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Boston Youth Council

This is the third feature from Boston Youth Council. Members of the council, who are aged 11 to 18, producing news item about their activities.

Boston Youth Council (BYC) aims to encourage communication between young people and Government as a platform for young people to have their voice heard. It is through this that we help to raise the profile of young people in a positive way.

The hope for full integration of people from different cultures in Boston rests in future generations. That's the view of a community leader in an area of town where integration is already taking place.

Father Alex Adkins, of St Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Boston was talking to Boston Youth Councillor Damien Bemben.

The youth council is working on its own educate and integrate project, and one strand is talking and seeking the views of individuals with influence in the town.

Damien writes:

I visited and interviewed Fr Alex Adkins at St Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Boston, a catholic church with a huge variety of different cultures - from its English, to Polish, to South Indian and Filipino congregation. The church was even featured on Songs Of Praise, to discuss the results of Brexit.

What cultural events/traditions does your community take part in? How do they differ from other cultures?

Mass is celebrated daily. This is usually a half-hour long ritual during the week, extending to an hour on weekends which includes singing songs and reading from The Bible. Although they say the same words (in different languages), the style of celebration and the music can differ greatly between the different communities, and an English Catholic Mass may feel different from a Polish Mass, even though the words and basic actions remain the same.

How does your community encourage integration in our town?

Saint Mary's tries to be an example of integration in Boston, and show how through finding their own solutions, future generations can help Boston become a far more integrated town. Although there is a large Polish congregation, and they have a separate Mass in Polish (as people feel far more comfortable praying in their own language), events such as Holy Week and the Easter Vigil are times where the entire community comes together, no matter what languages they speak. Furthermore, the church is linked to the St Mary's School, of which around three-quarters of children have English as their second language. It is the future generations which will allow Boston to be fully integrated. Furthermore, the church must make sure to speak out against those who are extremely negative and only cause hurt to integration in the town.

Any upcoming events everyone should take part in?

Although there is nothing currently coming up, there are often events that are open to non-church goers, as well as processions in public, where the community is open to watch, and even take part in.

What are the aims of your community?

As with all churches, the main aim of St Mary's is to worship God. However, especially due to recent events, the church also wishes to build a community of reconciliation, which will serve the community through the members, not to mention to celebrate and share the good news of Jesus Christ.

When did your community start up, and what did it achieve?

Saint Mary's was built in 1827, and was one of the first Catholic churches to be built like a church. Because of Catholic persecution in England, many previous churches where built like houses. One of the surprising facts was that it was initially built for Irish immigrants, who helped to revive the Catholic church, which is another reason as to why the church is so inclusive in its communities. It's helped to nurture people in Boston, and help to provide support and shape for their lives, as well as helping to educate the younger years, as the school has been there almost as long as the church has been there.

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Damien Benbens Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

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