Jesus said “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”.  Matthew 19 v14


Children and young people are always welcome, and encouraged to take full part in our life and worship as a church family. 

The Rector of the West Wight Revd. Clive Todd, Revd. Linda, Local Lay Minister Peter Johnson and youth workers Andy and Andrew have strong connections with the local primary and secondary schools.  There is a monthly Eucharist (Holy Communion) for the primary school at St Mary’s, Brighstone, and a monthly Godly Play session for the children in the Reception Class.  We also regularly go into the school for Collective Worship and to work with individual classes.

Children are encouraged to be present and take part in the main services at all of our five churches.  They are involved in welcoming, reading the scriptures for the day to the congregation, others offer prayers, or help by bringing forward the bread and wine for the celebration of Holy Communion.  The young people also support our music and singing.

If your children would like to get involved in their local parish church, please email


Youth Work

There are a variety of ways in which children and young people can explore their faith, from bible study to detached youth work, work in local schools and a number of fellowship groups.  We work closely with other churches across the Island as well as Youth For Christ, aiming to provide a range of opportunities for young people to engage at whatever level they feel comfortable.

Youth Work Update – An introduction to the work of SWAY

SWAY is short for South Wight Area Youth Partnership and was established in October 2014 as a partnership between Niton Methodist and the five churches of Brighstone, Brook, Mottistone and Shorwell and Kingston. It seeks to reach out to the young people in the area from Niton to Brook through a wide range of groups, activities and events.

SWAY is supported by many individuals from the churches, but also by the churches themselves. Initially, it had funding from the Isle of Wight Council, which enabled it to employ a full-time lead youth worker in the shape of Andy Dorning and a part-time youth worker (initially Annouska Blake). This funding came to an end in March 2018, along with all other youth funding on the Isle of Wight. By this time, we had employed two part-time youth workers (Andy Evans and Katelyn Collins) and one part-time family worker (Jennie Burke).

Thankfully, over the last year SWAY has received funding and support from a number of sources including the Methodist Circuit and District, which has allowed us to continue with our vital work with and among young people.  

Whilst we are still in need of further funding for this year, we are hopeful that our target will be met this year. We are steadily moving to a charity that has a sufficient funding base to continue its vital work.

SWAY runs a wide range of groups on a weekly basis, including Rock Solid at Niton, a drop-in night at Chale, two youth groups at Brighstone/Shorwell (Pulse and Attitude) and a Roots group at Niton. We have also run a Youth Alpha group in the first months of 2018, which aims to continue meeting beyond the course.

SWAY holds a number of camps, events and residentials throughout the year; a Corfe Camp in June, a Bonfire Night in November, A Residential in Wales in August and a Night Hike in October/November.

This year we have had a trip to hear Rend Collective at Hedge End which was stupendous. We held a Fundraising and Presentation Evening of our work at the Pearl Centre in May, which was very successful. We are planning a football tournament at Dunsbury Farm in July.

We are a committed board of trustees who meet every 6 weeks to plan, monitor and envision the work.

As of June 2017 we have employed Jennie Burke as our family worker. With our growing work among young people, we perceived a need to work with some of the families of those young people. Jennie works with and alongside the families of our young people, who are facing challenges of one sort or another. Jennie’s work has grown as we have encountered a real need in the area of support, help and guidance for families.

SWAY is very much an important action arm of the churches involved into the communities around them. Over the course of the year we aim to reach out from the churches into the communities with the hope and focus of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These are exciting times for us in SWAY, not without its challenges, difficulties and problems, but also with enormous opportunities. We trust God for His strengthening, guidance and help in the work ahead.


Wales Trip 22nd – 25th August 2018

This year we stayed at the Christian Mountain Centre near Llanbedr, Harlech. In fact, we stayed at their Cottage (a big one at that) at the end of a tiny, winding, steep lane hidden in the trees and steep slopes of typical Welsh terrain. We took 17 young people from the area of SWAY and had 6 leaders. This required 2 minibuses and 1 car for the food and Pete Taylor!

We had a series of thoughts throughout the time there; Who am I? Where am I going? What does God do? What do I live for? These were presented at the start and end of each day and gave the young people something to think about.

We wanted to build a sense of team work and togetherness over the time together. This was done in various ways. We had turns in washing up. We had initiative tasks that required working together and we had a strenuous walk up a mountain where mutual support was an important part of the walk.

The food was provided by Pete Taylor ably supported by Jack Coombs. We had cooked breakfasts each morning, apart from the last morning when an abundance of pancakes were consumed by the group. We had a BBQ and a full roast chicken dinner. We were well catered for!

Our first full day was an epic day out in the Rhinogs! The Rhinogs is a very special area, with few paths and rugged slopes. We attempted to climb Rhinog Fawr. All went well until reaching the final summit slopes, when the wind got up and the rain came down. We could see little after that point. After getting to the top of a steep, scree slope we decided to retreat. We were all very wet, it has to be said, but the team work and endurance showed by the young people was remarkable.

