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  • 1. The Diocese of Exeter Council for Children and Young People Strategy for work with Children and Young People Introduction Throughout 2006/07 the Council for work with Children and Young People developed a new strategy for work with church schools as a response to national and local developments in both the church and secular spheres. This provided the motivation and momentum for the Children s and Young People s team to revisit its strategy and explore ways in which to refine and develop it to better reflect the current context of the team and to provide a blueprint for future work which fully embraces the ability to be accountable and flexible. Contents of the Strategy Section 1: Establishing the context · The Diocese of Exeter · The Council for Work with Children and Young People · The Children s and Young People s Team · Accountability · National Developments Section 2: Strategy for work with Children and Young People · Introduction · Diocesan Children s Work Adviser · Diocesan Youth Work Adviser · Diocesan F.E. and H.E Chaplaincies Adviser · Diocesan Youth Church Adviser · Joint Working Projects Section 3: Implementation of the Strategy · Introduction · Developing an operational action plan 1
  • 2. Section 1: Establishing the Context Establishing the context the Diocese of Exeter The Diocese of Exeter covers the geographical boundaries of the county of Devon and the unitary authorities of Plymouth and Torbay. With 495 parishes in 25 Deaneries and 4 Archdeaconries serving communities across the area a wide range of situations are encountered from rural to market town to inner-city. The Diocese celebrates its 1100 th anniversary in 2009, with a fine heritage of Christian Education and youth and children s work throughout its history. Somewhere in the region of 3,5001 young people under the age of 19 are part of church life in the Diocese. With a population of 340,000 young people under the age of 19 across the three local authorities (Devon, Torbay and Plymouth) we re reaching just over 1% of the age group. This data clearly does not include all Christian youth work undertaken by other denominations and independent churches, but certainly provides a sobering assessment of the challenges that face us. The Diocese has recently developed a new strategy that needs to be reflected in the work of its departments. The key document is the Moving on in Mission and Ministry Plan (MOIMM) which looks to develop 150 Mission Communities2 across the Diocese. This highlights the importance of children and young people s work and worship, setting it as one of the key responsibilities of each Mission Community. Set alongside this is Key Objective 5 of the Diocesan Strategic Framework (2005), which says that the Diocese must work to provide resources for the spiritual nurture and growth of children and young people Organisationally, the Diocese splits its support services to Mission Communities into 4 councils · Council for Worship and Ministry; · Council for Mission and Unity; · Council for Church and Society; · Council for work with Children and Young People. These four councils are committees of the Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF). Establishing the context the Council for work with Children and Young People (CCYP) The CCYP, which incorporates the Exeter Diocesan Board of Education, is called to share the Good News with children and young people, and in following that calling, aims to: · Express the love of God to all children and young people · Encourage them to grow in faith and to develop their God given gifts and talents 1 Data collected in Diocesan Survey 2006 and from statistics posted by the three local authorities 2 A Mission Community is defined as being a worshipping community of 150-200 people, therefore seeing in some situations a number of parishes being joined together to provide the ministry needed, the giving required, and be the maximum number a stipendiary priest can work with at any depth (MOIMM). 2
  • 3. · Develop and promote best practice in parishes, Mission Communities, schools and colleges Along with the other three Diocesan Councils, the CCYP was formed in 2003, and brought together work previously undertaken by the Exeter Diocesan Board of Education (EDBE) and other bodies, especially the Children and Young People s Committee, with responsibility for work with children and young people. The CCYP comprises two teams that which works primarily in support of church schools and that which primarily supports the parish based work with children and young people. Though having two specific focuses the teams work closely together, seeking opportunities for projects in overlapping areas of interest. Establishing the context - the Childrens and Young People s Team When the CCYP Development Plan was created in 2003, the Diocese had a full-time Diocesan Children s Work Adviser (DCWA) and two full-time Diocesan Youth Work Advisers (DYWA), one of whom was responsible for the Plymouth Episcopate, and the other for the Crediton Episcopate. Key Diocesan responsibilities, such as Chaplaincy for Further and Higher Education and Young Synod were split between the two. The DCWA had responsibility for supporting Children s Work across the whole Diocese. In 2006/2007, the team underwent major change, with the DCWA and DYWAs moving on, to be replaced by one full-time DCWA (with the same brief as before) and one full- time DYWA with primary responsibility for encouraging the development of youth work in the emerging Mission Communities, and two part-time Youth Work Advisers with specific responsibilities. One was tasked as