Youth Ministry2018-05-29T10:59:36+00:00

Youth Ministry

This group allows people between the ages of 18 – 35 to come together in a relaxed and informal setting to reflect on their faith through prayer, scripture and exploration of the teachings of the Church. It is also a perfect opportunity to meet and socialise with other young Catholics at the regular social evenings held by the group.

This group is for those aged between 11 – 17 and meets twice a month in the Cathedral Scout Hut.  The group aims to encourage young people to grow deeper in their faith through prayer, formation discussions and social events.

For more information for both groups, please see the newsletter or contact the Parish Office on 01604 714556 or


The Salt and Light project is our young leaders program. This year long course offers VI Form training and formation to develop their leadership skills. This culminates in a local project led by the team member and supported by an adult mentor. Each year between 5 – 9 people participate in the program. The course is free, however participation in the Lux weekend is essential. For more details contact


True Survivor is an outdoors survival weekend for young Catholic boys aged 13 – 18 years. This Catholic survival courses teaches the participants outdoor skills that will aid their survival in the wilderness. Alongside these skills they learn to develop their prayer life, make regular confession a part of their lives and learn to place the Eucharist at the heart of their survival. £99 includes transport. 25th – 27th May 2018. Contact


In Dublin, from the 21st – 26th August NYMO will be joining Catholics from across the globe for the World Meeting of Families. Young adults (16 – 30) will be given the opportunity to join the Conference seminars and meet other young adults in a central Dublin church for a specially designed program. We are promoting this to those unable to attend World Youth Day in Panama. £550 including travel and half board. Contact


LifeTeen Summer Camp is held once a year at Alton Castle in Staffordshire. For all those aged 11 – 18 years, it is a mix of outdoor activities, archery, climbing, biking, trekking, fencing and daily Sacraments of Mass and Reconciliation, Adoration and Worship. There is also a day out at Alton Towers and another day out to a secret location! Minimum donation £195 including transport. 29th July – 2nd August 2018. Contact


The next World Youth Day is being hosted by Panama City in January 2019. This pilgrimage is open to all those aged 18 – 30 years. Unfortunately it is happening during term time and thus rules out students and teachers. Ideally we would like to welcome one young person from each pastoral area. We are working with the Archdiocese of Birmingham on this project. Contact or visit


Check out the film review below on the ‘Matrix’

On Sunday afternoon, whilst so many were at the Cathedral embracing the opportunity afforded by the Rosary by the Coast initiative, I was making use of another one-off. The local Errol Flynn Filmhouse was showing the classic sci-fi film The Matrix, and I headed along to see if it was as good as I remembered it,
A masterpiece which sneaked in to the end of the 20th century, The Matrix is now regarded as hugely influential to both cinema and philosophy. It may be derivative, and its influences may be equally worthy our time as well, but as analogy and social commentary go, the Wachowskis creation is immensely valuable.
For those unaware, The Matrix explores the idea that the world around us is a computer simulation. We are not really here, in the sense that “here” is not a base reality. There is something beyond, and in the film this consists of a dystopian reality suggested to represent the end of the 22nd century, where humans are farmed by robots rather than born as a product of love. Instead of growing and experiencing a world around us, we are unconsciously plugged into the eponymous Matrix, where artificial intelligence – a mechanical overlord of sorts – delivers an experience at this point akin to the real world in 1999.
So far, so sci-fi. But – and this may strike a chord – there may be a saviour. The protagonist, Neo, or The One, is called to action by the few humans who are conscious of the Matrix’s existence and its empty show. With Neo’s help, this small group both hope, and have faith, that liberation of their people will come.

Religious, and particularly Christian themes run throughout the film and its two sequels, and these have been explored in greater detail – along with spoilers – here*, but my take is that The Matrix is a largely cautionary tale. The direction we are heading in, in 2018, is certainly cause for trepidation, with AI very much a potential threat to our species, but this is not the only realisation provided by the story. We are provoked to wonder how much of our contemporary world is real, and worthwhile, and leading us to our true calling. Do we actually have enough awareness of ourselves and our surroundings to see the truth and our destiny?

The Matrix doesn’t merely offer two hours plus of fanciful Hollywood entertainment. Far from it. Today, as so eloquently put by the brilliant mind of Elon Musk, the concept actually undermines any patronising logic attributed to traditional, nihilistic atheism**. Put simply, without faith – and I’m happy to report that even after this most recent viewing, I have kept my own – we have The Matrix, or we turn away from both God and rationality for another option.

The Matrix isn’t for everyone, and many of its themes, topics and events will be perceived to be at odds with Catholic teaching. However, as a tale of hope in the face of acute adversity, not to mention the allegorical benefits therein, it’s a film that still, two decades after its release, is as relatable and powerful as ever.