Never was a BBQ more welcome that night at the cottage.

On the second day the group was split into two, with each doing some Gorge Walking and a series of initiative challenges. One group did Gorge walking in the morning whilst the other did it in the afternoon. This was enormous fun, stretching the young people again. There was a great deal of laughter heard throughout the day from the young people and the leaders.

 On the final evening we all spent an hour on the beautiful beach at Harlech, running up and down the enormous sand dunes, making patterns in the sand or just looking over to the beautiful Nefyn Peninsular. Arriving back at the cottage, we had our final thought for the day from Andy E about living fully for Jesus. Beth led our Presentation of Awards, including Best Helper, Overcoming Fear, Endurance and Best Mountain Climber Awards. Jerry should have gained an Award for best Flossing, which raised an uproar of applause. Andy D finished the evening by showing some of the video footage captured of the trip.

The journey back was long, but fine. We all arrived back in good time for the 5.00 p.m. at Southampton.  Peter Johnson.

 Corfe Camp 2018

What a weekend! June came around so quickly this year and we were busy planning for our annual Corfe Camp in the midst of additions to the SWAY family in the shape of Zachariah Dorning!

We had no firm idea how many were planning to come for the weekend, but in the end our faith was rewarded and we had 20 camping Friday night and over 50 on Saturday night. Furthermore, our BBQ was bursting at the seams, with over 100 families and young people attending. It was truly an excellent weekend.

There were some very special moments, like the sight of Jack Coombs capsizing in the creek in a kayak and Andy Evans singing Love Story rather loosely. Phil Wells and Steve Fairclough were on hand to keep us safe on the water on Saturday. We estimated that we had 60 people on the water over the 4 hours that we were active on the creek.

Following the water sports we had a lively game of Rounders and then some furious games of ultimate Frisbee. The BBQ was cooked by Josh Osbourne and John Wells, with valuable assistance from Ian Peters. The queue was quite substantial and the fare splendid.

Lots of good conversations and happy families eating and spending time together was a joy to see. Following the BBQ came two energetic games of Capture the Flag. The Campfire gave respite from vigorous activity, appreciated by the older members of the camp!

Eventually bedtime was called at 11:00pm and not a moment too soon in my mind.

Pancakes for breakfast – what a great way to start Sunday. Most people walked to Newtown Church where we had a lively and interactive hour of worship led by Andy Evans and Dylan Brown. With a full church of around 80 the singing rang out so much that some passing walkers came in to find out what all the sound was about. The refreshments after were excellent too.

So it was back to camp to eat what was left over, enjoy a cup of tea and begin the packing up of camp. What a great time was had by all, I would say. Thank you to all who helped make it possible; BBQ cookers, cake providers, canoe instructors and musicians. And thank you Lord for good weather.



SUMMER 2016 – Peter JohnsonIMG_3236


The 4th Welsh Trip Monday, 22nd – Thursday 25th August 2016

This was our biggest group so far, with a much more widespread group of young people from all across the SWAY area. We had 23 willing people to embark on our most adventurous trip yet! 6 adults and 17 young people, travelling in 2 minibuses and one car laden with a great quantity of food. The weather was good for the whole trip, having stopped raining just as we arrived in Wales. For the first time we stayed in a delightful bunkhouse for 19. 4 or 5 camped, whilst the rest of us slept in beds. The food, cooked by our ever-reliable cook, Pete Taylor, was plentiful. A full roast one night and a BBQ on another night, cooked breakfasts to set us up for the day’s activities.

Andy Dorning led our thought for the day after breakfast each morning, on teamwork, seeing the beauty of God in the world around us and valuing being part of a family, the family of God. There was certainly a strong sense of community amongst us over the 4 days. There was a lot of supportive and encouraging team work being seen and we glimpsed the Brecons on a particularly beautiful few days. Visiting the famous Sgwd yr Elra waterfall on the first night was an awesome experience. There had been two days of rain preceding our visit and so the rivers were full. Walking behind the waterfall with such a torrent of water falling was a deafening experience but also a thoroughly drenching encounter! The force and power of the fall was quite remarkable.

Second day was mountain day and it was hot. Everyone made it up to Fan Dringarth (632m) and then onto the viewpoint looking over to Pen Y Fan and Brecon in the distance. Half the group made their way down to the Reservoir along a pretty stream and falls, whilst the rest toiled up to Fan Fawr (734m) via a ridiculously steep slope chosen by Andy D! This was very demanding and there was lots of huffing and puffing! Both groups re-joined down in the valley, returning to the bunkhouse 8 hours setting out! Third day was fun! The groups were divided into two, with one gorge-walking and the other caving in the morning and then swapping for the afternoon. This was new territory for most of the group. It was very wet territory for both activities. Both were enormous fun and some serious personal challenges were overcome by different people.

The gorge-walking involved walking up a very pretty gorge with a fast flowing stream tumbling down at us. We fell over, immersed ourselves in a plunge pool, crawled along ledges behind a waterfall and jumped off high ledges into the river. The caving took us underground via the biggest cave entrance in the UK – Porth yr ogof. There were numerous squeezes to get through, down and along – with names such as the letterbox, the toilet, the rathole, the washing machine and the death ledge! These were fun and challenging. Jerry Willis found one drop particularly challenging! His body got stuck half way down, with feet dangling helplessly, unable to proceed further down or return upwards! With some pushing and some pulling he was pulled out to go a different route with greater ease.

The night walk on the final evening was entertaining, particularly when Peter Johnson and Pete T came back to the minibuses 30 minutes after the group, after failing to meet them on the route as they walked back from the minibuses along the route! Rookie error – they had no torch or illumination with them and they departed from the agreed route! Oh dear – embarrassing.

So ended a superb trip, with new friendships made and a large amount of fun being had.

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Easter 2015 – Peter Johnson

“The winter is nearly over; life is beginning to stir once again in the woods and fields.”

I think it was last summer that we last sent out a Youth Work Update and the “we” included Ben and myself.  There has been a lot of change since then concerning Youth Work in the 5 Churches. In this update we want to bring you all up to date with where we are with Youth Work and ask for your continued support and prayer.

Firstly, Ben has moved and now works in Greater London in Youth Work.  He seems to be getting on fine.  Andy Mitchelmore is in regular contact with him.

Secondly, SWAY (South Wight Area Youth Worker Project) has emerged out of the experience of having Ben here and Dan Wells at Niton.  Both lads did great things and such progress was made with young people, that SWAY was born out of a desire for that to continue and grow.

Thirdly, Steve Sutcliffe has been appointed Licensed Minister for Shorwell with some responsibility for continuing the Youth Night on Fridays in Shorwell.

Fourthly, SWAY have now appointed Andy Downing as full-time Youth Worker for the Project and Annouska Blake as part-time Youth Worker for the 5 Churches, within the Project. We are hopeful that Ash Mosedell will do the same for the Niton area, though this might be subject to change.

All of this adds up to a positive, bold and exciting new step for Youth Work in our area of the South Wight.

Before going into further detail about Youth Work, we want to say a huge thank you to all of you who give so readily to Youth Work for the 5 churches. The level of giving is truly humbling and very heartening.  We would not be able to go forward with our plans without your support.  The support demonstrates that you want to see young people supported and reached with the good news of the Gospel.  This is at the heart of all our plans; that young people might grow into the faith that we hold so precious.

SWAY has gained a large grant of £80,000 from the Isle of Wight Council for 3 years to do Youth Work in the South Wight area, which covers everywhere between Niton and Brook. Clearly, the Project will have some responsibilities for young people outside of the church as well as those within.  We see this as an exciting opportunity and challenge, rather than as a distraction.

The Board of Trustees includes Roy and myself, but it would be good to have another representative from the 5 Churches involved if anyone is interested.

Having advertised for a full-time Youth Worker, we appointed Andy Dorning from Lowerstoft before Christmas.  He has now started and will soon be in the process of re-locating his wife, VIvi and little boy, Noah, to the Island.

Andy is an experienced and dynamic Youth Worker and we are very much looking forward to working with him. He will head up the team for SWAY and probably be based in Niton.  We will see him fairly regularly, but his brief is Youth Work across the whole area.

Annouska lives in Brading and has been involved in Youth Work there for a few years.  She has felt a leading to more committed and regular Christian Youth Work in recent years, arising out of a real experience of God in her life.  We are delighted that she will be working with us for 20 hours a week.  She has a daughter, Lexis, who is 17.  Annouska will be starting after Easter and be with us until September in the first instance.  She will work with Steve on the Youth Night, be involved on 2 or 3 Sunday’s a month at either Brighstone or Shorwell and with Helen and Steve in the school in Brighstone.

It is an enormous relief that we are finally looking forward to having some help with our Youth Work.  It is not that we can now all sit back and do nothing, but that we now have a team to help us with the hugely important of supporting and ministering to the young people in our area.

Over the coming months, we hope to see some exciting things happening in the area of Youth Work.  We have a Parade Service at the Scout Hut at the end of April; Andy and I will be involved in that.  We have some YFC events that we hope to be involved in.  There is Soul Survivor in the summer; we want to get some of our young people along to this event.  We hope to organize another trip to Wales for the older young people, as well as a Camp at Corfe. There may also be some joint ventures with the young people from Niton.

At last, we sense that we are ready to move forward to the next phase in Youth Work in our area.  We will contributing to SWAY to fund our part-time Youth Worker and so your giving is vital to this ministry.  We are excited about the partnership with SWAY and look forward to great things over the coming years.

Please add your prayers to your giving.  Your prayers are every bit as vital as your giving, I can assure you.  Without prayer and without God, we can do nothing that will last.  Please continue to join us in this work, that God may do so much more than we ever dreamed He would.