What is Sycamore?
Sycamore is an informal course about the Christian faith and its relevance for life today. It gives you space to meet other people, share ideas, explore your beliefs, and think about questions that really matter.

Bishop Nolan has invited the diocese to come together to discern the will of God in the way we take forward our faith after the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a call, and an opportunity for the whole diocesan family to pray, reflect and support one another.

We are being invited to engage with Sycamore, which is a flexible and informal programme about the Christian faith and its relevance for life today. It is designed to help groups of people share ideas, explore beliefs, and develop individual faith. It is also intended to help build up the parish and wider catholic community, and strengthen our witness beyond.

Why join a group?

Our parishes of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Matthew’s will share in that sense of diocesan unity by undertaking activities during the six weeks from 17th October (OLMC) and 21st October in St Matthew’s. That being on a Sunday at OLMC (2pm) and on a Thursday evening (7pm) here in St Matthew’s.

To those who watch Mass at home, we would encourage you to come along as a first step, however, we hope to go live via Facebook too should you still feel uncomfortable venturing out.

Here are four reasons to come, together with some details about what you can expect.

COME FOR THE FILM

Each session involves a short, thought-provoking film about the big questions of life and the central beliefs of the Christian faith. The films are beautifully produced in locations around the UK. They capture the beauty of the English countryside, the energy and excitement of our cities, and the seagulls of Brighton beach!

The main presentation is by Fr Stephen Wang, a Catholic priest and popular speaker. There are street interviews with people from very different backgrounds, giving a fresh perspective on the big questions. There are guest speakers sharing their experiences. And every few minutes a question pops up on the screen to get the discussion going.

COME FOR THE CONVERSATION

At a typical Sycamore session, conversation just happens! Sycamore is an opportunity to meet other people, share ideas, explore your beliefs, and think about questions that really matter. Everyone is welcome. There’s a real sense of community and a spirit of friendship. This is true for remote groups as much as physical groups.

There’s no pressure and no commitment. If you are shy, you can take a back seat. If you are full of ideas and questions, this is a space to share them. You can be yourself without any fear of being judged.

COME FOR THE FOOD

Many of the Sycamore groups start with a free tea or coffee and a cake.  Sycamore is a chance to relax with others over a drink – it’s not just about deep discussions. For once, you can stop rushing, and just enjoy sitting down for some good snacks and some good conversation. And if you are in a remote group then you can bring your favourite snack and show the others what they are missing…

COME FOR THE ADVENTURE

Yes, it’s a risk, stepping into the unknown. Most of us hate uncertainty and like to stay in our own routines. But why not take a risk and try something new? “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”. There are so few opportunities to meet new people, to step back from the rush of life, and to make space to think and talk.

You’ve got nothing to lose. At the very least, you get a free meal and have some good conversation. And maybe it will be something more, and perhaps even the beginning of a life-changing adventure.

Register Your Interest

Fill in this contact form to show your interest and sign-up to our Sycamore programme

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