Youth from St Mary's have an awesome time

Happy Campers from St Mary's Church
Tim Broadbent our Children and Youth Minister writes, 
During August 2015 young people from Mary’s church youth group (SMS) went on a summer youth trip. Six of us left inner city Islington and made our way together to Lee Abbey, a Christian community and holiday venue, on the beautiful Devon coast. We joined about 90 other young people from across the UK to have fun and share in the Christian faith.  
As I grew up in a church setting I am aware of the value of taking young people on trips, and with the help and support of St Mary's PCC and a charity called Allchurches Trust I have been developing a long term youth ministry strategy. The strategy that I have developed involves taking young people out of their typical environment on two trips per year. These trips (one at Easter and one during the Summer) will consolidate the relationships formed throughout the year and create more space to explore together the Christian faith. I believe creating this pattern of weekly contact through SMS, enhanced by trips away will reap a huge harvest in the lives of young people who will go on to serve God throughout their lives. The trips are chosen as they are based in the heart of nature. I feel this is important as Islington has the second lowest amount of open space of any Local Authority in the country.

For the past 4 years I have been leading SMS, with the hope that it supports and nurture young people in St Mary's and Islington. Throughout my time SMS has been hugely supported by many members of St Mary's Church, that has been part of its success. Thanks for reading this and I think the final words about this summer trip should come from the young people themselves.

Quotes from members of SMS who went to Lee Abbey 2015
  • “The camp at Lee Abbey was very wet and damp, but it was never dry with humour. I'm glad I went.”  Mayron

  • “Lee abbey was better than good. It was awesome in fact. God gave me confidence to make a lot of friends.” Jerry

  • “I really enjoyed Lee Abbey Camp because the leaders made me feel really welcome and the activities were fun. I think I made more of a connection with God and I understood more about the bible while I was there. I would definitely go back again because it was just such a magical and friendly place.” Kerry

  •  “My experience at lee abbey was amazing. I learnt lots of news things about Christianity. I learnt why Christians go to church and the seminars where helpful, I went to one on conflict.” Princewill

  • “Lee abbey was fun, social and welcoming. When I arrived at Lee Abbey I was agnostic, now I am Christian, but I am still sceptical about some things.” Nicholas
This is the main field we camped on. 
One of our meetings featured a reflection on the life of Christ culminating on a powerful reflection on the Cross