We have just completed the third course this year, and it has once again proved very popular with 20 volunteers completing the training at St Gabriel’s Church in Sunderland over the last 6 weeks. Bishop Paul came to visit us on week 3 and helped us explore issues of spiritual development in young people.

One of the participants, Rachel Cook (intern at Wingate and Wheatley Hill) wrote,

‘The Youth Certificate was a great chance to be inspired, equipped and energised to lead youth groups locally. The variety of content in the sessions meant we discussed big ideas about why we do youth work and how young people develop spiritually, as well as being resourced with many practical ideas of how to run youth work that will be effective for our differing contexts.

Each participant brought varying experience of working with teenagers in and outside of church, enabling us to share ideas and be encouraged to be creative and think beyond what we have seen or done ourselves before. We also heard about different programmes running across the Diocese to engage young people in schools and on the streets.

Whether our parishes are full of young people who have never walked through the church door or there’s an established programme already, we have all taken a lot away from the course, ultimately feeling ready and excited to disciple our teenagers and involve them more in the life of our parish churches.’

We are hoping to run the course around Durham Diocese through next year. The course incorporates C1 and C2 safeguarding training. 

Andy Harris

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