On the subject of Cadbury’s

Charlie Brooker, writing in the Guardian yesterday, had me laughing out loud with his take on the Kraft takeover of Cadbury’s.
It is more than clear to anyone in England who has tried a Hershy bar, that U.S taste buds must be configured entirely differently to our own …… hence the worry about our beloved Cadbury’s recipe being subsumed into an american interpretation. But given that they key British response to anything is humour, I encourage you to read the Guardian Column.
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I cannot imagine a youth group tuck shop without the iconic “Freddo bar!” ….. we must unite to save this national assett

Youth, mission and culture lectures

‘Professional development’ and vegetables are two things that youth workers are not always very good at (apart from the vegetarian ones who tend to be better at at least one of them) as they get squeezed out by the pressure of time and chips. Huge generalisation I know but it makes a good intro to the Youth, Mission and Culture Lectures that I am about to heartily endorse! Anyway, the info …….
“The Youth Culture and Mission Lectures are a response to the increasing numbers of youth workers studying youth ministry and theology at undergraduate or postgraduate and the desire by so many to keep their heads in that field once they have graduated. Pete Maidment, Diocesan Youth Officer for The Diocese of Winchester and one of the founders of the lectures, says; ‘The lectures provide an opportunity for people to pursue a deeper, theological and grounded understanding of youth, culture and mission, accessible to those who have already begun to explore the academic bedrocks of youth ministry as well as those who haven’t had the time to study and who are eager to take their thinking deeper.’
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Dates and Locations:
18th March 2010:LICC, London
25th March 2010:St George’s Church, Leeds
For more details click the link above or read the press release thingy: YCML Press Release Nov 2009.doc. Oh, or use that trendy BookFace social notworking thing, here’s the link


I’m a HUGE fan of mentoring! I’m starting to see it being used more in churches as a discipleship model which is great but I’m especially interested in the mentoring of marginalised young people; where I have seen it make a phenomenal difference to the well being and life chances of young people. I’ve put some people in touch with the training advertised below and wanted to flag it up here, I’m also picking up on the Radar that a second date has been added in Birmingham on May 18th.
The Why, What and How? of successful mentoring with young people
A Spurgeons Network learning event, facilitated by Chris Spriggs, Director of Lifespace
Tuesday 2 February 2010
St Georges Centre, Leeds
10.30 am – 3.30 pm
Why you should think about mentoring in your work with young people?
What is successful mentoring?
How do you put it into practice?

Mentoring young people is not a magic bullet which solves all their problems but it can be a really valuable tool to help them make positive changes in their lives. This day is about learning the basics of good theory and practice, exploring areas of interest and difficulty and hearing from others about their experience
To book or find out more e-mail Spurgeons

Good teacher

I’m finding myself half amused, half horrified by the Conservative proposals to limit teaching opportunities to those who have ‘good’ degrees. I checked the date but April 1st is still some-way off, I’m therefore assuming that they are serious!!
….. and the young Tories asked the leader, “what then is a good teacher?”
“Verily,” he replied, “consider these two applicants”
“The first comes from a secure background where their parents have been able to bestow foreign holidays on them as regular breaks from violin lessons, debating society and riding, sending them to a good school from which not much change out of £10k a year is forthcoming. Their rise to a solid university is inevitable, where helped by their investment fund they are able to study well, unhindered by financial concerns. Leaving university with a jolly good degree they decide that teaching looks like a safe option, endowing, as it does under the conservatives: much prestige, a good salary and a more than healthy pension!”
“Meanwhile the child of a one parent family from a ‘sink’ estate, inspired by a great teacher, beats the odds to make it to one of the newer universities. Under constant pressure from juggling two part time jobs and trying to study, they emerge with a degree but at a low grade. There is only one thing they want to do. Having seen what education can achieve they are passionately determined to go into teaching to inspire and create opportunity for young people who otherwise would have none!”
“And so now, can you tell me which would make the good teacher?”
“oh oh …. that’s easy,” replied the keenest of the young Tories, “It’s the second!”
And the leader gnashed his teeth loudly before making him write out party policy three hundred times on his Blackberry!

Diocesan Youth Stuff

Greeting Comrades
Quick reminder that DEPTH 3 retreat is happening at the start of Feb and we are attempting to finalize numbers.
You NEED to register an interest in the Youth Evangelism Fund if you haven’t yet (If you can bring young people to the event on the 30th at Reading, even better (but let me know).
TAIZE trip is on for the summer, 15-30 year olds leaving on the 24th July
Yellow Braces is the 9th – 11th July, come and join the party!
Details via me on 01865 208 253 or clicking here, here or here and thereby e-mailing me.