Category Archives: resources

Big Changes in how we connect with you!

We want to be better at communicating with the whole diocese through every platform you engage with. We want to be better at supporting you and your ministry and let you all know about the great things going on across the diocese.

So from January 2018 we will be active and available through the following:

School of Mission (SOM) Newsletters which will come out every month (on the 3rd Friday of the month) and have loads of information about what we are up to and how we can support you and what you’re doing. We would also love to share testimonies of what is going on around the diocese, so if you have any stories you want to share then please let us know by sending them to

Because we are trendy we will also be active daily over the following social media platforms:

School of Mission Facebook | SOM Twitter | SOM Instagram | SOM Vimeo | SOM Blog

The current YCF brand will be disappearing after Christmas but all relevant news on Children, Families and Young people’s ministry will still be sent via our SOM platforms.

Lent 2018

This year we are excited to announce new Lent Resources for both Adults, Inter-Generational Church and Young People. These resources are available free from: (Adults)  (Youth)  (Inter-Generational)

Prayer Spaces Events

We are looking forward to running a number of Prayer Spaces training events over the coming months.

These are aimed at those looking to start a Prayer Space for the first time in their local school, or have new team member(s) who would value hearing more about the ministry of Prayer Spaces. We are pleased to have Ian Hayes-Anderson joining us at these event, and his knowledge as a trainer and practioner in this area will be great to be part of whatever event you come to.

So whatever event you come to you will find resources, and an opportunity to get involved and be inspired to offer this to your  local school, or church group.

Saturday 3rd March 2018, Wolvesey, Winchester, SO23 9ND – 10.00am – 3.00pm

Thursday 22nd March 2018, Wolvesey, Winchester, SO23 9ND – 7.00pm – 9.30pm

Saturday 10th March 2018, Prayer Spaces Training, St Peter’s Church, Boyatt Wood, 10.00 – 3.00pm

Please contact Andy Saunders for more information / booking on, or call him on 07703 186693

Safety online

cell phone
The proliferation of Apps offers a remarkable range of opportunities to connect, share, learn and build community on-line. But what are Omegle, Dubsmash and Tango? And what do young people (and parents) need to know about privacy settings when using them?

The following sites offer helpful advice:

Internet Matters
SnapChat Maps
The Icebreaker email series

The Resource Room is now online!

resource room

Are you looking for a Godly Play set?  Or material for your home group? Sunday sermon? Teaching resources?

The Resource Room holds a wide selection of faith-related books, artefacts, DVDs, posters and Godly Play sets that you can look at free of charge, or borrow for a modest fee.  You can now browse and order online at:

Found what you need?

The Resource Room is located on the 1st floor of the Learning Centre, in the Cathedral Close, Winchester SO23 9LS.  Enter through the main door, then use the intercom and wait for the second door to be opened.

Opening Hours: Monday and Thursday, 9.30am to 4.00pm (or by prior appointment). For further information contact William Cole on 01962 857262 or

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:
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



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
    Schoolswork UK 16-19s resources

Starting Secondary School

starting_secondary_schoolIt can be a HUGE life change – you move from being the oldest in your school to the youngest, from a village primary school of 50 pupils, to a town based comprehensive of 700. The teachers are different, the environment is different, the work load is different and the expectations are different.

Leaving year 6 and heading into year 7 is a huge deal.

So how can we help young people navigate this well?
The best resource we’ve found is – It’s your Move from Scripture Union

You could:
•    Give it as a gift to every year 6 in your church or local primary school
•    Make a presentation of it to each year 6 in your church and invite them up to be prayed for on a Sunday morning
•    Look at the resource together in your group to make space for talking about how they’re feeling about the transition
•    Hold a ‘graduation’ social for the year 6s and even their families, to help them makr this key rite of passage. And why not invite the current year 7s along, so they can get to know one another a bit?

Other key practical things to consider:
Other key transitions – Often we match the transition to secondary school in our church groups, switching young people between groups at the same stage. This can work well – acknowledging their new ‘grown up’ status. But it can also mean another huge change of peer group and leaders at a time when everything else has already changed. So why not consider doing the transition sooner? Maybe helping the young people change groups at Easter in year 6, or the summer half term? Or even structuring your group so the transition falls at the start of year 6, rather than the start of year 7?

Parents – it’s a big change for parents too – how are young going to support them? And al of a sudden, parents are dealing with a child who returns from their new school day absolutely exhausted with a huge pile of home work. It might be that your new midweek youth group suddenly seems like a less vital part of life. You might (possibly quite rightly) think that this youth group is important for these young people’s well being and spirituality – but you might need to be supporting parents as they try to prioritise the new patterns and pressures of life and recognising they’re figuring out what’s best for their children in this new stage of life.

Intergenerational Toolkit

“It takes a whole village to raise a child” – Ancient African Proverb


There’s been a resurgence in recent years in the church in the understanding that resonates with the proverb above. It takes a whole Church to raise a child, or a teenager. There’s been a new sense that, while age appropriate activities are brilliant and are important for children and young people, they should never be instead of, or to the detriment of, time spent together as a whole church family, with every generation present.

Maybe this is something already rooted in your church culture – maybe it’s mentoring or specific times you gather together as a whole community, we even have at least one church in the Diocese now who has dropped their monthly ‘all age service’ shifting instead to a model with all ages together every week – or maybe it’s something you’ve been thinking about and haven’t known where to start. Or maybe even, you are totally sceptical about the whole idea.

Wherever you’re at, we’ve come across a few great resources for you to get your teeth into:

Intergenerational Resources
Sticky Faith – a host of resources for intergenerational Youth work from the Fuller Youth Institute
Intergenerational Church Toolkit – from the Christian Reformed Church

For an Overview of IG thinking:

Grant Funding in the Southampton Area

NEW! One-off grant for projects to improve children and young people’s mental health

Southampton City Council is offering one-off, 12 month grants (Apr 2017 to Mar 2018) of up to £25,000 for projects to improve children and young people’s mental health.  The CAMHS grants will focus on, but not be limited to, addressing the following gaps identified from focus groups and questionnaires with children, young people and professionals as part of the Mental Health Matters consultation:

  • Under 11s
  • Gender identity
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Bullying
  • Behavioural support for autism and Aspergers


There are two types of grant available:

  • Small grants up to £10,000 (ideal for community groups!)
  • Large grants between £10,000 and £25,000


Deadline for applications: Friday 13 January 2017, at midday.  The Prospectus and application forms are available to download from our website:




Consultation on how the council invests in the voluntary sector

Southampton City Council is undertaking a 12 week consultation into proposals for a strategic approach to voluntary sector investment (including voluntary and community organisations, faith organisations, charities and social enterprises).


Over the past year the council has conducted an overarching review to identify the best way to utilise this investment to ensure it contributes directly to the council’s priority outcomes.   It recognises the significant value the voluntary sector and volunteering brings to the city and the way it can help the council transform, particularly through prevention and early intervention work.


The consultation runs until 24 February 2017.  Full details of the proposals and an online survey can be found on the Southampton City Council website: