Summer Camps Galore!

Summer is a-coming!

Have you thought about how the young people in your church and parish could spend their summer?

For some young people and some groups a festival, like heading to Soul Survivor, is a great way to spend a week. For others, that’s not quite the right shape for them. So if you fall into that latter category, have you thought about a Ventures Camp?

Haslemere.png

We have a whole hoard of exciting Ventures Camps within reaching distance of the Diocese – find out about all of them here: https://www.ventures.org.uk/

Here’s three who we’ve spoken to/visited/caught up with, who are keen to welcome young people from your parish this summer.

Romsey 5
Who: 14-18 year olds
Where: Hampshire Collegiate School, Romsey
When: 13 August 2017 – 21 August 2017
Bonus – for youth groups who are new to Ventures (or who haven’t been on a Ventures camp in 2 years) there’s £75pp off the cost this year
“Many of our members talk about how great it is meet people their own age who are either Christians or exploring faith – it becomes a real network of support all over the country, and it helps them to know that they are not alone! We have seen so many members grow in their faith and begin to really engage with who Jesus is and what He means to them in their day-to-day lives.” – Lucy, Romsey 5 Leader

Haslemere
Who: 13/14-18 year olds
Where: The Royal School, Haslemere
When:
Week A – 31st July – 7th August 2017 (Ages: 13-18)
Week B – 8th – 16th August 2017 (Ages: 14-18)
Week C – 17th – 25th August 2017 (Ages: 14-18)
And a New Year Party and Easter Revision Camp are open to those who have attended in the summer!
Bonus! – Haslemere@Danehill – 23rd – 26th October 2017 (Ages: 10-13)

Check out their website for further information – and a promo film!

“I started out as a volunteer with them and have been involved about 4 years now.  I cannot recommend them enough.  They are ran by an amazing dedicated team of volunteers who are passionate about showing Gods love to young people” – Lauren, Haslemere Leader

Dorset venture
Who: 14-18s
Where: Manor Farm, Studland, near Swanage, Dorset, BH19 3AT
When: 29th July to 7th August

“We’d love to support more churches within Winchester diocese with a fun, faithful and affordable summer camp for individual young people or larger groups.” – Alex, one of the Camp’s leaders

Job Advert – Children’s/Youth Work Assistants, St Paul’s Church, Winchester SO22 5AB

Children’s/Youth Work Assistants

St Paul’s Church, Winchester SO22 5AB

Hours

Sunday mornings 9–11.30 am, plus 1 hour preparation time and occasional meetings

Posts

Children’s Assistant 1: To plan informal sessions for two groups of children aged 4–6 and 7–9 years and lead one of the groups.

Children’s Assistant 2: To plan informal sessions and lead a group of children aged 9–12 years.

Youth Assistant: To plan informal sessions and lead a group of young people aged 13–18 years.

All of the sessions will be on a Christian theme and appropriate to the group’s age. Each will include prayer, a Bible story, activity, game and discussion based on the ROOTS resources, which provide ideas for each Sunday.

Rate of pay: £7.50–£8.50 per hour, depending on experience.

Attributes

  • there is a Genuine Occupational Requirement for the post-holder to be a Christian’.
  • aged 18+
  • good at working in a team
  • a good communicator
  • able to be creative in engaging children/young people in the Christian faith.

(A Disclosure and Barring Service check will be done for the successful applicants.)

Please contact Mary Copping, Children and Youth Work Co-Ordinator,

07921 886016, youth@stmatthewstpaul.org

We are an inclusive, welcoming and vibrant Anglican parish for all ages, situated in the heart of Winchester and committed to serving the community both locally and beyond. We want to be radical in demonstrating that the root of all we seek to be, and do, is found in the love of God.

Thy Kingdom Come: Evangelism Training

 

mission-action

During Thy Kingdom Come we will be offering the chance for you to join in evangelism in Winchester on Saturday 3rd June.  There will be training opportunities available to prepare you – you only need to attend one of these to participate.  These will take place at Christ Church Winchester (Christ Church, Christchurch Road, Winchester SO23 9SR) on the 11th and 31st May from 7.30pm to 9pm.

It’s open to Young People – why not bring your youth group!

The plan for the day is as follows:

Session 1 Session 2 Details
9.30 1.30 Meet outside the West door of the Cathedral to pray and for a final briefing

 

10.00 2.00 Go out in pairs to talk to people in and around the cathedral grounds
11.30 3.30 Gather together to share stories and to pray

 

 

12.00 4.00 End

 

 

For more information, or to book a place, please contact phil.dykes@winchester.anglican.org.

 

 

@Spire Old Alresford Place, 19th June, 2-7pm

aspire cropped

Andy and Sarah are headed to the Old Alresford Place, 19th June 2-7pm, for an afternoon drop in sessions for all those working with Children, Families and Young people in the Alresford Deanery – or those who wish they were!

Come along with any of your questions, check out our resources stand, even bring your team for a bit of training (drop us an email if you’d like to book a specific training slot – sarah.long@winchester.anglican.org).

