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Empowering those who work with children

On Saturday 12th October, 150 people from across the diocese gathered together at Harris Church of England Academy in Rugby for the Empowered conference. Empowered was a one day conference to share ideas and think about nurturing faith in children.

The conference started with worship led by the talented children of St Bartholomew’s Church of England Academy, next Bishop Christopher - fresh off a plane from Germany - welcomed everyone and talked about the importance of bringing up children in the Christian faith, then the keynote speaker Lynn Alexander delivered her address.

Lynn Alexander is the author of Children, Families and God, a book that gives advice and guidance on how to nurture children’s spirituality. She has worked for two large churches overseeing everything to do with children and their families. In her keynote address she talked about her personal experiences of working with children and families in Scotland and gave advice on how to grow children’s spirituality to lifelong personal faith.

Children from St Bartholomew’s Church of England Academy

Conference attendees were able to choose two workshops to attend. Workshops included, ‘Godly Play Taster’, led by Peter Privet from Godly Play UK; ‘Bringing the Bible to life for Children & Youth’ led by Andy and Catherine Kennedy from Youth With a Mission (YWAM); ‘Creative Ways to Bring the Bible to Life in Schools and Church’ led by Jane Butcher from Barnabas in Schools, and ‘Be Creative with Clay’ led by Lesley-Ann French from LA Ceramics.

'Be Creative with Clay' Workshop

Empowered was organised by a committee of diocesan office workers, led by Archdeacon Sue Field and Canon Linda Wainscot.

Linda says;

“Empowered grew out of an idea I had about bringing together the good folk from our parishes and  Church of England schools to be affirmed, inspired and equipped in their ministry with and for children, young people and families.  The vision for a vibrant and buoyant atmosphere, the sharing of ideas and stories, the opportunity to benefit from new resources and to create new friendships and networks was realised as the day unfolded.  I felt a genuine sense of the diocesan family coming together to worship, learn and be EMPOWERED!”