Our Lady Star of the Sea

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


Brand New, Thursday Youth Mass   which will take place on the first THURSDAY of the month at Brentwood Cathedral. 

The evening will start at 6pm with workshops, speakers, reconciliation and more, which will differ each month as well as welcoming different priests to preach!  AND we will of course provide food and drink, as we know many will be coming straight from work or school.  Brentwood Cathedral is just a short walk from Brentwood train station, or there is ample parking in the Cathedral car park if you are able to drive.  We always welcome new people, old friends, school and confirmation groups so please do come along! (Please do let me know if you intend to bring a group, so I can ensure there is ample catering!)  https://bcys.net/events/september-youth-mass/  The First Youth Mass for this year will be on THURSDAY 2nd September, and will simply begin with a celebration in the Parish Hall, as we are finally able to celebrate Youth Masses together again.  So please do join us from 6pm and for Youth Mass at 7:30pm. The following months will include a workshop from One Hope Project in October, a chance for quiet remembrance in November and an Advent Reconciliation service in December.


Autumn Youth Gather is BACK, but with a slight difference….  This year we will invite all young people from school year 9 and above to join us at Walsingham House at Abbotswick for a one day event on Saturday 23rd October!  Not only will be setting up some of your favourite outdoor activities and inflatables in our very own grounds but we will be welcoming 2 fantastic speakers as well!  The incredible John Pridmore will speak about his conversion from a life of organised crime in the East End of London, to teach us that we are all capable of changing our futures.  Leila Bousbaa is a former Walsingham House volunteer and “BCYS-er”, who will inspire and educate us on the Catholic response to climate change.  We are asking just £20 for the day and you can book online NOW at

https://bcys.net/events/youth-gather-2021/  (If you are a catechist, chaplain or youth leader and would like to bring a group please email me directly!)


Catechist Training and Resources Day – Save the date!

Will once again take place at Sacred Heart of Mary school in Upminster, on Saturday 6th November 2021 so save the date now!!!  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.  As always, there will be keynote speakers and updates from the BCYS in the morning, with a variety of inspiring and exciting workshops for you to choose from in the afternoon.  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. https://bcys.net/events/catechist-training-day-2021/





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  • Tilbury
  • Essex
  • RM18 7BT

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