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GROWING YOUNGER

Children and Youth Ministry Support in the Diocese of London

The Diocese of London employs a team of people whose role is to support those working with children and youth within our church communities.

We provide direct support and guidance, create online resources and develop partnerships with ministry specialists to help churches reach the full potentional in engaging children and young people.

If you are interested in developing children or youth work in your church, have a look around the webpages here, then talk to your vicar or safeguarding lead, or email the children and youth support team at youth@nulllondon.anglican.org or children@nulllondon.anglican.org.

Double the number of young people involved in local Christian community

Children's Ministry

We are committed to support those who work with children in our churches. Click below to view what support we can offer.
More info

Youth Ministry

We offer help and advice to support the church in engaging young people, through Capital Youth and our partnerships with specialists.
More info

The Learning Hub

We’ve launched a new online space for learning, where anyone can sign up and develop key skills required for children and youth ministry.

We’re starting out with our fundamental training course, Academy Basics – in two versions focused on children or youth ministry.

If you’re a paid worker, you could do one of these courses as a team with volunteers, gather every week or so and review what you’ve all learned. It can be a wonderful way of team building, as well as acquiring new skills and developing your church’s ministry together. The New Year is a great time to think about new skills.

But it’s not only these two courses! We have a lot more in the pipeline, particularly for paid workers and experienced volunteers: on building a vision, working in schools, recruiting volunteers, faith development and reflective practice. There will also be practical modules on how to use craft, the value of games, leading space for prayer and discussions. On top of this, we’ll be adding extra features.

Academy Basics Youth Edition logo

COVID-19 response support

In our aim to support those working with children and youth, we’ve been curating resources and guidance that will be helpful and practical for those adapting their regular activities. This page is your go-to source for key information specific to working with children, youth and families.

Guidance for working with children, youth and families

Last update: 30 March

We advise you refer to the National Youth Agency’s guidance for timelines on restarting in-person activities – these are helpful guidelines for staying within legal and appropriate restrictions on work with children and young people. Please also check the latest guidance from the Church of England, who are updating theirs based on direct conversation with those providing the guidelines from our government.

2021 roadmap

We recognise these permitted activities may cause tension for those being pressured to book early onto summer events in order to reserve a place. If you need help thinking through this, please feel free to reach out to us.

For any support or questions around working with children and youth, feel free to email our team at youth@nulllondon.anglican.org and we’ll respond within 72 working hours.

Summary of permitted activites at level AMBER:

  • Online and digital youth services
  • Detached and outreach work (outdoors)
  • Open youth groups with unlimited group size (outdoors)
  • 1-2-1 sessions with ‘vulnerable’ young people only (indoors)
  • Support groups for ‘vulnerable’ young people (indoors, max 15 per group, plus workers/leaders)
  • Day trips and visits are permitted – you are recommended to stay local and follow the guidelines of the venue you wish to visit. A trip is defined as “travelling to another venue/space for an activity.”  Outdoor centres may now open for daytime activities.

Do not book in-person events this summer until government dates are confirmed 1 week in advance of all roadmap milestones.

Read the full guidelines on the National Youth Agency website

Key information

  • Residentials (including camping) and international travel are prohibited
  • Indoors support groups for all 15 young people, plus staff/volunteers
    • Support groups are by invite only
    • Groups/bubbles should be fixed week to week where possible
  • Community centres / venues are allowed to open to provide support groups
  • Parents/Carers are responsible for confirming the criteria is met
  • Travel is permitted to access support groups
  • Support groups for young people indoors includes:
    1. Vulnerable children and young people.
    2. Other children or young people, where provision is:

a) reasonably necessary to enable parents/carers to work, search for work, undertake education or training, attend medical appointments or a support group.
b) targeted one-to-one session or group to provide support and assistance for a specific issue.
c) Being used by electively home educating parents as part of their arrangements for their child to receive a suitable full-time education.
d) For the purposes of obtaining a regulated qualification, meeting the entry requirements for an education institution, or to undertake exams and assessment.

Summary of permitted activites at level AMBER:

  • Online and digital youth services
  • Detached and outreach work (outdoors)
  • 1-2-1 sessions with any young person (indoors)
  • Open youth groups OUTDOORS with unlimited group size
  • Open youth groups INDOORS for up to 15 young people. Drop-in sessions are permitted if young people are assigned into bubbles on arrival
  • Invite-only support groups for vulnerable young people (indoors, max 15 per group, plus workers/leaders)

Do not book in-person events this summer until government dates are confirmed 1 week in advance of all roadmap milestones.

Read the full guidelines on the National Youth Agency website

Summary of permitted activites at level YELLOW:

  • ALL OF STEP 2 permitted.
  • Bubble sizes to be confirmed by the NYA nearer the time.
  • UK residentials now permitted, including camping.
  • International travel is still prohibited.

Do not book in-person events this summer until government dates are confirmed 1 week in advance of all roadmap milestones.

Read the full guidelines on the National Youth Agency website

Summary of permitted activites at level GREEN:

  • ALL OF STEP 3 permitted.
  • Group sizes may be still required and will be confirmed by NYA
  • International travel permitted. Remember we don’t yet know if will have to quarantine on return. If this is still in place, won’t permit travel with young people due to safeguarding implications.

Do not book in-person events this summer until government dates are confirmed 1 week in advance of all roadmap milestones.

