The bishops of the Archdiocese of Birmingham are to stay silent this November to raise much-needed funds for projects supporting young people, the Archbishop of Birmingham announced this week. Speaking at the Birmingham launch of the Million Minutes big sponsored silence taking place on Sunday, 6 November, the Archbishop encouraged others to join the bishops by staying silent or to sponsor them.
“Million Minutes is important to us because it is supporting projects and people that are central to our community,” he said. “We should leap at the opportunity to be united with the young people of the Archdiocese.”
Million Minutes encourages people and groups (not just bishops) to stay silent for up to 24 hours and get sponsored for it. The money raised will be given as grants to local and national projects that help vulnerable or forgotten young people. 750,000 minutes have so far been pledged, with 105,000 pledged at the launch event in Birmingham.
Million Minutes is supporting two local organisations, Alton Castle Youth Centre and the Andrew Robinson Young People’s Trust. They will receive a share of the money raised to support specific projects with young people who are especially marginalised. Money will also be made available as small grants to youth and community groups.
Also speaking at the launch, Clive Robinson - father of the late Andrew Robinson and Trustee of the Young People’s Trust - said the need among some young people in the Archdiocese was “quite mind boggling”, and that the Million Minutes silence would support projects that play a “significant part in tackling the urgent problems of our society.”
The sponsored silence will take place on Sunday, 6 November, with primary and secondary schools encouraged to join in between 7-11 November. It is hoped that both young people and adults will stay silent as a powerful message of solidarity.
“This is a campaign of silence which will speak up for young people as well as raising money to support them,” said Danny Curtin, a Trustee of Million Minutes. People throughout the Archdiocese and throughout the UK are being asked to sign up online to stay silent and raise money at www.millionminutes.org/stay-silent
And that’s not all. Million Minutes invites applications under its Small Grants programme for funding of up to £500 for projects in the UK undertaken by organisations, groups or even individuals who will work to enable young people to do things that transform our world, inspired by Catholic social teaching. Details can be found at http://www.millionminutes.org/grants/