September saw me start a new job! Exciting times (mixed with a bit of nervousness too!) I left teaching, which I had done for the past 10 years, and I am now a Parish Youth Minister for two Parishes in the Diocese of Shrewsbury – The Parish of St. Maximilian Kolbe and The Parish of St. Michael and All Angels. One a parish I know very well as it’s my own parish, the other a parish that I am very much looking forward to getting to know!
Working with youth is something I’ve been doing voluntarily now for about 10 years, helping to prepare young people for Confirmation, working with groups of youth in the Parish on different projects and going on residentials with them. I have loved having the chance to get to know them and share my faith with them. Over the years I have also had the opportunity to go to two World Youth Days, Madrid as a participant and Krakow as a leader. I’ve also been to many diocesan and national youth events – all of these experiences have allowed my faith to develop in ways I never imagined and I can’t wait to share these experiences with the youth of the two parishes and give them the chance to attend diocesan and national events too.
It’s been a strange few weeks as I’ve had to get used to a totally new way of working – no set lesson times any more, I’m in charge of my own time (mainly 9-5) and have to use it wisely! Plus my last job was 5 minutes down the road, now it’s a little further to travel. I’ve been meeting various people at St. Michael’s (and St. Joseph’s as we work together for the Confirmation Programme) and trying to remember names – think I’m doing OK with that one so far. I have lists for all sorts of things, as I tick something off one, things magically appear on others! But in the words of Julian of Norwich – All shall be well.
So far in the Parish of St. Maximilian Kolbe I’ve been to various meetings of different groups, for example the Parish Pastoral Council and the Alpha training and have put together a list of dates for our Faith in Action Group, as well as research their extensive list of places they want to go for fun and look into fundraising ideas for the group and charities they choose. I have been to my first Local Missionary Area meeting and met more people that I knew off but had never met.
In St Michael’s I went along to the Parish Pastoral Council and I am looking forward to the BBQ they are planning for their Feast day! I’ll be formally introducing myself on the same day too so it will be a great opportunity to meet everyone and learn more about the Parish. I have been putting together plans for youth as it would be great to get a Youth Alpha running and a Faith in Action group set up!
I’m sure next month will be even busier….watch this space!