The Award in the Diocese of Portsmouth
There are 4 Awards – Gold, Silver, Bronze & Papal Cross
Each Award is completed over a 16 month period beginning at the start of the academic year.
Awards are earned by taking part in parish and social activities – 1 hour per week over 8, 14, 20 or 26 weeks.
Those that have completed the Gold Award have a further option of completing the Papal Cross Award.
Diocese of Portsmouth Award Activities and Top-Up Suggestions
Examples of activities that can be done for the Award in the parish are:
• Those that assist the celebration of the Mass and other liturgies
• Minister of the Word – Readings of the day or prayers of intercession at Mass
• Altar Server
• Extra-Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion
• Member of the parish music group, choir, folk group, organist and or musician
• Assisting with Children’s Liturgy of the Word
• Supporting the Mass through the Offertory Procession, and or assisting with the weekly collection
• Composing prayers of the faithful/bidding prayers
• Helping to organising and/or leading a Praise and Worship evening
• Helping to organising and/or leading a Lenten Faith Sharing Group
• Taking an active role within the parish Liturgy Committee
• Assisting with Nite fever
• Those that help to ensure that the church building is worthy of housing the Body of Christ
• Church Decoration
• Flower arranging
• Church Cleaning
• Ground maintenance
• Parish Cemetery cleaning/maintenance
• Those that reach out to all within the parish and those that attend liturgies and help them to be members of the community
• Communications group
• Preparing articles for the parish bulletin,
• Assisting with the editing and collation of the parish newsletter
• Helping in Parish Office
• Helping with the repository
• Member of the Hospitality team
• Welcoming the laity to Mass/Liturgies
• Handing out leaflets or bulletins
• Assisting with teas and coffees after Mass
• Be an active link between the parish school and the parish
Social Awareness Activities
Examples of activities in the area of Social Awareness that you could do for your Award are:
• Join local branches of charities and get involved in local projects or fundraising ie
• St. Vincent de Paul or Young Vinnies
• St John Ambulance or The Red Cross
• Volunteering at Charity Shops
• Volunteering at Community Centres
• Helping to organise collections for the local food bank.
• Be active within the community by
• Visitation of residential homes
• Visiting and supporting SEN homes and or schools
• Faith Friends/Lighthouse Programme
• Being a Caritas School Ambassador
• Peer Mentoring
• Being a member or leader within one of the parish uniformed groups (ie Cubs/guides etc.)
• Helping out at the local foodbank.
• Running a fair trade stall
• Demonstrating your knowledge and understanding of the need for social awareness by participating in the Caritas Schools ‘Dragon Den’ Project.
Every Award participant in Portsmouth Diocese is required to engage in a recognised faith development programme/activity offered in the Diocese or parish:
• Taking part in an Alpha/Youth Alpha Course
• Assisting with an Alpha/Youth Alpha Course
• Supporting sacramental programmes as a youth Leader/Mentor/youth Catechist
• RCIA Sponsor
• Attending the second year of the Confirmation programme ie the year after you have received the Sacrament of Confirmation
• Youth 2000 prayer group
• Prayer partner
• Membership of the EST – Evangelisation Strategy Team
Award Top-Ups are given in recognition of the extra activities that Award participants are already involved in.
Top-Ups will go towards the total number of hours an individual has to complete.
Papal Cross: 7.5 hours
Gold: 6 hours
Silver: 4.5 hours
Bronze: 3 hours
Top-Ups can be achieved in a number of ways, for example:
The Diocese of Portsmouth organise a pilgrimage to Lourdes each year. As a youth pilgrim you would be involved in enabling pilgrims to take full advantage of the programme perhaps by pushing wheelchairs and offering assistance at mealtimes. You would also be able to help with the liturgies and all other aspects of the pilgrimage. Many parishes also organise pilgrimages, either specifically for young people, or for the wider parish community, but open to young people. Participation in this type of activity can be part of the Pope John Paul II Award.
Diocesan Youth Activities
On a number of occasions during the year, the Diocese of Portsmouth organises youth activities such as the Altar Server Day, Confirmation Retreats and celebrations for National Youth Sunday which include guest speakers. Participation in these activities can be part of the Pope John Paul II Award, either through attendance or by becoming one of the Diocesan Youth Ambassadors and helping to organise and lead these days.
Trips lasting four days or more to work on specific projects, such as overseas projects, or other areas to work in a voluntary capacity in schools and communities can also be part of the Pope John Paul II Award.
There may be other activities that you are involved in that are not included here but may be relevant, if so please contact the Pope John Paull II Award Committee for approval by emailing:
The Award handbook explains in detail how the Award is run and who is responsible for running the Award in your diocese.
The following forms are required to be completed by each Award participant. Your Award leader will be able to assist you with any questions you have.