Young People

Featured Image:

Seva volunteers with children with cancer.jpg Unspokentruth, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


“Young people wanted to feel their voices are being heard by the church and that they could take more
part in the Mass. They wanted the Church to be more encouraging and inviting, with more Christian
social events. Young people expressed that there were put off by the attitude to women in the church,
they want this to be more inclusive. Speaking of themselves, young people said they don’t see the
equality and inclusion of women as even an issue. Speaking about young people, other adults expressed
real “concerns over passing on of our faith to our children.” And this was a source of pain and
sadness, particularly for grandparents. It was suggested that the young people should be asked: “The
church should ask the children what they want out of their community and what they can give.”
Sessions for young people to keep their relationship with God were suggested. Encouraging young
people back to the church was popular and uncontentious. The suggestion of a diocesan provision of
deanery youth workers was made.”

from The Synthesis Report on Hallam Diocese Synodal Journey by the Diocese of Hallam: April 2022
This retreat material uses the diocesan synod report as the basis of a prayer journey. The themes raised in synod meetings by the people of God in the diocese of Hallam were gathered into a synthesis report which Bishop Ralph conveyed to the Bishops  Conference of England and Wales. This was incorporated into the Continental report sent to Rome in 2022. While these are not necessarily his views, Bishop Ralph is fully supportive of the synodal process and encourages the synodal method of Conversations in the Spirit, prayerful reflection and further discernment with these themes.

Opening prayer

If you are using this prayer by yourself at home, then remember that you are not alone. You are a valued member of this group, you are sharing this retreat together. Each person will pray and ponder in their own time and place, but the Spirit is with each and every one and all of you. You are together in God.

A:       God, you have gathered all your people in Synod,
We give you thanks for the joy experienced by those who decided to set out
to listen to God and to their brothers and sisters, with an attitude of welcome
humility and siblinghood. Help us to enter these pages as on “holy ground”.

A: Creator of the world, eternal God,
B: we come together from our own places for a little while.

A: Redeemer of humanity, God with us,
B: we have come with all our differences seeking common respect

A: Spirit of unity, go-between God,
B: we have come with stories of our own to a place where stories meet.

A: So here, in this space, let us take time together. for when your people gather and stories are shared, there is much to celebrate and honour.
B: In your name, three in one God, pattern of community. Amen.

Adapted from “Iona Abbey Worship Book”, 2001. copyright © WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow, Scotland. Reproduced by permission.

Summary of the Diocesan Report

  • Hear the voices of the young people, asking for a more encouraging and inviting inclusive Church.
  • e.g. Deanery youth workers, sessions for young people, thinking about how young people can be called back to the Church

A. First impressions

  • What I like about this summary is ………
  • What I do not like about this summary is ……..
  • This summary makes me feel ……..


Mark 10. 13:16

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

Points to Ponder

  • Notice the response of the disciples! (add anything else).

Reflect, Respond. Share

B. Reflect

  • In this passage Jesus is saying to me …
  • My response to this is …
  • This makes me feel …

C. Respond

  • If I was to review my responses to parts A and B I would say …
  • Something I have discovered is …

D. Share

  • A few days later, read what you have written for C. Is there something that you are comfortable to share with the group? It could be what you have written, or maybe a poem, painting or photo could better express what you want to say.

Closing prayer

A: As we continue in our retreat together, in this day and in our lives
B: May we be grateful for the blessings of this day, today and each day.
B: May we be grateful for the new stories and new ways of thinking we have explored, today and each day.
B: May we be grateful for kind company, heedful to God, heedful to ourselves and heedful to each other, today and each day
A We pray for God’s blessing
B. On all our young people
A. We pray for God’s blessing
B. On all who have particular roles to nurture, support and teach our young people
A. We pray for God’s empathy
B. As we work to understand the differing perspectives of our young people
A. We pray for God’s joy
B. As our young people grow in their relationship with God
A. We pray for God’s Wisdom
B. As we let ourselves be taught by our young people in new ways and with new thinking.
A: God from whom all gifts come, who shares our adventure, and delights in our friendship
B: We thank you for your presence with us as we continue in our retreat this day, and each day of our lives. Amen