Children’s Liturgy:

Children’s Liturgy is held during Sunday morning Mass (school term time) and they are held in the meeting rooms attached to both churches. The aim of children’s liturgy is to provide school age children to the age of 11 years with an opportunity to engage with a liturgy more suited to their age range. Children should assemble prior to the start of Mass.

Sacramental Programme:

The Sacramental preparation programme for children is a Diocesan based programme which is made up of three contributory parts: parents, church and school. Sessions in church are held monthly at St Mary’s Church from October to May inclusive and support the children to prepare and celebrate the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion.

The Give Group:

The GIVE Group consists of Parish volunteers who value the contribution young people make to the Parish and our faith. Our first meeting took place on 16th December 2015 and we focus on initiatives and strategies in support of young people. We held a competition inviting pupils in St Chad’s and St Wilfrid’s schools to suggest a name for the group and the winner suggested “The GIVE Group”:

  • “G” for “giving” our time in support of young people
  • “I” for enabling young people to get “involved” in the Parish
  • “V” for providing the opportunity for young people to express their “views”
  • “E” for arranging and promoting “events” for young people.

We meet once every half- term (around every 6 weeks). How much time is given is entirely up to the individual. If you would like to join us and help support the young people either email or phone the Parish office or speak with Fr. Dennis after Mass. Leave your name, contact phone number or email address and a member of the GIVE Group will be in touch.

Youth Council:

In September 2016 we established our Parish Youth Council for young people in school years 4 to 7, and twelve young people volunteered to be involved. The Parish Youth Council meets on a Thursday once each half-term, 4pm till 5.15pm, in the meeting room at St Mary’s Church. This academic year (2017-18) we have 17 volunteers, four of which are our first Youth Leaders. The dates of the next meetings are:

  • 23rd November 2017
  • 25th January 2018
  • 8th March 2018
  • 24th May 2018
  • 14th June 2018.

Parish Youth Leaders:

In September 2017 we established our Parish Youth Leaders. We have four Youth Leaders, who were members of the Parish Youth Council 2016-17. They now attend Year 7 in St John’s Academy and they have volunteered to play a more leading role in Parish Youth Projects.

They attended the Diocesan Co-Workers meetings with some of the GIVE Group members. They are to take it in turn to lead the Parish Youth Council meetings with the support of two adult members of the GIVE Group.

They are helping to plan and lead the ‘More Than Music’ sessions, which help young people prepare liturgical dance and drama for the Family Masses. They contribute to the Parish Family Masses. They attend Diocesan monthly sessions called ‘The Event’.

Youth Club:

The Youth Club is for primary aged young people aged 5 – 11 years. It is held monthly in term time, on a Thursday, at 6.15-7.30pm in St Mary’s meeting room. Entry fee is £1.00 to cover the cost of refreshments and resources.

The remaining 2017-18 dates are:

  • 18th January 2018
  • 1st March 2018
  • 26th April 2018
  • 28th June 2018

‘More Than Music’:

We have introduced ‘More Than Music’ sessions for primary aged young people, to prepare liturgical dances and drama for the Family Masses. The sessions to prepare for Youth Sunday (26th November 17) take place on the following Tuesdays: 7th, 14th, and 21st November 2017.

Family Masses:

The parish works in partnership with our local Catholic schools to give young people the opportunity to play a leading role in the monthly Family Masses (term time only).

St Chad’s pupils take part in St Wilfrid’s Church Family Masses at 9.30am on the following Sundays:

  • 26th November 2017
  • 14th January 2018
  • 11th February 2018
  • 11th March 2018
  • 20th May 2018
  • 17th June 2018

St Wilfrid’s pupils take part in St Mary’s Church Family Masses at 11.00am on the following Sundays:

  • 26th November 2017
  • 21st January 2018
  • 11th February 2018
  • 11th March 2018
  • 20th May 2018
  • 17th June 2018

Young people who do not attend the local schools are also welcome to participate in these Masses.

Annual Carol Service:

The pupils of both St Chad’s and St Wilfrid’s primary schools prepare the Carol Service with the support of their teachers. The service this year takes place in St Mary’s Church on 19th December 2017 at 6pm.

The Event:

The Parish and our local schools work together to arrange for our young people, in school years 6 and 7, to attend ‘The Event’. The next Event takes place on 22nd November 2017.

Confirmation Programme:

The St Mary and St Wilfrid Parish Confirmation Programme took place during September and October 2016. It involved weekly sessions for the young people in Year 9 or above. Two of the sessions, also involved the young people’s parents/carers. The young people also attended the residential ‘On Fire’ Confirmation Retreat, which was delivered by the Youth Ministry Team at the Emmaus Youth Village. On November 7th 2016, Bishop Seamus Cunningham Confirmed the candidates. Also as part of the programme, a post-Confirmation session was held to enable the candidates to give the adult leaders feedback on the programme.

The next Confirmation programme will take place in 2018 and will be delivered by representatives from the Parishes in our Escomb Partnership.

John Paul II Award:

The Award invites all young people aged 16-18 years (post GCSE Exams) to give some time to Parish Involvement and Social Awareness projects. Gold 20 hours, Silver 14 hours and Bronze 8 hours for each section. The Award can be included in CVs and UCAS Forms.

Young people involved in the Award in our Parish can do a range of activities e.g. helping younger people at Family Masses, Children’s Liturgy, First Communion preparation, as well as greeting people, taking part in the Offertory, church choir, helping with the church shop, Parish Youth Club, More Than Music and Youth Council.

Their Social Awareness Projects can include helping the Meals Service, school’s Fair Trade Shop, school Assemblies, helping the Parish St Vincent de Paul Society or the Parish CAFOD Group, supporting the sick in Lourdes and taking part in projects in Peru.

If you would like to know more, visit the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle section on The John Paul II Award website.

Escomb Partnership for Youth:

Representatives from the Parishes in our Partnership of Parishes have formed a group in support of the Youth Agenda. Two members of our GIVE Group attend these meetings. At the moment the group is taking part in the Mission preparation meetings.