PRESS RELEASE – for immediate release, 1 February 2011 378,000 minutes of silence were pledged by those attending the launch of a new Catholic charity that will support young people to take action in their communities and speak out on issues that concern them.
Million Minutes encourages young people and all who care about them to stay silent in solidarity with young people who are silenced by society and as a way to get sponsored to raise money for local projects both in the UK and overseas.
Speaking at the launch, which took place on 31 January 2011 (feast of St Don Bosco) at St Mary Moorfields in the City of London, Mrs Margaret Mizen, a Million Minutes Champion, said, “Young people aren’t bad, but many do lead tough lives. I’m thrilled to be part of a new Catholic initiative that will help.”
Pascal Uche, who greeted the Pope on the steps of Westminster Cathedral during the Papal Visit on behalf of the young people of England and Wales and is also a Million Minutes Champion, said, “My friends and I are going to stay silent – it’s a great witness to our faith and our faith in other young people”.
The launch attracted more than 130 people, including young people from residential centres and local youth groups, clergy, and many from the youth ministry and justice and peace communities from around the country.
Speaking at the launch, trustee Danny Curtin said, “This is an idea whose time has clearly come. It’s wonderful to be able to get people to do something countercultural and based in our Catholic tradition and at the same time raise money for a great cause.”
Delia Smith, Britain’s best selling cookery writer and Million Minutes Champion, sent the following message of encouragement: “I am supporting Million Minutes because it's important to stand alongside young people. You have so much to offer the world at present.”
Million Minutes aims to get 695 people or groups to stay silent for 24 hours, which would equal more than a million minutes. Anyone can take part, and all details are on the new website, millionminutes.org
Notes to editors
- To arrange an interview with any of the Million Minutes champions or the team behind Million Minutes, please call Danny Curtin on 07957190516. Please note, Delia Smith is unable for interview due to diary commitments.
- Photos from the launch of Million Minutes are available, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fr Christopher Jamison OSB is the Director of the National Office of Vocations and was Abbot of Worth Abbey. His TV programmes include The Monastery and The Big Silence. His books include Finding Sanctuary and Finding Happiness.
- Margaret Mizen runs the Jimmy Mizen Foundation with her husband Barry. The Foundation is committed to working for peace among young people.
- The Youth champion is Paschal Uche, who welcomed Pope Benedict XVI on the steps of Westminster Cathedral during last year’s Papal Visit.
- Million Minutes is a company limited by guarantee (number 7442390) and a charity registered in England and Wales (number 1140079)