Youth Work Institute

There will be a Youth Work Institute coming into being!
“With the landscape changing, there is a real recognition that this is a really important time for youth work and the sector needs support …. ”
“There are a whole range of different organisations that provide a voice for the sector, but nobody who specifically speaks for the youth worker on the ground in the range of different environments we are looking at.”

Maralyn Smith, national programme manager at the National Youth Agency (NYA)

Good News, bad news

Last week consisted of the good and the bad:
The good: Managed to walk 24 miles (preparing for Yorkshire three peaks)
The bad: The Cambelt went on my car and led to major engine damage … to the extent where fixing it will cost twice the value of the car
The good: I guess I’ll be able to get even more walking in this week as a result of the car being kaput!

Walk amongst them

I had a great Saturday as a guest of the Birmingham (Diocese) Catholic Youth Service at their training day “Walk Amongst them!” It was my first visit to Soli House in Stratford-on-Avon and I had a great deal of fun spending time with the thirty or so who had gathered.
Specifically I was delivering a Keynote on ‘Lads and Spirituality’ and a workshop on ‘Recruiting volunteers and building team’ (If you are coming to the blog from that day, the Powerpoint handouts are below, most of the stuff can be found via the ‘search’ on the side bar)
Many thanks to BCYS and Soli House for their hospitality 🙂
BCYS spirituality and lads.pdf
BCYS recruiting handout.pdf

Gap year request

I was talking to someone who has a student wanting a gap year before University. This is the kind of shape she is looking for:
To be part of a discipleship programme;
Work in a Church/Christian project;
Do Youthwork/ Outreach/ Charity work;
Work alongside others of a similar age
Low cost or preferably be paid something.
Any recommendations please e-mail me, thanks

Communication #3

Ok, finally getting around to developing the musing out loud about sermons and some thoughts about communication if an ‘up front’ type of discourse is still relevant.
Context first though:
If engendering learning was your primary focus then I think the sermon would NOT be the methodology you would arrive at. (An auditory only methodology is only a viable learning mechanism for around 20% of the population …. and that’s before we even get into some cultural understanding that a presentation without the ability to question, delivered by an “expert” from a position of power has not only little credence but is in fact often distrusted)
Communicate Jesus sent these stats through this morning, a survey from Australia on why people don’t got to church:
It would perhaps be interesting to see how much of the first three reasons are in part connected with the sermon? (But this is only speculation).
It’s interesting that I am hearing a lot of ‘crisis of Discipleship’ conversation in so many places at the moment …. and sometimes a heartfelt frustrated response, “but we have taught Discipleship!”
(PS I’m not anti ‘the sermon’ but believe serious questions need to be asked about effectiveness, cultural relevance, methodologies and it’s assumed role!)


Busy old weekend running training for a very cool community-centred church in Berkshire on Friday evening and then hosting the Church of England Youth Council for the day on Saturday.
The most unusual piece of youth work though had to be on the way home on Friday night. I was coming back through the back lanes and happened upon a car on it’s side partialy in the hedge …. and it appeared to be a VERY recent incident given that there was no one else around and a scattering of debris on the road. Pulled over not quite sure what I was going to find. Thankfully no one was injured or trapped and the 18 year old driver had got out ok and was fine apart from being a little in shock. Interesting conversation over the course of the 45 minutes before the police arrived.
But now, Mondayness