Oswestry Rural Youth Church: you may not have heard of this! It is a fairly new venture. For some time there has been concern amongst local clergy that the Church is not reaching the youth of our region. After discussions with the Diocese, Bishop and much prayer this resulted in the setting up of the O.R.Y.C. in the summer of last year.
It was agreed that this be for an initial period of three years. There are three main objectives:-
1.1 To encourage and facilitate exploration of the Christian faith and discipleship of Jesus Christ with young people aged 11 – 18, under the auspices of the Church of England
1.2 To provide a safe space for young people aged 11 to 18 to explore their faith.
1.3 To provide opportunities to worship as appropriate within the foregoing as and when appropriate.
We are in the Oswestry Deanery, this covers St Martins to Melverley, and Llanyblodwel and Llanymynech to West Felton. A large area with many young people living in rural locations with restricted access to the larger youth activities in towns such as Oswestry. We all see these young people on the school bus, it is often full, but as the bus empties the young people disappear until tomorrow morning!
A budget was created to cover the costs of a full time Pioneer minister for the three years. This seemed a daunting task, despite the Bishop generously pledging one third of the costs from his Fund. However the idea has caught the imagination of a number of private individuals, some Charities concerned about young people, the parochial church councils of the churches in the Deanery, and other local fundraisers. We now have either received or had pledges of 80% of the budget.
Interviews for the Pioneer Youth Minister took place mid May. These were conducted by local clergy and a number of young people. The outcome was a Pioneer Minister has been appointed and will commence his role in September 2018. He is Matt Barkley and will remove to our Deanery with his wife Steph and baby son Theo. Matt has been working as the Youth Minister of a United Reformed Church in the South of the country. His licensing will take place on Sunday evening, 2nd September in Whittington Parish Church. Everyone is invited to this evening which will be conducted by the Archdeacon of Salop – Paul Thomas. The evening will include the ceremony plus some lighthearted activities suitable for all ages. All this has been achieved in just over 12 months!!
Matt will be in contact with schools, churches, villages, family groups, wherever the young people are. The O.R.Y,C. is open to all 11-18 year olds, of all faiths and no faith. The area to be covered will need to be geographically organised and the final details of how Matt will operate have yet to be settled. Inevitably the work will evolve with time.
When Matt takes up his post there will be the need to recruit volunteers to work with him. Would you be willing to be a volunteer? Do you know of anyone who may assist? Please get in touch with Revd Sarah Burton, 01691 238658, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are already thinking of years 4 & 5 so we need to continue to fundraise and seek wider support for this…would you be willing to assist?
We hope you will attend the licensing in Whittington. The chairperson until May 2018 was Revd Preb Helen Morby that many of us know so well, and this is an amazing legacy she leaves in our community. Rev Sarah Burton of Whittington replaces Helen. A contact in the Telescope area is Jim Hay of Knockin Heath. He is by no means a “young person” but is the Treasurer and committee member.
James A Hay, Treasurer ORYC and lay chair Kinnerley PCC
Morning Prayer: every Wednesday in July, 9am at St Peter's Melverley
Prayer Breakfast: Thursday 12th July, 8.30am at St Mary's Kinnerley