Adviser for Chaplaincy in Further and Higher Education, and the other with the development of Youth Church firstly in Exeter and then across the Diocese. With this major change, the Development Plan needed to be looked at again, to assess its applicability to the current context of the Diocese and the CYP team. It was decided that a new strategy be developed that better reflected the new post-holders and their new job descriptions. Several key objectives underline the work of the whole team: · The development of a culture where children and young people are seen as valued members of the Christian community and are encouraged and empowered to fulfil their potential as active disciples of Christ · The delivery of well-informed advice and appropriate support, training and encouragement · Greater collaboration between Diocesan Councils and other partners (Ecumenical and Secular) · The ability to respond to fresh opportunities as they arise 3
  • 4. Accountability The DCWA, DYWA and DYCA receive immediate support and accountability from the Children s and Youth Work Support and Development Group, which itself is a sub- group of the CCYP. Membership is drawn from Council members who have a passion for and experience of work with children and young people, and co-opted individuals with expertise in this field of work. The Adviser for Further and Higher Education Chaplaincies is directly accountable to the Further and Higher Education Task Group. Membership is drawn again from Council members and co-opted individuals with expertise in this field of work. National Developments As with the work of the Schools Team, the CYP Team is influenced by major developments both in the church and secular worlds. Perhaps the most important strategic development of recent years in secular work with Children and Young People has been the emergence of Every Child Matters and its sister document Youth Matters as the key frameworks for all statutory providers of services. This sees 5 areas as being vital to the well-being and development of children and young people: 1. Be healthy 2. Stay safe 3. Enjoy and achieve 4. Make a positive contribution 5. Achieve economic well being Much has been made of the desire for integrated Children s Services which embrace these five objectives and see the needs of children and young people as being central to the provision of services. They will also provide guidance for the distribution of funding from both local and national government. An important opportunity that has been created by Every Child Matters is the desire to see schools provide services for children and young people beyond core delivery of education both before and after school time. Extended Services provide churches with the chance to serve their local schools in providing quality activities that seek to develop young people in each of the 5 Every Child Matters outcomes. Other key documents affecting the development of this strategy have been Aiming Higher , the ten year strategy for work with young people and the Children s Workforce Development project. This aims to see all those who work with children and young people suitably qualified to do so, whether employed or volunteering. The Church of England is currently redeveloping its national strategy for work with children and young people, which the Diocesan officers have had opportunity to contribute to. The existing documents, Sharing the Good News with Children and Good News for Young People and key documents regarding Further and Higher Education Chaplaincy, helped to guide the officers as they explored their strategies. 4
  • 5. Section 2: Strategy for work with Children and Young People Introduction The following document will be divided into sections that have been developed by each member of the CYP team, explaining the context in which they work, the values that they will seek to work by and the major areas of work that they will focus on over the coming years. The aim is to create a strategic document that contains the values and vision of the team, which then provides a framework for developing strategic priorities that are flexible and accountable to the CCYP, and to reflect the nature of the work that the team is involved in which may change over time. The relevant strategic outcomes for the officers will be monitored by members of their support/task groups at their quarterly meetings, and through regular reports presented to the CCYP and an annual review process. Diocesan Children s Work Adviser Setting the scene This new strategy marks an evolution of the CCYP Development Plan 2003-2008, and refers to the Church of England s National Children s Strategy Sharing the Good News with Children (July 2003) and the Review of Children s and Youth Strategies interim report (December 2008). In the last 50 years, children s lives have changed radically. The great majority do not attend church or related activities as they once did. Churches, therefore, need to meet children where they are, build relationships with them and present the Gospel in a way that is appropriate to their age and culture. Part of the church s task is to model and teach what this means for all Christians on their journey of faith. Crucially, it involves accompanying children and young people of all faiths and none, in their search for self and identity, recognizing that this search will not always result in following the Christian way. Irrespective of their response, children and young people should see and experience love, welcome, hope, forgiveness and the possibility of new beginnings whenever they encounter the Church. Equally, the Church is in need of children and young people as ministers who offer a fresh understanding and experience of such relationships to older generations. Children are a gift to the Church. The Lord of the Church sets them in the midst of the Church today, as in Galilee, not as objects of benevolence, nor even as recipients of instruction, but in the last analysis as patterns of discipleship. The Church that does not accept children unconditionally into its fellowship is depriving those children of what is rightfully theirs, but the deprivation such a Church will suffer is far graver (British Council of Churches in 1976). If, instead of trying to teach good news to children (and young people), the Church tries to become good news, it will need such fresh eyes to see itself. Such a church would need the 5
