First Day Reflections

Today was my long-awaited first day as Youth Minister at Spurgeon Baptist Church, Bletchley (my home Church for 18 years). Having completed my Degree in Youth and Community Work & Applied Theology at the Centre for Youth Ministry in June, I’ve had a relatively quiet summer whilst waiting to be appointed and then reach the start date.  But I made it – eventually.

My first appointment in the role was a visit to the Oakhill Secure Training Centre; a facility which accommodates 80 young people from 12-17 years old who are serving custodial sentences.  The visit was to meet with the new Chaplain, Rev. Andrew Gale, find out more about the centre and discuss ways we can support his work.  As a result I’ve been invited to join the Community Forum, to speak at small groups and services, and will be inviting our musicians to provide music for the larger monthly chapel services.

During the visit I was invited (along with my Senior Minister) to join a special small group session which had been organised for two ‘trainees’ who are not permitted to attend regular sessions in the chapel as they cannot mix with other trainees.  During the session we share communion together and Andrew presented the Gospel, and we closed by praying for each other.

The visit also featured a short discussion of the rights and wrongs of wearing Lycra in church:

‘the people who wear Lycra in church are the people who should never wear Lycra; the people who could get away with wearing Lycra are exactly the people you don’t want wearing Lycra in church’ {paraphrase}

But seriously, it was great to learn about the work going on at Oakhill, both by the Chaplain and more generally.  As we toured around the site, trying to avoid the mad ‘movement of trainees’, I was thinking about the ‘final judgement’ passage in Matthew 25.

‘For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ – Matthew 25:35-36

Whilst today’s visit was fleeting, I look forward to the ministry opportunities present at Oakhill, and pray that as a Church we would assist Andrew and his team in this important ministry.

The rest of the day has been spent ploughing through the to-do list I’ve been writing over the last month ;o) But it’s going to take more than a day to slay that monster.  So glad to finally be in post and looking forward to getting my hands dirty!  I particularly enjoyed working outside the Church – I didn’t expect to be so far outside the Church so early.  Long may it continue.

Praise the Lord!

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