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Sacred Space youth consultation

First published on: 5th December 2023

Over in Manchester North and East Deanery, Mission Community 3 have been co-creating a Sacred Space and worshipping community with young people in the area. Effie Coleman, Man Dio Growing Faith Deanery Enabler has been working on the project and shares her experience of a recent youth consultation that took place.

We have consulted with clergy and diocesan colleagues leading to a recent youth consultation led by myself and Susie Mapledoram, Diocesan Youth Officer.

It was a space to get to know each other, ask and answer some questions and eat together. It was a time to not only share the vision of the Sacred Space but importantly, a time to have the young people feed into the structure and foundation of what it will be like. As Susie always says, in order for youth ministry to really thrive, we need to be doing it WITH the young people, not AT them. This sentiment has been a major factor throughout the whole process of planning the Sacred Space.

The consultation was a major success. There were 40 young people in attendance, more than anticipated, with around 10 of those being younger siblings of those who are within our age range. This gives us lots of opportunities to make plans for them too, especially around the transition from primary to high school. The session helped us all to realise that:

  • more young people are part of the mission community than we initially thought
  • there is a desire from the young people in this mission community for a space that they can call their own

Everyone engaged so well in the activities we planned, with lots of questions asked such as:

  • if you were to run a church, what would you include?
  • what do you enjoy about church?
  • would food play a major part, if so what would you have?

By the end of the session, the roll of paper on which they were writing was full of great responses and ideas. It was an encouraging sight to see! There were a lot of different themes that were mentioned but also some key overlapping topics. This was a great insight into what the common issues are on the young people’s minds.

As we continue the journey of setting up and launching the Sacred Space, we are looking forward to seeing how it develops, including creating opportunities for people to get involved as leaders and as a place that will attract even more young people.

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