The start of something good
The Bishop of London’s Mission Fund Apprentice Scheme for youth and children’s workers in the Diocese of London is now under way in the Willesden Area! Four apprentices have started work on parish placement and begun their Diploma in Christian work with young people and communities at YMCA George Williams College.
The vision of the Apprentice Scheme is to stimulate mission activity and raise up a new generation of youth and community workers. There is great optimism about what can be achieved when those with experience are happy to teach and guide those with potential.
Seeing potential in others is like seeing people the way that God sees them; considering possibilities, identifying skills and gifts that can be invested in and nurtured, bringing about transformation.
At the Apprentice Induction, the Archdeacon of Northolt offered words of inspiration about how Jesus came to bring about Godly transformation. He encouraged the apprentices to think about how they could bring life and hope to the communities where they are based. Sam Donoghue, Head of Children’s and Youth Ministry, advised the apprentices to always be ready to help, to take on new challenges and to have fun. Judith Skinner from the YMCA described the scheme as ‘trailblazing’ and motivated the apprentices to be confident about the opportunities that will be provided to each of them through their training in youth and community work.
Over the next few months we will be bringing you news from each apprentice and the impact they are having in their parish. For now, here is a brief introduction to two of the apprentices; Nikkita and Samuel.
Apprentice: Nikkita Robert
Placement: St John’s as part of the Southall Group.
Nikkita has just completed an internship at St George’s in Southall and has completed the New Wine Discipleship year course. In her application Nikkita explained, ‘I want to become an apprentice because I want to revive the way we do youth work throughout Southall. I want to see young people confident and bold in their decision to follow Christ. Young people are at such a critical point in their lives where society, friends’ opinions, music and other things are shaping the way they think. I want to be an apprentice because I want to build a community where young people of Southall can feel secure with their doubts, triumphs and just life in general.’
Nikkita is contributing to a range of activities across the Southall Group, supporting existing youth outreach and exploring new initiatives to provide deeper discipleship to young people and identifying ways of connecting with young people through schools work, Youth Alpha, youth ‘lock-ins’ and small groups.
Nikkita’s line manager, Revd Dr Anna Poulson, says: ‘Nikkita’s warmth and ability to get alongside young people is a real strength. We are delighted to have her with us and are excited for the shared future with her!’
Apprentice: Samuel Benjamin
Placement: St Hugh’s, Northolt
Samuel had been working in the hospitality industry but after coming to faith was encouraged to join the apprenticeship scheme by his vicar, who recognised Samuel’s potential leadership skills and his desire to work with young people. Samuel explains his motivation for the apprentice scheme is both to expand his skills and knowledge and learn more about serving God and others and says, ‘I will pursue this with all my heart. I will wholly give myself in every way possible.’
Samuel is seeking to explore new opportunities within the local area for outreach and has started a youth football group and Bible study on a Saturday. He also organised the church’s first Messy Church event at Christmas, which was well attended by the local community. Samuel is putting the groundwork in place to begin an after-school club, in consultation with local young people.
His line manager, the Revd Sameh Metry, says: ‘I am very happy and excited about what is happening in Samuel’s life. I can see him improving in his skills and believe that God is going to use him with the young people in an almighty way.’
Jenny Barnard is Apprenticeship Project Coordinator for the Diocese of London.