In Stratford-upon-Avon Auxiliary Bishop Humprey Bright, (Bishop of Soli), along with many others, envisioned a place where young people could go on retreat and learn more about their faith. Soli was born! The first few years were based in one house, then a move came to Mill Lane in Stratford, Soli's home until 2013. The foundations of Youth Ministry in this Archdiocese prompted many other Dioceses to follow suit...but Soli was Britain's first youth retreat centre.
This is an exciting time to be a part of something new for young people in the Midlands. The New Centre will be a place where many can encounter Christ through retreats designed to meet the needs of people from different backgrounds. We are seeking to build a community of young adults who are keen to grow together in faith and prayer so as to be effective communicators of the Catholic Faith in a peer ministry setting. It is our hope that the new team will develop leadership skills as they work closely with those who visit us.
The New Centre will provide Youth Ministry for young people and young adults aged 14-25 yrs. Trained staff and volunteers aged 18-25yrs work under the direction of a programme director and spiritual director to develop a model of relational peer ministry. Peer ministry helps us understand youth culture and effectively communicate the gospel in a way that is most helpful to our young people. The New Centre will use key components of our popular Soli programme to provide programmes that are tailored to meet students’ needs as they explore the issues and big questions that they face growing up in today’s world. Retreats will include the use of creative arts, multimedia, workshops, prayer and small group work with opportunities for Holy Mass, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Confession, and personal reflection. We will continue to build on the strong tradition of music and liturgy that Soli House has established. Our location in the Churnet Valley provides a beautiful setting for retreats and the possibility of including some outdoor activities as part of the retreat programme.
The doors of the centre opened in the Autumn of 2014. Since then the Soli team have led countless of young people in their journey of faith.
May 5th 2016
On this date, Soli welcomed His Grace Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, along with hundreds of supporters and friends of Soli, to officially open the new centre. Blessed with beautiful weather we opened our new home surrounded by so many people who have helped realise the vision of this adventurous new chapter of Soli's life.