  • 6. confidence to deal with questions rather than always having to find the answers. It would be prepared to surrender its life and let its institutions be transformed ..A church which welcomes children (and young people), accepts their gifts and ministries, meets their needs, advocates justice, seeks new life, challenges evil with love and truth, and continues to learn the values of the Kingdom by living them, is a Church which is good news not only for its members but for the world. (Unfinished Business: The Child in the Church, 1995 pub. CCBI) Key Values in Children s work will include: · Children are highly valued - Each child and young person, whoever, whatever, wherever s/he may be, is precious and valued in God s sight. Our work for, with and among children and young people should reflect this, and should not be limited to those within the church. We have a responsibility to safeguard the vulnerable, whilst offering the freedom needed for growth and development. · Meeting children on their turf - We need to take the great commission seriously to GO by connecting and building friendships with children in settings that are already familiar to them. · Journeying with children - We are privileged to accompany children on their search for truth and to support them through the transitions of life. Every encounter with children should be open and honest, offering quality and depth and reflecting our own relationship with God and each other, whilst recognizing the freedom of the individual to choose whether or not to engage with them. They will often be messy, and require determination and commitment in establishing them. · Empowering children - God chooses to use children throughout the Bible, and history, to carry out His work thus our children are not the church of tomorrow but equal partners in the Body of Christ today. (1 Cor 12). We want children s lives to be powered and transformed by the Holy Spirit, living out Kingdom values everywhere they go so that, in turn, they d transform their families, their schools and their communities. Where are we now The church s commitment to, encounter with and investment in children and young people continues to be bigger than any other single organization. In early 2006 the CYP Team sent out a questionnaire to 495 parishes in the Diocese, 41% of whom responded. Opportunities exist both in a wide range of activities that are not primarily worship orientated (holiday clubs, youth groups, toddler groups, uniformed organizations) and worship-based events (Sunday and mid-week). From the 202 responses, 91 (45%) said they had regular ongoing work with children (0- 11 year olds) through Sunday groups, Mid-week groups and uniformed organizations. In addition, 112 (55%) parishes offer a family service and 23 (11%) had run at least one holiday club. Most of these are led by volunteers (519), though a growing number of parishes are investing in employed children specialists to develop the work. In total, the analysis identifies 2289 children having contact with a church across the diocese. 6
  • 7. The Diocese also contains 128 Church Primary Schools serving over 19,000 children in the Diocese and their parents. This is a huge mission field and we need to recognise the vital role of Christian head teachers, teachers, governors and support staff have in witnessing to the Gospel through what they say and how they interact with these children on a daily basis. Many parish clergy are involved in their local schools, both Church and County, in a variety of ways but mainly through involvement in collective worship. There are also a couple of Open the Book teams from local churches that help children in schools engage with Bible stories on a weekly basis. In Exeter, the I.C.E. team have involvement with seventeen primary schools providing a visible and positive Christian presence through organising collective worship, taking R.E. and P.S.H.E. lessons, lunchtime clubs and after school clubs. Children s Centres and Extended Schools hold potential for the church to engage with children, young people and families through activities, breakfast and homework clubs, parenting support and sports activities. Fresh Expressions, with its intention of engaging with people who are not yet members of the church, offers creative possibilities for presenting the gospel to children, young people and families in new ways which are contextually sensitive. The National Fresh Expressions directory lists 244 Fresh Expressions which are primarily for under 5s, children, youth congregations or school situations. Messy Church, a Fresh Expression which originated in an Anglican Church in Portsmouth Diocese particularly attracting families, lists 65 venues nationwide in its directory, 3 of which are in Devon. Priorities We have identified 3 priorities, for which strategic outcomes will be developed with the support and supervision of the Children s