On Saturday, 18th November, the Bishop’s Youth Synod was invited to attend the Diocesan Synod to discuss ways local churches can engage with young people, encouraging them to be part of Sunday worship.
During the session, the young people spoke about the deterrents they and many others face when attending church.
This included issues such as the style of worship, the perception church members have of the younger generation and the seeming lack of willingness by the Church to rethink and reform. These ideas came from the Bishop’s Youth Synod and their conversations with their friends and peers as part of their research for this presentation.
The Bishop’s Youth Synod then posed three questions and sat with adults as they gathered in groups for discussion.
- How willing are you to change and encourage young people into your church community?
- How do you engage with young people on a Sunday morning? What more could you do?
- How do you engage with young people in your parish or oversight area? What could you do?
There was then a space for feedback, where both young people and adults spoke passionately about the need to listen to the young people in their communities and find ways to change and reform what we do in our churches on a Sunday morning.
Some solutions included adapting services to include activities for younger people, a safe space for young people to escape the harsh reality of the outside world, and, most importantly, actively listening to young people.
By the end of the session, it felt as if a gap had been bridged between young people and the diocesan synod members and there was a genuine willingness to find ways to keep this conversation going.
If you want to find out more, please get in touch with Emma Sargeant, Growing Younger Adviser: firstname.lastname@example.org