For England and Wales, the school holidays are here and for all of us the longer days of summer lie ahead!

Pope Francis is encouraging all of us to become more connected to each other and nurture ‘social friendship’. Here are some beautiful ways to put faith and prayer at the forefront of our plans, and keep our connection to God and each other during the summer months.

1. Take a prayer walk or picnic

Nothing beats getting out and about in the fresh air and sharing food outside! So pack up your picnic hamper and head out. To make this a moment of faith, why not:

  • Take time to spot and give thanks for things which remind us of God’s beautiful creation. What can you see, hear, smell, touch and taste?
  • Share your thanks: go around the group and let everyone say what they’re grateful for. Maybe you’re grateful for a relaxing day, a bit of sunshine, or grateful to whoever packed your delicious lunch!
  • Add these scripture quote and question cards to your picnic pack. You could hand one to each person and have them read their quote as a conversation starter or launchpad for reflection and prayer.
  • Walk with the Pilgrims – find our suggestions for pilgrim routes across England and Wales here>>

2. Play games from around the world

If you have children or grandchildren to entertain over the summer, you might like these fantastic games from around the world! We love these simple, fun ways to get active – for kids and big kids alike. The games include prayers for each continent, based on Missio’s Mission Rosary.

3. Add a little colour

You’re never too old for a bit of colouring! Spending time with a colouring book has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep and focus, and help you sleep better. And there are plenty of colouring books and downloadable sheets for grownups which also incorporate the words of scripture. Mindful colouring is a beautiful way to spend time contemplating the word of God.

You can download our printable scripture and question cards here>>

4. Pray with St Joseph

Pope Francis proclaimed a ‘Year of Saint Joseph’ to run from 8 December 2020 to 8 December 2021. And St Joseph is especially important to the Mill Hill Missionaries as their patron, and so is significant to Missio too!

Why not plan a Novena to St Joseph this summer? Click here to access the Novena prayer to St Joseph, along with short video reflections for each day of the nine day prayer.

5. Open air cinema

Open air cinema: a big sheet, a projector and some fairy lights and you can host a magical movie night under the stars! Charge people entry to come and see movies on your outdoor screen. There are some great movies, such as Emilio Estevez The Way and Fernando Meirelles’ The Two Popes which make a great watch and encourage and uplifting contemplation of faith.

If going open air isn’t possible, you might be able to set up a similar event in your church or Parish hall. You could even ask for a donation entry fee, or sell popcorn and drinks to raise some money for Missio!