and Youth Work Adviser Support and Development Group. Priority CWA (1) Supporting Mission Communities: We want to give every child in Devon the opportunity to know Jesus by encountering other children, and adults, who live as His disciples. In order to achieve this we will seek to: · Raise the eyes of Mission Communities from maintenance into mission. · Inspiring MCs to reach out creatively and connect with children outside of the current church family and build relationships with them on their turf especially through local schools and preschools. · Support MCs in assessing their current contact with children and plan the next step of development, making sure children are considered in MAPs. · Lift expectations of children in church from entertainment to active ownership; releasing children to fulfil their potential within the body by using and developing their gifts. · Develop vision and best practise in relation to the employment of Children s Workers. 7
  • 8. · Advocating on behalf of children at all levels within the Diocese so that commitment to, and understanding of, mission with children and children s spirituality is recognised and developed. Priority CWA (2) Equipping leaders: Children are valuable and vulnerable, so their care and nurture should be given the highest priority. It is crucial to make sure all workers are appropriately trained and their work is recognised, supported and valued by other members of the body. In order to achieve this we will seek to: · Assess and develop appropriate training for those who are involved in ministry with children in response to the Governments desire to see volunteers trained to an appropriate level. · Provide a network of best practice in children s work across the diocese to celebrate, inspire and encourage. · Collate, and make accessible, useful resources that can support those working with children across the diocese in a range of settings. · Offer support, encouragement and advice to volunteers, paid children s workers and Clergy in their work with children and families. Priority CWA (3) Strategic Development: Building meaningful relationships with children is essential if we want the gospel to be sown and known. Individual groups have a vital role to play as they will be able to match developments appropriately to their local children. However, if we are to fulfil the great commission, we need more than ourselves. In order to achieve this we will seek to: · Work closely with the Youth Work Adviser and CMU on joint training projects and events. · Network with Ecumenical and secular agencies to develop partnership children s work at both local and national levels. · Develop a Children s workers network to inspire, encourage and support paid and unpaid children s workers in the development of their work. · Speak at Deanery Synods and Chapters to share information about the work of the CYP team and how we can be used as a resource. · Explore the potential of partnership with Local Authorities, engaging with the Every Child Matters and Extended Schooling agendas so that the Diocese make sure new opportunities are taken. · Identify external resources, funding and development partnerships with ecumenical partners and other bodies (Christian and secular) to facilitate Christian based work for children and families. 8
  • 9. Diocesan Youth Work Adviser Setting the scene This new strategy marks an evolution of the CCYP Development Plan 2003-2008, and refers to the Church of England s National Youth Strategy Good News for Young People (2002). As we aim to support the Diocese in its work with young people we will seek to: · be passionate about mission, not maintenance · be serious about listening to young peoples needs, meeting them on their territory, not tokenistic · deliver our services with the hallmarks of quality and professionalism · be available to all clergy, professionals, volunteers, young people, secular agencies · be accountable to the Diocese in helping mission communities to bring young people to faith and nurturing them in their growth as disciples of Christ. · View young people as family members not as independent units In continuing to develop the Diocesan strategy for work with Young People (11-25) we will seek to model several key youth work values throughout our work. - Empowerment releasing young people into ministry and taking seriously their right to participate in the decision making processes of their churches and the Diocese; equipping and encouraging all who work with young people to utilise their God given gifts to minister to young people - Informal Education recognising that helping young people encounter and experience God is more important than delivering a specific syllabus; helping those who work with young people create such opportunities - Equality of Opportunity being as inclusive as possible in our work, as Jesus reached out to all in need; encouraging any suitable person who has a passion for work with young people to get involved - Voluntary Participation understanding that young people have the right to choose to be part of what we do or not; to acknowledge that the majority of youth work in the Diocese is undertaken by volunteers - Incarnation being the presence of Christ in the communities that we are called to work in; to help all who work with young people focus on relationships, not programme Where we are now In early 2006 the CYP Team sought to measure the amount of children s and youth work happening in the Diocese. 202 parish responses have been collated, out of 495 parishes in the Diocese (Church of England Handbook 2007). This response rate of 41% is somewhat disappointing, but helps us to have something of an overview of the Diocese. 9
