Nearly 1000 people in our diocese have indicated that they are involved in working with children and young people in our parishes and we are seeking to develop more support and resources for this growing and vital ministry.
General Synod recently included in their recommendations that:
- Parishes and deaneries should be encouraged to employ children’s and youth workers.
- Deaneries should be encouraged to develop mission action plans for work with children and young people.
- The Diocese should to prioritise evangelism and witness with younger people.
- Our Growing Younger Task Group provides a forum to consider the implications of these recommendations alongside the areas identified in Growing in God report.
In May 2017 the Diocese employed a Youth and Young Adults Officer, Phil Bailie.
Urie Bronfenbrenner says “Every child needs at least one adult who is irrationally crazy about him or her”.
There is a lack of adults who do this for young people today and we as Church have a fantastic opportunity to fill this void.
We have a round 50,000 young people in our Diocese and only just over 1% of those in our CofE churches so there is a lot of work to be done.
The encouragement however is that we have people out there who are passionate about helping young people grow and being a full part of the life of the Church. We also have some brilliant youth workers/ministers in our diocese. Please contact me if you’d like to find one near you or get some advice and inspiration for your youth work.
"Remember…Young people are like salt. When they're included, they make everything taste better." says Phil Bailie.
Gather is our annual celebration of both God and young people, bringing young people from across our region together to have loads of fun in an iconic building – St Edmundsbury Cathedral.
In 2017 over 150 young people enjoyed a Rodeo Bull, football, arts and crafts, BBQ and display from the Christian Motorcycle Association. The event also included a concert by Bean Baker, the leading worship band.
One of the most important facets of Gather is that it’s a chance for 11 - 18 year olds to invite their friends, to have fun and strengthen faith. Hopefully the confidence nurtured through events like Gather will mean young people return to their churches, schools and friendship groups with verve and enthusiasm!
It’s also proving more and more popular, with many more tickets sold for this year's event than last years. There has also been interest from further away, from different denominations and from churches across Suffolk who have not been involved previously.
Deviate is an action-packed weekend residential for young people aged 11-18 years old. Featuring air rifle shooting, raft building, bushcraft, Tribes, and a variety of inspiring Christian speakers.
This is an ideal event for youth leaders to come along and bring their youth groups with them. All attendees should be coming with others from the same group and accompanied by a youth leader.
Deviate is held in Skreens Park Activity Centre, near Chelmsford. This centre offers young people the opportunity to challenge and empower themselves to do something different. With its range of modern, fully equipped buildings and established camping areas Skreens Park Activity Centre is well prepared for creating adventures.
- Regular activities-+
Activities across the Diocese:
“Vision” 7:00pm on the second Sunday of each month, for young people across a number of churches.
Cell groups for discipleship on Sunday mornings
“Rock Solid” Youth Club.
Visit to Soul Survivor
Southgate Church, Bury St Edmunds
Thursday night youth club
Once a month Tuesday night youth club,
Monday evening Christian youth group
All Saints Church, Kesgrave
Junior and senior youth clubs, part of Kesgrave Youth Forum
Wednesday house group for 6th Form students, Schools work
Friday afterschool club
Morning youth service every 2nd Sunday of each month
Visit to Soul Survivor.
St Andrews, Rushmere
StAR Club 6.30-8.00pm in the church hall, attached to St Andrews Church, the street, in old Rushmere village.
St Matthews, Ipswich
A morning youth service
Sunday evening youth club
The Diocese Youth team is led by Phil Bailie Phil.firstname.lastname@example.org
Across the Diocese:
Andy Williams at St John’s Church, Woodbridge email@example.com
Alison Burgess - Southgate Church, Bury St. Edmunds Alisonburgess2003@yahoo.co.uk
Canon Sarah du Boulay - All Saints Church, Kesgrave firstname.lastname@example.org
Jo Dixon - St Andrews, Rushmere email@example.com
Harry Morgan - St Matthews, Ipswich firstname.lastname@example.org
Being a church that young people want to be part of…
Below are a collection of reports and research which will help you as a church think through what it is that young people want and need, what you provide and where the gaps may be.
Rooted in the Church | Video
Hope Together – Talking Jesus (Youth) | Website