BY Ryan McDougall | May 24 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

Pilgrims cheer before Pope Francis' celebration of Mass for World Youth Day pilgrims at St. John Paul II Field in Panama City Jan. 27, 2019. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-EXHORTATION-YOUNG April 2, 2019.

Ayrshire parish to give young people hope through World Youth Day trip

An Ayrshire parish priest has set up a fundraiser that will give three lucky youngsters the chance to attend World Youth Day (WYD) 2022.

Fr David Borland, parish priest of St Margaret’s Cathedral and the churches of St Paul and St Francis Xavier’s in Ayr, had the idea to place ‘sign-up cards’ in the back of the three churches, where people can commit to donating £5 every quarter up until the WYD gathering in roughly three years.

Around 25 people have so far signed up to help fund the trip.


Trip of a lifetime

“I really think all young people aged 18-25 deserve the chance to go to WYD because I think it brings hope to them, and shows that the Church isn’t just in Ayrshire or the West of Scotland, but in fact, it’s universal,” Fr Borland said.

“With any young person who I’ve spoken to, the main thing that strikes them is that there’s like-minded people from all over the world, and while they can’t communicate with them easily they’re always so supportive of one another.

“You see on the news all the time people tearing each other apart, but when you go to something like this you see there’s much more good people out there than there are bad.”


Other means of support

For those unable to donate long-term, one off donations to the trip can also be made.

All donations, long-term and short-term, are confidential, and everyone is welcome to give their support, even if they are unable to give money.

“Everybody’s welcome to show their support, I’ve said to a few people who are unable to donate money to say a prayer for World Youth Day every quarter instead,” Fr Borland added.


Raising awareness

“Money’s not the most important thing, it’s raising awareness and getting young people talking about [WYD] that matters most.”

Remembering one woman’s kindness in particular, he added: “We’ve got one wee lady who has now gone home to God. She paid her £60 up front before she passed—it was so thoughtful of her.”

After taking a sign-up card, donors receive 12 envelopes to place their money in—one for each quarter on the run-up to WYD 2022.

Although the money is primarily to fund the trip, any excess will be given as a gift to the three lucky beneficiaries as spending money.

When the youths return, they are expected to chat to the Ayr Catholics about their experiences in Lisbon and promote future World Youth Days to come.

For more information, message RC Ayr at, call 01292 263488, or email

All correspondence and donations will be kept confidential.


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