World Youth Day : The Journey begins


Hundreds of young Catholics in England and Wales are making their final arrangements for travelling to World Youth day in Germany.

This evening young people from the Clifton Diocese, comprising Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and the city of Bristol, will be joined by friends from Plymouth Diocese, which covers Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, the Clifton diocesan offices in Easton, Bristol, for the start of their bus journey to Cologne.

In a letter to each pilgrim, Bishop Declan Lang writes: "World Youth Day is a pilgrimage of young people - a journey together in which you will enrich each others lives and discover new things about yourself. I trust it will be enjoyable and a time for making new friendships."

Over forty young people from the Archdiocese of Liverpool are preparing to travel to Cologne early tomorrow morning, The main party will be leaving from St Mary's, Lowe House, St Helens at midnight tonight.

As well as young people from the City the party includes pilgrims from Chorley, Crosby, Huyton, the Isle of Man, Ormskirk, St Helens, Skelmersdale, Warrington and Wigan.

They will be travelling with Father Stephen Pritchard, Archdiocesan Youth Chaplain, and will head first to Trier to take part in 'Days of Encounter'. They will stay with host families in the parishes of Bous and Neuforweiler in the Diocese of Trier and during that time they will take part in morning and evening prayer, Mass, join in social action and socialise with young people from the parishes.

The Most Reverend Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool, who will be joining the young people during their pilgrimage, said: "The events of a World Youth Day present young Roman Catholics with a unique opportunity to experience the Church as truly universal. They are also encouraged by the fidelity and enthusiasm of people their own age from countries across the world. Since the heart of the service of a Bishop is precisely to strengthen our communion with all our sisters and brothers it will be a blessing to share these days with our young people in Germany."

The Liverpool Group have been planning and preparing for the Pilgrimage to Cologne since September 2004. Kirsty Macdonald from Animate Youth Ministries said: "I went to World Youth Day in Rome in 2000 and it was a life changing experience, so many young people all gathered together for one reason, because we are all part of Gods Kingdom, I really can't wait for Cologne, I'm so lucky to be going and going with a great group of young people and leaders."

For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact Jo Siedlecka mobile: 07720810479

Useful websites:

Cologne WYD office site:

Clifton Diocese WYD: