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
GODLY PLAY – BIG WORSHIP – CONFIRMATION – HOLY COMMUNION – MUSIC – BIBLE STUDY
Children and young people are always welcome, and encouraged to take full part in our life and worship as a church family.
The interim priest 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 Five Churches Office.
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
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.
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.