What is YAG?
Welcome to the LGBT Catholics Younger Adults Group (YAG). We are a community of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Catholics in our 20s, 30s, and 40s, based in the Archdiocese of Westminster.
Through our fellowship we seek to create an environment in which younger LGBT people feel supported and can embrace and deepen their faith, nurture their personal relationships with God and with each other, and engage in Christian witness in the Archdiocese of Westminster and in the wider society.
More About Us...
If you would like to know more about us and our work, or if you would like to attend one of our meetings, please feel free to get in touch through the link below or any of the contact details on this website.
On 3rd March 2013, the spiritual home of the Soho Masses YAG moved to the Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception, more commonly known as Farm Street Church. The name of the group also changed to 'LGBT Catholics Younger Adults Group' (still YAG for short). As with any transition, the move was difficult at first, but YAG continued to meet on a monthly basis; remaining united in fellowship and providing support for each other. Soon after the move we organised our first community-wide fundraising event: a Bingo evening held at Farm Street in aid of Catholics for AIDS Prevention and Support with 40 people attending, including members of the non LGBT Farm Street congregation.
As part of the larger LGBT Catholics Westminster community, YAG members regularly attend the 6:15pm mass at Farm Street on the second and fourth Sundays of each month. We tend to meet up first before mass and walk to church together. Our involvement in the Farm Street community continues to grow, with members of YAG participating as readers and musicians as well as being variously involved in parish activities and the Mount Street Jesuit Centre.
In addition to the masses, YAG continues to meet on the first Saturday of every month and each year we hold an AGM where, as a group, we reflect on the year that was and plan the future direction of YAG together. Our increased confidence, and the support of Mgr Keith Barltrop (our current Diocesan Liaison), have enabled us to now reach out to the parishes of the Archdiocese of Westminster to increase diocesan awareness of our group’s presence. We have all benefited from the support the YAG community offers us, and would like other younger LGBT Catholics from around the diocese to be able to experience this fellowship too.
We hope that you find this website useful and that it may help you on your own spiritual journey.
YAG is, in 2017, a thriving group of LGBT Catholics in their 20s, 30s and 40s, with over 120 members. The journey which has brought us this far is a long one and we’d like to share our story with you.
The idea for the group came in spring 2008. At that time, very few people in their 20s-40s regularly attended the ‘Soho Masses’, masses for LGBT Catholics, their families and friends held at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Warwick Street, Soho. Believing that the creation of a group for younger people would help improve attendance, discussions were held between 4 younger community members, Mgr Seamus O'Boyle (the then Diocesan Liaison for LGBT Catholics and our Parish Priest) and the ‘Soho Masses Pastoral Council’, and on 5th October 2008 the 'Soho Masses Younger People's Group' was born. By the end of the year the group had 12 members.
The group organised a variety of social events in 2009, from picnicking to games evenings, coffee chats to clubbing. The open and inclusive nature of the group allowed positive discussions and friendships to grow, enabling members to open up and talk about their faith and their sexuality. The group was re-named as ‘Soho Masses Younger Adults Group’ (YAG) at the end of 2009 with 36 members. The following years saw an expansion of annual events, including the weekend retreat at Aylesford Priory and the Christmas party, both of which are now among the highlights of the YAG calendar. During these three years spiritual discussion in the group increased, focussing particularly on faith and sexuality.