Pioneer Youth Minister: Matt Barkley
Mobile Phone: 07762148085

 Update and Prayer Requests

Dear Supporters

Since beginning in September 2018, I have been focussed on creating a strong foundation for which we at ORYC (Oswestry Rural Youth Church) can build upon. The first 2 months were focused on creating the necessary policies and procedures to enable ORYC to grow sustainably.
I have met with and created a relationship with the clergy representative of every parish/benefice in the deanery, as well as many other contacts within the deanery. I have been able to visit eleven different churches, including four Messy Church events and seven Christmas services.
Upon these strong foundations and thanks to the many relationships I have built, I have been able to focus on 2019 and how ORYC will grow into fulfilling its vision of sharing God's word and love to the young people of rural Oswestry.
The start of 2019 promises to be a very exciting time for ORYC as we host our first official event on the 13th January. On Sunday 13th January between 16:00 and 18:00 we will be holding a bowling event at ‘The Venue', Park Hall, which will include some food and an opportunity for the young people to share their opinions on how ORYC should grow. We intend to offer a follow up event in February to share with the young people what our plans are after hearing their opinions, but the date and venue of this event are still to be confirmed.
We hope that from February ORYC will see regular small groups meeting in two or three locations across Oswestry. These will be opportunities for the young people to meet together and dig deeper into biblical as well as cultural topics. Alongside these regular small groups ORYC hopes to be able to offer monthly/bimonthly themed social events. These events will be more interactive and although there will be no deep theological discussions there will be something to challenge the young people, whether this is a biblical passage or a cultural topic. We hope that these events will provide the perfect opportunity for the young people to invite friends along.
ORYC will also be starting two more new projects in January which are completely different but will help to introduce ORYC to young people as well as supporting them in their growth.
The first project is supporting and assisting at confirmation classes, as we are aware of the need to provide a church for those young people who are confirmed. We believe that it will help if I am able to support the young people at this important stage of exploring faith, as well as supporting the clergy member leading the classes. I will be joining the Rev Harvey Gibbons at St Oswalds in January followed by Whittington later on in the year.

The second project sees me working alongside Jane Webber the SCWP worker (Schools Christian Worker Project) at the Oswestry campus of the North Shropshire College. We will be holding a ‘big questions' group on a Wednesday lunchtime which we hope will develop over time into something with a faith element. This is a very exciting project for ORYC as it will enable us to have contact with older young people who may have lost contact with the church completely.

Please Pray:
· For the new monthly ‘events with a point' and the team involved
· For Matt and Jane as they work in the college
· For the confirmation classes and the young people attending
· That the work done by ORYC is accepted and adopted by the young people of the deanery.

Thank you and God Bless

Matt Barkley
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