Equipping for ministry

Ele - one of our children and families workers in BerkshireImagine a church that recognises the calling some have to specifically minister with children, young people and families.

Our vision is that all who minister with children, young people and families are valued, equipped and supported, whatever your ministry looks like - whether you volunteer your time or are employed in your role, this page is for you. You will find information and links to things that are designed and offered to equip and enable.

Our vision is set out in Disciples Together, where under Cultural Shift four we 'imagine a church that recognises the calling some have to specifically minister with children, young people and families.’ We are moving towards being;

"A church that invests in and actively pursues excellence for children, young people and family ministry team members in how they are formed, recruited, trained and supported."

Disciples Together p.17

Subscribe to Generations, our monthly newsletter for children, young people and family ministry and the best way to keep up to date with all the news and opportunities.


Come and See takes place during Lent each year. It's our big, warm open invitation to everyone, for everyone for an adventure in faith and trust. It’s something for the local church and the whole community... including children and young people, families and schools. It's completely free and all are welcome. This year Come and See starts on Ash Wednesday, 22 February 2023 - to find our more click here


25 March 2023 - 9.30am - 'FOUNDATIONS for under 5's' - further details below:

A day to equip those who minister with under 5's.  An essential day for Toddler Group leaders, parents, grandparents, carers, Messy Church leaders, creche leaders, playgroup and Foundation Stage leaders.  Keynote speakers include Rachel Turner (Parenting for Faith) and Louise Dalton (Oxford Brain Story).  Click here to register or for further information contact Bev Higgs

Spiritual development

Your own spiritual nurture is of paramount importance as you spiritually accompany children and young people.

Personal Discipleship Plans are an invitation to have a spiritual conversation with an encourager who will ask a series of open questions and who will listen carefully to you your responses, helping you to notice where God is at work and discern God’s voice in your calling and ministry. Contact Bev Higgs requesting a PDP.  

Contemplative Toolkit(s) and training

Contemplative Toolkits are our way of supporting the spiritual nurture of children and young people through easy access contemplative practices in schools, at home and in church groups and worship. The core practices of Stilling, Noticing, Dwelling, Mending and Blessing are developed from mainly Ignatian Spiritual practices.

Take a look at Space Makers: The Contemplative Toolkit for Schools and Churches, and enjoy this sneaky peak of the Noticing exercise in the forthcoming Contemplative Toolkit for Families.

Oxfordshire Godly Play Network

All are welcome to join Godly Practitioners who meet a few times a year. Please contact group coordinator Carol Carter.

Learning opportunities

Various courses for any interested learner are available through Oxford Diocese Lifelong Learning programme.

Induction Days

For newly appointed (Oct 2022-Sept 2023) Children, Young People and Family Ministers

5 September 2023 - 10am-2.30pm - Church House, Kidlington, Oxford - register here

Day and residential retreats

For parish-employed children, young people and family ministers:

DEPTH Retreat at Douai Abbey 2024 - further details to be confirmed - to register an interest contact Bev Higgs.

For volunteer children, young people and family ministers:

Saturday 7 October 2023 - 10am-4pm - register here

The Discipleship Enabler team warmly invite you to a day retreat at Douai Abbey.

It’s open to anyone who volunteers in ministry among children, young people and families in and through our churches. The day will start with welcome and coffee at 10am, and end with tea and cake at 4pm (with lunch in a middle). There will be led prayer practices, personal space, participation in the Abbey midday prayer, and a reflective walk. No experience necessary! 

Join a Zoom drop-in

Drop in for a conversation about any aspect of ministry with children, young people and families with a Discipleship Enabler and other practitioners. Simply bring your question and curiosity to join in! 

Further dates to be confirmed - to register your interest contact Bev Higgs.

Zoom webinars

Further dates to be confirmed - to register an interest contact Bev Higgs.


Greenhouse Learning Community: In addition to Deanery Greenhouses there are currently two specific Greenhouses supporting Youth Ministry and Intergenerational Approaches.  

4 February 2023 - 10.00am-12.00pm - Youth Greenhouse - on-line gathering via Zoom (registration required).  Any Churches that would like to explore new work with young people are warmly invited as well as the Churches that are already part of this programme. Email Ian Macdonald to find out more or to register click here .

29 April 2023 - Intergen Greenhouse and Youth Greenhouse gathering - to register an interested contact Bev Higgs.

30 September 2023 - Intergen Greenhouse and Youth Greenhouse gathering - to register an interested contact Bev Higgs.

Network Meetings

For parish-employed children, young people and family ministers:

25 May 2023 - 'The WOW, The WOW and The WHY of story!', in person gathering - Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford - to request the booking link  contact Bev Higgs.

BERKSHIRE specific events:

14 March 2023 - 7.45-8.45pm - "We've got no children in our church - where do we start?" - ZOOM meeting - register here

26 April 2023 - 7.45-8.45pm - "We have some links with children and young people - how do we build on this?" - ZOOM meeting - register here

17 May 2023 - 7.45-8.45pm - "It's not as easy as it was!  Sustaining and building on our ministry with children and young people" - ZOOM meeting - register here

These events are not just for children’s and youth workers.  Engaging children and young people in your church and church activities means that everyone needs to be involved.  You are encouraged to attend in groups! 

Other sources of training and development

Consultancy, mentoring, support and bespoke training

There are a team of Discipleship Enablers attached to each of the Archdeaconries. They also hold specialisms across youth work and ministry, children’s and family ministry, and partnership with schools. They would be delighted to hear from you.

Yvonne Morris

Oxford/Dorchester and Children & Family specialist


Ian Macdonald

Berkshire and Young People specialist


James Wood

Buckingham and Schools specialist


Page last updated: Friday 3rd February 2023 10:33 AM

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