Read the full guidelines on the National Youth Agency website

  • Leaders and workers not included in the support group number (15 young people plus staff)
  • Providers can allow more than one bubble at a time in their venue. Other staff members can be on-site for work purposes (e.g. in an office, cleaning etc.).  Consider  separate entrances and access to toilet facilities
  • Youth sector providers can offer back to back sessions (subject to venue cleansing in between) with same members of staff or leaders and across multiple days of the week
  • Community/public venues can be opened and used for purposes of providing support group activities. Private dwellings including gardens must not be used in any circumstances.  Vicarage gardens are classed as private dwellings.  Home visits to young people are prohibited
  • Youthwork within schools – group sizes are class or year bubbles. You will need permission from the school to operate and must be fully compliant with school guidance

Follow Covid secure guidelines:

  • Have an action plan in place (roles and responsibilities)
  • Update risk assessments at every step with CYP, parents & team
  • Outdoor activities in public spaces – think through how to manage hygiene, risks, groups sizes
  • Groups/Bubbles should be manageable (and age appropriate)
  • Hygiene should be robust – handwashing etc. No shared equipment – must clean in between
  • Venue is clean and kept clean (e.g. door handles)
  • Face coverings indoors and outdoors if within 2 metres
  • Social distancing – aim to stay 1m+
  • NHS test and trace information gathered


Key messages:

  • Wash hands
  • Cover face: Everyone 11-years-plus should use a face covering indoors. This includes leaders. Can be removed when eating/drinking or in team sports. Need to choose your activities appropriately.
  • Make space: Maintain social distancing of 2m where possible.
  • Ventilate: Outdoor work is preferable if can be done safely.

Online meetups

We started gathering anyone working with children and youth online in March 2020, to provide community, encouragement and a platform for exchanging ideas to those feeling isolated in their roles. To receive updates on these, subscribe to our email list and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. You can watch most of our livestreams over on our Facebook page, including previous sessions.

The Morning Meetup

Every Tues, 11:30-12:30

Join the Children and Youth Support team each week for an informal catch-up to share what we’re learning and exchange ideas. Bring a snack and beverage of choice!

Events coming up on this meetup:

  • 20 April – Panel Discussion: Rebuilding Volunteer Teams After Lockdown

Join us on Zoom via the button below – this session won’t be livestreamed to Facebook.

Faith and Family: Meetups for Christian Parents

Thursday, 25 March, 20:15-21:00

Join the Dioceses of London and Southwark once a month, as we explore the joys and challenges of being parents and Christians, exploring a different theme in each session. We’ll be interacting with your questions and comments as we go!

Register to join us on Zoom or watch via Facebook Live on our page.

Intercession for children and youth

Wednesdays 12:00-12:25

Join us and the team behind With (All Hallows Ditchingham) as we pray every week for children and young people. There will be a simple liturgy, with space for silence and personal prayer.

Resources for working with children, youth and families

Safeguarding guidance for working online

Our safeguarding guidance during the COVID-19 crisis remains the same.

Follow the Diocesan Safeguarding Guidelines and talk to your vicar or safeguarding lead if in any doubt. Any concerns raised in parishes should be brought to the attention of the Church Safeguarding Officer, who can seek advice from the DST. Other areas of the Diocese (e.g. chaplaincies) should contact the DST directly.

For guidance around online video conferencing with young people, see this guide from the Diocese of Worcester – we will release our own version soon.

Safeguarding concerns can be raised by phone or by email.

  • Concerns raised via email should be sent to our Safeguarding Inbox in the first instance: safeguarding@nulllondon.anglican.org.
  • Alternatively, to speak to a member of the DST, please call our Safeguarding Helpline on 020 7932 1224.

Online activities for young people, children and families

Various churches have developed online alternatives to their normal children and youth activities, which may be appropriate for people from other churches to join in with. If you are looking for great online activities to point young people to, HTB Youth, Virtual Sunday School and Worship for Everyone have been consistently producing live and recorded content.

If you’re making things specifically for children and/or youth, email us!


Online content for youth

Online content for children/families

Games to play online

  • The Methodist Church published this handy little PDF with lots of ideas for games you can play on Zoom
  • If you have a small number, Jackbox Games have some good games. You buy packs, then each player uses their phone to play. Make sure you select “family friendly” in the settings, as some games have some adult material.
  • If you want to hop aboard the hype train, Among Us is a free-to-play game on mobile (or £4 on PC) that young people generally love playing at the moment. It’s like a murder mystery, but you control the characters in a game (check with parents if you’re unsure about suitability).

Ideas for activities to enjoy together

  • Go on a virtual museum tour whilst on a video call
  • Have a group Netflix film night (everyone needs a subscription)
  • Have a “3,2,1, play” YouTube watch party on a video call
  • Record a video together to share with your church
  • Write a song together
  • Have a poetry slam contest

A letter to children from Bishop Sarah

It is our joy to share this letter to children from the Bishop of London. Please circulate to parents and carers in your communities and encourage them to send their names in for prayer.

Resources on diversity, racism and racial injustice

This is a collection of resources that will help you have informed conversations around the topics of race, diversity, and justice. This is by no means exhaustive, so if you know of other things, let us know at youth@nulllondon.anglican.org.

 

Books for children and young people

 

Books for adults

 

Articles

 

Extensive curations of resources

 

Websites and social media channels

Supporting children and youth through grief

No two people grieve in the same way. In this time where support for children and youth is increasingly important during a loss of loved ones, those who work or volunteer with them should feel confident and knowledgeable on how they can help.

The Diocese of London’s Children and Youth Support ran this online workshop to cover the key areas of supporting people through grief. The session used additional breakout groups throughout to create a more comfortable environment for sharing from experience. These were not recorded but are noted so you can reflect for yourself.

Other resources related to COVID-19

Resources database for children & youth ministry

We are compiling an online database of resources for working with children, youth and families, to save a bit of time on the discovery process! We’ve added a column to flag resources you can use or adapt remotely. Below you can filter and sort the resources we’ve added, and if you think any are missing, submit one here.

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