European Puppet & Creative Arts Ministry Festival, RUGBY, Fri Oct 28th 2016


The Euopean Puppet and Creative Arts Ministry Festival is coming to Rugby!

85 workshops available over the two days

With workshops led by Maegan Bruce, Jared Hall, Bob Hartman and Shane Rootes from the USA as well as a wide range of special UK guests including Bob Goody (Scripture Union), Steve & Kay Morgan-Gurr, Lynn McCann (Reachout ASC), Becky May (Messy Church), Jason Westmoreland, Amy Robinson, Andrew Holden, Matthew Gray, our Regional Trainers and more.

There will be hands-on workshops on puppetry, gospel illusions, storytelling, all-age services, ventriloquism, working with children and adults with learning difficulties and SEN, Messy Church, worship, drama, creative communication, gospel ballooning and more. All for both the absolute beginner and plenty of classes for those who are more experienced and keen to develop their skills further.

Return home inspired and equipped with skills and resources to use in your services, Messy Church, Open the Book sessions, outreach and work in the schools and community!

Find out more and book on here.

Diocesan Conference – Your Thoughts

Along with a whole group of others from across the Diocese, we (Andy and Sarah) are off in just over two weeks to the Diocesan Synod Conference (see the programme here)


We’re aware as we go that we have the privilege of representing a small army of YCF leaders and whole magnificent hoard of Children, Young People and Families. We want to make sure you’ve had a chance to let us know what you’re thinking, even if you’re not able to be there with us.

So with that in mind, we’d love to hear from you either in the comments below or via email, your thoughts on these questions. And we’ll do our best to take your thinking with us as we go!

  1. Where are you seeing the 4SPs make a difference amongst Children, Young People and Families?
  2. What do the Young People, Children and Families you engage with want to see from us as a Diocese and parishes as we continue moving forwards?
  3. What would you like to see us doing as a diocesan community to engage with Children, families and young people, under the banner of the 4SPs?
  4. Are there particular issues that you want us to have on our minds at conference?
  5. Anything else you want to say to us?

We’re excited at all the potential this conference holds for helping us move forwards. Thanks for being on the journey with us. Please do also pray and join in on twitter (#winchestermission)

We’ll make sure we let you know how it all went once we get back.

Partnering Up: Summer Camps

What does partnership look like for you in YCF ministry? Maybe there’s partnership between parents and leaders? Maybe there’s partnership with a local school? Well, this summer, a couple of churches from different ends of the diocese decided to try partnership through their summer residential.


At the end of August. Christ Church Winchester, St Peter’s Yateley and Above Bar Church, clubbed together to run a residential week for their youth groups.


We loved that they were bold enough to try something new, and we asked if they’d share a bit about how they found that experience.


Dave Thornton, Director of Youth, Christ Church Winchester

dave-thorntonChrist Church’s Download youth ministry (14s-18s) had been running an annual summer residential for many years, but in 2016, we decided to team up with St. Peter’s Yateley and Above Bar Church in Southampton.

Our Download leaders were very excited, but I was surprised that not all the young people were positive about it.  One said, ‘I’m not sure if I’m going to come, because it won’t be the same with other groups involved…’  Such comments actually encouraged me on, as I felt that we were in danger of becoming isolated.  The reality of it is, our youth group already has young people in it from at least 4 other churches.  There were some challenges, including different youth groups having different ages of young people involved.

With the challenges in mind, we worked together to some extent to try and make links before the summer. Leaders had a joint planning meeting.  The young people had a joint BBQ and a carload of Christ Church leaders and young people visited the other youth groups.

Some great working together amongst leaders happened before the event, with a mixture of leaders preparing talks, seminars and activities.  It was great to add new skills and personalities in to the team.  I had thought we had older leaders (Christ Church’s oldest leader is 46) but one of the other churches brought an older leader than that – a  great guy in his 60s.  He led a small group of 17-18 year old boys on the week away, and they loved him and valued his wisdom and experience.

