Category Archives: Uncategorized

Changes for the New Year!

Since I have been in post in the diocese I have realised there is a whole world of amazing people, projects and initiatives going on that as a Parish youth minister I had no idea about. So we want to change the way we communicate with you, in order to let you know who are are, what we do, how we can help you, and just to create greater links of support between the School of Mission and the parishes. So from January 2018 we will no longer have a YCF communications stream, but we will be communicating out as School of Mission (SOM). School of Mission is made up of a team of amazing administrators, several advisers and our fearless leader Rev Canon Mark Collinson. We are here to support and help mission take place across the diocese. Myself and Andy Saunders, whom you know, work as youth and children advisers, but we have others who do great work in every other area of the church. So through our communications as SOM we will be introducing you to everyone in the department, what we do, and how we can help. And also sharing amazing testimonies of what God is doing across the diocese to inspire and encourage you where you are. We will be doing this through out SOM Facebook, SOM Twitter, SOM Instagram, SOM Newsletter and SOM Blog. So please subscribe to these when they come out. We will do out best to share links over all our current platforms and we look forward to working with you all over 2018.

Going to school for the first time

The prospect of starting school for the very first time might be hugely exciting or it might be terrifying… for the children or for the parents!

Scripture Union have produce a resource for parent to work through with their kids at this stage called ‘It’s your Next Step’. You can get hold of it here.

Why not give these out to the parents of this age range in your parish, whether they’re linked in with your Sunday morning services, your messy church, or your toddler groups?

And how about praying for these particular children and their families as school starts in September – even including them in your Intercessions that week?

And don’t forget to chat ask the children and their parents how it’s going when you next see them!

Job Advert – Children and Families Worker, Christchurch Priory

The parish of Christchurch in Dorset is looking for a committed, experienced and motivated person to be our first Children and Families Worker.


We are seeking a committed Christian to work in our existing team and liaise with schools and other churches in Christchurch to find new ways of connecting with children and their families in order to bring the Gospel to them, support them socially, and engage them in either the existing children’s ministry at the Priory Church (which has scope for development) or by pioneering new provision at St George’s.


We are looking for: someone with previous experience of working with children and families; a team leader who is also a team player; a ‘self-starter’ with a flexible outlook and plenty of initiative; who is able to engage with others with sincerity, humility and humour; and who has a heart for evangelism in working with children and their families. S/he has good communication and organisational skills, can rise to the challenge of a diverse workload, and can work well under pressure.


Hours:        Full-time, i.e. 37 hours per week

Salary:        £22,000 – £28,000 (depending on experience)

Interviews:  27 March 2017

Start date:  1 September 2017


There is a genuine occupational requirement that post holders are practicing Christians. An enhanced DBS check will be required. Housing may be available.


We hope you sense our excitement at this new post and what we believe God is calling us to do together. For further details, including Role Description, Terms and Conditions etc., please contact:  For a conversation about the post, please call Canon Charles Stewart on 01202 800888.

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:

Advent vs Busyness

A report has recently been released that looks at family life.

One of the conclusions in its executive summary is that
‘Parents continue to put in extra hours just to get the job done. In some cases an additional ten hours a week.


Working parents are increasingly feeling “burnout”. This is due to the toll of family and work obligations. A third of parents (29%) reported being burned out often or all the time and many take annual or sick leave to cope. Family life is a priority for most parents, but work consistently impinges. This prevents parents from helping children with homework or putting them to bed. 40% said this happened regularly.’

Many families (and others) are feeling these pressures and yet keep them to themselves – you maybe one of them as you read this! At this time of Advent, let’s find ways in our parishes and churches for us all to feel supported and able to share the highs and lows of life while celebrating the arrival of a child that came to ‘carry our burdens’, and bring hope for us all.

How can we live this out in our ministry to families? Well… giving people time and spaces where they can be and feel valued and listened to. Jesus spent a lot of time in his ministry listening as well as speaking, people came to her what he said, as they knew he had spent time with them. They didn’t always agree with what he said, but he was able to share what he knew needed to be said, but in the community they lived in, and understood their daily lives.

This Advent and Christmas season are opportunities we get to share the hope we have, but people of all ages need time to feel they are accepted and listened to for their burdens maybe heavy….