It’s arrived

Over the weekend our grant cheques from the county council arrived. It is really fun looking to spend £6000 and the joy that it will bring to the young people. Had some great conversations with some really helpful companies, looking to give discounts and provide some quality advice on picking the correct products. If their service continues to be as good I will put some plugs/comments up here.

And we’re back…

A couple of my readers questioned a couple of thoughts I posted before Christmas and so I made the blog private for a few days to spend some thinking about why do I post and what is the content I post. I am going to need some more time thinking this through – to ensure that I am able to reflect and receive comments and thoughts from others whilst still understanding that I need to be more careful what I post. Does anyone have any guidelines or thoughts they use to help them when blogging about stuff that happens in their job?

Children’s Ministry Conference

Looks like I am off in a couple of weekends to Eastbourne with a couple of my volunteers to the Children’s Ministry Conference. It should be a really good weekend with over 60 seminars and workshops which will be grouped into 5 streams: Children’s ministry leadership issues; Outreach beyond church; Working with under 5s; Working with 5-9s; Working with tweenagers. I am excited about sharing this with others, I hope it really encourages, energises and inspires them in their work. Give me a shout if you are going to be there.

Office move – not easy

Recently there has been some talk and thought about me swapping offices with the photocopy type office. But at the moment it all seems to be getting more complex. The theory was that it is a nicer room (actually has proper windows), more space, and a bit farther away from the noise produced by our coffee bar and people playing badminton. However, I have found the one of the walls has a whole load of electrical piping on it so putting shelving on it while possible will require a lot more thought, and that the internet connection is a lot weaker in that room. I guess I am just going to have to try temporarily working there and see how the internet goes. If it isn’t upto scratch then I will either have to look at the possibility of a booster for the signal or just give up on the whole process. Frustrating hey!


What a day it’s been. It’s only 7:19am, and 44,561 people have died already, and more importantly, 4,276,540 bicycles have been made this year so far. How do I know? Through a website called Worldometers, which keeps the meter running on all sorts of statistics (How many fish have been caught this year? How many children are hungry tonight? How many times has lightning struck the earth?). If you need shocking but succint statistics for a talk – especially on ‘time’ or the ‘brevity of life’ – pick them up here.

Thank you

Tonight we said thank you to our Associate Minister, Colin Hunt. Colin has been a non-stipendiary minister (i.e. he doesn’t get paid a salary) here at the church for the last twelve years helping the church through two interregnums. It was great to be able to have a big tea for those who were able to come and share saying thanks to him as he officially retires from the ministry. As everyone knows he will still be involved – just on a lesser scale, hopefully allowing him to really enjoy his retirement now. Anyhow a big up to Colin!

Year plan

I have finally got my year planner up-to-date and back on my office wall. It looks like it could be a fairly busy year – lots of exciting things happening including taking volunteers away to Children’s Ministry Conference and Youthwork the Conference, the possibility of running a residential for some of my older young people, summer camp with PACT Activity Holidays, a week away with year 6 pupils from a local primary school, and church lessons followed by visits to the church by nine year 7 classes, as well as all the usual weekly activities of clubs, groups, lessons and assemblies.

I hope that having the plan up in front of everyone means that I can become more discerning at saying no. So, for example, in May, before the half-term, I have a month of very hectic schools work, so I need to ensure, as much as possible, that other things don’t get added during that month. Let’s hope it works!

Busy times

I seem to be very busy at the moment, lots of great youth work stuff going on at work, and lots at home, especially with trying to move home and all the paper work that goes with that. Hannah seems to have masses of work at the moment as well so I guess it is just that time of year when everyone gets busy. Probably means that blogging will continue to be a little slower for the next week or so as I continue with lots of school assemblies, some meetings about community work, starting planning for holiday club and summer camp, and continuing thoughts on how we do work with families.

Middle-class syndrome

I am running a session next weekend on reaching the middle-class syndrome. How do you show a young person that they need God when they have three i-pods etc. I am planning on throwing out some big questions for people to discuss and share ideas but I don’t know if anyone has any pearls of wisdom on this topic. Someone recommended The Road to Whatever: Middle-Class Culture and the Crisis of Adolescence by Elliott Currie. Sounds like an interesting read so will probably end up buying it to look at, give me a shout if you know of any useful literature or have read the book.

School assemblies

What topics do you do for assemblies. Working in four local schools (two primary and two secondary) I am regularly invited to do assemblies. However, it is interesting that topics and details that I am given. Sometimes we get great topics and a lot of freedom and at other times we get very bizarre titles with lots of random detail. There is some thought about trying to develop a model assembly year plan, especially for the primary schools, as many of the local teachers really struggle to come up with a plan for them. Does anyone have any thoughts or comments?

Schools work

Earlier today I wrote a post about exciting things happening in our schools work but didn’t save it, and for some reason it got lost during publishing so here I am trying to rewrite that post now in Word!

Our primary schools work has really taken off in one of the schools. Yesterday was the second week of a three week module on the Bible which I am teaching to two year 6 classes. It is great fun because they are learning stuff but also throwing out lots of questions: do you really believe that Mary was a virgin; who was Jesus’ dad; who created God etc. We are hoping to squeeze in a type of grill-a-Christian opportunity at the end of next week’s lesson so that we can answer some of their questions and encourage their thinking and reflection. That is after all what one of the key points of RE is.

Linked to all of that I am being observed next week by some of the senior teachers – it was something I have asked for, mainly because I want to make sure that I am doing stuff okay, be it the style of teaching, the way I write on the board, the questions I ask etc. especially as the school is due OFSTED this year; also there is a possibility that the teaching staff won’t have to stay in my lessons any more which would be great as my other reason for teaching is to build relationships with the pupils so that when they are in times of need we are used to help with the pastoral care. It is a really exciting and rewarding role and I will be interested to see what comments and feedback I get next week.

Blogger deleting posts

Why does blogger always delete your post when you highlight the whole of your post to edit it in the create box? I have just written a post about the schools work I did yesterday and then it is gone – it is so frustrating. I must remember to write my posts in Word etc. and then copy and paste across.