On Saturday 22nd September, young people and youth workers from parishes across Church of England Birmingham gathered for the third meeting of the Bishop’s Youth Synod. This meeting was the first held at Bishop’s Croft; the majority of young people had not been to Bishop’s Croft before and so the opportunity to be hosted by Bishop David was much appreciated. The day began with a team building exercise involving plastic cups, rubber bands and string, which broke the ice and brought out all our competitive streaks!
Emma Sargeant posed the question of how can the Diocese better support confirmation candidates, both pre and post confirmation. The subsequent discussion explored the meaning of confirmation and its role within encouraging discipleship. One striking aspect of the conversation was the diversity of perspectives on confirmation which varied according to churchmanship. There was, however, a general consensus amongst young people who are now 16-18 and who got confirmed around the ages of 11-13 that, had they waited longer, confirmation would have acquired a deeper meaning.
The second discussion focused on social media, in particular what would make a good social media presence for Christian young people. The limited reach of CofE social media accounts within the youth demographic was apparent, and this led to the exploration of the importance of empowering young people to talk about their personal faith and church experience on their own social media.
After lunch, Emma brought up opportunities that have arisen for future Synod meetings. It is lovely to see the team and community spirit growing each meeting, as we discern the mission and direction of the Bishop’s Youth Synod within the life of the Diocese.
If you are a young aspiring leader or know people in your church who would love the opportunity to be stretched in their faith and context, Bishop’s Youth Synod might be the place for you! Please contact Emma Sargeant, Youth Project Manager for more information.