Youth Round-up: Nov 08

Welcome to the Outreach Youth Worker’s latest roundup looking back over the month of November.

Last Ever Reunited – On Saturday 8th a small band of us made a trip to what would be the last ever Reunited at St Martin’s in the Bull Ring. As you may recall Reunited began as gathering for young people to mark the 100 anniversary of the establishing of the Diocese of Birmingham. It has been a popular event, but the Youth Service has decided to support local mission rather than having one big, central gathering. At this particular Reunited Christian Aid were in attendance to talk about their work in the Holy Land and the plight of the very poorest and oppressed peoples of that region. There was also an impressive demonstration of Palestinian folk dancing.
St Francis School – The first half term of working with yr6 at St Francis has come to an end, and I am currently meeting the young people for a second time, looking at fresh topics, on the theme of transition into secondary education. It has been great to continue to get to know this new yr6 group (many of whom are also coming to FAITH) and this can only help me better support them during what is a busy time for them.
The Village Cluster – I was recently invited to a gathering of local primary school representatives to talk about the work in ‘transition’ I am doing at St Francis. The group was made up of schools from the Stirchley, Cotteridge and Bournville areas (called the “Village Cluster”) with the common concern to see young people make the leap from primary to secondary education succesfully. It was interesting to hear what other people were doing and also to hear how secondary schools encourage young people to overcome difficulties and succeed in yr7.
Retreat to Advance – During November I spent some personal retreat time at St Michael’s Abbey in Farnborough, Hants. It is home to a Benedictine community of about 7 monks who live according to the Rule of St Benedict – working and praying – as many others have done over the past 1500 years. My intention was to live alongside the monks, following their pattern of prayer, and to begin to understand something of their spirituality. It was an inspirational time and there are many things I’ll be bringing back with me and putting into practice in my work and prayer here at St Francis of Assisi.
For a fuller account of my time at St Michael’s, as well as a short slide-show of the beautiful Abbey and grounds, visit the Bournville Parish Church Blog (www.bournvilleparishchurch.org.uk/blog).

Do continue to pray for our young people. None of this could happen without you!

Paul.