FOR THE FIRST time ever, Youth Sunday in England and Wales will be a joint initiative of three of Britain's largest denominations Catholics, Anglicans and Methodists.
The Feast of Christ the King, 21 November, sees the return of the annual event, which aims to encourage young Christians to take a more prominent role in parish and local church life and celebrate their existing contribution.
Al] three Churches have contributed to resource material being distributed to schools and parishes and there will be joint celebrations. Last year, the Catholic and Church of England Youth Services shared responsibility for the event, but this year the Methodist Association of Youth Clubs has joined in.
Parishes throughout the country will participate in the day, which is taking as its theme: "You are the branches", recalling the fact that "both as individuals and as a parish we are the Church, the community of Christ". Individual parishes will reappraise their role and assess whether the parish is responding fully to community needs. Organisers hope that this year's activities and events will have a particularly cross-generational value.
Reg Harrow, of Catholic Youth Services, said organisers were seizing on 1993 as the European Year of Old People as an opportunity to promote a mutuality of listening and learning between generations.
The Feast of Christ the King was set aside for Youth Sunday by the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales some six years ago, and followed on from the Pope's announcement of World Youth Day.