MABS – more than just a youth project
St Andrew’s Enfield has, for 800 hundred years, been an active presence in the community in the heart of Enfield. This has taken a new expression over the last few months, in the form of MABS, a new youth and community project.
After receiving a generous financial legacy from Mabs Mardulyn (a past member of the congregation), the Revd Dr Steve Griffiths set to, raising further funds and employing both Jo Griffiths and Barry Easton to begin the MABS journey. The vision is to build a youth and community project in the heart of Enfield, partnering with others, to support young people in mind, body and spirit; feeding those that need feeding, praying with those that need prayer, counselling those that need counselling – the list goes on – while being an integral part of the worshipping community of St Andrew’s, acting like the lungs of church; essential, influencing every aspect of church life, welcoming the stranger and listening to them to learn together.
The Revd Dr Steve Griffiths explains more:
“The story at St Andrew’s stretches back 800 years and there are literally thousands of actors in it; each one playing their part to meet the needs of children, young people and families, each one seeking to offer support and care for people in their moments of needs, each one using skill and compassion to show love where it is needed most.
“In September 2015, the MABS Youth and Community Project became the next instalment of that ongoing story. It is something new – but it is part of something old: it is the continuation of the story for this period of time in Enfield. Generations come and go, projects come and go, the baton passes on – and the baton has passed to MABS.
“A core value at the heart of MABS is the commitment to develop as a partnership project. MABS is not about St Andrew’s delivering in isolation. MABS is about a community coming together to offer pastoral care and support to young people and families. And we are so grateful to the Borough Council, St Andrew’s Primary School, Enfield Grammar School and Enfield Church Trust for Girls for partnering with us at this early stage to get MABS up and running. And God willing, there will be many more partners from across the community coming on board with this project over the next few months.
“There is one key partner to the project who needs to be mentioned, and I want to give thanks to God for her. That is a lady called Mabs Mardulyn. Mabs was a member of St Andrew’s Church many years ago and when she died, her legacy was to use her estate to set up a Trust Fund that would be dedicated to providing youth and children’s ministry across the world.
“MABS is a project devoted to the whole person. We want to see children, young people and families grow as whole human beings and become the people that God has truly destined them to be: to fulfil their potential as children of God and become whole people in their citizenship and engagement with society.
“So for that reason, the range of activities undertaken through MABS will be vast: Bible study, prayer groups, Sunday Clubs, holiday clubs, residentials for young people, and lots of opportunities for them to grow with God. But in addition to that, we want to serve people on a broader canvas of human compassion too: self-esteem work, drug and alcohol awareness, sexual health programmes, one-to-one listening, work with single parents and teenage parents, mentoring of young people, parenting programs, advocacy work, literacy and language courses, debt counselling and so much more… God does not just love us as disembodied spirits: we have been created as whole people – body, mind and spirit – and MABS will be ministering to whole people in body, mind and spirit.”
View the first films to come out of the MABS project. Stay tuned to hear more of the work of the MABS project!
James Fawcett works with CONCRETE and helps the Diocese of London support youth workers across the capital. Revd Dr Steve Griffiths is vicar at St Andrew’s Enfield.