Junior Church: Numbers were very low again last term. This is due to ‘demands’ on the time of our young people such as homework and other interests /hobbies that they are involved in, all vying for their time. There hasn’t been the usual recruitment from the bottom up of younger children either for several years, again this is due to demands on family time and societal changes. However, at the last JC team meeting it was decided to try and address this. There is a JC re-launch party planned for October 8th and we are also hoping to have a craft area at St. Peter’s school Christmas fayre in December.
Youth United: We had steady numbers during the Summer term. They have been busy putting their input into the SWOT that I have been carrying out during the process of forming a vision for the youth work, also planning the upcoming Pet Blessing Service, weekly activities and Bible studies. YU ended the school term with a trip to Crazy Golf, which they thoroughly enjoyed, especially as it was a lovely, sunny afternoon.
Youth House Group: Have been meeting weekly as usual. One evening they joined the benefice event ‘A Taste of Faith’ where a young Muslim woman came and shared her faith. They were very inspired by her. As a result of this they are planning to hold an event where Christian and Muslim young people can meet together for an afternoon of fun and friendship. Another event they enjoyed was joining with other young people from across Leicestershire at the cathedral for the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ event. Six youngsters went altogether, including one member from YU.
This term’s plans are; for Christmas tree decorations from all groups for the tree festival at the end of November at St. Peter’s, the Junior church Christmas presentation on December 17th and a Youth United trip to Megazone, also on Dec 17th.
SCHOOLS: Discovery at Countesthorpe Leysland College continued steadily throughout the term and Impact met weekly. The pupils at Impact are older and so had exams during this term, which meant it was better for the group to be more informal in style.
Due to timetable changes, this term, at Countesthorpe Leysland Community College, the Discovery and Impact lunch clubs will have to be closed and new groups formed to accommodate the mixed age pupils that will be around. There will be two groups, but they will be a more informal drop-in style as opposed to the more formal Bible-study that was possible before, especially in Impact.
Sharon and Helen led a ‘Worth It’ self-esteem course for pupils at Countesthorpe Leysland School.
Ignite at Thomas Estley Community College continued to meet and prove popular, with lots of discussion. Hopefully we will be able to participate in the school’s annual Christmas service this year
I continued to lead assemblies at all three local primary schools and am working alongside Churches Together in Whetstone to prepare a Christmas service that all primary school children will be able to attend, during December.
COMMUNITY: Hub Youth Café continued to be popular on Wednesday’s after school.
Hangout’s numbers were lower than usual in this term, but many of the younger group were in year 9 and are more independent now. We trialed an activity that would get the youngsters thinking on a basic ‘spiritual’ level, including thinking about what ‘Hope’ is and very simply about why Christians believe in the need for Jesus. It went down well with the younger group, with some interesting thoughts and conversations. This term, we’re trying to develop this with a ‘prayer wall’. All of group 2’s members were studying for GCSE’s which meant they were committed to that, which is no bad thing!
At the end of the year we had a party with bouncy castle, chocolate fountain and hotdogs.
In the autumn term we will have a new young leader for both Hub and Hangout. At Hub we will have Thomas, James and Ben, at Hangout Matt, Sam and Joel. The young leader’s met with myself during the summer holidays and together we put together some ideas of what the groups should look like going forward. They are all having printed t-shirts and hoodies so that they are recognizable to new/younger members as someone that will support them.
The Hangout team of volunteers and young leaders had a business meeting in May, a social meeting in June and a further business meeting in August.
Lots of exciting community events are planned for this term including the Pet Blessing Service, the first Hangout Steering Group meeting, a social event for the volunteers and young leaders of Hangout and Hub, a Hangout business meeting, alternative Halloween events in both parishes and hopefully a craft table for children attending the Christmas fayre at St. Peter’s school.
PROJECTS and EVENTS:
Ncounter Summer was attended by four young people from our benefice and they were well catered for in the evenings by volunteers from both churches. Thank you to everyone that cooked for us or supported us during that week by attending the social or bus events or by praying for us. The youngsters worked very hard and got so much from it spiritually, through friendships and relationships and through service to others.
Our two Bishop’s Youth Council members; Aine and Joel attended Soul Survivor and Greenbelt. They came back tired, but buzzing. You know they’ve had a great time when they get the ‘Soul Survivor blues’ the week after because they’re missing it so much. These kind of events are so important in their spiritual development and in their development of themselves as they identify as young Christians, as they then go out to face the everyday world in the coming school year.
The next WKND event is planned for November 16th and 17th.
Sharon completed DLP course in April.
SWOT analysis has been done, answers to be collaborated. Due to the slow response to the SWOT, the youth vision has not been completed in time for the original deadline of Sept 2017 and will be pushed back to January 2018.
Sharon attended the Dioceson Learning Community put on by Mike Kelly from Leicester Diocese.
Sharon completed First Aid training.
Again, there are lots of opportunities for learning and development for all those involved with the youth work within the benefice , which we will be attending, including: Mental health First Aid training, Reality Youth Project Training Day and Diocesan Learning Community.
I will begin the ‘Journey in Faith Course’ in October too and my re-licensing will be at the Cathedral on Oct 7th.
Thank you for all your support and prayers for myself, the work and the most of all the young people of this benefice,