- Want to learn more about your Catholic faith?
- Want to journey with other youth people from all over the country?
- Intentionally seek a deeper relationship with Jesus?
- Grow in your prayer life?
...then theASCENT is for YOU!
theASCENT gathers young people aged 14-18 from all over the country to learn and pray together, and to be equipped to go and impact the Church where you live. We'd love to welcome you!
WHAT YOU'LL FIND...
#1 A family of like-minded young people. You'll have the opportunity to journey together over three years: building deep and lasting friendships which inspire and support you in your faith.
#2 No pressure! Jesus invites you to come as you are, and so do we. theASCENT is a welcoming and encouraging environment where you can truly be yourself, and grow in your understanding of who God has created you to be.
#3 Great teaching. We bring together some of the most knowledgeable (we think!) minds in the UK Church today to share their wisdom with you through awesome talks and resources.
#4 People invested in YOU. Our team commit to sharing 3 years (or more) of their lives with you. They will pray for you, love you, listen to you, and guide you when needed, sharing their hearts with you openly.
#5 An encounter with Jesus Christ. Whatever your experience of prayer or worship has been so far, you're sure to meet with Jesus in a way you can engage with. We have opportunities to respond to Him through praise & worship, Eucharistic Adoration, personal prayer, and prayer ministry, among others, and we'll consistently support you with your own prayer life at home.
YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING...
What is PoD? Do I need to go every week?
PoDs (Pockets of Disciples) are small groups of 5-6 young people, along with 2 leaders, who journey together most closely over the 3 years. Typically there will be 2 PoDs per cohort. They meet online for one hour a week - 7.30-8.30pm on Mondays unless otherwise stated - to pray, share what's been going on that week, and study Scripture and various aspects of the Christian faith together. Although we understand things might crop up which mean you need to miss a session, we ask that you commit to attending as much as possible - at least 75% of sessions across the year - in order the move on to the next year. This is because PoD is a time where deep relationships are built and lots of personal growth happens as a group, so it's important for both you and the group that you are present for the majority of sessions so you don't miss out.
What is the purpose of mentoring?
In your first year, there will be a number of informal opportunities to try out mentoring at theASCENT weekends so you can familiarise yourself with what it involves. In 2nd and 3rd years, you'll be with an assigned mentor once per month for 20-30mins during what would be the usual PoD time. Mentoring is a chance to talk 1-1 with an experienced team member about your prayer life, your highlights and challenges, and any burning questions you're grappling with. It's also a chance to receive support and encouragement. Your mentor won't tell you what to do, but can give helpful tips and guidance along your journey with Jesus.
What content are we going to cover?
Over 3 years, we'll explore lots of aspects to being Catholic. These include the gifts of the Holy Spirit, Theology of the Body (living a lifestyle which respects ourselves and others, particularly in relationships), social justice, the Bible, sharing our faith with others, how to pray... and plenty more!
What things do I need to do theASCENT?
Practically, you'll need a Bible and a notebook for the weekend retreats and for your weekly PoD sessions. You'll also need to be starting Year 10-12 at the beginning of your first year on theASCENT. Finally, an open heart and a desire to know Jesus more.
What's the difference between the locations? How should I choose which to go to?
The simple answer is: if you're in the North, go to Wigton; if you're in the South, go to Brentwood; and if you're in Arundel & Brighton Diocese, go to Worth. If it's a little more complicated - for example you could travel to either Brentwood or Wigton - you might like to consider the communities theASCENT is based in. theASCENT always runs in partnership with a religious or lay community (Sion in Brentwood, Cor et Lumen Christi in Wigton, and the Benedictine monastery at Worth Abbey). This means it takes on a slightly different feel based on the ways those communities live and pray. It's a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in a different spirituality or type of prayer life, and to learn from that!