New project tours youth ministry websites has begun a virtual tour of the dioceses of the British Isles. The plan is to take a brief look at each diocese in England & Wales, Scotland and Ireland and to review the websites in that area devoted to Catholic Youth Ministry. They have already got as far as Arundel & Brighton with six dioceses already reviewed.

Jack Regan from the site explained: "the way in which the Church uses the internet is still sadly a little patchy. There are places where it is done really well, utilising the very latest that the web has to offer, but there are also projects and departments with little or no presence on the web. This is especially true of youth services. One thing that we constantly see youth workers and young people responding well to,  is accessible content on the web. If a young person sees an advert in the parish telling him to go check out the local youth service website, then he is far more likely to get connected to events and opportunities than if he just sees a flyer or a line in the parish newsletter. Even more so if the website is updated regularly, packed with information, and designed in a friendly and attractive way."

"In the same way, there are a lot of people in parishes running youth groups or Confirmation programmes who are desperate for resources and advice. While diocesan youth staff are usually pretty good, it can be hard for one or two people to be available to, in some cases, over a hundred parishes. Websites offer a quick way to get a lot of content out there, not to mention the fact that when most people get interested or curious about something, the first thing they do is go straight to Google. In short, having a good website is a must these days."

There are 56 dioceses in total,  in the British Isles. The vast majority of them have some kind of youth service and a great many have youth centres, mission teams and other youth projects running. The tour also takes in Catholic organisations independent of the dioceses, but which are still based in the area, such as the Iona community, located in the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles.

The idea of taking a brief look at each area was taken from the popular US based 'Catholic Youth Ministry Blog,' which often takes a similar look at all the US states. With a far smaller Catholic population in the UK it is unlikely that there will be quite as much to see, but the organisers are still confident that there are a lot of good sites which need to be seen by more people.

Jack said: "Hopefully by doing this, we can let people see what sites there are in their own areas, but also what people in other areas are doing in terms of their presence on the web. We are bound to miss a few sites as we go along. People are more than welcome to point out the ones we miss, and we'll be happy to add them in!" expects the tour to conclude sometime around the end of August.

You can follow the tour at:

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