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Chris Fane's Student Ministry News

A youth ministry blog consisting of a collection of articles and notes related to
student / youth ministry. Gathered by Chris Fane of egadideas.com

Church Looks to Attract More Young People


A special conference has been held by the Diocese of Bradford as the Church looks to woo more and more young people.

The Archbishop of York attended a special conference in Bradford Monday to support the work of the Church with young people and review new ways to reach out to the upcoming generation.

Dr John Sentamu met with numerous young people at the conference held at Bradford Grammar School on Monday as well as the leaders of many youth initiatives run by parishes throughout the Diocese of Bradford.

He said: “In a rapidly changing culture, many feel bewildered about how to communicate with young people, so I'm delighted that the Diocese of Bradford is facing this issue head on - and it's a mark of their commitment that they're giving up their Bank Holiday to do so.

"Jesus said, 'Unless you become like a little child you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven'. We have a lot to learn from young people as well as much responsibility for them.”

Participants at the conference were given the opportunity to take part in 24 different seminars and workshops exploring a variety of current youth-related issues, including teenage spirituality, all-age worship, and ways of bringing the Bible back into schools.

One of the organisers of the event, the Rev Steve Allen, said prior to the event: “We're expecting 500 people representing all parishes in the. It's a day of celebration, fellowship and teaching where we'll be looking at the work we already do, and how we can do it better - to show that we really are a diocese that says 'yes to young people'.

"The declining numbers of children and young people in churches is an obvious concern, so we want to build on the energy, dedication and creativity that is already being put into our work with them, so that we might be able to communicate with children and young people more effectively".

Participants were also able to join in a seminar on Christian/Muslim Relations Post 7/7, led by Dr Philip Lewis, Diocesan Inter-Faith Adviser, who addressed the question of how recent events on this front have affected local communities.

The Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Rev David James, saidt: “We are making young people our priority in 2006 and I'm delighted that we have this particular day to really focus on our work with them. There are some brilliant examples of imaginative youth and children's work within the diocese, and there are places where there is famine in the land.

“As we share stories, good practice and resources I believe we'll be able to both affirm what is already going on and also open up new opportunities for us to say "yes to young people" - so that many more of them will be drawn to Christ and find a home amongst us.”

The Diocese of Bradford stretches from Bradford City and broadly covers Bradford Met and the Yorkshire Dales.

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