YOUTHINC is a joint project with Granta and Shingay Deaneries and Cambridge Youth For Christ.
From April 2018 a Growth Fund assisted in the funding of a Youth Development Worker to sustain, develop and grow a collaborative youth ministry across churches and youth groups and to enable discipleship of the young.
Rachael, Deanery Youth Development Worker reflects on her 18 months in this role.
In April 2018 I was employed as the Deanery Youth Development Worker in rural South Cambridgeshire in partnership with Cambridge and District Youth for Christ. My task was to plant and grow youth work within the rural parishes.
In my first 6 months I spent a lot of time investing and growing any existing youth work - which consisted of children from the “Hinkledux” Benefice and the 4 churches Benefice in Thriplow, Fowlmere, Shepreth and Foxton.
In November 2018 I attended an Advisory Group meeting for the project. The Project Manager and founding trustee of Youthinc, Jenny Duke, had worked hard at convincing people to attend the meeting and her hard work paid off. There was a moment when one vicar suddenly seemed to catch the vision of the project and realised how it might benefit her parish.
At the end of the meeting we had exchanged contact details and we met two weeks later in December. Less than 2 months after that we had set up an exploratory meeting for local parents and young people to discuss what they wanted and on Sunday March 3rd 2019, we held our first Youth group meeting for the Parish of Linton in the church pavilion.
Since then, St Mary’s Youth group, or “SMYG” has met regularly on the 1st Sunday of every month at 4:15-5:45pm. Six or seven 9-13 year olds turn up each month and enjoy playing games, eating Pizza and discussing big topics such as “Do Christians hear God speaking”?
The group was initially led by me, the Vicar of St Mary’s Parish church in Linton, Maggie Guite, and a rotation of parent volunteers. We do our best to encourage the young people to think for themselves and to work out what the Bible says together. It’s hard to believe that this group didn’t exist 6 months ago – it’s amazing how much one person’s vision and the enthusiasm of a few can achieve. Now, as staff move on, “SMYG” continues to grow and develop.
It has been a great privilege to meet and engage with a variety of young people throughout South Cambs, over the past 18 months. Their interest and excitement in learning about and following Jesus has been a joy to see and hear about and I shall greatly miss them as I move into Schools work in North Hertfordshire.
I wish the project all the best as it continues to engage with young people throughout the area, introducing more and more of them to the good news of Jesus Christ.
Written by Jenny Duke (Founding Trustee Youthinc) & Rachael Went (Youth Development Worker)
Click here find out more about SMYG at St Mary’s Linton
Click here to find out more about HINKLEDUX