This part of the Toolkit is intended to grow from the contributions of all those engaged in youth ministry in our Diocese. It aims to encourage volunteers to read, to explore and to share ideas. Please recommend helpful books, film clips, YouTube videos, music, activities, websites etc. Below are some of the resources that have helped and inspired others.


'Youth & Children's Work'

Produced by Premier Christian Communications, this is a magazinefor everyone involved in developing faith in youth and children’s ministry and well worth a subscription. In each monthly issue, there are ideas and resources to support work with young people and full-length feature articles give up-to-date news about developments in youth and children’s ministry and culture. The magazine includes ready to use games, craft activities, sessions based on movie clips and songs and ideas for parents to use at home.


‘Called to a Noble Adventure A Vision for Catholic Youth Ministry in England and Wales’

In 2012, the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales produced this document outlining four goals for our youth ministry and suggesting a variety of pathways. The document describes youth ministry as ‘an adventure for the whole community’.
Published by CYMFed (Catholic Youth Ministry Federation of England and Wales) 2013

Available to purchase from the Youth Ministry Trust

The Way We See It

The report of the young people’s survey, compiled during the Forward Together in Hope process, calls us to listen to young people. It reflects much to celebrate and build upon and it also raises many challenges for our parishes and partnerships.
View website

See Conference Report

Forward Together In Hope – The Way We See It

‘Come Kindle in us the Fire of your Love’

The Parish/Partnership Guidelines for the Preparation and Celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation give many resources for working with young people including ideas for prayer, discussion, reflection, activities, music and video. The accompanying DVD contains stories, reflections and interviews with young people about faith.
Download the order form here

‘Renewing the Vision’

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops published a vision for youth ministry in 1976 and then, recognising the need for a vision and strategy to address contemporary challenges, updated it in the 1997 document ‘Renewing the Vision – A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry.’The document offers three goals and a comprehensive frameworkthat has room for parishes to develop appropriate programmes and activities. It was the fore-runner of our own document and is well worth a read.

CYMfed Publications

Two new publications from CYMfed highlight  ‘Complex Catholicism’ research and provide a realistic insight to contemporary young Catholics in England & Wales.

The Lives and Faith of Young Catholics in England and Wales today

Matthew van Duyvenbode
Download Document

Discovering the reality of young Catholics A Detailed Typology
Danny Curtin & Stephen Davies
Download Document

COPIES OF THIS PUBLICATION ARE AVAILABLE FROM YMT – Please contact the village to purchase a copy

Report on Youth Faith and Vocational Discernment in England and Wales

In preparation for The Synod on Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment in October 2018, Pope Francis called the whole Church to listen to young people. A worldwide consultation took place and a preparatory document with a questionnaire was sent to every Bishops’ Conference. Each country was asked to produce a report based on the questionnaire and submit it to the Synod Office. In publishing the Report, the Bishops of England and Wales hope that it will ‘stimulate conversation about how the Church can journey with young people towards new horizons.’

World Youth Day Messages

Each year the Pope writes a message to the Youth of the World. The Messages, including the Message for 2018, can be found here


Books can be ordered from Pauline Books & Media
St Mary’s Cathedral, Clayton Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5HH


Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church
‘This catechism… demands of you a new life. It places before you the Gospel message as the “pearl of great value” (Matt 13:46) for which you must give everything.’(From the Foreword by Pope Benedict)
Catholic Truth Society 2011


Youth Prayer Book
Catholic Truth Society 2013

‘Begin with the Heart: Recovering a Sacramental Vision’

Daniel O’Leary
The Columba Press 2009
Daniel O’Leary reminds teachers and catechists that we teach who we are. He speaks about the rediscovery of the ‘sacramental imagination’ because it is from the teachers’ and catechists’ own inner passion that the hearts of others will be transformed.

‘Without catching the vision, the heart does not know where to go; but without the fire of the imagination it doesn’t want to go anywhere, least of all to church! As teachers and catechists, we are called to work with a passion for acquiring that central vision in ourselves, first. We must, in fact, become the vision.’

‘The Story Young People’s Stories of Faith’

To celebrate the Year of Faith in 2013, CYMFed invited young people from across the Catholic community in England and Wales to tell their unique faith stories. It is hoped that the stories contributed encourage young people and the adults who accompany them to reflect on their own personal faith journeys.
CYMFed 2013

Available to purchase from the Youth Ministry Trust

Christianity Rediscovered

Vincent Donovan
Orbis Books 1982
Published first in 1978, the preface to the second edition contains the words that are often quoted about youth ministry:

‘In working with young people… do not try to call them back to where they were, and do not try to call them to where you are, as beautiful as that place might seem to you. You must have the courage to go with them to a place that neither you nor they have ever been before.’

Although not specifically about youth ministry, this book is an inspiring read about how we share the Gospel message.


What to do?
The Social Teaching of the Catholic Church
‘The English verb ‘to do’ is part of the title. DOCAT answers the question: “What should we do?” It is like a user’s manual that helps us to change ourselves with the Gospel first, and then our closest surroundings, and finally the whole world.’ (From the Foreword by Pope Francis)
Catholic Truth Society 2016

Effective Practices for Dynamic Youth Ministry

Thomas East
Saint Mary’s Press 2004
A very practical handbook on involving and supporting young people in the parish setting.

‘Revealed: A Catholic Youth Formation Ministry Resource’

Karen North, Rebecca Barber, David O’Connell, John Toryusen
Redemptorist Publications 2008
An ideas and information packed book presenting the essential elements of hands-on youth ministry.

