Project 99 About Us
Project 99 is a community of young men and women committed to a year of evangelisation, growing in their relationship with Christ and supporting the mission of Salisbury Catholic Churches.
It is time for the 99 to go out………..
Inspired by the words of Pope Francis, Project 99 school of Mission started in Salisbury as a response to the Clifton Diocese 'Year of Mission' and as a resource to support our every-growing Catholic Youth Ministry in Salisbury. We seek to provide opportunities for growing in faith and encounter both locally and further afield.
By God's providence we were offered a guest house by the Alabare community and the first four missionaries arrived for a gap year of Mission work in September 2017.
These first young missionaries have helped to form the structure of the community life and founded a routine of prayer, service and ongoing formation ranging from catechesis to general life skills.
In exchange the young adults provide several things to the parish;
1. Invitations to encounter Christ through varied evenings and events.
2. Invitation to deepen prayer life and spiritual growth of adults and youth alike.
3. Evangelisation events, e.g. Alpha, exhibitions, outreach etc.
4. Retreat days for all ages
5. Youth Ministry
6. Support of Chaplaincy in our Catholic schools.
We hope this project will reach out to a vast number of people, both the existing parish and the as yet unchurched. We have found that when given the opportunity for a life changing encounter with Jesus, many adults find themselves in a place they never knew existed in God and His church. While these encounters are between Our Lord and the individual, we are praying the mission team will facilitate many opportunities.
Our main means of evangelisation would be through building authentic friendships. This is the simplest method of evangelising, the most sincere and the one Jesus himself teaches us. It is through personal invitation and a giving of ourselves that people want to know the Christ that lives in us and forms our lives. Whatever other course and methods we might try this will be the core of how we reach out and share the Gospel.
What age do potential Community members need to be?
Applicants must be 18 years old by 31st August on the year of application. The upper age limit is 28, however if you are older than this and interested please contact us for further discussion.
Where will I be living?
We are fortunate that we are using a house owned by the Alabare Community, a Christian Community with well-grounded roots in Salisbury. The house, so close to the centre of the city and within easy reach of our parish centre, has been used as a Bed & Breakfast and will continue to do so for the time being. Our Community takes on that responsibility of hospitality as a means of income for the house, supporting us in the work we do. The house is well furnished and comfortable. Each Community member has a bedroom that may or may not be shared, this depends on the amount of Missionaries, funds raised and the gender split. There are also rooms available for visitors, too. As well as being the home of our Community it is also a place to welcome people who come and stay and guests who will come as part of the work we do.
How many others will be with me in the Community?
For the year 2018/2019 we are looking to recruit six missionaries. We also have a housekeeper as well as a team of people who are responsible for making sure everything runs as it should and that you get the most from your time with us. It would be good if we could find a balance between the young men and the young women who apply, but we appreciate it doesn’t always work out like that.
What will this year look like?
Your year in community will be made up of many varied aspects. Each day will begin and end with prayer and daily Mass. Your week will include helping in the guest house, running youth activities and sessions,volunteering for the Alabare charity, helping varied outreach projects, as well as chaplaincy work in the schools and local colleges. We will also facilitate and lead retreats here in the house and in other venues.
Each week there will be a time of continuing formation and catechesis as well as time to study courses as part of your time here or to help you develop skills you need for what comes next. There is very little time to get bored but downtime is included into the week with a full day off and an extra day for your own personal study. There are evenings that will be free and allow us as a community to spend time with each other.
Your own guests are welcome to visit and join the community for meals and activities. Once a fortnight we have a Community Day: this is a time for us, as a community, to grow, to learn, to pray and to spend good time in each other’s company.
What will it cost for the year?
The cost of the placement is £3000 each year which we would expect you to meet through your own fundraising efforts. Some of this covers a monthly stipend payment for personal expenditure. We can help you with fundraising ideas and we would ask you to remember that costs should not be a barrier to your application. Housing, transportation, scheduled community and prayer days, books, mission expenses, formation and food are met through sponsorship from our parish, through the guest house accommodation and by donations. You are responsible for personal transportation (days off, breaks and holidays) and your own car expenses as well as any phone contracts.
How do I fundraise?
You might invite your parish to support you in this initiative and invite them to invest in you for the year. This might demand you appealing at Mass on a Sunday or two. There would be the expectation that if your parish sponsors you, you would keep them appraised of your journey through life in our community. You might invite family and friends to sponsor and support you, your school or local Catholic Charities. You need people to support you financially, but you also need people who are going to walk with you through their prayer and their encouragement. We can give you ideas and suggestions of how you might raise some funding and whom you might approach for some kind of financial help. We can send you our Fundraising Pack after a successful application which will point you in a direction you may find both helpful and fruitful.
There will be a programme of formation to equip you for the tasks that you will be engaged in during the year. The hope is that is this formation will help you deepen your understanding of your own faith as well as equip you with skills for handing on faith to others. We also want this year to be a year that develops your own interests, talents and abilities.We would hope to help and support you with this. You’d be asked to indicate what areas you would be interested to explore either through online or distance learning within this form. At the start of each academic year, a dedicated time of formation will allow the Community to explore some of the more practical arrangements and details of living as part of a community. We will also embark upon for necessary formation and training with regards to the running of the house and also training for Safeguarding and ‘best practice’. These first two weeks will immerse you in a real sense of prayer, of mission and of community. The ongoing catechetical formation picks up momentum after this initial period of settling in and will accompany us through the rest of the year.
Am I missionary material?
The answer is YES! We are all meant to be missionaries, but living in community requires something more from us. It is important that you don’t think we are looking for ready made saints; the purpose of this year is for you to grow in faith, knowledge and confidence. We aren’t looking for the finished article! Our missionaries should have an openness to new adventures, like meeting new people and should possess a desire to deepen their relationship with God and the desire to stick at it when it can feel challenging. Our missionaries come with many different gifts and skills – there really isn’t a ‘typical’ team member.God may be calling you to this and this may be a year where you come to understand, in a deeper way, where he is calling you to be. You don’t have to worry about being certain; we can work through this together and help you discern whether this Community is right for you and you are right for this Community.
Who will I be accountable to?
There is an Oversight Team that is charged with ensuring that the Project runs as it should, keeping to its vision and its intended mission. The Team is made up of our Parish Priest, a member of the Alabare Community, the Project 99 Coordinator, the diocesan director of Adult Education and Evangelisation, and our Domestic Administrator. This Team will be responsible for ensuring that those who apply to live as part of our Community, live out the values and vision of the mission.
A little something about you!
As part of your application, we need you to tell us something about yourself. Tell us why you think this is a real opportunity for you. What do you think you will bring to the Community during this year and what will this year offer you? We’d ask you to give us no more than 1500 words.You don’t have to write it by hand but it does need to be your own thoughts and your own reflection.
“I started my year on mission feeling I had
never been or would ever be enough…now I know it’s His love that
defines me not the labels that I’ve given myself ” Ellen 19
Project 99, Alabare House of Prayer, 15 Tollgate Road, Salisbury, Wilts, UK. SP1 2JA