Hearing and responding to the voices of children and young people

A resource to help 8 to 18 year olds take an active and participatory role in the life of the Church is now available to download from the Methodist Church website. 

The Methodist Big SleepOver pack has four main aims: to create a feeling of belonging to something bigger; to help churches engage with 8-18 year olds; to enable children and young people to take an active role in the life of the church and to create a link between 3Generate (Methodist Children and Youth Assembly) and the local church and circuit. The Big SleepOver event itself gives children and young people from different churches a chance to get to know one another as well as have their voices heard and responded to.

Penny Fuller, Children's Ministries Development Officer, said: "The Methodist Big SleepOver gives children and youth workers everything they need to organise a residential for one or two nights for children and young people. There are sessions outlined in the resource that can be used as a tool to help the local church hear the voices of children and young people within their context."

Tickets for this year's 3Generate event at the Pioneer Centre, Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire, on 15-17 November will be available from the Methodist children and youth website on Friday (7 June).

The Methodist Southampton District will be running their third Big SleepOver event at the end of June. Children and young people aged 8 to 17 will bring their sleeping bags and pillows to a local church within their District. 

Nicola Briggs, Youth and Children's Officer for the Methodist Southampton District, said: "Children and young people wouldn't want to go to a church council meeting, so we were aware that wasn't the way to hear their voices. What we want to offer with the Big SleepOver is a whole mix of fun, food, fellowship and faith. The resource pack is really helpful to people who haven't organized a Big SleepOver event like this before. It encourages them to put the children and young people first and guides them on what things to do."

Abi Uzzell, Children and Families worker for the Tilehurst and Emmanuel Methodist churches, ran a Big SleepOver for 8 to 11 year olds in the Reading Circuit earlier this year. "The resources are brilliant for us as leaders," she said. "We can factor them into the framework we already know. They help us not to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of organising such a big event."

ENDS

Notes:

  1. Download the Big SleeopOver resource  here.
  2. From Friday (7 June) tickets for 3Generate will be live  here.
  3. Download photos of 3Generate here
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