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New youth service in Shaw, Crompton and Thornham launched

First published on: 9th November 2023

In Oldham & Ashton Deanery, the Shaw, Crompton and Thornham Mission Community has started a new youth service where young people from its churches can come together and worship in a way that is accessible to them. Leading this joint mission community venture is Revd Bec Wilkinson, who reflects:

"We are very fortunate in our area to see many primary school-aged children for worship on Sundays and throughout the week. There is, however, a significant drop-off once young people get to secondary school. As a mission community, we wanted to address this by providing something for this age group. It was important to us that it was still a church service, with eucharist offered at least once a month but in a format that is accessible and interesting to young people. And so, YCT our youth church was born... it's church, but not as you know it.

"We meet twice a month, drawing volunteers and young people from across the mission community and enabling young people who might be the only ones in their churches to meet and encourage one another. We explore the Bible together, asking our questions; we pray creatively; we share the Eucharist and the peace of Christ, and always have an opportunity to be absolved and blessed. This term we have thought about creation and planted bulbs in recycled cake pots; explored the kingdom of God being like a banquet; thought about the mystery of God, and gathered around a fire to discuss how God is like a fire.

"We are still in the early days of this youth service but the feedback from the young people has been great. They call it "our special church, just for us." It's not just the young people who are blessed; Dean Stott, one of our volunteers, says, "Every time I come away from the YCT evening I feel like God is close by, and feel really uplifted."

"We would encourage anyone else considering this important work to make good use of the resources and training offered by the diocese and to give it a try - you might find yourselves blessed!"


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