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Partnership enables Worcester churches to appoint Children and Youth Worker

Published: 10th October 2023

Helen Laird sits at a table with children and adults who are drawing and colouring

Three churches in Worcester have worked together to apply to the Healthier Churches Fund and appoint a full-time Children and Youth Worker who will be shared between them, building on previous work in each of the parishes to engage children and young people.

The adjoining Worcester parishes of St John the Baptist, St Stephens and St George’s successfully applied for Healthier Churches funding, which, alongside a small amount of top up funding from each of the churches, has been enough to create this full-time post for at least five years. Former CYD Mission Enabler, Helen Laird successfully applied for the post and is due to start late Autumn 2023.

The parishes have worked together before, particularly on events aimed at engaging the local community, such as nativity plays, socials and their ever-popular Pancake Parties to mark Shrove Tuesday each year.  

St Stephens’ Curate, the Revd. Lindsey Coulthard said:

“This came about because we were all reviewing our Health and Sustainability plans, and for all three churches our number one priority was children and young people. We also recognised through our previous joint working that we were more successful when we worked together, so putting in a joint application for a Children and Youth Worker made perfect sense.”

All three churches already run their own range of activities and groups aimed at engaging children, young people, and their families. They all have their own thriving toddler groups, and each has a monthly New Worshipping Community too; St Georges and Claines both run Café Churches, and St Stephens hosts ‘Sunday Stars’ engaging families with pre-school children as a follow-on to Baptism. St George’s also has a new youth group and St Stephens has just got involved in ‘Gather’, providing informal worship after school, meaning there will be plenty for Helen to build on once she is in post.

A mission group has been appointed, with representatives from each church to liaise with the Children and Young People worker once they’re started, so each will know what Helen is working on and will have the opportunity to suggest new ideas.

Diocese of Worcester Children and Youth Adviser Simon Hill said:

“Children and youth workers play a vital role working alongside church leaders and volunteers to grow ministry with children, young people and their families. Many of our churches have lots of contact with families in local schools and at the fringe of church life; a dedicated worker can make the most of these connections, finding new ways to welcome more people into the full life of the church so they can develop their own relationship with God.

“It’s wonderful that these three churches in Worcester realised working together to gain funding was their best option and have been able to do this effectively to create this important role, which joins a growing network of employed youth and children’s workers around the diocese who prayerfully support each other to grow God’s kingdom.”

If you would like to explore the possibility of a children and youth worker in your parish, perhaps in partnership with other nearby churches , please contact Simon Hill for an initial discussion.

Page last updated: Thursday 12th October 2023 4:24 PM

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