“He ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.” (MATTHEW 14:19)
When Jesus gets the people to sit down on the grass, he takes the small amount of food that has been presented to him and, after giving thanks, he tells his disciples to distribute them to the thousands who have followed him. There is more than enough for everyone.
Each community and each person has something to offer although it can be all too easy to take things for granted, overlook the significance of what we have or what can be done with them. So, here at St Mary’s and in the emerging South Cardiff Ministry Area, we want to share some of what we have with… well, you!
We’ll be sharing all kinds of resources and materials here, some of which may be of use to you, wherever you are. We’re beginning with our first edition of our DAY BY DAY publication for August 2021.
We’re looking forward to sharing school and children’s resources, ideas for Christian nurture and catechesis, prayer and worship resources, and lots more!
RESOURCES FOR WEEKDAYS
Day by day at St Mary’s Church in Butetown, Cardiff, we celebrate the Holy Eucharist. It’s at the heart of our life together. Valuing both Word and Sacrament, each day we reflect on Holy Scripture, respond in prayer, and break bread together for the sake of the church, the world and all whom we bear upon our hearts as we respond to Christ’s command to ‘Do this in memory of me.’
The material in this DAY BY DAY publication offers resources for churches to use in their Eucharistic celebrations on Weekdays, although it may also be of use to others who are not able to be present at the altar each day, which means that these resources can still provide some structure and rhythm for a pattern of daily prayer and the reading of Holy Scripture wherever you are.
For each day, you’ll find
- Introductory reflection on the particular theme of the day’s Eucharist
- Bible References for the Liturgy of the Word
- Short Homily
- Prayer of the Faithful (Intercessions)
The Intercessions, of course, are offered only as a model and, as ever, local and current concerns should be woven into our prayers. We hope you find this resource useful, and please feel free to share with others, and reproduce it to fit your own purposes (although it would be good to have some kind of attribution if using it in print or social media) This is just one of many resources we’re sharing with the wider church, and we’d love to hear from you if you find any of our resources helpful.
DAY BY DAY DOWNLOADS
CHILDREN & THE SUNDAY WORD
Our Sunday Mass is a joyful occasion with people from across the generations.
As we prepare to re-launch our Children’s Liturgy of the Word during Mass – after the disruptions of the last 18 months – we’re pleased to share our newest resource!
At the beginning of Mass, after the Greeting, children of Primary School age are invited to participate in their own Liturgy of the Word in a separate place. This isn’t a removing of the children from the gathered people, but a means through which the children can be nurtured in the Christian Faith in a way that is meaningful for them, and the theme of their time together is determined by the gospel of the day.
These resource provide a simple structure for each Sunday of the year which we are delighted to make available with other parishes. There are, of course, so many resources available for Sunday Celebrations with children, and we have benefitted so much from them, and these resources can still be used alongside any that we offer.
We hope these resources prove useful to you in your Ministry among children, and we are working to release many other resources in the near future!
SUNDAY WORD DOWNLOADS
BETWEEN THE LINES
Between the Lines is a creative collection of Reflections and Meditations from Scripture. Some of them are written in conversational, dramatic form and others are more reflective and poetic.
All can be used for both private devotion and corporate worship. Many of them were written for gatherings of young people but are suitable for older generations too.
Sometimes when reading Scripture we can often forget the human side of things and our reading of it can be very two dimensional. This book is not, of course, a theological exposition or a Biblical Commentary. However, we hope that these Meditations will help you to get into the Bible and enable the Word of God to be alive and active!
These resources, drawn from youth ministry in the Diocese of Llandaff, are being made available through St Mary’s Church.
BETWEEN THE LINES DOWNLOAD
A to Z of Assembly Ideas
With 26 School Assembly ideas, one for every letter of the Alphabet, that’s two thirds of the School year covered!
From Advent to Zombies, we offer a variety of outlines which can be adapted to almost any age!
Whilst some of the ideas suggest visual aids, they’re usually things you can find lying around the house somewhere!
