Listening and learning from the young.

The change from Summer- Autumn seems to have been more noticeable to me this year. I am not sure if this is because the changes have happened more sharply or simply because I have spent more time noticing this year. Either way, I have enjoyed being aware of the seasonal changes and have begun to get excited about the festivities of Christmas too. As some of you may have seen, Heather from See & Know and I are organising Kirkby Lonsdale Living Advent Calendar. People sign up to create a window display based around a Carol of their choice. During December, every evening a window display will be unveiled at 6pm somewhere around Kirkby Lonsdale.  We are producing a map detailing all the windows that are taking part in this calendar so that people can go and see them. Thanks to all those who are already taking part. If you would like to participate too do email me on

St. Patrick’s Youth Group have enjoyed various activities on zoom including baking bread, making oat-based cookies, tie-dying t shirts and lots of games. The young people have impressed me with their dedication to this group, appearing eagerly on zoom to join in with the latest activity. Their positivity and energy are infectious, blowing away any feelings of zoom fatigue some of the leaders may have as soon as the sessions begin.

Increasingly these and other young people’s prayers have been filled with concern for the sick or for the world and the climate crisis we are facing. Their prioritization of what they deem matters is good to listen to as an adult. Many young people cannot understand why more is not being done to prevent the climate emergency or to help those who are so sick. Their lack of need or desire to know the financial side of these issues could be seen as naïve. However, I wonder if this may give them a clearer insight into what our priorities should be.  Often our view is clouded when we realise life is more complicated because everything has to be financed. Yet, I have been reflecting that their prayers and eagerness for change to happen, for us all to do our bit, whether that be preventing the spread of Covid or campaigning for the climate crisis to be taken seriously, shows wisdom not naivety. Their generation, Generation Z, seems to be a generation that cares for the community and the world first and foremost. That is what matters to them. The means to do that financially will be something I believe they will work out because their depth of care is such a core part of this generation. It has brought me a lot of hope during these odd times to realise our future cannot be as bleak with these young people in it. 

Some of the biscuits St. Patrick’s Youth Group have baked.

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