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Create Newsletter Autumn 2011

Well, this year has been busy! Particularly in the work of CREATE. Since starting this placement I have seen four new groups set up, been on four weekends away, six conferences, five night walks, one youth camp, a trip to London and that’s not even half of it!

Over my time here so far I have been able to facilitate a Film, Faith and Photography group that is held at Square Corner - eight young people have been coming to this group and their work is currently on display in Square Corner. Over the year we have been looking at glimpses of God, the photos that are on display are centered around this theme and look a lot at God’s creation. We have also learned to make animations and films this year - which is something that I hope will be developed over the coming year.

At the start of 2011 I had the privilege of going to Lee Abbey on two occasions - the first weekend was an opportunity to do some training and preparation based on seeing and hearing God in everything that we do. I then got to go on a second trip with twentyfour young people from the Mission Community, where we were able to practice the teaching from the previous weekend. It was fantastic to see God working in the young peoples’ lives and to spend time in such a beautiful place.

This spring saw the start of Youth Alpha. It ran for eight weeks and about seventeen young people regularly attended (33 over the whole course!) Over the eight weeks we looked at who Jesus was, why he died and what that means for us. We looked at prayer, the Bible, healing, the church and telling others. (We also played lots of very silly games and ate lots of tuck!)

In June this year I went on two 24 hour Wildside Experience trips, one was as part of a Youth Alpha weekend and the other was an all age event. These trips involved night walks, listening to God and rather a lot of mud. They were brilliant and I recommend them!

In the summer holidays I got to go with a group of young people to Devon Christian Youth Camps (DCYC) ‘senior mixed’ - this was a fantastic opportunity to get to know the young people more and walk with them in their faith jou

rney as well as a chance to get to serve alongside some great leaders and generally have a wonderful week learning more about God. Another group of young people also went to DCYC ‘Junior mixed’, which I visited for a day. It’s been so good to catch up with them now they’re back and hear about all the things that God’s been doing in their lives.

There are now five young people who are are volunteering with a youth café that has been set up in Square Corner and is open on Tuesdays after school during term time. These young people are doing this as part of the Duke of Edinburgh award. The café is a great place for young people to relax, play games and buy tuck! I look forward to it starting again in the new term.

As well as these things there’s been the SWYM conferences - they were brilliant. I really enjoyed my time with SWYM and I am sad to not be a part of that any more, but I hope to keep the links with them. I am really looking forward to the coming year and any exciting new training opportunities it may bring.

Throughout the summer holidays there’s been lots of behind the scenes stuff going on in CREATE to help ensure a smooth new start to programme in the new term - as well as some time off of course.

I have recently organised a range of personalised hoodies and t-shirts with the Squarefish website and logo on them.

In the new term I’m looking forward to starting up Film, Faith and Photography again - we’re going to be looking at identity. I will also be starting an Art Club at Uffculme Secondary School on a Tuesday lunchtime. In this group I will be making recycled flowers for the school play and I have some ideas about altered book projects too.

I have applied for an evening course in Art and Mental Health, I hope that this will help me to develop my skills as an artist and enable me to achieve new things in my role as a youth worker, as well as encourage me in my direction for the future. I’m looking forward to opportunities this year to explore what the next step is and would massively appreciate prayer in this area of my life.

As part of CREATE, as well as hanging out with brilliant young people and being a part of loads of fantastic events, I’ve also been able to work with some really great leaders too! It was sad to see Will go

- there’s nothing like making stir fry whilst listening to dub step! The time I spent working with Will was great and I can’t wait to see what wonderful things God is going to do in his life.

More recently I’ve been working with Kelly. Kelly’s been working a lot with Kentisbeare Primary School and is excellent with children - its been fantastic to get to see her developing her talent for Godly Play. She’s great to work with and I’ll miss sharing an office with her.

Now it’s time for Selina and Kelly’s thoughts and reflections on the past year:

Rev Selina writes…

I am amazed by God’s incredible provision for CREATE in the first year. He has provided the money, the trainees, developed a team of all ages across our mission community and enabled us to establish some really great foundations and relationships. God has grown His kingdom both within and through the team, and I have loved working with Vicki, Will, Kelly, and many others of all ages who have been caught up in the vision for creating a rural centre of training and excellence in youth and children’s ministry.

Some of my highlights have been the time at Lee Abbey, our Easter programme and nights with Wildside Experience. Through these events we were able to explore listening to God and try some new ways of teaching the Christian faith.

Pioneering new programme is always going to bring challenges and I have been forced to rely on God’s strength for much of the last year, but journeying with people as they discover the riches of the Christian faith, God’s amazing love for them and His call on their lives is an amazing privilege. Hearing a young person share an insight, understanding or experience of encountering God continues to fill me with joy.

I am really looking forward to the baptisms and confirmations on 5th October which are evidence of God at work in young lives, and some of the team - as Kelly is getting baptised too!

I passionately believe that God has an amazing plan for us all in the coming year and that this will change us and the Christian communities we are part of. I continue to pray the ministry of CREATE will be a source of heavenly rejoicing as children and young people discover a deep and lasting faith in Jesus.

Kelly writes…

Working with CREATE has been an amazing experience for me. It has given me the opportunity to journey with some wonderful young people, and watch as God works in and through them. Being involved in things like Youth Alpha and the youth events at Easter have been incredibly life giving for me, and helped in my own faith journey.

I have also had the chance to learn more about Godly Play, and at the end of last term ran my first Godly Play session in Kentisbeare School. This was without doubt one of the highlights of my six months. Being able to teach the children a little more about God and watch as they engaged in the story was a real blessing.

I very much hope to continue my involvement with CREATE as I move forward on the next stage of my journey, and have loved every minute of working with Selina, Vicki and the children and young people in our Mission Community.

Vicky continues …

In September Peter joined the team. Pete is 18 and comes from Paignton. He plays six instruments - only two of which he had lessons for - as well as music Peter enjoys cycling. Do invite him over for a meal to get to know him better.

I have been able to do and learn so much this year, it’s been wonderful - although I do find myself identyfing with David Walker’s ‘Guide to Youth Work’ a little too much these days (If you’re not familiar with his work go to Life as a youth worker so far has proved to never be boring and is largely unexpected in its madness, but this is all part of what makes it fantastic.

My first year has flown by and I have a feeling that the next will go even quicker. None of this would have happened without you. So, thank you for all your support, it’s been great to be a part of what’s happening here and I can’t wait for round two!

If you want to keep up to date all the time on what’s going on with CREATE and Squarefish - or if, like me you’re entertained by photos of respected curch members and leaders dressed like animals - then you can go to to view my blog or follow the link from
Do leave a comment as this makes it look less like I’m talking to myself!