Young people who sing with an Ilkley church are enjoying breakfasts and social evenings as well as singing hymns and psalms.
The youngsters in the choir at St Margaret’s Church Ilkley now enjoy discussions, fellowship, breakfasts and suppers together as well as singing on Sunday mornings.
Vicar, Canon Philip Gray, says that the developments have helped build up the choir not only musically but spiritually and socially as well.
“Many of our young people engage with St Margaret's through our liturgy either as servers or singers. We now have opportunities for our young people to be together or to explore our faith.
“On Friday evenings we host ‘Social Time’. At our monthly Sunday morning ‘young people's breakfast’ we meet for bacon butties, or vegetarian options, and follow this with a discussion time led by one of the clergy. This is before one of our main Sunday morning services.
Children Youth and Families worker, Katherine Grasham (pictured), is the first point of contact for churches in the Bradford area. She says the approach to building up young people in a traditional church setting is impressive.
“I always enjoy visiting children, young people and family groups around the diocese, and this was no exception.
“I was really impressed that so many young people were willing to come out early on a Sunday morning to spend some time in discussion and fellowship, and it’s brilliant of the church to provide a breakfast for them. Food is such a simple but great way of engaging with young people in church!
“Despite being what Fr. Philip calls a ‘retro expression’ rather than a ‘fresh expression’, it’s clear that this ministry is working well for St Margaret’s, so I want to encourage any churches that feel the pressure to do something completely new and innovative – sometimes it’s the simple ideas that work the best!”
If you’ve been inspired by this why not speak to a member of the Children, Young People and Families team about support and help for your church in engaging with young people.