St Mary’s Church, Haverhill used their growth fund to run their Youth Group from March 2022 to November 2022, attracting a small but committed group of older teenagers, offering fellowship, discipleship and pastoral support. In turn, the teenagers were able to support other church activities and were encouraged to take part in the wider life of the church.
One particularly successful aspect of the project was bible journalling as a means of discipleship. The Growing in God grant enabled St Mary’s to purchase a journalling bible for each of the young people. They chose passages to focus on together in the Youth Group, and were then encouraged to continue journalling in their own time as a way to reflect on scripture and pray about the changes and events in their personal lives.
The main reason the Youth Group started was because of a core group of older teenagers who would benefit significantly from more focused, tailored ministry at their age group from this ministry. The church would like to run the group again and attract a wider range of young people, which they are looking at a Growing Younger Beacon Area.