It became clear to us, through research and reflection carried out in 2013-14, that the challenges surrounding CYPM&M are not at the deepest level about children and young people as such, but about the life and identity of the Church. When children and young people are absent from the worshipping community then the whole Church is impoverished. When children and young people are present, often this is due to a culture of meaningful intergenerational relationships, at least as much as effective specialist ministry.
Our approach places responsibility for mission and ministry amongst children and young people firmly where it belongs – with every parish and local expression of Church. It does so with a light touch, recognising that much expertise is already to be found within the parishes and deaneries of our Diocese, and the task therefore is to make the best of that expertise. Deaneries, Episcopal Areas and the Diocese have important roles to support, sustain and help develop this.
Our vision is of a hospitable church, in which children and young people are welcomed and invited to shape, and be shaped by the life of the church. They are encouraged, empowered and enabled to contribute to the church and its mission and bring their energy, inspiration & challenge.
- Work towards every child and young person having a life-enhancing encounter with the Christian faith and the person of Jesus Christ.
- Bring about transformation, both in the Church and in the world, and recognise and enable the capacity of children and young people to be agents of change both for themselves and for others.
- Provide support and development for all working with children and young people in the name of the Church, so that they might demonstrate the highest qualities in their practice and personal life.
The three main areas of focus are Advice, Training and Resourcing. You can read more about these focus areas and our approach on the about us section
The Revd Canon Dr Stephen Hance, Canon Missioner for the Diocese oversees CYPM&M. Hugh Ridsdill-Smith, consultant, is working with the Diocese developing this area of ministry as part of the Mission Team, which includes Vanesssa Elston, Mission Support Officer.
Our current priorities are to develop CYPM&M support within the three areas below:
- Advice and guidance, working with parishes, deaneries and clusters of churches
- A programme of central training courses
- Support for locally based training through the local training fund
- through the network of Parish Reps and Deanery Champions
- termly network lunches for employed children, youth & families' workers
- Regular email bulletins; regular updates to the CYPM&M pages of the Diocesan website. Local network meetings as needed.