Register your group

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All the Sycamore resources are available from this website, free of charge, without the need to register. We want to make the materials easy to access, so that people will be able to use them freely and creatively in their own situations.

Having said that, it is a great encouragement to the Sycamore team, and an encouragement to other users, to know where and how Sycamore is being run.

For this reason we hope that if you are using Sycamore, or thinking about using Sycamore, in any context, you would be happy to register your group – simply by creating a comment in the REPLY BOX below. There will be no follow up or further contact from these comments: this is purely to help other users appreciate how and where Sycamore is being used.

Please register your group by leaving a comment in the reply box below with whatever information you wish to share, for example:

  • The name of your parish, school, chaplaincy, etc
  • Which diocese and which country
  • Your parish/school/chaplaincy website
  • The particular group/project you are using Sycamore for: e.g. Parish Evangelisation Course; RCIA Enquiry Group; Confirmation Group (what age?); School Discussion Group (what age?); etc.

This basic information alone is very helpful. You might also want to add:

  • Why you have chosen to use Sycamore
  • What are your hopes for the course
  • How will you use and adapt it for your own situation

AT THE SAME TIME: Please join the Facebook Users Group here for ongoing discussion with other users; and if you want to feed back to the Sycamore team to help in the development of the programme then please give specific feedback and suggestions here about your experience.

EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS: To receive updates about the Sycamore project please sign up to the email list using the RED FOLLOW BUTTON in the right-hand sidebar of the website.

23 thoughts on “Register your group

  1. Newman House Catholic Chaplaincy (http://universitycatholic.net )
    Diocese of Westminster, England.

    We use Sycamore in a university/student context, although we have also had non-university students attend too! We ask students living at Newman House to invite their non-religous/ non-catholic friends, as well as hand our leaflets and advertise the programme online.

    We decided to use Sycamore to build upon the experience we had using the Alpha Programme (HTB). The plan of the evening is meal-talk-discussion and works brilliantly as guests really enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and appreciated the hands-off approach.

    In September we will launch Sycamore for the 3rd time running, with new and returning members on the team. This will be the first time we have all the videos to use. Earlier this new we tried having a prayer team whilst sycamore was running – we could instantly feel the fruits of this!

    In september we will be trying two new initiatives:
    1. Retreat/day of prayer and reflection, and a training day for the team.
    2. Launch evening/party where individuals (catholics and non-catholics!) have the chance to have a ‘taster’ of what the sycamore course is like, to meet the team.

    Our hopes are that we can see greater continuity in returning guests, that we can learn new ways of reaching out to students beyond the ‘catholic friend’ approach.

    Our team here will pray for all new programmes,

    God Bless!

    Kirsten.

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  2. St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth, UK

    We used Sycamore as the first stage in our RCIA process. We run 12 ‘enquiry sessions’ for anyone who wants to know more about Christ and the Catholic faith. These repeat each term all year round. Each session is just an hour long, with refreshments, followed by the video and discussion. At the end, we finished with a personal testimony of coming to know Christ from someone in the parish.

    We found Sycamore to be perfect for our audience. It was non-threatening and helped people relax. By the end of the sessions, they had heard the kerygma and many felt convicted enough to make the decision to become a disciple of Christ and follow him in his Church.

    I would definitely recommend it for the first stage of RCIA!

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  3. I will use Sycamore as a secondary RE teacher across the Year groups that I teach from 11 -18, particularly as we look at topics such as ‘Does God exist?’ And other units in philosophy of religion and ultimate questions…. This can be useful in a formal setting such as in Yr 9 when students need to critically evaluate God’s existence as well as in more informal settings in General RE in the sixth form which can be more of a faith sharing experience…also some topics are very useful for explaining ‘Why yet church matters’ … Which can link to many RE schemes of work.

    Teacher at LSU, Westminster Diocese

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  4. I am intending to use Sycamore with a group of 14-19 year olds in my parish. It will part of our intentional discipleship programme. We’re very excited to have what seems like a great resource and hope it will help our youth, especially the non Catholic lad who was so inspired and filled with the Holy Spirit on our Life Teen summer camp that he asked if he could become Catholic. This looks ideal for the enquiry period of my RCIC and RCIA groups.