We’ll be there from 2pm until 7pm, so come before the school run or after work. We’d love to encourage and resource you!

It’s for… children and youth leaders, clergy, liscensed ministers, parents, volunteers, interested parties, PCC members, grandparents – you name it!

Sticking Around

stick_aroundUniversity is no longer the automatic default option for young people. In a world of rising fees, economic and employment uncertainty, new apprenticeships and opportunities, you may well find you have growing numbers of young people who leave school, and stick around locally to work or train through work.

They’re too old for your youth group, but there may still be an age gap between them and the wider congregation. So what do we do?

  • Find space for them – If these young people have been lucky enough to have youth dedicated activities in church through their teen years, suddenly dropping out the end of that can be hard. All of a sudden the space that was theirs, is now closed to them. Hopefully during that period they’ve been able to build relationships into the intergenerational church community as well. But it’s still a big change. Have a think about what spaces there are in your church that could welcome them in during this new phase of life. Is there a 20s and 30s group? Is there a friendly house group? Is there an area of church with a strong team which would welcome them in with open arms. Encourage congregation members to mindfully offer invitations and make space for them as new adults within the church community.
  • Recognise their new challenges and opportunities – You’ve known Johnny since he was a hyperactive 12 year old, now he’s heading into work every day, getting a pay check, training on the job and interacting fully in the adult world. This means he’ll be seeing himself differently, he’ll be seeing you differently. We need to honour the growth happening for these young adults – no longer treating them as teenagers but rather as adults. This can be practically worked out by seeing if they can embrace a bit more responsibility in church, maybe helping them find a mentor in church with employment experience to guide them, looking for growth in their skills and giftings and offering opportunities for them to use this in church. Give them opportunities for genuine, meaningful participation in church life.
  •  You’ve been her youth leader for years, and now you’re not. But what are you? You’re not automatically friends. You’ve had years of appropriate boundaries and distance. How on earth does that work now? It’s going to be clunky for a while. If there’s other people who can start to invest in relationship with these young people while you take a small step back that can be helpful. Making space allows the relationship structures to weaken and then be reformed and reshaped in time. This might mean you have to actively look for other adults in the congregation to build relationship with these young adults, letting you slowly take some steps back. Where possible, make this a smooth transition – rather than suddenly ignoring them on a Sunday morning! And realise it might take a year or two for the relationship to reform into a new format. That’s OK. Hang in there.
  • Don’t forget them – as a whole church, above all else, don’t let these young adults drop off your radar. Not seen them in a few weeks? Drop them a message, invite them to lunch, ask how they’re getting on. Keep the door open to them and keep the communication lines open. It’s easy for these young people to drop down a gap in the system at this stage – they’re no longer the primary responsibility of the youth leaders, but they may not be on the radar of key pastoral people at church. Don’t let them fall through a gap in the system – they’re part of the family!

Off to University!

off_to_university

As a youth worker and then as a parish volunteer, my favourite evening of the year was the evening we had the 18 year olds round for dinner before they headed off to university. We’d cook a huge meal, offer them a wine or beer for the very first time, eat until we couldn’t meal and talk about their hopes, dreams, fears and excitements for their upcoming trip to university. They thought it was about the food… For us it was all about having conversations around this next stage of their lives.

The exact numbers are disputed, but its reckoned that a huge number of students who rock up at university calling themselves Christian fail to connect with church while they’re there. For many this marks the end of their relationship with church for the rest of their lives.

The young people that we may have spent 7 years investing in, a significant proportion of them may not end up connecting to a church when they get to university. They may shelve their faith, for months, weeks, years… forever? I don’t think that’s what any of us want for them.

So how can we help our youth group be the ones who transition well?

Prep them well
Before students head off to university they’ll go on a thousand shopping trips for bedding, pans, and cutlery. They know there’s loads they need to get sorted, from finance to food, text books to towels. So why should their faith be any different? What do they need to be preparing in advance for this next adventure?

Why not consider running some special sessions for the future students in your group to give them space to talk about this new experience they’re headed into? A chance to pray for one another? A chance to think through the challenges and opportunities ahead?

Fusion have pulled together some resources to help you do just this.

They also have the following resources available
Gift packs and resources for young people – with things to help them think about university life, faith and mission
Church Link Up Service – young people can sign up to receive information and invitations to churches in their university town. A great way of getting them hooked up and linked in before they’ve even packed their bags and headed out the door.

And they’re not the only ones:
UCCF
Starting uni Resources – a whole host of resources to help young people navigate starting university (and some resources for youth leaders as well)
CU Link Up – a way for young people to link up with their university CU before they even arrive. Many even run residentials bfore term starts so young people can get away with the CU and make friends before the madness of Freshers week.

Student Christian Movement
Freshers’ Hub – all sorts of resources for young people who are off to become freshers
Free Freshers Packs – free and easy to order – another great gift for your young people

Fresh – Krish Kandiah

(Know of other great resources? Leave a comment below!)