A TO Z DOWNLOAD
FOOD FOR THE JOURNEY
Our most recent resource shares Forty-Five Masses for Primary School Children
From seasons and saints to values and challenges, our liturgical material for celebrating the Eucharist involves children, and provides inspiration for you to design your own celebrations.
It comes with thanks to the schools, children and staff, who have helped to form them over the years, and is dedicated in particular to St Mary the Virgin Primary School.
As we approach the season when churches focus on God’s Creation and celebrate the Harvest, we’re offering resources for use with all ages, beginning with a series for those who work with children, young people and in schools
We hope these resources from our WILD SIDE will be of use to you in helping all to value God’s Creation and tackle some of the real issues facing our world,.
The first resource begins with a creative and dramatic retelling of the Creation story in the Book of Genesis, followed by reflections, prayer, and a call to action. Have fun!
(Full download below!)
This collection of dramas has been drawn from Youth Ministry within a Diocesan, Deanery and Parish environment.
Like any resource which can easily become dated or not be transferred easily from one situation to another, feel free to adapt, edit, rewrite them according to your circumstances, particularly in terms of cultural references!
These dramas can be used within a youth group setting to provoke discussion – and indeed, some of these were written simply to do that – to introduce a theme which was further explored either in group activity or to form the basis for the theme of a public act of worship or a homily or address. They can be performed as part of public worship for which many of these dramas were originally written, both Eucharistic and no-Eucharistic. None of them were written by experts in drama (you may be able to tell!) and neither were they performed by actors – just young people, clergy, youth leaders and other who were willing to put themselves out there, and make a fool of themselves!
HIGHLY SEASONED DOWNLOAD
In need of colour!
Our prayer book for children really is in need of some colour! This little prayer book is designed so that children can make it their own by drawing and doodling, writing and colouring.
A PDF download is available in two formats – A4 landscape with facing pages to be printed back to back, or in A5. Links can be found after the gallery!
ON THE WAY
These resources were initially created quite a few years ago, an ambitious project that created online resources for catechists and young people preparing for Confirmation.
The original idea provided session outlines to be led in-person by catechists which could then be followed up by young people at home by visiting the website where they’d find lots of additional resources. However, that resource eventually became unavailable and we have revisited all of this material, updated it a little, and are re-producing it in several publications.
The material, whilst originally designed as a Confirmation course, can be used and adapted for use at any time, and whilst there is a progression through the sessions, each session can also be used as a stand-alone activity.
We’ll be extending our range of our ON THE WAY materials over the next few weeks!
DOWNLOAD ON THE WAY
CAIRNS FOR THE WAY
Cairns, of course, are piles or stacks of stones which have been used for a variety of purposes, from prehistoric times to the present. Their uses have included burial monuments, landmarks, ceremonial rites, to locate buried items, and to mark trails. It is the latter use to which the title of the resource refers.
This resource was written to accompany the Christian Nurture Course, ‘On the Way – the journey of a lifetime’ to provide a closing time of prayer for each of the sessions, and gathering together some of the themes explored.
They are stopping points and guides along the way, as young people progress along the Christian Way – perhaps in preparation for Baptism and/or confirmation.
However, the usefulness of these resources goes beyond these sessions, and they can be used as stand alone ideas for gatherings of young people – and not so young – to be creative with prayer time.
These Prayer and Liturgical ideas could also be used within a school setting, perhaps for Class/Form Prayer Time, or even adapted as ideas for School Assemblies.
DOWNLOAD CAIRNS FOR THE WAY
GET A WAY!
Organise your own day of discovery with children and young people with our GET A WAY’ Activity Pack which has grown from other materials in our OWN THE WAY range. This particular resource is particularly appropriate for 11 – 12 years + but can be easily adapted.
Here you’ll find a suggested structure for a whole day or just a morning or afternoon, with a number of short activities. Alternatively, each activity could be used simply as a youth group session, or simply provide a template for your own ideas!
DOWNLOAD GET A WAY
WHAT WOULD GOD SAY?
