(Source: CD/Forming Missionary Disciples)

In a new video, put together by Forming Missionary Disciples, young adults have shared their hopes for the Church after lockdown, recognising Pope Francis’ call to contribute their gifts and energies to the Church.

One shared their hope for a Church that “isn’t afraid of dialogue, a Church which isn’t afraid to be challenged, to learn, to adapt and to grow”.

Since the start of lockdown many have taken the opportunity to take stock.

The same can be said of the Church, with many sharing their hopes for how the Church might continue to renew and reform herself.

This contribution, from a selection of voices of those in young adulthood, hopes to give encouragement to those trying to help the Church reach out to the peripheries.

Chris Knowles, who coordinated the project, said that “although nobody really relished the idea of going on camera, this project has been a great opportunity to have conversations about what we hope for the Church in our lifetimes, especially with those whose voice is not often heard”.

Full text of the messages of the young people of Forming Missionary Disciples:

“My dear young people, the Church needs your momentum, your intuitions, your faith. We need them!”

– Pope Francis

After lockdown we hope the Church will…

I hope that after lockdown the Church will be counter-cultural, be inclusive and be daring in its vision of hope and change

My hope is for a Church that proclaims the gospel with honesty and fearlessness

– I hope for a Church which isn’t afraid of dialogue: a Church which isn’t afraid to be challenged, to learn, to adapt, and to grow

I hope for a Church that is hospitable

My hope for the Church after lockdown is that the Church continues to be at the forefront of social conversations and is seen as an organisation that really cares about society at large and wants to engage with social discussions

I hope we become a more prophetic voice in challenging those who idealise money at the expense of people’s lives

My hope for the Church is that we remember that we are so much more than a building: that we utilise all the things we’ve learned during lockdown to make sure that we’re better serving our community. not just those who come to us on Sundays but everyone in our locality

I hope that after the lockdown that we feel we are able to support those who are on the peripheries, more so those that are involved in the faith that perhaps do not have the community around them: the LGBT community, refugees… the people that need us perhaps to reach out to them the most

I hope for a Church where the voices and gifts of all people are valued, respected, and promoted: especially women, young people, lay people, and all those on the margins

My hope for the Church after lockdown is that she realizes that it can adapt and change its ways, and that actually the skills, voices, experience and knowledge of young people from all walks of life are essential for that change to happen

Be a beacon of inspiration, so that when future generations look back on this time, we can always say that the Church stood on the right side of history

I hope for a Church that is proactive and innovative: that is one step ahead of us rather than always playing catch-up

I hope that as we look forward, we rethink our ways of working: that we share power and responsibility more widely

– I hope the Church will continue to come up with creative and innovative ways to tackle the climate crisis, and to support those who are already affected by climate change

Continue to campaign for the dignity and rights of all workers, particularly those in the service sector who have served us so well during this lockdown period

More on Novena on young people in the Church:

Pope warns youth against “culture of the temporary, in which nothing is definitive and the only thing that matters is enjoying the moment”

26/7: Angelus: Francis urges young people to reach out to elderly with “inventiveness of love”


PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. University ethics lecturer with 4 years' experience in religion journalism.