• Mail

    sharon@realityyouthproject.co.uk

  • Telephone

    0116 286 6329

  • Church

    St Peter’s Church, Church Lane, Whetstone, Leicester, LE8 6BA

    St Michael’s Church, Main Street, Cosby, Leicestershire, LE9 1UW

Hi I’m Sharon and I’m the Team Leader at Whetstone and Cosby. Read below to find out what I’ve been up to recently. You’ll also find my contact details below if need to get in touch with me.

Prayer Flyer November 2017

News:
Emma has joined Youth House group and tells me she is really enjoying it.
We now have 7 very enthusiastic Young Leaders at Hangout. All but one are boys, they look very professional in their new uniform and are doing a fantastic job, a real credit to the themselves and the group.
Aine, Joel and Sharon are to meet Justin Welby the Archbishop of Canterbury on Nov 14th as part of his visitation to Leicester. He is meeting with members of Bishop’s Youth Council and Youth workers to hear their thoughts and ideas.
Sharon completed the two-day Youth mental First Aid course and has a certificate to prove it!
Sharon

Give Thanks :
For the Pet Service, for the experiences and understanding it gave to YU who organised it.
Harvest All-Age service at St. Peter’s led by young people.
Harvest assemblies at Cosby school. The whole school and many parents gave thanks to God for His goodness.
A very successful Trunk or Treat event. 500 or more people attended and heard 9 Bible stories.
Hangout Steering committee met for the first time and it was a productive meeting.
Hangout volunteers enjoyed a ‘social’ evening of ten-pin bowling and food, including 5 of the young leaders
For all the support the youthwork receives. For the volunteers, those that pray and those that provide financially. Also for the support of the Diocese.
For sufficient funds to continue the work in 2018 & beyond and for those that fundraise and apply for g

Please Pray
For wisdom as to how to move Hub into the next year. Numbers are very low and the team and young leaders are thinking about how we can reach more young people through it.
For wisdom, particularly for Sharon, as we seek to set a vision and action-plan for the future of the Youth work in our benefice.
For a safe and happy time at the WKND event. That Christian young people and leaders will be a positive witness to those that are attending.
That our financial needs will continue to be met.

Diary Dates
November 17th-18th: WKND
November 25th: Cosby Christmas Fair
November 25th-26th: Whetstone Tree Festival
November 28th: Hangout Team Business meeting.
December 1st: Cosby Christmas Lights Switch on
December 4th: Schools carol Service by CTiW
December 9th: St. Peter’s school fair-JC team will be offering free crafts activities.
December 10th: Christingle Services
December 17th: Junior Church Christmas presentation and party.

Newsletter September 2017

CHURCHES:
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.

OTHER:
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,
God Bless
Sharon

Newsletter May 2017

CHURCHES:

Junior Church: Chris headed up a meeting at the beginning of the year with the remaining team members. There was a discussion around how many children/young people we have currently, recruitment of new members and the feasibility of carrying on long term. Everyone agreed that we want to be ‘open for business’ for children on Sunday mornings during the main service and that we would do our best to continue and bolster numbers. Since then numbers have remained the same as pre-Christmas. The details on the website have been updated. We discussed having a big recruitment drive around the schools and local community groups, however, as all members of the JC team are involved with serving the church in other ways on Sunday mornings and all work full-time, we do not have the human resources to implement this or to serve a large influx of potentially very young children. New members of the team are needed urgently in order for JC to be sustained and grown.

After the services on Mothering Sunday and Easter Sunday, members of JC sold cakes baked by them and church members, for funds towards youth activities and expenses.

Youth United: Enjoyed a trip to Leicester Leys Climbing wall followed by McDonalds in January. The Youth service that was held at St. Michael’s went well. The theme of ‘God’s Love and Saving grace for all’ was chosen by them, they chose the readings, the video clip and talk, the game and so on. The youth band from Countesthorpe led the worship and chose the songs. Unfortunately this service was not so well attended as last year’s service when Bishop Martyn joined us. However, two members from Hub/Ignite were involved and they brought family and friends with them, which was very positive. The next service to be planned by the young people is a benefice ‘Pet Service’ to be held at Whetstone Pastures Farm on September 17th. (More details to follow).At the beginning of April YU held ‘Afternoon Tea’ in the Parish centre for their Mum’s, Grandmother’s and ladies that are special to them. They organised and played games and quizzes with the ‘mums’ and served them sandwiches and cakes , including traditional Simnel cakes which they had baked and decorated. Youth House Group: We have had five regular members this term, all but one are girls. They have lots of questions and are really keen and enthusiastic. One member has been leading alongside me.

At the Mothering Sunday service at St. Michael’s, the readings and prayers were led by two of the young people.

Mike Kelly and Matt Brown preached at St. Michael’s church during February and March.

SCHOOLS:

Discovery at Countesthorpe Leysland College has increased in numbers from 6-11. This is mostly because of invitation from existing members and through contact with pupils from Abundant Life courses. Most of them are unchurched young people and this is their first contact with the Christian faith. During one of the services I attended at St. Michael’s, I told the congregation about how some of the young people at this group, regularly don’t have any lunch. They were touched and gave me cash donations to provide sandwiches for them. I have used the money to make sandwiches and supply fruit to this group every week since then. The pupils really enjoy it and make the most of it. Impact at Countesthorpe Leysland College is thriving and the three week rolling plan for leadership split between mature Christians, newer members and myself is working well.

Helen and I led a ‘Worth It’ self-esteem course for pupils at Countesthorpe Leysland School.

Ignite at Thomas Estley Community College has grown very quickly in numbers since the beginning of term. They enjoy having discussion and debate and so Table Talk and Schools Work resources have been really useful for starting up conversation. The Pancake Parlour was a great success this year and raised £79 for the Children’s Society. During the last week of term, I took assemblies with members of the youth team, at Thomas Estley. It was a great privilege to share the message of Easter with them.

I have also led assemblies in all three primary schools within the benefice, last term.

COMMUNITY: Hub Youth Café has increased in numbers. This is due to original members inviting their friends and to new year 6 pupils that have been invited recently, through assemblies. Hangout is as popular as ever and numbers have increased in group one, as we have new year 6 pupils from Cosby Primary that are attending regularly. Great news is that both groups have been chosen as ‘Community Matters’ good causes for June (Blaby Branch), so remember to vote for us with your green tokens.

Hangout volunteers met in January for a social get together, which was a great chance for us to get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere. A training meeting was planned for March, but with the business of Easter was delayed until May. Chris and I are working towards creating a ‘steering group’ for Hangout.

PROJECTS and EVENTS: The WKND was attended by 9 young people from across the benefice. Four of which were paid for by private donations from the congregation. Ncounter summer will be held from July 16th -21st this year and there will be evening events in both parishes.

In February, I attended the first follow-up day of the ‘Diocesan Leadership Course’. All candidates were asked to begin on a ’90-day challenge’, mine is beginning to set the Youthwork vision, which you will hearing more about. The last follow-up session is May 7th. Beginning in October I will be embarking on the diocesan ‘Journey In Faith’ Course.

OTHER: Bishop’s Youth Council members attended at weekend at Launde Abbey, during March. This was for the Youth Diocesan Leadership Programme. This is a real boon for us as they will be able to implement what they are learning in both churches through their responsibilities as young leaders. They plan to attend Soul Survivor and Green Belt in the summer.

Thank you for all your support and prayers for myself, the work and the most of all the young people of this benefice,

God Bless

Sharon