 and ending in July 2019, please email Ignite Team Leader, Cat Williams, for further information and an application form at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured above are the Ignite team, including Ciaran Losasso (second left), are ready for anything – even Nerf gun pistol fights.