  • 10. Of the 202 responses, 81 (40%) said that they had some kind of work going on with Young People (11-25). There were 208 volunteers and 5 employed adults working with young people. Some 1061 young people were being contacted in some way through our churches. At present we are aware of 10 employed youth workers in specifically Anglican contexts, and 21 trainee youth workers, largely being trained through South West Youth Ministries (SWYM) and Centre for Youth Ministry (CYM), involved in projects that are either specifically Anglican or at least have Anglican parishes involved as part of the management groups. The Diocese also contains 3 Church Secondary Schools, St Peter s VA and St Luke s VC in Exeter and St. Cuthbert Mayne VA in Torquay. These schools have a joint total of over 4000 students although clearly a proportion of these students will be counted within parish statistics. Many of our parish youth work projects have excellent contacts with local community secondary schools, so even more young people will be being contacted on a regular basis than our statistics suggest. Our dream is that Mission Communities create opportunities to work with the young people within their own contexts families, schools, church projects, youth clubs, worship wherever. Throughout Devon the Church of England is strategically placed to have a massive impact on the lives of young people. The challenge facing us is to ensure that we: 1. Listen to the needs of our young people, be they currently involved in church life or not, and place them firmly at the centre of everything that we do in our work with them 2. Accept that working with young people ushers in change to how we do church in the twenty first century 3. Effectively disciple young people to become active participants in the mission of God in their local communities Priorities We have identified 5 priorities, for which strategic outcomes will be developed with the support and supervision of the Children s and Youth Work Adviser Support and Development Group (CYWSDG). Priority YWA (1) Supporting Mission Communities: Mission Communities lie at the centre of life in the Diocese. We will seek to encourage and stimulate work with young people both currently part of church life and not yet by: · Encouraging clergy and lay people in their work with young people, and to think about how they are ministering to their families · Challenging Mission Communities to listen to and engage young people in their communities as they develop their Mission Action Plans, and release them into mission and ministry · Developing and collating effective resources for work with young people · Providing impartial advice and guidance for Mission Communities in evaluating their work with young people 10
  • 11. · Offering advice to Mission Communities in employment best practice, and supporting employed youth workers · Utilising various communication methodologies to spread news about best practice · Working closely with other Diocesan Councils Priority YWA (2) Training: We will help to develop the skills of all those involved in work with young people by: · Seeking to roll out the Equipping training framework for volunteer youth workers in response to the Governments desire to see volunteers trained to an appropriate level · Developing specific issue training days such schools work, best practice, excellence in employment issues in partnership with Diocesan and ecumenical colleagues where possible · Evolving the Deanery Link Officer network towards becoming area ecumenical training teams for work with children and young people responsive to the needs of Mission Communities · Utilising the skills of employed Youth Workers in delivering training sessions · Working in partnership with Continuing Ministry Education (CME) to develop appropriate training for Clergy and Readers Priority YWA (3) Youth Participation: Young People have the right to be active participants in the whole life of the church. We will explore the opportunities for their involvement in church life by: · Utilising appropriate tools to evaluate the effectiveness of the Diocese in involving young people in its decision making processes · Encouraging local churches to involve young people in all aspects of church life · Developing a Young Leaders training resource with Ecumenical colleagues Priority YWA (4) Wider Mission Initiatives: Key work is undertaken at a regional level to develop projects that will help young people explore faith and Christian living. We will engage with this by: · Developing chaplaincy models for Secondary Education work that encourage Mission Communities to get involved in work with 11-19 year olds · Involvement in planning and running Mission events in co-operation with other Diocesan Councils and ecumenical colleagues · Exploring the potential for mission projects with link Dioceses · Maintaining links with the work of the Youth Church and FE/HE Chaplaincy Advisers 11