‘I am Bread Broken: Spirituality for the Catechist’

Howard Hubbard
Crossroad Publishing Company 1996
An excellent, easy to read book about the call of the catechist and the qualities of the catechist.

‘He was in the world’

John Bell
Wild Goose Publications 1995
A collection of 25 meditations on a variety of themes which can be used in worship or in group settings such as a youth group.

‘Contemplative Youth Ministry’

Mark Yaconelli
SPCK 2006
There are many books out there about young people / church groups/ activities with young people. One of these is by Mark Yaconelli who encourages prayer and reflection as the starting and centre point. Let the Lord guide the choices you make. He will take your skills, talents and passion and use it for His purpose. Have the courage to step out and try. Give things a go and keep your purpose at its centre.

Leadership for Catholic Youth Ministry

A Comprehensive Resource
Thomas East (ed)
Twenty-Third Publications 2009
Tom East begins this collection of topics written by a variety of authors with the words:

‘Youth Ministry provides an encounter with the love of Christ and supports youth in the adventure of discipleship’. He goes on to say: ‘We need to put all our oars in the water, going in the same direction …. Effective youth ministry requires the concerted, collaborative and coordinated efforts of a faith community that longs to become Christ’s love incarnate in the lives of young people today. The encounter and adventure that God has planned for young people in our communities is within our means.’

‘The Vision of Catholic Youth Ministry: Fundamentals, Theory and Practice’

McCarty, Robert (ed)
St. Mary’s Press 2005
A collection of essays giving a readable overview of the theology and practice of Catholic youth ministry as outlined in ‘Renewing the Vision’.

‘Finding the Calm: Biblical Meditations to Nourish Those Who Nurture Teens’

David Haas
Saint Mary’s Press 2003

‘Good stories need to be shared. We need to impart to young people (and others) the tremendous stories of our faith. We are called to witness with passion and enthusiasm the events and experiences that have helped shape who we are, what we believe, and what we hope to accomplish in our lives. We have received the gift of our experiences, both in the blessings and the flaws, and they are not for us to keep to ourselves for our own selfish needs or patterns of growth. Often, they occur so that someone else can learn and grow as well. When we share these treasures with our young people, they will be the better for it. This is what it means to be a teacher (youth minister): to live fully and witness fully.’(Finding the Calm)

What do you think of this in relation to your own life and ministry?

Other useful links


Books can be ordered from Pauline Books & Media
St Mary’s Cathedral, Clayton Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5HH


MISSIO is the Church’s charity for overseas mission. Many resources are available for primary and secondary school age groups.

A project of the Salesians of Don Bosco giving a forum to share ideas and resources to all those engaged in youth ministry.

A site for young people to find their Catholic Chaplaincy in England and Wales.

Million Minutes enables youth action and advocacy activities that give voice and support to young people (aged up to 25) to transform their lives and their world.

The Alpha Youth Series is an interactive series of 13 weeks exploring the Christian faith through video, discussion, fun activities, prayer and food.

There are a range of invaluable and updated resources on this website worth considering. Booklets are short and informative. Pick a topic and help young people learn more.

The website of the National Office for Vocation which aims to build a culture of vocation in the Church in England and Wales and promote the calls to specific vocations, including priesthood, the diaconate, marriage, the religious life and all other forms of consecrated life.

The CAFOD website includes a large section of resources for schools and young people.
Vatican Youth Synod

Vatican Youth Synod

The Vatican Youth Synod website has many resources and ideas. Working with young people to ensure they know they are valued and have a voice within the church is an essential part of our work.


Show a film about the true story of an inspirational person e.g.

Romero (Oscar Romero)
Entertaining Angels (Dorothy Day)
Amazing Grace (William Wilberforce)
The Rosa Parks Story (Rosa Parks)
Deadman Walking (Sr Helen Prejean)
Mother Teresa (Mother Teresa)
My Redeemer or Together Team Hoyt (Dick and Rick Hoyt)

The Source for Youth Ministry is a website that gives ideas and a session outline for showing movie clips

YouTube Videos

Ensuring young people were ‘fed’ spiritually was really important when we decided to start our youth group. We found some great little videos from Ascension Presents (YouTube) which we used as input. This led to discussion and each month young people taking something ‘real’ away with them. The rest of the time before our video was spent doing what young people do best, chilling and being with each other.

There are many video clips to be found on YouTube which can introduce discussion and reflection e.g.

The Shawshank Redemption (Hope)
The Lion King (Choices and Forgiveness)
Pay it Forward (Serving others generously without looking for a reward)
Dead Poets’ Society (Seize the day, make your lives extraordinary)
Blind Side (the courage to help and how lives are changed)
Patch Adams (from despair to hope)

Consider movies you have seen. What message do they share with people? Where are the opportunities to explore themes – challenging and real ? Perhaps even share with young people about what inspires us, what we choose to feed our young minds and to question the messages the media sometimes shares with us.

! Always check the certification before showing a movie to young people. Ensure the clip you are using is appropriate and nothing will jump out and surprise you unexpectedly.


The CYMFed website has links to Youtube videos of inspiring speakers at the Flame events e.g.

  • Ten Thousand Reasons (David Wells)
  • You are not a Comparison (David Wells)
  • Love Chooses You (David Wells)
  • Cardinal Tagle
  • Stef Reid

View website


Hillsong website kids and youth section
Matt Redman
Worship Central
Rend Collective,
Hillsong for Music.
Ronan Johnston’s website also provide some resources for music