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Second Week of Advent 2018

Advent2 2018


Spiritual Gifts and Practical Gifts - Phoenix Summer Camps


In the second week of Advent, we hear from two of the staff from schools who bring children to our Phoenix Summer Camps, about the benefits the see for their students and schools. The camps give an active, faith-based holiday to young people who need a break they may not otherwise get. Each year, several secondary schools bring ten Year 7 students each, along with two members of staff, to Base Camp at Savio House, our Youth Retreat Centre in Bollington. They have lots of fun indoors and out, make new friends, learn more about cooperation, support each other and share prayer together - all in true in Salesian style. The camps are planned and led by the Salesian Youth Ministry team with support from additional volunteers, and each week-long camp offers a wide range of activities, including trips out to Stockport swimming pool and Blackpool Pleasure Beach. 



Bernie, from Sheffiled, said, “I continue to return to the Phoenix Camp as, after my first camp, I could see how students from our school had grown in confidence and, probably for the first time, were proud to be who they were. The Phoenix camp can also offer opportunities that are not available anywhere else for a number of vulnerable students, like canoeing, archery, or a day trip to Blackpool.

While there are many fruitful effects of taking our students to Phoenix, the thing that always stands out for me is how 30 students from 3 schools (with very different backgrounds) come together, and by the end of the week they could all be from the same school.

Going to Phoenix allows students who sometimes feel isolated to form positive relationships with others from our school and these are often taken back into the next academic year.

It benefits our school as it allows us to have a further connection with vulnerable students over the 6 week holiday. It can re-engage students with school, and it can allow parents to see school as a positive experience for their child, thus increasing parental contact with school in the next academic year. Our school can see that attendance has improved for those students involved. It complements the PSHE and pastoral programmes of school.



And finally, once a student has experienced a Phoenix Camp at Savio, they are given the opportunity throughout the remainder of their schooling with us to attend the retreats that are available and then get involved further with the RISE Young Leaders programme and other Salesian initiatives for young people."


Patricia, from Stockport, added: "The activities are simple, and allow them to be children. Going to a Phoenix Camp shows how we can live our faith and love our world through the activities and reflection times. The fact that teachers go to camp with the children is important, as it really helps build relationships between school staff and children."


Sue McDonald and the Youth Ministry team are keen to hear from more schools who would like to be part of the Phoenix Camps. If you’d like to bring a group from your school, or would like to become a volunteer for next year’s camps, please contact Sue


We believe as many young people as possible should be able to benefit from the Phoenix experience, regardless of ability to afford it, so Salesian Youth Ministry bears all of the costs apart from the accommodation charges for Savio House.


With your help, we can maintain and grow this valuable project. Please pray for the success of the work, and if you are able to make a donation to help more children have a great Salesian holiday, we would be very grateful.


Please send a cheque payable to SDB Trustees Ltd: Youth Work, to Sue McDonald, Salesian Youth Ministry, Savio House, Ingersley Rd, Bollington, Macclesfield SK10 5RW, or contact Sue to discuss other ways to donate.


Thank you!





Luke 3:1-6

The call of John the Baptist

In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar's reign, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the lands of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrach of Abilene, during the pontificate of Annas and Caiaphas the word of God came to John son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He went through the whole Jordan district proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the sayings of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice cries in the wilderness:
Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley will be filled in,
every mountain and hill be laid low,
winding ways will be straightened
and rough roads made smooth.
And all mankind shall see the salvation of God.



As streets fill with shoppers
Bright lights and tempting offers
Christmas songs and children’s laughter
You lead us along a different path
To a desert river and a Prophetic voice
A call to repentance
A call to service
A call to immerse ourselves
In living water that will never run dry
A call to prepare a way in our own lives
For the Saviour of the world to enter in
To know the touch of tender mercy
And rest in your forgiving love

For your faithful prophets
And your Living Word
We give you thanks. Amen

John Birch
Faith and Worship Prayers



Last modified on Friday, 07 December 2018 23:53


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