Keep in Touch
It’s tempting to think our role is over once we’ve launched these 18 year olds out into the big wide world, but one of the best things we can do as youth leaders is to keep the contact open. That might mean:
•    sending a card for their new room
•    asking for prayer requests once a term
•    heading off to visit them for a day

Or it might be members of your congregation. There’s a brilliant group of retired ladies based at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Four Marks. They call themselves the Fairy ‘Cogs’-mothers. They’ve taken it on themselves to adopt the students of the church, sending them birthday cards and Christmas cards. Asking for prayer requests. Sending out chocolatey care packages. All to help the students remember they have a home church who loves them. Maybe your parish could do the same?

Chances are they’ll have new experiences and questions to ask about faith as they journey into university life – a connection to the church that loved them through their teenage years can be a powerful resource in these times.

Stay in for the Long Haul
Sometimes the young people we send out to university don’t connect with church or faith groups in their first year, or even their second year. By keeping in contact, connecting with them when they’re home, continuing to be available to chat about life and faith with them, we keep the door open to them to continue to connect with church and with faith. We’re in this for the long haul – not just freshers’ week!
These days, with pressures on recruitment and finances, it’s not uncommon for young people to return back to their parental home after graduating, sometimes briefly and sometimes for several years. Knowing their church family is here, waiting to welcome them back can be such an encouragement for young people in the midst of this.

And.. Don’t forget about the parents!
This is a HUGE time of change for parents, watching their children grow up and leave home for the first time. It’s a key time for your church to think about supporting them.

Care for the Family have a great Top Tips Leaflet free for download for parents facing the ‘Empty Nest’ for the first time

Starting College

starting_college

 

Sweet 16. It’s a funny age with a romance attached to it. One of those key transition periods for young people.

The jump from GCSE to A Levels, from School to College or apprenticeship, from year 11 to year 12. The cusp of adulthood. Almost grown up and ready for independence, but still very much a young person with lots of growing to do.

There are over 75000 sixth form and college students in Hampshire – many of those fall into the Diocese of Winchester, along with all of those in Bournemouth and Dorset, not to mention those at school sixth forms! Come September a whole new raft of young people will be navigating this change.

But how often do we think to help them prepare for it in church?

The step change in responsibilities, opportunities, pit falls, and relationships, is huge. There’s so much we can do to help the young people we work with, and those in our local schools, to grapple with the life change about to hit them. Here’s some practical thoughts around how you can help the young people near you manage this transition…

Key issues to explore through ongoing conversations

  • Parties – as social lives open up so do a whole range of questions and choices. How are they going to approach alcohol? What decisions are they going to make around relationships and sex? What kind of friends will they be looking for in their new college?
  • College work – as young people hit sixth form there’s a handing over of responsibility from teachers to the students for them to take a greater role in getting their work done. There’s less hand holding, less chasing, more decision making and the consequences that follow that. How are they going to cope with that change? How does their faith help them decide how to handle that? How might God be wanting to walk with them in this new world of responsibilities?
  • Priorities – There’s much greater freedom for young people to choose their priorities once they get to college – choosing their focus between work, socialising, paid employment, rest, hobbies and even church. They have two years at college to play with – why not spend time at the start helping them dream about what they want to do, see and experience in that time. And then help them explore what the role of their faith is in the midst of that. What priority are they going to put on spending time with their church family in the midst of that?

For young people of faith this next period of life is likely to throw up all sorts of things:

  • Bigger philosophical questions – thrown up by their studies. They may need even more robust spaces to explore apologetics, concepts and theology. Why not check out The Road as a resource to help with this.
  • New ethical challenges – from parties, to sex, to alcohol, to speeding while driving and all sorts of other things. With broadening horizons comes a wider range of questions. Our activities and spaces need to be safe spaces for exploration, with answers given that can be explored and chewed over, not just expecting them to be accepted. The Bridge UK has some great articles on ethical issues to help you think things through as a leader, or to provide a basis for discussion in your group.
  • More space to question parents – This is a key period of growing independence – but they’re still at home under their parent’s roof. Tis can mean significant levels of conflict between parents and young people. Be aware of the need to support the parents of young people as well as the young people themselves. Care for the Family have a great course called ‘Parenting Teenagers’ to help parents navigate this period. They also release regular podcasts for parents on topical issues they may be facing
  • More opportunity to choose for themselves whether they attend church/groups – young people are likely to have a growing opportunity to choose for themselves whether they attend youth groups or church during this period. As leaders we need not to take it personally should they choose not to attend as regularly. But we need to be steadfast in our care for them. That might mean contacting them regularly to keep them up to date with what is going on, keeping inviting them along. Or simply checking in to see how they’re getting on. Sending a card at key moments of exams and life for them. Offering opportunities to talk. It’s a powerful witness of God’s love for them, when we remain faithful to young people when they choose to take some space.

    Further helpful resources for this age group
    Festive
    Schoolswork UK 16-19s resources