Category Archives: Youth Adviser

Pentecost 2018

We are really looking forward to all that God has for us as Winchester Diocese in 2018, and a big part of that is our commitment to pray and be expectant over Pentecost. We have had a great time over the past couple of years engaging with Novena (nine days of prayer leading up to Pentecost) and the service at Winchester Cathedral. We have had hundreds of prayer sessions happening across the diocese and have been amazed and encouraged by our collective call and engagement in prayer.

In 2018 we want to step it up a gear in terms of prayer and mission, and have several ways for you to get involved.

Novena – We want to pray!! We want every parish praying, and we want to engage teenagers and children in prayer too. For ideas on how to engage your churches and young people in this you can visit this website – Prayer Resources

Saturday 19th May

There is a royal wedding, FA cup final and our event on the green. More information on this day will be out soon.


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)

First Day in the Office!


Hello, my name is Paul Smith and I am the new Youth Advisor in the Diocese. I am married to Sarah and have 2 beautiful daughters Kayla and Edie. I live in Chandler’s Ford and was the Youth Minister in the Parish there for just over 3 years. I am really excited about this new role and all that God has for us as a Diocese. I look forward to meeting lots of you and getting to know you as I support you in your ministry to the amazing young people across this Diocese. If you need to contact me you can email me: or call me on: 07841517519.

Taizé Pilgrimage 8th – 17th July 2017

Bishop Jonathan will once again be leading a pilgrimage to Taizé for young people aged between 18 and 29.  In past years this week in Taizé has proved to be a life-changing event for many young people.

The cost will be no more than £160 (£185 for those over 24).  This includes coach travel to/from Taizé (leaving from London), food and accommodation in Taizé .

To find out more see the Winchester Taizé website

or contact:

For a booking form click here: taize registration form

A message to the Youth Leaders…

UPDATE- Read Mike’s own response and clarification

Dear Youth Leaders of the Diocese of Winchester

You may or may not have seen a bit of a flurry in the youthwork world this week as Mike Pilavachi has done a punchy, challenging (and, in part, slightly controversial) interview with Youthwork magazine.

Much of the debate, discussion and heat has centred around this comment from Mike, as he was asked about what change he’s seen in the world of youth work over the last 25 years:

“Generally, the quality of youth workers has gone down dramatically.”


Firstly, let me publically say, I have all the time in the world for Mike. He has been a faithful, obedient, prophetic minister to young people, youth leaders and the church, for decades now. When he speaks, we do well to listen.

But let me also say, as I go round the diocese, as I meet you, listen to your heart for young people, the way you sacrificially give of all you are, your absolute commitment to love God even when your circumstances are truly tough – as I speak to you, to plagiarise Eric Liddle, ‘I feel God’s pleasure’.

So I want to speak that word of encouragement to you first.

And then let’s together step into the words of challenge Mike has. There seem 3 parts of his challenge (do read his own words here):
1.    Let’s take the Bible and discipleship seriously – it’s alarmingly easy as youth leaders to become ‘professional Christians’ and let our passion for God wither as we pick up the Bible just to prepare Bible studies. Many of you challenge me as I meet with you, in your commitment to your own discipleship. But let us together commit to making loving God and spending time with him and his word the first thing we put into our diaries – maybe through engaging with the Diocesan Rule of Life? When we do that, we won’t be able to stop our youth work being saturated in God!

2.    Let’s be bold in tackling the hard issues – Mike laments how many youth leaders aren’t talking about Sex and Relationships with their young people. This stuff matters, and I’m sure if we thought hard enough there are a million tough issues we struggle to engage with. Let’s have courage – God is invested in these area of young people’s lives and we have a responsibility, with their parents, to help them grow. But if you’re feeling totally unable to tackle an issue and don’t know where to turn, that’s what Andy and I are here for – to help you find resources, figure out how to engage or to cheer you on.

3.    Let’s be bearers of a vocation to young people – Youth ministry gets into your bones. As I’ve travelled the diocese I’ve met people from 16 to 65 (and beyond) who love young people with a heart given by God. Let’s pray for others to awaken to that vocation, let’s cheer on those we see with it, and let’s know that this vocation matters to God, and it’s a vocation worth giving a life to.
I’m proud and privileged to get to work with you all. I often wish I could clone you and have twice as many of you! You matter. You are seen and loved by the God who moves mountains. So let’s commit to facing the challenge that Mike’s given and, who knows, maybe he’ll find himself saying something different next time.

Let us bear this vocation with a passion for God and a boldness of Spirit, and let’s see what God wants to do next.

PS And now we’ve talked about that – let’s let the rest of his interview sink in!

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.

New Youth Adviser for the Diocese of Winchester

Sarah Long

We’re delighted that Sarah Long will start work next Monday, 7 September 2015, as Youth Adviser to the Diocese of Winchester. She’ll join Andy Saunders, Diocesan Children’s and Families Adviser, to bring our FCY team back up to full strength.

Sarah has been working most recently with Romance Academy, a national charity that helps young people both inside and outside the church to explore how to build healthy relationships. In addition to engaging directly with young people, she has had the pleasure of working with youth workers and parents across the UK to tackle tricky topics well with their teenagers.

Prior to this she was Youth director at St Paul’s Church, Camberley, heading up youth work in line with their vision “Living Christ in Camberley”.

Welcome, Sarah!