A group of students in disucssion

"We must go to their spaces"

28th Jun 2022

Wilson Beare, Impact Team Leader in Ireland, explains how school Groups are working in his locality.

This has been a journey over a number of years, which was born out of a heart to serve in our local communities where young people are. We worked with a number of local churches who have a heart for the school community, and made up a team of volunteers. We began with serving two schools in the Portadown area of Northern Ireland by assisting in the delivery of classes as well as assisting other local organisations mentoring young people within the school. Over time this led to the possibilities of launching Groups / safe spaces within the school setting, with a continued aim of serving the school community.

One of the Groups meets in a Junior High School (Years 8,9,10) and the other Group meets in the Senior High School (Years 11,12). The great thing about working in both schools is that as the pupils move into the Senior High School, there is a familiar space for them at Urban Saints.

In both schools we provide a safe space over lunchtimes to come together and play sport [volleyball, football and basketball] which has provided a great opportunity each week to hang out and get to know the young people. At the end of each session, we take 10 minutes to explore bigger questions of faith, belonging and identity. In the Senior High School we also provide another lunch session for a Bible study where young people get an opportunity to go deeper. We have just finished a study on the book of Philippians.

As a team, we have been so encouraged in both schools with the connection with up to 80 young people who drop in each week and take part.

We are an organisation that wants to engage with young people, the vast majority of whom have disengaged with, or never been near, church. Therefore, we must go to their places and spaces bringing the person, presence and good news of Jesus with us. These school groups are one way of providing that connection.


Urban Saints: Sowing into Schools


Articles you may be interested in