Category Archives: Events

National Youth Ministry Weekend announces lineup

national youth

Youthscape have announced the contributor lineup for the National Youth Ministry Weekend taking place from 10th – 12th November in Birmingham.  Speakers include Kenda Creasy Dean, Patrick Regan and Miriam Swaffield and worship will be led by Tim Hughes and the Worship Central team.

To find out more and book tickets, visit


@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 –

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!

Tent on the Green

Last year for the first time, in a partnership between Winchester Cathedral and Burn, the Cathedral hosted a huge marquee, with faith based activities on the Cathedral Green for the whole Pentecost weekend – 2nd-4th June.

This year – it’s happening again in an all new and exciting way. We asked Sally Dakin, the Diocesan Spirituality Adviser, to tell us a bit more about it…

“The Tents on the Green vision is for a joyful festival for ‘Sharing God’s Life’ and blessing the city, its residents & visitors – which could be adopted by Christians/churches all over the Diocese.

This year we are going for a number of smaller tents instead of one enormous one. Under the auspices of Winchester Cathedral, and with Churches Together Winchester, we want to create a festival feel in the Outer Close, with the simple aim of ‘Sharing God’s Life’ – something very open, generous & celebratory.

As last year, Steve Abley of BURN 24-7 is organising a music tent, a youth tent and a children’s/families tent for the whole weekend. Other churches/groups will be organising other smaller tents/gazebos etc, on the Saturday (June 3rd), and there’ll be people whose role it is just to be out & about in the Close and beyond, chatting to people and inviting them to join in. And we’ll have the Bouncy Cathedral.

The whole thing is designed to appeal to families and under-40s. So if you’re fall into that age range, or minister to those who do, why not come down and visit on the day!

Youth workers also might like to know that live music will be playing INSIDE the Cathedral overnight on the Friday & Saturday, 10pm-7am. (And outside during the day, from Fri. 4pm – Sun. 4pm.) As details are arranged, we’ll be letting you know how you can get involved with this.

Anyone who’d like to get involved on the youth or children’s/families side should contact Ellie Payne, youth worker at St Barnabas, Weeke, who’s one of the Wildfire team leading youth work across the churches in Winchester – and at Tents on the Green. Her email is:

Young People and Mental Health Safeguarding Dicussion Update

Mental Health – it’s the hot topic of the moment when it comes to working with young people. But how well are we managing to keep up as Christian Youth workers and churches? That was the topic for discussion when we gathered a group of youth leaders for a Round table discussion in November.

safeguarding roundtable

It was evident that all of us had brought our own stories, questions and experiences with us and evident that the young people in our youth ministries are all grappling with questions around mental health, whether for themselves or for their friends and families.


We brought some really big questions with us:

  • When do I talk to parents/school about mental health disclosure?
  • How can we best support and help young people when the NHS/School systems are so full of people needing help?
  • How can we best support CYP, families, and peers who struggle with mental health (ADHD, Autism, Self-Harm, Suicide)?
  • What’s the scale of the problem?


And some wide ranging concerns

  • Anxiety – an epidemic
  • Gender dysphoria
  • Self-harm
  • Not knowing who to go to to find information
  • Culture of escalation/Rising tide
  • Meeting needs of CYP and parents
  • Supporting schools
  • Dealing with suicide


It felt to the whole group like a whole lot had changed in the landscape in the last 5 years or so…

  • Increased pressure on young people – like Image and social media and Career choice by Year 8
  • Decreased CAMHS capacity
  • Social media – Cyber bullying = 24/7, Role models, Trolling
  • Internet
  • Drugs – MCATs, Vaping, Sex, Psychosis
  • Labelling– Traits vs. Diagnosis, Self/Parent Diagnosing
  • On the plus side – it’s now ‘on the radar’ -Some church engagement, Talking more, More resources & expertise


But we felt, there were a growing number of challenges for us as Youth leaders. Ranging from:

  • Being Leaders with mental health struggles or working along side colleagues who are struggling
  • Organisations, like NHS and local government, sometimes looking to churches to pick up the slack
  • Support can be very resource heavy (especially for Leaders)
  • What does Discipleship look like in all this?
  • How do we support Parents
  • Facing issues of Suicide in our ministries
  • Engaging with issues around Gender dysphoria – challenges of legality, safeguarding, parents, and leaders’ clarity.
  • And many more


So what was the group’s advice for youth leaders?

  • Talk about Mental Health issues – both in up front/organised Talks and but also in passing conversations
  • Be Pro-active in engagement when stuff has gone wrong
  • Create programmes that encourage positive mental health – engaging with exercise, quiet space, fun, etc


And, finally, Jackie (Diocesan Safe Guarding Adviser) and I (Sarah) got our homework to do, with requests for:

  • Training Days
    • In-house or small regional events
    • Potential of working with candidates
    • Professionals – get it right
  • Process mapping for disclosures
  • Resource list (to include Christian counselling and secular counselling)
  • Gather stories from people who’ve gone through youth groups with mental health struggles
  • Create a debrief process for leaders and safeguarding advisers
  • Support for Campaigning on Mental Health issues


We’re in discussion about how we follow up – so watch this space!


A huge thank you to those youth leaders who brought their wisdom and expertise to the discussion. We’d love to hear from you if you’ve got thoughts. And please know, if you’re grappling with Mental Health challenges in your ministry, we’re here to support you!

Coffee Hubs 2017

Andy and Sarah are hitting the road again to tour the Diocese, spreading caffine, cheer, and YCF advice.


We’ll be coming to a coffee shop near you to meet with YCF leaders, Curates, Clergy, and anyone else who’d like to come talk. We’re coming to your doorstep to hear how things are going, encourage you, and chat about the challenges you might be facing in your ministry.

Get the date in the diary and we’ll get the coffee!

  • Wednesday 29th March, 10-12pm – Trago Lounge, Portswood, Southampton
  • Thursday 30th March, 10-12pm – Starbucks, Festival Place, Basingstoke
  • Thursday 27th April, 10-12pm – Costa Coffee, Lyndhurst
  • Thursday 4th May, 10-12pm – Starbucks, Winchester
  • Thursday 11th May, 10-12pm – Cafe Nero, Andover
  • Thursday 25th May, 10-12pm – St John’s Coffee Shop, Hartley Wintney
  • Thursday 8th June, 10-12pm – Costa Coffee, Mallard Park, Bournemouth