Faith has always been an important part of my life. I was baptised in St Kentigern’s Catholic Church, Blackpool and attended St Kentigern’s Catholic Primary School right next door. I then went on to attend St Mary’s Catholic College and later Liverpool Hope University (next door to the church where poet and priest Gerard Manley Hopkins once lived).

I have always been proud to be a Catholic and I try to live out my faith and support the Church by sharing my time and talents with others. I am an altar server (and have been since I was 7 years old) and I play the organ at Sunday Mass. I have spent time with, and have been inspired by, many people including priests, teachers, friends and family. They have helped me develop my faith, making me the person I am today. For this, I am deeply thankful.

I have been involved in many Diocesan Youth events including the Big Walk (our diocesan pilgrimage walk from Keswick to Cleator - ten in total so far), volunteering in Lourdes and taking part in two World Youth Days. The most recent was in Krakow, Poland in 2016. The theme of this gathering was “Blessed are the merciful”. The atmosphere was indescribable. You just had to be there to understand it! Knowing that so many like-minded young people had all gathered because of their faith was incredible. Imagine it; over 2 million young people in one place and not a bit of trouble from anyone! Pope Francis urged us to go home and spread the Gospel and not to be “couch potatoes”. He told us that “Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, is calling us all to leave our mark on history.”

I took these words to heart and I felt I had been spiritually refreshed and strengthened. I came home with a deeper understanding of my faith and the will to share my experiences with others. I pray that with God’s love and care, I may continue to be a faithful worker in the vineyard and share the light of Christ with those I meet.

Lizzie, 25, Blackpool