At least thirty more Missional Youth Churches could be established across the country with the support of £200,000 funding from Allchurches Trust.
The grant will enable the Missional Youth Church Network (MYCN) to expand reach significantly over the next three years, creating church ‘for young people by young people’, with a particular focus on engaging and supporting non-churched young people in places of rural and urban poverty.
Andy Milne, CA, Missional Youth Church Network Strategic Lead said, “The past six months of COVID restrictions have only increased the need to reach out to young people, creating Christ-centered communities where young people are valued, encouraged and empowered and where they can simply be themselves, growing in trust and hopefully becoming a family of God.
"There have been many encouraging conversations with those interested in establishing MYCs and the grant will help to consolidate this so that we can continue to grow this work over the next three years.”
MCYN began in the north of England in April 2019 and is a joint partnership with Church Army, the Archbishop of York Youth Trust and the Office of the Archbishop of York. Its vision is to establish at least 30 Missional Youth Churches (MYC) over the next five years, enabling 11 to 18-year-olds to build a community and discover faith in Jesus Christ.
Working with churches, schools and dioceses to explore the possibility of establishing MYCs in their locality, there is a particular focus on places of rural and urban deprivation, in communities that have been left behind, and where there is little or no church youth work. From its beginnings in the north of England, MCYN now has more than 16 partnerships developing from Carlisle to Wrexham, Durham to Canterbury.
The Archbishop of York, The Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell said, “This is fantastic news. I want to say a huge thank you to all of those involved in the vision and development of this initiative and I look forward to taking the next steps with MYCN and see where God is leading us!”
Andrew Bass, Grants Officer at Allchurches Trust, said: “The pandemic has presented huge challenges for the church in engaging with young people, but it has also opened new doors; and there is a real opportunity to co-create church with the next generation. The Missional Youth Church Network has the potential to be transformational in communities and young people’s lives, and we’re delighted that our funding will support their plans for numerical and spiritual growth.”
Since the launch of MYCN in 2019 there have been many expressions of interest and exploration of how MYCs could be established. Two projects, still in their infancy, give an idea of how the help, resources and support available from MYCN can begin to bring young people together in community.
On the Seacroft Estate in Leeds, former Special Operations Combat Officer Neil Obbard was licensed in January 2020 to begin a Missional Youth Church. Working with Church Army, Bishop Young Academy and local churches, Neil has begun to build relationships with the school and its pupils. Despite the lockdown, he has been developing those relationships and establishing community, helping deliver food and welfare parcels to local families connected with the school, also supporting staff as they navigate the reopening of school to students.
In Archbishop Sentamu Academy, Hull, the Academy Chaplain Anne Richards knows the area and the young people very well. Talks have proved fruitful and Anne, with others from the Academy and local church, is currently praying and seeking funding to employ a youth worker who can work with the school and local churches to set up an MYC there. A Christian leader said, “there is a real sense that God wants this to happen in this place.”
About Missional Youth Church Network (MYCN)
MYCN is a major work of disciple-making, leadership training, church planting and ministry with 11-18 year olds started by three founding partners: The Archbishop of York and his office and staff, Church Army UK and The Archbishop of York Youth Trust.
Between 2017 and 2019 extensive consultation was conducted within the Northern Province of the Church of England which revealed the need to reimagine youth work and evangelism to and with young people in a big way. During this consultation, regional church leaders of all denominations said they lacked the ‘know how’ to grow a local church for young people, particularly with non-churched young people. This gave birth to the Missional Youth Church Network vision and its approach to mission.
Its aims are threefold:
- To help establish at least 30 Missional Youth Churches (MYCs) over a five year period by creating church ‘for young people by young people’; especially with non-churched young people in places of rural and urban poverty;
- To provide on-going learning, training, resourcing and support to leaders and their volunteer teams, and young people by developing Learning Communities;
- To create models of church for 11-18 year olds so others may learn, share resources and journey together in order to equip the wider Church.
These aims will help to build communities among young people and adults together; help young people flourish by letting them take ownership with guidance, support and nurture and plant and grow churches, spiritually and numerically by establishing new churches, which, over time, grow to become multi-generation churches with a mission to 11-18 year olds.
- Allchurches Trust is one of the UK’s largest grant-making charities.
- In 2019, Allchurches Trust gave £17.8 million to churches, charities and communities.
- Established in 1972, Allchurches Trust funds come primarily from our ownership of Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, which was founded in 1887.
- Our grants further our charitable objectives of promoting the Christian faith and other charitable causes. We welcome applications from all parts of the UK and Ireland, particularly from areas of social and economic deprivation.
- We fund projects that tackle homelessness, poverty and social exclusion, enabling individuals and communities to thrive. We also support the repair, restoration and wider community use of churches and cathedrals of all denominations and the protection of heritage.