East Anglia Synod focuses on youth hot topics

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East Anglia Synod focuses on youth hot topics

Over 60 people from across the Diocese of East Anglia came together on November 4 at a Synod to talk about current hot topics in the wider church around youth, faith and vocational discernment. Jessica McCall reports.

In October a Synod on Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment was held in Rome. Ignite Team chaplain Fr Luke Goymour, Team leader Catherine Williams and Director Hamish MacQueen went to Rome for a week during the Synod to gain a better insight into matters addressed.

In order to see how to implement some of these ideas in our own Diocese, the Diocesan Youth Service ran a follow-up Synod of our own to tackle some of the questions raised in Rome. Parish priests sent young people and those working with them to the day-long event held at Mildenhall church.

Participants were asked a series of questions to find out what young people thought was available to them within the diocese, as well as what they think could be done to enhance their understanding of their faith and increase their involvement in parish life.

Some of the things highlighted by the young people included a desire to feel more welcome and involved in their parishes than they already are, as well as finding ways to increase their understanding of their faith and more practical ways of relating faith to their everyday lives.

Also raised was the desire to know more about other opportunities and information that may be available to them regarding their Catholic faith.

This included things like events (both on a Diocesan level and nationally), social media and what apps and websites they can use to increase this awareness.

One young person said that they really enjoyed the day, getting to know other young people in the diocese and that it was a great opportunity to talk about the challenges that they felt they were facing, as well as to find out that others were facing similar situations to them.

The young people were then offered the opportunity to submit anonymous questions, relevant to matters of the day, to a Q&A panel.
The panel consisted of Bishop Alan, Fr Luke, Hamish, Catherine and Sister Theresa from the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham.

The day ended with Adoration and Benediction led by Bishop Alan and Fr Luke.

Responses from those who came to the Synod have been collated and a report is being produced.

Pictured above is the East Anglia Youth Synod panel in Mildenhall.