This month the Youth Ministry Team provide updates on the ‘Wait-A-Minute, it’s LENT’ reflections, feedback on the Youth Conference, News from the JPII Awards Ceremony and announce the Significance Weekend Festival 2024 details. Internship applications are still open to work at the Emmaus Village and it also tells us about self catering stays at the youth village.

Online Reflections: ‘Wait-A-Minute, it’s LENT’

We would like to thank all our contributors for the Wait-A-Minute, It’s Lent 2024. We thank you for making our Lenten reflections more meaningful. We want to thank students and staff of our participating schools:

St Bede’s Catholic School and Sixth Form College
St Patrick’s Primary School, Consett
Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Catholic Primary School, Esh Winning
St John’s Catholic School & Sixth Form College
St Cuthberts Catholic High School
St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School, Prudhoe
St Thomas More Catholic School, Blaydon
St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy/St Aidan’s Catholic Academy, Sunderland
St Joseph’s Catholic School, Ushaw Moor
St Robert of Newminster Catholic School and Sixth Form College, Washington
Cardinal Hume Catholic School, Gateshead
St Joseph’s Catholic Academy, Hebburn
Our Lady & St Bede Catholic Academy, Stockton
St Marys Catholic School, Newcastle
Carmel College

Special thanks to our some of our independent contributors too:

Bishop Stephen Wright
Carmel College
Discalced Carmelite Order: Fr Jerome Ituah
Fr John Bagnall
Frances Njovana
Capuchin Franciscan Brother: Br John
Durham Catholic Society: Hannah Bartlett
Order of Carmelites: Fr Ged Walsh

Revisit the reflections here: Wait a Minute Lent 2024 Playlist.

Youth Ministry Conference Feedback and Update:

The conference held on Saturday 3 February 2024 at Cardinal Hume School was a success. Over 100 people across the Diocese and beyond attended the day; however, our aim for the next one is to increase numbers and reach. It was great to work in partnership with different Diocesan departments, parishes, and youth ministers across the country. Feedback has been great, and the line-up of speakers and workshops was well received too.

Click here to read the feedback.

John Paul II Awards Ceremony:

About 95 students from different Roman Catholic Secondary Schools in our Diocese were awarded the John Paul II Award. Our John Paul II Coordinators, Tony Joy, and Mary Hughes with the help of the school’s award leader who has worked hard every year to help young people achieve their gold, silver or papal cross award.

The award ceremony was held in the Hilton Gateshead on Sunday 3 March at 3.00pm. Bishop Stephen, as our Keynote speaker, attended the ceremony giving thanks to all and encouragement to all awardees.

YMT believes in the JPII Award Scheme’s commitment to helping young people enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional, and social development through participation in school, parish and community activities. As well as the feeling of personal achievement that a participant will gain from taking part in the Award, participation will help demonstrate the young person’s commitment to a task and goal.

To learn more about the award please check their website:

Click here to see some more photos of the evening.

Significance Festival Weekend – 29 June 2024:

We look forward to welcoming you to the Significance Festival Weekend this June, in particular for the main event on Saturday 29 June, from 10.00am onwards. There will be a fayre of stalls and activities, sessions for children and young people, guest speakers and live music, spread across the Emmaus Youth Village, which will be open for you to enjoy in the beautiful Derwent Valley! We welcome everyone to gather for Mass for the Feast of St Peter and Paul at 3.15pm, with Bishop Stephen Wright, followed by a BBQ and Ceilidh in the evening.

Individuals, families, and parish groups are all welcome. For additional details and to book, please email Nicole at: Single or shared accommodation and camping areas are available to book (all self-catered), for Friday and Saturday nights. Tickets for the Saturday evening BBQ are £10 each.

Entry on Saturday for the speakers, fayre, Mass, and ceilidh is FREE (additional charges apply for accommodation, camping and the BBQ), but we hope this day will be welcoming, fun and affordable for all the family and individuals of all ages! Whether you’ve been to the Youth Village 100’s of times or never been before, you are welcome!

All proceeds and any donations will support Significance – The Fr Dermott Donnelly Foundation – which supports opportunities for young people in the Northeast of England. For more information about the Significance, please email:

Please click the link if you want to express your interest in going:

Applications are still open for Internship Opportunities:

The Youth Ministry Team (YMT) gathers young adults (18 – 30) from all over the world, from August to July, to live a community lifestyle and work as part of a team. Our Youth Ministry Interns will receive training, ongoing formation and support. At the same time, they embark on planning and carrying out school outreach, retreats and activities for the young people of the Diocese and beyond. Since we started in 1994, we have had members from all over the world, such as the USA, Philippines, Australia, and Cameroon, to name a few.

These young adults must be willing to grow in their relationship with God, learn more about their faith and help other young people on their faith journey whilst learning professional skills. We are constantly amazed and uplifted when young people of all ages respond and receive a new vision and insight into themselves and the God who loves them.

The team’s work is essential to YMT and is a life-changing experience both for them and those to whom they minister. If you or anyone you know is interested in joining our Youth Ministry Internship or wanting to learn more about the programme, please email: You can check this link for more information.

Staycation at the Emmaus Village:

If you are looking for a staycation in the Derwent Valley, whilst supporting the work that YMT do for the young people of the Diocese, the Emmaus Village is the place for you.

The Emmaus Village, owned by the Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and managed by the Youth Ministry Trust Charity, is situated 15 miles from the centre of Durham and Newcastle. The centre offers 5 purpose-built lodges with 11 ensuite rooms, including accessible facilities for up to 90 people in single, twin, and triple occupancy. Each lodge, has its own spacious lounge, fully equipped kitchenette with an option for self-catering, and 65” Smart Television. Families can enjoy a lodge of their own!

Our Auditorium has full AV and IT facilities ideal for group presentations. The dining area offers a restaurant seating up to 90. This unique venue provides vast outdoor space with a community area and fire pit and is ideal for group and team building, conferences, family gatherings or community support.

For more information and booking rates please email: or click on our website link. Please click this link to download the Emmaus Village brochure.