The prayers presented in this publication are an imagined dialogue, bringing to God the assumed and imagined needs and experiences of young people, and imagining what he may say in return – in a way that can be perceived by whatever young people are there listening to you speak.
This is a relatively short publication because the resources inside are meant as models and examples of prayer with young people to inspire you to create your own.
We know that prayer is about being attentive to God discovering his will, being in his presence, so that all of our life becomes prayer, aiming to be able to ‘pray constantly as St Paul teaches us. And so prayer is a dialogue – yes, it is speaking to God, being with God but it is also about listening to God.
Why not have a go of creating your own– and get involved in the dialogue between young people and God, and imagine what they may say to God, and what God may say to them!
With apologies for any cultural references that have slipped through editing and which may be out of date now! Just substitute with more relevant references. You can do it!!
DOWNLOAD WHAT WOULD GOD SAY?
AT FACE VALUE
From love and forgiveness to happiness and friendship, from perseverance to patience, here’s a second volume of School Assemblies, with each outline exploring a particular Value.
They can be adapted for use with children and young people across the Key Stages and, like all resources, they can be simply adapted to your own circumstances, individual gifts and ideas.
We’ve pulled out these resources from our archives and, when necessary, have tried to change some of the cultural references which may be outdated but hopefully you’ll forgive us if a few have slipped through the net, and be able to replace them with your own more current observations!
DOWNLOAD AT FACE VALUE
AS THE CROW FLIES
This little publication features a few reflections, prayers and meditations created for various celebrations of the Eucharist with young people.
They are offered as models. Ideas. Feel free to use them as they are or perhaps be inspired to create your own, and to encourage young people to be creative too!
Perhaps, at times, all we need is simply permission to be creative, and to believe that we can be creative.
After all, God is creative. When we are creative we reflect God’s life in us.
DOWNLOAD AS THE CROW FLIES
MY STATIONS OF THE CROSS
These Stations of the Cross, written for young people ,explore some of the issues which some people may experience.
Jesus said, ‘Whoever wants to follow me must take up his cross.’ He never promised us that life would be easy. In fact he often tells us how difficult life can and will be. So, the Stations of the Cross help us to look at our own lives, especially in the light of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Using the Stations of the Cross helps us to experience Jesus in our own lives, and to realise that his suffering and death is experienced in the circumstances of our life and the lives of those around us, as well as 2000 years ago.
DOWNLOAD MY STATIONS
These ideas and outlines are designed for Class Prayer time in Primary Schools during the Autumn Season.
With ideas for visual aids and words of reflection and imagination, we hope these resources will inspire you to create your own times of imaginative prayer with children.
DOWNLOAD AUTUMN DAYS
TREAD SOFTLY, ACT BOLDLY
The environmental crisis caused by and now facing humanity is real. For many children and young people the facts before us can cause fear and even anger but it also fills them with enthusiasm and passion to act now to save the world.
These School Assemblies are provided can be used and adapted across the Key Stages, and are appropriate of course for homily outlines with all ages. They acknowledge the feelings of fear but also reinforce the hope that comes from action and that it’s not too late – and that all of us have a responsibility, individuals and governments alike.
Here, at St Mary’s – like so many other churches across the UK and the world, we are beginning to more seriously act for the save of the beautiful world God has created and of which we are a part.
We have a deep responsibility to act as Stewards of God’s Creation and we hope these Assembly outlines will reinforce the need to tread softly and act boldly.
DOWNLOAD TREAD SOFTLY
THE TEACHER, THE PRIEST, THE PUPIL AND THE SCHOOL ASSEMBLY
Perhaps Charlie Mackesy’s book, “The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse” has been a Godsend for teachers, particularly during the most difficult months of the COVID Pandemic.
His book provides a beautiful commentary on life, and the combination of his drawings and poetic narrative has provided encouraging and well-loved sayings not only for children but for people of all ages, and many people have taken both comfort and inspiration from his work.
These School Assemblies pick out some random texts from his beautiful book as a starter for further reflection with children and young people about the Christian life.
Hopefully, the outlines provided here will stir you to create your own talks, and provide a model for exploring life with the children in your care.