JNC Knights of old.jpg

Luke: What is it?

Ben: 'Informal Education'. [He hands a copy of "Jeffs and Smith" definitive work on the subject to Luke, who begins to leaf through it while Ben continues.] This is the weapon of a JNC Knight. Not as clumsy or random as 'School' or 'Needs based referrals.' An elegant tool, for a more civilized age. For over fifty years, the JNC Knights were guardians of community, and facilitators of opportunity for young people .... in the United Kingdom, and beyond. Before the dark times. Before the austerity wars.

Luke: [Closes book] How did Youth work die?

Ben: An entire political agenda that protected the rich but demanded cuts for the poor. Youth work was betrayed and murdered by; massive funding cuts, removal of funding for training, and a limited hub based approach more akin to targeted social work. A systematic failure to recognize the needs and aspirations of young people, a failure to see the importance of working in community, and not understanding the role played by the JNC Knights. These all contributed to 'informal education' being virtually purged from the galaxy. We were betrayed!

How well do you know your area?

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This is a great web site that asks you seven census type questions about your local area .... and then reveals the answers. Useful for all sorts of things from fun quiz through to community or mission thinking. You'll find it here


digital re-engagement

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Laptop is fixed and I am once again connected to the world. 'Normal' service is resumed

Major computer Problems

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A Java update has seriously messed up my computer. The computer is running in geological time, and any attempt to use the internet seems to spark all manner of pop-ups, new pages and other gumpf. The previous post took a ridiculous time to compile and I still haven't managed to pursue some links. AAAArrrghghghghhghgh

Household of Faith

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Last week there was a three day conference entitled "Household of Faith" which:

"aims to focus on issues of nurturing faith within the home and Church community and we are bringing together many speakers and organizations engaging in this important ministry area"

I could only make it to one day but I wanted to be part of the discussions .... and to hear John Westerhof speaking on Nurture and discipleship. I was not disappointed and thoroughly benefited from my day at the University of Sussex. I understand the recordings will be available, I'll post a link when I find 'where' they will be.

I had such an encouraging day: In terms of wisdom gleaned and discussions had, but also being in the company of fellow practitioners for whom I have a deep affection. It was a long day BUT a spare hour presented a chance for five of us to see Brighton beach and briefly immerse ourselves in the British seaside experience.

Phrases you don't hear so often

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This was genuinely a line in a conversation this morning.

"At the PCC Pool party ...... "

Dissecting the Frog

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I'm really looking forward to a quasi-gig tomorrow night when I'm speaking at a Curry Night. I'm not doing stand-up but doing a session on laughter, comedy and what we can learn/experience from it. I had fun last night putting together some classic stand-up clips by way of illustration .... AND just because they are really funny.

Water Slides

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Loving the water slide at Camp! Such a lot of fun from a long sheet of plastic, a hose pipe and a bit of washing up liquid!


In case it's useful to any other groups, here's the stuff we've thought or learnt over the years.

1. Work had at finding the best bit of slope with no dips in so that the water runs well down the slide (and doesn't funnel off to the side)
2. You'll need to find a way of pegging it down a little (especially if there's a breeze) but the fixings must not protrude.
3. Make sure there is an organised queue so there is clarity around who is next.
4. Lilos work really well on the 'slide' .... and the way they work best is form them to be on the slide and people dive onto them. (We've found people running up carrying an inflatable doesn't work as well, and has a huge danger (if they throw it down a little short of the slide on the grass the inflatable will instantly grip and stop ... whilst the person doesn't!!!)
5. Avoid black plastic for the slide ..... it gets way too hot in sunlight
6. Being clear that standing up approach will not work AND may involve a heavy fall
7. Don't have too long a session so that the fun, anticipation tails off; quit whilst there is still a buzz about the experience.

Yellow Braces Epicness

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"You are never too old for youth work!
(But it does longer to recover)"

What I call the, 'Youthwork age-irrelevance maxim!' I'm feeling this a little today after an epic youth weekend, being part of a deeply wonderful and gifted team running "Yellow Braces". But today I am a bit of a 'space cadet' ..... and that's even after over-sleeping. Further correlation of the maxim comes from another leader who texted me this morning:

"When I'm in heaven, tell me there'll be 'Ultimate Frisbee' to play without aching all over the following day?"


I will write more when I can a sentence together properly string but wanted to record my thanks to the team, and to the young people .... and to the Hill End Outdoor Centre.

Filed under 'smiling' 'thankful' and 'blessed'

M.A level muppetry

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I've just made a complete muppet of myself by reading an e-mail too fast and assuming it related to an e-mail received yesterday (from within the same organisation,) and answering in that context!



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Calling 18-25s

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Loving this Emerging Influencers programme for 18 - 25 year olds from Rhythmns and Tear Fund. Have a look


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