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/ 17 April 2019

Collaborative church event engages 142 young people in faith and music

James Wood shares what went down at the recent music event for young people by the One Hillingdon group of churches.

On 6 April, 142 local young people and over 25 volunteers from churches across the borough gathered at St Margaret’s Uxbridge. Show & Prove was a music showcase competition aiming to engage local young people and explore the intersection between music and faith.

The event was part of the follow-up strategy for the Illuminate Tour in December 2018, was organised by One Hillingdon with support from consultant Prince Laryea. The wider aim was to engage local young people and explore avenues for moving forward with a borough-wide approach on youth outreach.

The evening opened with a track from MOBO Award Winning Christian Hip-hop artist Guvna B, followed by performances from nine local young people from Uxbridge High, Vyners, Twyford High, Bishop Ramsey and Cardinal Wiseman. Due to the competition/showcase element of the event, many of the young artists invited friends and family for support.

Intermingled with the musical performances were interviews with myself (James) and Laura, a youth worker from St Matthew’s Yiewsley. We answered questions about our faith and music’s influence on it. This section of the evening concluded with the audience and judge votes on the performances by young people.

Guvna B delivered the final performance of the evening. His content clearly and appropriately expressed Christian values and perspectives in a fun, relevant and energetic manner.

One Hillingdon’s Instagram following has increased by 26% since the event and we’ve already had a number of young people and churches telling us that they want to get involved in talking faith, future events and taking part in a jam session.

“Fun, fun, fun, fun. Definitely coming back to the next one!”

We would welcome your prayers for the young people that attended and responded; that they would remain engaged and this would be the first of many events whereby we are engaging young people in creative and alternative ways.

What’s next for young people?

We’ve identified four avenues for follow-up:

  • Social Media: Further engagement through Instagram and social media with 50+ young people following One Hillingdon on Instagram during or soon after the event.
  • Jam sessions: The Crown Church will be running 6-weeks of jam sessions offering local young people the opportunity to come and play music in a laid back, social setting with informal support from youth workers and Christian musicians. This will run on Friday nights for six weeks, commencing after Easter.
  • Events team: Young people were invited to get involved with organising and leading future events, in the long term it may be possible that a Christian faith-based youth council might emerge from this group.
  • Find out more: Young people were offered the opportunity to explore faith further through one to one or small group decisions.

The next One Hillingdon event will take place on 13 July. Follow the One Hillingdon Instagram account to stay in the loop.

 

Thanks to James Wood and Prince Layrea for providing the event write-up and photos.


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