St Thomas’ Newport Catholic Church is holding a Christmas Fayre to fundraise for its recently started youth group.

From 10am to 2pm on Saturday, December 2, Christmas festivities are available at the Holyrood Hall.

With an eclectic mix of stalls and raffle prizes, the Christmas Fayre is an opportunity to indulge in the Christmas spirit whilst supporting young Catholics across the Newport and Totland Parish. 

Barbara Conway, the organiser and a Newport parishioner, has already conducted other forms of fundraising for St Thomas’ youth group, by selling a delectable selection of scones and cupcakes after Sunday Mass. 

Youth group members expressed gratitude towards Barbara’s efforts.

Manuel Kannampuzha, youth group member, said: “If parishioners and the church support us, more children may join.

"Hopefully, they gain interest in the religion their parents believe in, following the footsteps of God, a core mission of Christianity.”

A survey of five representative dioceses suggested weekly church attendance has fallen by more than 20 per cent since the pandemic.

This trend is seen locally. Father Nishaan, the lead priest for Newport and Totland parishes, recognised declining numbers of children participating in Mass. 

He noticed that once young Catholics had completed their confirmation, they attended Mass less.

The primary motivation for kickstarting the youth group was to motivate young people to engage with their local church and the community.

Father Nishaan emphasised the importance of youth involvement within parishes, describing them as “the future church.”

Lianne Ponferrada is on the County Press Young Reporter Scheme