Quick Start

Here are some simple steps to get you started. You could spend months planning, and it could get complicated and overwhelming, so it’s important to keep the vision and keep things simple – especially at the start!


You have probably read the Why Start a Group page, and now you are keen to get going.

It is easy to get overwhelmed with decisions and lists. These bullet points remind you that it doesn’t need to be complicated. Remember that “the perfect is the enemy of the good”: an obsessive desire for perfection can often stop us doing the ordinary good things that we could actually achieve.

  1. GATHER: You need to gather a Sycamore team together, however small. It might be just you and one other person! If you are working within your parish or chaplaincy, make sure your parish priest or chaplain is supportive, even if they are not actively involved. See the notes about building a team here.
  2. PRAY: Make time to pray as a team. Pray together and intercede for the Holy Spirit to guide and bless your Sycamore project. Especially at the beginning, hand everything over to God, ask for his blessing and help, leave it in his hands, and then do everything you can to make it work well.
  3. FOCUS: Decide what your target group is. Who is this for? For anyone and everyone? Or for young people or parents or single people or whoever? For parishioners or for newcomers? Or is it for a specific sacramental programme? And then decide which Sycamore pathway will be most appropriate for this group.
  4. PLAN: Do whatever minimal planning and training you need. See the main planning and training pages.
  5. PUBLICISE: Plan some publicity and invite people to come. Don’t worry about numbers! If lots of come, that’s great! If very few come, treat this as an important pilot group. If no-one comes or no-one signs up for a remote group, don’t give up but “pivot” – try again but in another way, based on what you have learnt from the first attempt.
  6. START: Dive in with the first session. Sometimes it’s better just to get started as soon as possible, and then learn from experience as you go along (as long as you are not reckless and have the key pastoral and legal areas covered below: privacy, data protection, safeguarding, etc).
  7. REVIEW: Pray together and review things as a team. Have some honest and supportive sharing as a team. Get feedback from those who participated. Share your own feedback, the good things and the difficult things. What were the blessings? What have you learnt? Try to discern what God wants for you and the community for the future.

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