A running theme this last term seems to have been an excitement for working together with others to bring hope to children and young people. Many of us in Christian circles, despite criticism and outward appearance, remain confident that the Church is the hope of the world – something we are seeing in action at SASW Trust.
At our last annual charity celebration we brought our supporters a message of how important working with children and young people is “at such a time as this”. We shared our heart to enable and empower a growing body of people to serve the young people of this town, practically, spiritually and prayerfully.
We’ve loved seeing the response to this in all sorts of ways. This year we had our largest team of Mission Impossible volunteers ever (read more here), with a whole bunch of new and willing ‘secret agents’ representing all sorts of different churches from across the town.
We’re seeing increasing numbers of gifted youth leaders (and even some Church leaders) getting involved with our lunchtime Safe Spaces in secondary schools. A chance to go to where young people are and journey with them pastorally. (Read more here.)
Earlier this term we ran a 3-part series of primary assemblies looking at being Community Heroes. It was really fun to explore the theme of team working in the community through a ‘dodgeball and hula-hut’ retelling of the story of Nehemiah (very chaotic, but fun & got the message across!), before looking at the different projects that Compassion Acts run in our community as an expression of teamwork (wonderfully led by Rev Patrick – one of CA’s trustees). It’s a real privilege to be part of a bigger picture of serving different aspect of the community through local churches and Christian organisations, and it seems to really inspire the children to think about the teams they are in (family, school class, clubs, etc.) and the difference they could make together too.
We were also really blessed to work alongside a whole bunch of Compassion Acts’ volunteers recently again when we took our Good Sport project to visit their fabulous children’s holiday club. Plus, you can read more here about a secondary school project we are working with them on too.
This last term, it has been great to learn from the Salvation Army about detached youth work and explore how Southport Churches could work together, alongside projects like Street Pastors, to follow Jesus out into the streets to meet young people where they are at. We’ve already seen 10 different churches represented in meetings and trial walks in the town centre.
This coming half term, Hettie will be doing a teacher training placement at a particular primary school. She’s already learning so much through her part-time teaching degree and the skills she will build on in these coming six weeks will be of massive benefit to the work of SASW Trust over the next few years. At first this feels like a real challenge for me (Tabz) flying solo, but I’ve felt very strongly that it is actually real opportunity – a chance to enable and empower others, to work together, in shining the light of the world into the lives of children and young people.
It was Jesus who Matthew recorded as saying this in his Gospel and its a message we really want to empower local Christians with. We are seeing more and more Church members, across denominational (and non-denominational) divides, coming together to share their mission as the Church, the light of the world for all to see.
We’re looking and praying for more opportunities for SASW Trust to be a catalyst for the beautiful teamwork of Church communities in Southport. We have loads of ways to get involved practically, lots of things to pray for, lots of ideas to fund. One step forward for now: we have received a license from Youthscape to run their training program for volunteer youth leaders – free to anyone wanting to better serve their Church and/or the SASW Trust family in shining a light to young people and journeying with them in faith exploration. We’re still finalising how we will run this training (dates, etc.), but have found the content so inspiring and informative and would highly recommend it to anyone even just wanting to understand more about the needs of the younger generation. If you’d like to find out more, please do get in touch!