If you would like to reserve a place for this workshop, please send your name, parish, current role and a contact email address
(eg. Joe Bloggs, St Mary’s, Hornchurch, Confirmtion Catechist, [email protected])
to [email protected]

There are a maximum of 200 places from across the Diocese; we can take several catechists from each parish, but we do advise early reservation of places. The day is FREE; it is one of the events funded by the National Youth Sunday collection, which will be taken in your parish in November.




This training and resources day is open to all First Holy Communion and Confirmation Catechists, as well as those who look after the children’s liturgy in the Diocese of Brentwood. It will be an opportunity to hear about fresh resources, as well as receiving input to assist you in your First Holy Communion and Confirmation programmes. We would particularly like to welcome any young catechists or young people in your parish (16+) who may be interested in working as or with catechists, and wish to develop their faith further post-confirmation.


On arrival you will be welcomed by our Walsingham House at Abbotswick team in the main school hall, where there will be teas, coffees and refreshments available. There will be sign up sheets available for the afternoon workshops and these will be filled on a first come, first served basis. The day will then open with a meditative prayer, a time for you to stop, think and reflect.


  • During the morning Fr Dominic will speak briefly about the new document we have produced called “Employing a Parish partnership Youth Co-ordinator” (http://bcys.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Youth-Co-ordinators-for-Parish-Partnerships-FINAL-document.pdf).
  • Brenden Thompson from Catholic Voices will be giving a keynote speech, about Pope Francis latest encyclical for young people, Christus Vivit, “Christ is alive”.
  • Fr Stephen Wang – Chaplain to the University of London – will also be speaking about a new programme called “Sycamore.” This is for young adults and adults, especially for those who are new to the faith, or who have questions about faith. It would be an ideal programme for a group of catechists to use together, as it involves discussion questions that are very thought provoking. Fr Stephen will then lead workshops about this in the afternoon, along with many other workshop givers.


There will then be a break for lunch where every catechist will have the opportunity to browse resources, chat to staff, volunteers and visitors, and also to meet other catechists from around the diocese. We do just ask that you bring your own lunch with you.


After lunch we invite you to attend a selection of workshops from many well established organisations, which we hope will give you plenty of ideas and resources to take back to your own parishes. Alongside this we will be running a session for young Catechists.


Confirmed workshops include…

  • Sycamore with Fr Stephen Wang,

You’ll have heard Fr Stephen give an overview in the morning session; in this workshop he will go much deeper into the programme, as well as talking about the different ways it could be used in your parish. More details of this excelled resources can be found at www.sycamore.fm

  • Godly Play and the Children’s Liturgy

Especially for those leading children’s liturgy, and also a good stimulus for Holy Communion catechists, about how to bring Bible stories alive for very young children, in highly creative ways. See more at www.godlyplay.uk/method

  • Confirmation Catechesis – Sharing Good Practice

This workshop, facilitated by an experienced Confirmation catechist and Youth Leader, will be a chance to share questions, problems and good ideas, to refine your Confirmation programme. Eamonn Hyde has long experience in leading Confirmation programmes, including work in several different parishes. Ken Lowe has been running a successful Youth Programme in his parish of Saffron Waldon, including trips and outings to keep the young people of the parish engaged pre and post Confirmation. Both will share their experience with those attending this workshop, including ideas on how to structure a Confirmation programme, what has worked or not worked for them as well as offering a space for other catechists to share their own ideas and experience with each other.

  • First Holy Communion Catechesis – Sharing Good Practice

This workshop, facilitated by an experienced First Holy Communion catechist, will be a chance to share questions, problems and good ideas, to refine your First Holy Communion programme.

  • Brenden Thompson – Catholic Voices – How to defend your faith without raising your voice

Brenden will deliver his popular workshop about how to help answer the “tough questions” that young people ask, and that we may have as catechists and youth leaders. There is more information about Brenden, his work, and further training available at www.catholicvoices.org.uk

Brenden’s workshops will be useful for all catechists, not necessarily directly linked to a particular programme, but to gain knowledge and skills that will help in your catechesis and your personal faith.

  • Million Minutes – New offers for Catechists

Million Minutes works with young people who are on the “edges” – those who may be quite disconnected from church. They empower young people as leaders, and also offer small grants for youth led projects. Each Lent they have a major “SiLENT” initiative. Their new resources will be excellent for anyone looking for new angles, especially working with teenagers in difficult circumstances. www.millionminutes.org

In Christus Vivit Pope Francis challenges the church to ‘open its doors’ to all, challenging us to live out the truth that all young people are in God’s heart, and hence in the Church’s heart. They all have a God-given purpose that only they can fulfill. Inspired by this, Million Minutes wants to see more young people – within and beyond our visible Catholic communities –  become supported by our parishes, schools and organisations to embrace their unique mission in the world. This workshop is an opportunity to explore the complexity of our young people, and to learn from Million Minutes concrete experience of reaching out to a broad range of young people. Danny Curtin, founder of Million Minutes and co-author of national youth research ‘Complex Catholicism’ will join Million Minutes’ Team member Kate Eastmond for this workshop.

  • St Vincent de Paul Soceity’s Young Vincentians

The St. Vincent de Paul Society is keen to involve young people through their Young Vincentian programmes. There are 4 different programmes and the purpose of the groups is to encourage faith sharing and social action within schools and parishes. The Society’s aim is to introduce our groups into as many parishes as possible. The programmes each have a dedicated member of staff at National Office responsible for them and provide resources and support. They are an excellent way to develop strong parish youth participation between First Holy Communion and Confirmation and also after Confirmation into Young Adulthood. We are looking for adults to be trained as Young Vincentian Development Officers, who support the promotion and development of our programmes in local areas in collaboration with volunteer leaders. For more information about our opportunities, please see https://www.svp.org.uk/involve-young-people

  • Christine Byrne – Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

How do young children pray? How can we share the Word of God with them in a way that they can hear? Catechists using CGS in over 60 countries have been discovering answers to these questions. Christine Byrne, who is employed by the Centre for Catholic Formation in the Archdiocese of Southwark to develop CGS for the diocese and to train adults in how to use this approach, will demonstrate how the method works and share her experience of using CGS with children since 2007. This workshop is ideal for First Holy Communion catechists looking for new ideas and inspiration. Visit www.ccftootingbec.org.uk/cgs



  • A dedicated workshop for young catechists (16-19 years old) with Joe Beattie, Beth Warren and Harry Rawcliffe, the Walsingham House staff team.

Joe, Beth and Harry have years of experience as young leaders themselves, and in training young leaders. In a workshop which will span both workshop sessions (1:10pm – 3:10pm) they will use roleplay, scenarios and interactive techniques to help young catechists deepen their skills and knowledge.


The day will finish with a closing prayer and will end by 3:30pm.


Important information for those attending;

We will welcome arrivals from 10am and should be finished no later than 3:30pm. There will be tea, coffee and light refreshments available, but please do bring your own lunch with you.

The location is Sacred Heart of Mary School, St Mary’s Lane, Upminster, Essex RM14 2QR. There will be parking available to the rear of the school. off Boundary Road.

Reaching the school by car
Junction 29 M25, A127 Upminster Junction

Reaching the school by Train
Upminster Bridge (District Line)
Upminster (District Line / C2C)