  • 12. Priority YWA (5) Strategic Development: We also want to be thinking about the big picture, about how we will evolve Youth Work in the Diocese. We will do this by: · Networking with Ecumenical and secular agencies to develop partnership work both at local and national levels, including developing our voice within the Church of England nationally · Developing an employed Youth Workers network · Exploring the potential of partnership with Local Authorities, engaging with the Every Child Matters and Extended Schooling agendas · Seeking to develop strategic funding to resource youth work in the Diocese · Working with the Children s Work Adviser on joint projects, such as exploring work with Tweenagers (9-12 year olds) · Improving the collation of data to facilitate the effective use of team resources · Speaking at Deanery Synods and Chapters to share information about the work of the CYP Team Diocesan F.E./H.E. Chaplaincy Adviser Setting the scene Since the appointment of an Adviser it has been possible to assess more comprehensively the Further and Higher Education provision within the Diocese. There are 14, 272, full time equivalent students in Further Education across 7 FE institutions, approximately 50,000 students in Higher Education across 4 institutions, and in excess of 6,000 staff across both sectors. From this data it is apparent that there large numbers of people who may require chaplaincy support. Chaplaincy is a well known term but one which clearly needs defining within this context. Education Chaplaincy seeks to provide spiritual and pastoral support to both staff and students within an educational institution. The Chaplaincy Advice within Fe and HE Institutions focuses on four interrelated areas: - Incarnational the Lord is with us , being a tangible presence of God in the Institution. - Prophetic voice in the wilderness , raising issues, supporting specific causes and including these on the margins and unrepresented groups. - Pastoral walking alongside providing support in various ways at a level that is appropriate, emotionally, physically, spiritually and socially. - Educational supporting the development of faith, by providing a variety of resources to enhance enquiry and understanding by direct and indirect teaching. Priorities The two Universities and the University College have well established Chaplaincies ; however, the other HE and the FE Colleges have varying Chaplaincy provision. The following Objectives seek to address this: 12
  • 13. Priority FHE (1):Support effective partnerships with FE and HE Institutions. · Produce a directory of models of Chaplaincy across the Diocese. · Develop Service level agreements with FE/He Institutions as appropriate. · Continue to provide resources as required · Support and develop Chaplains network in Fe and HE Priority FHE (2): Develop relationships with Parishes/ Mission Communities and other faith communities. · Continue to develop active relationships with local clergy · Audit support in locality of institutions. · Involve CTID more actively, member to be assigned to FE/E Task Group · Develop relationship with Faith Fora in Devon. Priority FHE (3): Establish develop and training opportunities for FE/HE Chaplaincy. · Implement FE , Welcome to Chaplaincy training package as appropriate · Develop the package for HE · Develop an awareness raising package for Chaplaincy Priority FHE (4): Develop systems for monitoring Chaplaincy provision and delivery. · Customise the national benchmarking proposals · Research professional standards developments Priority FHE (5): Keep in tune with Peninsularisation and National developments · Be proactive with involvement across the SW. · Work alongside FBFE · Engage with FE/HE National Advisers. Strategic Actions underpinning the Priorities 1. Consult with College Principals/representatives and HE Chaplains to: · Audit existing Chaplaincy provision. · Identify individual needs · Provide support and training 2. Develop models of Chaplaincy to meet the needs of individual institutions 3. Develop a process for review and support of developing Chaplaincies 4. Develop inter-faith links and resources. 5. Continue with involvement and networking on a regional and national level. 13
  • 14. Diocesan Youth Church Adviser Setting the scene The Church of England is losing youth rather than gaining them. In fact, most youth have never had any church connection rather than lost touch with church. The church is recognising that it can t wait for people to come to it; it needs to go to them. As we go out to youth and arouse interest in Christian faith, how do they then engage with church? Currently they need to conform to models of institutional church which are foreign to the rest of their lives and culture. Church makes few connections with the rest of their lives. The challenge is to rethink church in a way that holds onto what is essential to church without imposing what is simply church culture or even Christian culture. Church has always crossed generational boundaries so youth church needs to be all age but with youth as its missional focus. Youth also need to be at the forefront of ministry and leadership rather than simply the focus for ministry. Before youth church can be promoted across Devon it needs to be piloted and researched somewhere. The obvious place for this is Exeter and a strategic focus for that would be Exeter College, which has some 3500 fulltime sixth form students. Key values in this work will include - Meeting youth where they are connecting with youth where they are, rather than expecting them to come to us and conform to our expectations - Journeying with youth as young people begin to engage with God and Christian faith, offering worship, teaching, prayer and ministry that is appropriate for them rather than simply what we are used to or find helpful. - Empowering youth to lead treating youth as full disciples rather than potential disciples and leaders - Making disciples not just converts helping youth to mature in faith rather than just come to faith. This is also about seeking to help them towards wholeness in all areas of life. - Crossing the generations church crosses generational boundaries. This is a theological priority but also is important for youth in an age when many youth lack the support and input of older role models - Looking beyond ourselves as individuals we need to speak out and act on behalf of those around us and in our communities. Corporately we need to engage with the wider community and church. We need to seek to support and help other youth church expressions and ministries. Priorities We have identified 5 priorities, for which strategic outcomes will be developed with the support and supervision of the Children s and Youth Work Adviser Support and Development Group (CYWSDG). 14
