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Online group kept young people connected

First published on: 21st October 2022

KTJC members

St Andrew’s Over Hulton has been awarded a Church for a Different World digital award for its KTJC youth group for children aged 10-14. The group met online during the Covid lockdowns and enabled children to stay connected during a period of deep uncertainty, have fun in a safe space, and share some poignant and reflective prayer times together.

Emma Bonfield, a member of the Children Changing Places Project team, helped run the KTJC (Keep Trusting Jesus Community) youth group on Monday evenings using the Zoom platform. 

She said: “Without Zoom it would have been impossible to keep meeting and stay connected as well as we did.  The enthusiasm for the online group never waned once. Without Zoom such deep relationships wouldn’t have been formed as quickly and the group wouldn’t have bonded so well.

“Fancy dress themes gave us all a much-needed giggle.  Seeing a thumbnail screen full of animals/rainbows/poppies/food/favourite film characters/favourite sports was always a creative feast to behold.  All the ideas for the theme for the next week were young-people led.  We even did a very successful online Zoom Fairtrade ingredient baking session led by one of the Year 6 KTJC members.  

youth group online“As well as having as much fun as possible we had some poignant and deeply reflective times.  Our prayer times were beautiful moments of genuine unity among the group.”

As Easter 2021 approached the group was able to support its local Fairtrade shop in Bolton, Justicia by taking part in 40 days of Fairtrade over lent. KTJC was joined online by the managers of Justicia who inspired the young people to talk, pray and buy all things Fairtrade.  

Emma added, “Establishing a youth group online has had its challenges (for me especially, as I’m not so confident in the tech side of things!).  Without online meetings we would have missed crucial moments over the lockdown periods.  The peer support given by seeing each other on screen, sharing what was going on in families and with friends, and the very genuine prayer times have been the solid foundation that has made KTJC what it is today.”  

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