For school retreats at Walsingham House, for Confirmation retreats, and for residential retreats, we are waiting until mid October to make decisions for 2021. This will naturally take account of the Government, Church and Education advice, at the time, and as far as it can be foreseen. We will be in touch again to offer as many opportunities as we can for 2021. If you have information which will help us, about how things are working in your school or parish, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Walsingham House at Abbotswick – Team 20/21
The new Team move in on Sunday, and then have three weeks of training, formation and team building before beginning school retreats. Please keep them in your prayers. If Team members are from your school/parish, do take this moment to pray for them, and mention them in newsletters at the weekend. They offer tremendous witness and service, and they give themselves with tremendous energy and joy.
Joe Beattie is now in his third year as Retreats, Facilities and Hospitality Co-ordinator. Joe is from the Parish of Our Lady and All Saints, Basildon. On leaving school Joe served for a year as a volunteer on the Team, and then studied Law at Nottingham, where he graduated in 2017. He helped in the refurbishment and move to Abbotswick in 2017/18 as well as working for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and began his role at Walsingham House in September 2018. He is a wonderful animator of young people, and dedicated to Youth Ministry within the Diocese – he has also travelled many times to Lourdes, and attended World Youth Day in Poland. This year Joe will begin the CCRS with Brentwood Diocese.
Harry Rawcliffe is in his second year as Assistant Manager. In 2018 Harry graduated from New College, Oxford, with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, and then worked as a volunteer for a year at Casterigg Manor, the equivalent of Walsingham House in Lancaster Diocese (Harry is from Preston). Harry was appointed here in autumn 2019, and over the last year has become an invaluable part of the House; readily willing to pitch in to any task offered, and offering retreats full of joy and insight. Harry is currently completing the CCRS with Brentwood Diocese.
Georgia Sayer has served for two years as a volunteer, and now begins as Assistant Manager, alongside Harry. Georgia is from the parish of Holy Family, Benfleet, and attended St Bernard’s school, joining the team after completing her A-levels. Georgia has extensive work experience at David Lloyd leisure centre, and combines this with constantly finding fresh ways to explain and illuminate faith for young people. Last year Georgia travelled with The Romero Trust to El Salvador – a powerful experience “in the footsteps of St Oscar Romero.” This year, as well as developing retreat leadership, Georgia will begin studying for a degree in Youth Ministry and Chaplaincy via Maryvale College, Birmingham.
Rachel Kwasnica is from the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes, Leigh on Sea, and attended St Bernard’s school. After A-levels she joined the 2018/19 Walsingham House Team, and brought wonderful energy and joy to retreats. In September 2019 Rachel began a degree in Brighton, but her heart is very much in Youth Ministry and so this year she rejoins the team, alongside study for a degree in Youth Ministry and Chaplaincy via Maryvale College, Birmingham.
Lewis Dye is from the parish of St George and the English Martyrs, Shoeburyness, and has just completed A levels at St Thomas More High School, Southend. He is a keen athlete and runner.
Felishia Elvin is from the Cathedral Parish of St Helen, Brentwood, and has just completed A levels at Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School. Felishia is an immensely talented singer, helping to lead the girls’ choir at the Cathedral.
Raphael Parascandolo is from the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes, Leigh on Sea and has just completed A-levels at St Thomas More High School, Southend. His experiences in Lourdes have inspired him towards a career in medicine, and in autumn 2021 he will take up a place at medical school, to train as a Doctor.
Erin Walsh is from the parish of St Mary Mother of God, Hornchurch and has just completed A-levels at Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School. Erin will be part of the Cafod “Step into the Gap” programme during the year, to understand issues of global development; as international travel to areas where Cafod works is currently restricted, the year is likely to include a fortnight in Rome, working with local projects there, as well as building links with Caritas International.
As you can see, we are very blessed to have these young people volunteering and working within the Diocese – do keep them in your prayers. If there is anyone in your parish or school who may be interested in a place on the 2021/22 Team, do encourage them to email Joe during this term (email@example.com). Joe will also be able to help you with any questions about retreat bookings.
- 96 Dock Rd
- RM18 7BT