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Young churchgoers speak out

by
28 April 2017

Gavin Drake reports from the Church in Wales Governing Body in Cardiff

CHURCH IN WALES

Represented: Owen Care and Nicola Atkins of the Provincial Youth Forum give a presentation to the General Assembly

Represented: Owen Care and Nicola Atkins of the Provincial Youth Forum give a presentation to the General Assembly

THE need to develop relationships with young people in the Church was emphasised after a presentation by the Provincial Youth Forum. Some 17 young people, aged between 13 and 17, representing all six dioceses in Wales, gave a presenta­tion to the Governing Body setting out the results of a survey of young people.

It was acknowledged that the survey of 67 people aged between nine and 22 was “not representative of all young people in our dioceses”, but it gave a “snapshot” of views.

The overriding message was a need for “other members of the Church to build authentic genuine relationships with us so that we can genuinely feel that we are part of the church family”.

Among the ideas proposed was integrated broadband and WiFi at church to encourage use of social media. They also ques­tioned the timings of church services, which were “usually on Sunday mornings, when we want a well-earned lie-in”.

They concluded by calling on the Governing Body to “commit to making an investment in our generation”.

Members of the Governing Body then broke into small groups for discussion before providing feed­back.

The need for stronger relation­ships between young people and older members of the Church was em­­phasised by several speakers. One said that it was important to “change the culture and environ­ment of our churches”, and said that “you can put all the resources in the world into heating, technology, re­ordering buildings; but if there is no depth of shared faith and meaning between adults and young people . . . we might as well not bother”.

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