  • 15. Priority YCA(1) Pioneering a Youth Church in Exeter The core purpose of the role is to create a fresh expression of church in order to reach and disciple youth who institutional church is failing to reach. This is envisaged by: · Focussing initially on Exeter College · Forming and developing a mixed age core team with a passion for reaching unchurched youth · Making connections with students at Exeter College · Engaging students on a journey of exploring faith · Discerning what form culturally relevant worship, teaching and ministry takes for these young people · Building those involved in the mission and those it reaches into an appropriate church community with responsibility for its leadership and vision Priority YCA(2) Leading and developing Soul Exeter We will seek to encourage, inspire and equip youth from across Devon by: · Offering a monthly celebration combining worship, teaching and ministry along the values and principles of Soul Survivor · Providing worship which is dynamic and focuses on encounter with God · Including teaching by gifted speakers whose teaching is practical, Biblical and challenging · Encouraging youth to serve at the events but also at their home churches as part of developing their discipleship · Training and releasing youth in prayer ministry, worship leading, teaching and mission · Ensuring they are committed to a church where they come from · Offering input for youth leaders · Continuing to benefit from visits by Soul Survivor speakers and worship leaders Priority YCA(3) Supporting other expressions of youth church across the Diocese There are various emergent youth church and youth congregation initiatives beginning or being planned across the Diocese, especially as Mission Communities develop. We will endeavour to support them by · Helping with the initial thinking about what is appropriate in a particular situation · Sharing ideas and experience · Providing a forum for leaders to interact · Offering help with resources · Providing mentoring where appropriate Priority YCA(4) Planting Youth Churches in key locations in the Diocese When a Youth Church is established in Exeter, we will begin to explore ways of replicating similar church expressions in other places. This will begin by: · Identifying the best places to focus on · Spending time with those involved with youth in those locations 15
  • 16. · Helping them think about what form of youth church would be best in the area and how it could begin to take shape · Offering support, advice and help as appropriate Priority YCA(5) Wider Involvement with Youth Organisations and Initiatives: Partnership with other youth organisations, churches and Dioceses is of immense mutual benefit. It gives a wider perspective, fresh insights and access to resources and understanding we lack in isolation. This wider engagement will take the form of · Close partnership with local youth workers and events from across the denominations, through Infinity and other groups · Involvement with Soul Survivor festivals and their youth networks, both in terms of serving them and also gaining from them · Where requested attending and speaking at Youth Work Conferences · Membership of the Church on the Edge forum · Continued interaction with other youth organisations Collaborative Projects Fundamental to the successful operation of the CYP team is the need to work closely together on various areas of mutual interest. These will sometimes be age related, for example the CWA and YWA working together on the key 9-14 age group, or the YWA and the FE/HE adviser collaborating on encouraging Mission Communities to engage with local FE/HE institutions and chaplaincies. This could also take the form of the team delivering training events together in Deaneries or Mission Communities as appropriate. The CYP team will also seek to work closely with our partners in the Schools Team. This may take the form of helping Mission Communities to engage with their local schools (church or community), or developing models of best practice in collective worship or chaplaincy. 16
  • 17. Section 3: Implementation of the Strategy Introduction As can be clearly ascertained there is much work currently undertaken by the CYP team, and yet so much more that could be done. To ensure that the officers prorities become more than simply statements of aspiration it is vital that a clear plan for implementation of the strategy is developed as soon as possible. Developing an Operational Action Plan The CYP Support and Development Group will have a crucial role in maintaining momentum. It will be necessary for sub-task groups to be created to further develop specific aspects of the officer s objectives. Membership will be drawn not only from CYP Support and Development group but also with expert advisers and with stakeholders, such as young people, children s and youth work volunteers and professionals, clergy and parents. Once these task groups have had opportunity to develop a clear framework for development, an Operational Action Plan for each officer s area of work will be developed with specific strategic measurables to be implemented. This will be reviewed annually in conjunction with the Director of CCYP. 17