The National Service Team (NST) for Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Wales has released their report on the future of youth ministry in Wales.
A group of seven young Catholics from across Wales, all with some connection to Charismatic Renewal, were brought together for a consultation weekend in February. In the light of their discussions and experiences, and drawing on other recent research into youth ministry, NST Wales is now able to publish the "W Church Report" on young people and Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Wales, with conclusions relevant to wider Christian youth ministry, too.
The Youth Panel made a firm recommendation that there should be regular opportunities for young Catholics to gather for group activities and sharing personal stories a forum run by young people, for young people. More formal faith-sharing activities or seminars could follow later, once peer relationships have had time to develop naturally. Publicity for the new initiative should be sensitive to young people's fear of "not fitting in", especially in the context of Church activities.
As a first fruit of the process, some of the young people involved in the Consultation Exercise have decided to work together to run such events for young people. The first event is not yet finalised, but details will be published on www.ccrw.org.uk in due course.
NST Wales also recommends that mentoring schemes be developed to help young people grow in their faith. Mentoring would not only help young people grow in their understanding of the Gospel, and of the demands which Christ makes of disciples, but would also provide young people with a stable, committed relationship in their life, in the midst of a fragmented world.
Author of the report, Revd Dr Gareth Leyshon, said: "This report is a watershed for the Catholic Church in Wales. We have asked young people what we should do to help their peers deepen their relationship with Jesus, and their reply deserves to be taken seriously. I commend this report not only to leaders in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, but also to all leaders in Christian youth ministry."
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