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    1. That’s great news Teresa – thanks for posting. Do let us know how it starts, and share your weekly experiences, on the Facebook Users Group. We hope the group enjoy the sessions.

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  5. Thank you Fr Steve for this beautiful initiative. We are running Sycamore with a select group of year 11-13 pupils at our school which is an independent Catholic school near Rugby over our 50 minute lunch break once a week. We then want to expand this and open it up to anyone in year 10 and during the Lent term. We’re hoping the prospect of a free lunch during our opening session will get them along in the first instance!

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  6. Our Lady & St Edmund Parish, Abingdon.

    We decided to use Sycamore in our RCIA inquiry period this term and we had our first meeting last night. Everybody enjoyed it and seemed really relaxed and happy to discuss the questions. I have been involved in RCIA for almost twenty years and last night was one of the best first nights!! We had twelve in the group, of which seven were inquirers. Looking forward to next week.

    The reason we decided to use Sycamore, it looks so relaxed, friendly and up to date, it’s easy to use, and it’s good to have a new approach and fresh ideas after twenty years. Thank you Fr Stephen, you explain the topics very clearly.

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    1. It’s great your RCIA is going well Pauline; what a gift to have seven people starting. Let us know how the weeks progress with Sycamore; and if you have any experiences to share you can do that on the Facebook Users group.

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  7. Last night 25 November the Brunel CathSoc had the most outstanding meeting with the Abulayth Society and four PhD students, Brunel Response. We had a lively and productive set of discussions around Sycamore 2, Does God exist? The sincerity of the students was admirable and the questions invited us all to be attentive, to think, reflect to desire to share our cherished belief that there is a God.

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  8. We at Hampshire Downs parish, Winchester are intending to start at a Sycamore course in april and would be keen to get information on advertising materials we can use to attract people to join the course.

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  9. St Joseph’s Parish, Christchurch, Diocese of Portsmouth
    We are using this with a group of 5 for our RCIA enquiry and it has generated useful discussion so far (3 sessions in…)

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    1. We wish you all the best for the sessions – do post some feedback to help us develop things in the future

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  10. Parish of St Cuthbert’s Egham

    We are using Sycamore as part of the enquiry stage of the RCIA programme with a group of 5 people who asked to become Catholic. The RCIA leader was not available, and I felt compelled to help these people. My experience is as a catechist with children. Sycamore (and the Holy Spirit) allowed me to take care of this group without worrying about training, preparing the sessions, etc, and be ready to spread the Love of God.

    All participants are already “fired-up” by the Holy Spirit, each one for different reasons (one gentleman is 88!), and thirsty to hear about Jesus, the catholic Faith, God, the Church, the Sacraments…
    The discussion diverted onto Reconciliation after the first session, no idea how we arrived there. The questions on session 2 gave all a lot to think about.

    The hospitality side engaged the participants so much, one of them insisted on preparing the food (lasagna!) for next session, and another asked his wife (active catholic in the parish) to prepare something later on.
    It also allows people who did not have a chance to have dinner at home, or coming straight from work to sit and relax a bit.

    We use the subtitled version, as one person is hard of hearing, and a couple have English as a second language. This is extremely helpful.

    Thanks a lot for this gift to the Catholic community!

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    1. That’s really encouraging to hear about Anne-Do; many congratulations on getting the group up and running.

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  11. I am going to use the Sycamore course as a gentle way in to the RCIA course and, who knows, possibly more. I used some of the videos in my RCIA sessions last year and found them really well judged for that pre-catechumenate stage. My parish is Our Lady Immaculate & St Andrew, Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

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    1. That’s great news Susanna. Let us know how it goes, and if you have any advice about how we can improve the videos or the approach.

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  12. Dear Fr Stephen,
    Thank you for these new and interesting resources. I was recommended to look at the site by one of the sisters in our Deanery. I think the course idea looks as it could be very useful for RCIA new enquirers I am fairly new to this area of work and so I am always delighted to find new resources to help me. I would like to introduce this in September but I need to show the resources and discuss their possibilities with my helpers. I am happy to register my parish as a group in order to keep up to date with developments and view other parishes experiences. I have read through some of the comments above and I feel really inspired to give it a go!

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