A Day in The Life Of An IMPACT Member
IMPACT was set up with one aim – to involve more people at church today. It has to be said that since the group began, this has definitely been fulfilled! IMPACT originated thanks to a group of pupils from a previous Year 11 group who thought that not enough young people go to church today for different reasons - one of these is the misconception that it wouldn’t be fun. That’s were IMPACT stepped in; their aim was to make attending mass fun and more enjoyable for everyone. So, for the past three years, IMPACT have been putting all their efforts into make going to church fun. This has been a success, and our group has grown to over 100 members. However, we would still like this number to grow.We have written about a typical meeting and mass to give you a flavour of what we are all about, but please come along and see for yourself how much of a great time we have - and what can be achieved if a group of like-minded pupils get together to celebrate their faith.
IMPACT is currently run by the pupils in Year 11. They take up the roles of organising the meetings, buffet, agenda and any other aspect which needs sorting. Our meetings always start with a free buffet for pupils and staff. Then we all join into a large group and say our IMPACT prayer. After being addressed by our Year 11 representatives, Amy and Ciaran, we then discuss our next mass - things such as location, time and date all need organising. Finally we split into our selected groups to discuss our personal roles in the mass - these could be: readings; music; advertisement or simply just bringing along the food.
“There is a variety of sandwiches to choose from with a wide selection of desserts, such as cakes or fruit, plus a collection of satisfying drinks to wash it all down with.” – Beth Carter 10S
This prayer was put together by some of the senior members of the IMPACT group and we say it at the beginning of every meeting. IMPACT members carry the prayer around with them in their pockets so that they can read it wherever they are and share with others the ongoing message of IMPACT.
After people have enjoyed the delicious buffet, we then proceed to sit together in a circle and the meeting starts.
Once the meeting has started and people have been notified about the next meeting, we then split up into groups to organise the next mass. The designated groups are ‘Mass,’ ‘Before Mass,’ ‘Advertisement,’ and ‘Music.’ This is one of the reasons why IMPACT is so successful, as we organise what happens in the mass ourselves. We are able to put our own twist on things, therefore making it more appealing to young people, which, after all, is the ultimate aim of the group.
After we have discussed the mass in smaller groups, we come back together as a whole group and share with the others what we plan to do for the next event so that everyone is up to date. If there is any more information to give out, Amy, the Year 11 leader, or Mr Dumican will tell the group before we say our final prayer, which is usually ‘Our Father.’ The pupils are then free to leave to continue spreading the word about IMPACT and the great work that we do.
Year Group Meetings
In between full IMPACT meetings, all of the year groups meet up separately to discuss what IMPACT can do within their own year group. This gives the members in each year group the time to spread the word to people of their own age into joining us in IMPACT - and it is also a good chance to make new friends who share the same interests.
Usually, the topics discussed at year group meetings are:
- Charity ideas
- Involvement of youngsters in church
- Spreading the word of IMPACT.
Finally, when the full group meet up again, each year group will update everyone else with their plans for the year to ensure that IMPACT can have even more of an impact.
As we go from strength to strength, the IMPACT group has been involved in many exciting events. Our most recent one was when we appeared on the BBC Songs of Praise Christmas special. The IMPACT members gave up a lot of their free time so that the BBC could film them in action. They also filmed us at St Oswald’s Church in Ashton-In-Makerfield in which the school choir and many other pupils took part. The BBC also came along to Our Lady’s Church in Bryn to film IMPACT’s Christmas Mass which was also shown on the programme. Finally, as part of the BBC’s filming, the IMPACT group, the choir and various other members of staff and pupils took part in a ‘Flashmob’ event in Wigan Grand Arcade during December 2013. A very brave Lily Webb stood alone in the middle of the Grand Arcade and began to sing ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’. Then, one by one, pupils and staff began to join her until we had a large choir of IMPACT members, singing in unison, much to the surprise and delight of last-minute Christmas shoppers! This event was certainly the highlight of IMPACT’s achievements so far and will never be forgotten within the school or the IMPACT group.
Another event which took place last year, and was organised by the Year 11’s was a conference which was open to all high schools and primary schools across the borough, so that we could spread the word of IMPACT throughout Wigan. The event was a great success and many of the schools that visited where extremely impressed with our IMPACT group and subsequently returned to their own schools with the mind-set of following in the footsteps of St Edmund Arrowsmith’s IMPACT group.