This is a text-only version of an article first published on Thursday, 18 March 2021. Information shown on this page may no longer be current.
Children's, Family and Youth Advisor roles revised in restructure of Department of Mission and Ministry, supporting continued growth towards a more intergenerational and inclusive church
In June 2020, the Diocesan Synod enthusiastically endorsed the Disciples Together report and vision of 'putting children, young people and families at the centre of a more Christ-like Church' - a vision vital to growing a more intergenerational, inclusive church.
The Mission department review presented an opportunity to re-imagine how the diocese enables, supports and resources this work.
This led to revisiting the recommendation by the Disciples Together Focal Group to embed the children, young people and families role into each of the Episcopal Areas , building on the highly valued and strategic experience of the PDA role. The 'Growing Faith' common vision focus group has now re-formed, with new members and revised terms of reference with a focus on learning, monitoring and the impact of our mission and ministry with children, young people and families, so as to inform and shape strategy going forward. Bishop's Council approved the recommendation at the end of 2020 and the advisers have assumed their new roles as Discipleship Enablers (children, young people and families) from January 2021.
Each team member retains their specialism - for example mission with schools - whilst forging ahead with putting children, young people and families at the centre of a more Christ-like Church. Andrew Anderson Gear says of the restructure,
"Our experience of the House of Bishops' vision for Growing Faith tells us that mission with children and young people is most effective when churches, schools and households work together to engage and encourage children in their faith and discipleship. "The transfer of the Church/School Relationship role from the ODBE and the re-shaping of the Children's, Family and Youth Advisor roles into that of area-focused Discipleship Enablers (Children, Young People, Families and Schools) represents a powerful symbol of our commitment to mission and ministry among children, young people and families being at the core of all we do. "We are already seeing wonderful, collaborative work emerging which is allowing us to move expert resources closer to the local context, forge closer relationships with parishes and bring the Growing Faith 'triangle' of household, church and school into a common strategic response. "The team will be led by the Revd Tina Molyneux in her capacity as Head of Discipleship and Social Justice and supported by Olly Shaw, who is on secondment with the team until December 2021, enabling the diocesan-wide deanery connections work to flourish.
Bev Higgs works alongside them as Administrator for the Children, Young People and Families Team.
You can find out more about the Discipleship Enablers, Tina, Olly and Bev here.