The high energy-and-enthusiasm level of the young people was matched by that of the animators, many of whom are alumni of our RISE young leaders' programme. On Friday , groups began to arrive with their sleeping bags at Reception, where they had a warm welcome from the animation team, and were shown to the classrooms which would be their base for the next 24 hours - including camping on the floors.
After dropping off their things, the sports hall and main hall were open for people to get warmed-up for the event, with animators leading games and dancing to get everyone ready to Make Some Noise – and they certainly did.
At 8pm, everyone gathered in the college chapel for the opening ceremony, where the lively atmosphere was stilled into a quieter time of prayer and worship music. An evening carousel of games, singing and dancing followed, led by the animators with support from the other SDB priests and brothers present, and the teachers and chaplains accompanying the groups. At the end of the evening, the atmosphere changed again, as everyone gathered for the procession of the Blessed Sacrament through the school grounds and into the chapel for a period of silent Adoration, and the Salesian Good Night.
From talking to the young people and staff the next morning, it seems not a great deal of sleep was had, but a full English breakfast in the school dining room set everyone up for the new day. This began with morning prayer in the chapel, and a big surprise: Don Fabio Attard SDB, Salesian Councillor for Youth Ministry, talking to us from Rome via live video link!
Don Fabio took a selfie with us
Another surprise followed when we all emerged from the chapel, to find that the playground had been transformed into a funfair. Animators managed the queues, encouraged the nervous, provided first aid and adjudicated competitions - and at the end of the day, most of them even managed to get the odd ride themselves. In fact, Fr both Chertsey chaplain, Fr Marco AND our Provincial, Fr Gerry, were snapped launching themselves from a dizzying height onto the stunt bag!
A leap of faith for our Provincial, Fr Gerry
As we were blessed with good weather, packed lunches were eaten picnic-style while everyone continued to enjoy the fun of the fair, and the activities culminated in a series of workshops, which included Taekwondo, basketball, papercraft, making ‘armpit fudge’ (much tastier than it sounds!) and Fr Jakub stunning everyone with his magic tricks.
Finally, the mood changed again as we entered the chapel for the closing Mass, presided over by our Provincial Fr Gerry. The ability of the young people to find stillness and quiet after noisy and boisterous activity was most impressive, though the Mass included plenty of opportunity for joyful singing to capture the celebratory mood.
Whenever I attend a Salesian Youth Ministry event, I am struck by the sheer professionalism and skill of the team members, from the newest to the most experienced. Their enthusiasm for the work they do is infectious, and their ability to maintain their energy and transmit their joy to other young people is wonderful to see. Our Province is truly blessed to have the gifts of Sue and her team available to us, and we are very grateful to them for their hard work. We would also like to thank Thornleigh Salesian College Headteacher Alison Burrows and her team for hosting the event again.
The Province subsidises Make Some Noise to make it accessible for all young people regardless of their ability to pay. We believe it is important for as many of them as possible to be able to interact with Salesians and experience the Salesian approach. We would be very grateful for your support - , whether that is in the form of prayers for the work, or of financial donations. If you would like to make a donation to help with the funding of future events, please send a cheque payable to "SDB Trustees: Youth Work" to Sue McDonald, at Salesian Youth Ministry, Savio House, Ingersley Road, Bollington, Cheshire SK10 5RW . If you are a UK taxpayer, making a Gift Aid declaration would increase your donation by 25p for every £1 you donate, at no cost to you! Download a form here (Form is specifically for donations to our youth work, and includes a standing order mandate which you do not need to complete unless you wish to make a regular donation).