Did you know that Urban Saints is a membership organisation? All Urban Saints Group Leaders are granted membership along with other key volunteers who have made a lasting impact through the ministry over the years. Our Trustees also grant the special distinction of becoming an Honorary Life Member (HLM) to volunteers who have served as Leaders for 25 years or more.
In 2020, the Trustees approved many people to become Honorary Life Members. Although Ian Mitchell is only 40 (shush!), it feels as though he has served enough to have qualified for this accolade almost twice over! Of all our new HLMs, it is probably Ian and his wife Alison who have served in the greatest variety of roles and venues. They share their story so far:
“We were privileged to find out this summer that we were to become Honorary Life Members of Urban Saints. Ian has been associated with Urban Saints since the age of 11 when he started going to Enfield Crusaders, followed by Camps at Studland, where he became a junior leader. Studland soon got into Ian’s blood and he helped out at many summer Camps as a 'subbie', tent officer, activities organiser, and then main leader. Having met Alison at university in Lancaster, Ian quickly introduced her to how wonderful Studland was and proposed at Old Harry Rocks, and she helped out at her first Crusader camp in Studland that summer!
“Having married in 2002, we then continued to help out at Studland at the same time as getting involved with Spree South West, and then Spree South East, Spree in the Borders, and joining the Centenary anniversary team that ran Spree Lite (a one day version of Spree across the country). Ian also served at Westbrook last year, travelling for a few days each month in order to support the management team there.
“We moved back up north in 2007 and helped set up and run Spree North, which then split into Spree North East and Spree North West. During this time Ian was the Chair of the Regional Steering Group and we saw real growth in Groups. Moving back to Lancashire didn’t stop us from travelling down to Studland each summer though. We have now run Family Camps there for nine years with our daughter Emily and help manage the site throughout the year.
“We very much feel that we are part of the Urban Saints family and we love the work they have done, and are continuing to do, with young people. We feel that serving in Studland, even though it is hundreds of miles away from our home in Lancashire, is where God wants us to be.”
Have you been involved with Crusaders and Urban Saints through the years? You may be interested in becoming one of our Associates and discovering ways to get more involved: