Displaying items by tag: youth work
Lament for the children and young people missing from the pews is ‘the heart’s cry of the Church’, the Archbishop of York said this week. He described his visits to churches mainly populated by older people and sometimes with no children or young people at all. ‘When I speak to them and ask them about their hopes and dreams for their church, almost without exception the first thing so-called older people say is “We wish there were more children and young people here.”’ Dr Sanjee Perera, the Archbishops’ adviser on minority ethnic Anglican concerns, spoke of decades of youth work in Anglican provinces that felt like ‘an exhausting losing battle’. Youth pastor Amanda Neill acknowledged that having a large youth group of more than 50 young people was ‘definitely unusual’. Young people think that the Church is outdated and irrelevant.
As knife crime rises, the many youth workers and organisations working with young people need our support and prayers. One of these is Ignite, a local grassroots charity working with 13- to 25-year-olds in Harrow to help them re-engage with education, find employment, or move away from anti-social behaviour, gang involvement, and exploitative relationships. It aims for long-term transformation in the lives of those who are at risk, marginalised, or facing barriers to success in life. This is done by activity and education-based programmes that challenge values and behaviour and by equipping young people with tools, resources and opportunities to make positive choices in their current situations.