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BCYS news


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Brentwood Catholic Youth Service

We are very pleased to share with you news about some staff changes and professional development of the staff Team at Walsingham House at Abbotswick. 


In the summer Harry Rawcliffe, one of our Assistant Managers, will be leaving after two years – and travelling to New York, where he will serve for as an intern with the Diplomatic Mission to the Holy See at the United Nations in New York..  He has been a wonderful asset to the Team and Community. His experience, knowledge, good humour and faith have been a much needed presence during the uncertainty of the pandemic. 


This week, we have appointed Rachel Kwasnica as Assistant Manager. Rachel is originally from Leigh-on-Sea and part of the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.  She is part of a large American-Polish family and has 5 brothers.  She has completed two years at Walsingham House as a volunteer, as well assisting with the BCYS Summer Pilgrimage to Lourdes and other events.  During the Pandemic she has completed her Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS) and has developed her understanding of Youth Ministry through the reading of Christus Vivit.  These academic studies, together with her warm and engaging personality and natural gifts in Youth Ministry, make her a wonderful addition to the staff team at the House. In the future Rachel is hoping to pursue a career in teaching.


Rachel will be working alongside Georgia Sayer, who also serves as an Assistant Manager, and Joe Beattie, Retreats and Hospitality Manager. During this year Joe, Harry and Georgia have also completed the CCRS 


Georgia will remain with us for this coming year.  She will be starting the first year of a BA (Hons) degree in Theology at St Mary’s Twickenham, and from September 2022 will be a full time student there. 


The professional development of our staff has long been a hallmark of the Youth Ministry within Brentwood Diocese; many former volunteers and staff members now serve as school lay chaplains, RE teachers and department heads, and those serving as clergy will soon be joined by Rev Michael Barwick, who was a volunteer, then Assistant Manager, then Manager at Walsingham House, over a period of seven years, prior to entering seminary. Others serve as nurses, doctors, in the police force, and in youth services across the country.


After so many months of difficult news we hope this email lifts your spirits, and we look forward to welcoming many school and parish groups to Walsingham House in the months ahead. 


Please keep our staff team and volunteers at Walsingham House in your prayers, just as we pray for you.


Claire Bailey and Joseph Beattie



Claire Bailey

Director of Youth Ministry, Diocese of Brentwood

From Monday 26th - Friday 30th July, BCYS will be celebrating a Lourdes Mass each morning in a Parish near you, so that we can all experience the joy of our annual pilgrimage despite not being able to travel to France this summer.

You are invited to join us for Mass at 11.00 a.m., with Anointing of the Sick, joyful music from our talented young musicians and a chance to catch up over a cup of coffee and refreshments in the parish hall afterwards.

For those still unable to travel, you will also be able to watch these Masses at home each evening from 5.00 p.m. and BCYS will continue to bring you virtual content each day including a Daily Rosary at 10.00 a.m., Torchlight Procession and Talent Show, all of which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own homes.

Cycling for charity (“Pedalling through the Pandemic”). Fr Dominic Howarth, a priest of the Diocese, has been cycling for many months, heading towards 5,000km – and he now has just 500km to go. He is raising money for the Brentwood Catholic Children’s Society, Walsingham House, HCPT Easter Lourdes Group 709, and Help Refugees. Find out more and sponsor him online viahttps://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/frdominic5000at50, or phone 01708740308 or email frdominic@dioceseofbrentwood.org if you want to donate via cheque or cash. Thank you for any support you can give.“Lourdes at Your Local”


From Monday 26th - Friday 30th July, the Brentwood Catholic Youth Service will be hosting "Lourdes at your Local" for Summer 2021. There will be a Mass celebrated each morning at 11.00 a.m., with Anointing of the Sick and joyful music, followed by a cup of coffee and refreshments in the parish hall afterwards. These will then be streamed online each evening, and there will also be a Daily Rosary, Torchlight Procession and Talent Show available to take part in virtually during the week. The Masses will take place in Leigh-on-Sea, Clacton-on-Sea, Canning Town, Wanstead and Brentwood to which you are warmly invited to join us. Further details and a full itinerary are available on our website www.bcys.net/events

If any young adults currently in school Year 13 or above (approx. age 18-28) wish to attend, we will also be hosting “Lourdes on the Lawn” from 12 Noon – 4.00 p.m. on Saturday 31st July where we will celebrate Mass together with Bishop Alan, and invite those attending to bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds of Walsingham House at Abbotswick.

Although BCYS are not entirely certain what the COVID restrictions (if any!) will look like by July, we remain optimistic that these Masses will be able to take place and we are very much looking forward to welcoming you all back to celebrate with us.

If there are any changes, we will aim to keep you updated on our website www.bcys.net/events


“Lourdes at your Local” Talent Show!


Do you think you could be worthy of Simon Cowell’s golden buzzer?! We are looking for acts to share as part of our “Lourdes at your Local” Talent Show this Summer, which will be streamed online on Friday 30th July.

Whether it’s singing, dancing, magic, comedy or anything in-between, if you have a talent to share with the diocese please emailgabriellafusi@dioceseofbrentwood.org and be prepared to send a video recording no later than Friday 2nd July.

For more information on “Lourdes at Your Local” this Summer, please visit www.bcys.net/events


 More information

Monthly Youth Mass – 7th July. This will hopefully be our last virtual Youth Mass and will be preparation for our Lourdes at your Local week. Providing restrictions allow we will resume in person Youth Mass at Brentwood Cathedral from September, now on the first Thursday of the month (more details to follow).

Youth Gather – 23rd October. One day Youth Gather at Walsingham House at Abbotswick.  There will be input from John Pridmore and Leila Bousbaa.  This event will be for Year 9 and above.

Catechists Training and Resource Day – 6th November. Being held at Sacred Heart of Mary School, the day will be an opportunity for Catechists to come together and receive input from different organisations including Caritas Brentwood and the BCYS.

For more information on all of our events please see www.bcys.net






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