It was fantastic during the week to see the groups blurring.  At the start you could see where one group stopped and the next one started.  By the Friday, you couldn’t see that.  Everyone was just one big group.

It will be interesting to see the difference this makes to Download as we continue forward.


Sarah Yetman, Curate, St Peter’s Yateley


This year, we were in a position where we felt it would be impossible to take away a group to Soul Survivor because we didn’t have the leaders to be able to manage properly and look after the other young people. We were also aware that as a smaller group, events like Soul Survivor don’t provide many opportunities for groups to mix and make new friends – our experience was our group only got to know each other better in that time. I came to Dave to ask whether our group would be able to join with Download so that they could have a taster of being part of a larger group, and see that there were other Christians of their age out there.


Surprisingly not all our young people were on board to begin with and a few had holidays booked at inconvenient moments. Not going to Soul Survivor was an unpopular decision for a church that has taken a group for many years. However, there were some young people who booked in as soon as was possible because they were so keen about the possibilities.


It was really good and very affirming to be part of a much larger team and to celebrate all the gifts and talents involved in the team of leaders. For us as a small team often on the verge of needing to cancel things because we don’t have enough people, it was revitalising and ministered deeply to us. In particular, we are lacking younger leaders who have the time and energy to come alongside our young people, so working on a team full of them was inspiring.


The young people came back changed and challenged and hungry for more. We’re hoping and praying that it will continue to have a lasting impact on them as they become leaders in our group. They made new friends and new connections and had a ball while doing it, alongside going Deeper with Jesus.


The whole experience has really encouraged me to try and break down some of the boundaries with other local churches and invite them to partner with us particularly with social activities.


What could partnership look like where you are?

Want to have a think about this further or chat it through? Drop an email to Sarah or Andy (

Or have you got stories of partnership work you’ve been doing? We’d love to hear them!

NEW Intergenerational Lectionary-based Resources – Children & Families

Original Article

NEW Intergenerational Lectionary-based Resources


Across October new, FREE intergenerational lectionary-based resources will be provided for each week. Suitable for use whether you are following the lectionary or not, these resources from the VCCE will include intergenerational music, prayer and Bible engagement ideas. These ideas may be used wherever liturgically appropriate in a service, including as part of an Early Word/ Children’s Talk time.

As always, your feedback on these resources will be gratefully received. Please e-mail your comments to

Because You’re Loved – Schools Mission Week 17-23rd oct, 2016

Only 3 weeks to go before young people right across the country reach out to their peers through a week of schools based mission 17th-23rd October.


With more than 20,000 Because You’re Loved cards distributed with Soul Survivor this summer, HOPE Revolution in partnership with PAIS is challenging young people to express their faith through social media and through five simple dares. These dares focus on encouragement, action, invitation, compassion and generosity. This is a great opportunity to maximise the impact of relational evangelism and see young people mobilised to reach their peers in their school settings.

To find out more information and to be part of because your loved, please check out the info on their website

Winchester Cathedral Junior Choir

An opportunity for young people aged 7-14 to join Winchester Cathedral Junior Choir – find out more

This exciting new choral opportunity is being offered to boys and girls who wish to sing in an ensemble that complements the other wonderful choral traditions of Winchester Cathedral.

The Junior Choir will focus on performing music as a group in their own right and, once fully established, will occasionally contribute to the Cathedral’s programme of services.

Membership of the Junior Choir will be available to boys and girls who:

  • are aged between 7 and 14 years old
  • live, or are at school, within the Diocese
  • enjoy singing confidently, and are enthusiastic about singing and learning with others
  • are able to attend regular weekly rehearsals and occasional performances and services

At present, there is no audition for entry into this choir.

Weekly practices will be held on Tuesdays, during school term-times, from 4.45pm until 7pm.

At first, from its initial meeting on Tuesday 27 September 2016, the Junior Choir will be working towards a performance of Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, to be staged in the Cathedral in February 2017.