Catholic Society parishes in action


George’s Kitchen

St George the Martyr, Preston

Preston is a vibrant city, there is a great deal of redevelopment happening but this can hide some of the stark realities of daily life. St George’s is located right in the centre of the city and increasingly we have found ourselves looking at how we can respond to some of the acute needs that we see all around us.

Last year, a small team began to go out onto the streets once a month to offer a warm drink and a snack to the many rough sleepers in the parish. This ministry  entirely lay led has now grown to a weekly offering on a Saturday evening. For a couple of hours, we open our doors and offer a warm space and a home cooked meal to all. No one is turned away. Growing numbers of people now regularly come to George’s Kitchen and we’re able to feed and clothe those most in need. 

The simple act of using a person’s name, inviting them into church and spending time getting to know them has truly been a blessing to all involved seeing Christ in the other, and being Christ to the other. It’s such a privilege to be part of a worshipping community that is so keen to serve and make a difference to the least and the lost.

Fr David Craven SSC


God’s Pilgrim Servants

Most Holy Trinity Church, Blackley, Manchester

Following the Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage last year, some of our young pilgrims were keen to carry on in the spiritual vein they had discovered. Thankfully attracting children and young people at Sunday Mass is not an issue for us as we are blessed with a strong number of families and young people, we have lots of excellent Altar Servers too. The one thing that was missing was really the catechesis that yes, comes at Confirmation preparation but having experienced daily Bible Study and the other attractions on offer at the Youth Pilgrimage was something the young people were keen to carry on as a group.

After praying, thinking and asking our young people and families it was decided we would meet on a Saturday morning and create a group that would have a time of prayer, of bible study, of activities and doughnuts. Lots and lots of doughnuts!

I am pleased to say this this group, known as God’s Pilgrim Servants (GPS) is flourishing and has attracted children of all ages and teenagers too. It’s a safe space to explore our faith and to grow and learn and through its diversity we are all growing together as God’s Pilgrim Servants. We aim to be at the Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage again this year as a highlight of our activities. 

Fr Paul Hutchins SSC


Columba’s Crew

St Columba’s, Anfield, Liverpool

Average in-person attendance at church services has dropped…but this is largely due to people attending less regularly…almost 60% of church leaders have perceived a decrease in volunteering and 24% of churches who offered youth ministry before the Covid-19 Pandemic are not currently offering youth ministry.

These words come from a recent report commissioned by the Evangelical Alliance (Changing Church, 2021), and accurately describe, according to our North West Mission Group, the reality on the ground for most of our parishes.

We have attempted to combat these problems by facing them head on. We have new volunteers and a new youth ministry programme including Columba’s Crew our Sunday School and our new Family Mass which meets twice per month. These initiatives have accessible teaching at their heart as well as the eucharistic life has not only succeeded in attracting back lapsed families, but has attracted new people into the worshipping life of the Church. There is a long way to go, with much work to be done, but we meeting these challenges with resolve, that whilst some of our efforts may fall on stony ground (even with those who had been embedded into the life of the Church), growth will come if we sow the seed of faith. 

Fr Daniel Howard SSC