Twelve Young People from across the Diocese of Durham have become among the first in the Church of England to form a Children’s Council.
The Children’s Council is made up of young people aged eight years (8)+ to come together to help give children a stronger voice in their local church and the wider Diocese.
The Diocese of Durham Children’s Council was officially launched in November with a view to giving young people an opportunity to communicate their feelings, hopes, fears and opinions on being involved in the Church. The Children’s Council also provides a place to work together on projects and areas of interest – giving young people a sense of community and belonging – developing their self confidence, communication, negotiation and team working skills.
Supported by the Diocese and their church – the Children’s Council is a clear demonstration of the priority that the Diocese gives to Children and Young People as part of its strategic thinking.
Children’s Ministry Adviser for the Diocese of Durham, Sharon Pritchard said: “Listening to children has been an important issue for us in ensuring that children have a voice and are heard continues to be of great significance although this is not always present in our society.
“Adults often think that they know what children need and forget that they have views, opinions, ideas and concerns of their own.
“There is a great opportunity for the Church at national and local level to respond to the Good Childhood Inquiry and to be a part of the continuing developments. Having explored participation, children’s advocacy and ‘Learn2Listen’, it was felt that the formation of a Diocesan Children’s Council would enable us to engage with children more as part of this agenda.”
Pictured are: Harriet (10), Harvey (11), Jack (11), Leo (9), Lara (10), Jacob (12), Hannah (12), Thomas (11), Lily (9), Josh (13), Alice (10), Grace (9) – along with Leaders Sharon Pritchard and Nick Brooker and special members The Rt Revd Paul Butler – Bishop of Durham & The Rt Revd Mark Bryant – Bishop of Jarrow.