Thriving projects at Norwich Youth for Christ
Creativity was at the core of Norwich YFC’s annual showcase evening on March 11, when supporters of the charity heard about the ways young people express themselves and discover about who God is.
By Helen Baldry
Norwich YFC's annual showcase at Grove Walk in Norwich was an opportunity for supporters to get a grasp of progress made and about future projects.
Members of the staff team presented their areas of work and reflected on the year just gone.
Lauren Fox, local ministries director from national YFC encouraged Norwich YFC to embody ‘borderless faith’, which she described as faith with no constraints that is constantly growing, a goal director Nick Blanch is keen to bear out. Nick said, “I feel God is saying ‘step it up. We are looking ahead and continually trying to innovate and respond appropriately to young people and the needs around us with the good news.”
Sarah Ballard spoke about Tracks, NYFC’s fully equipped van that operates as a recording studio and talked about its use over the last term in schools. The van was used last term on a project with year 7 students from the Catton Grove area about the dangers of loansharking. They learnt about the topic and used the van to make their own short film which was launched at their end of term assembly.
Sarah said, “It’s amazing when you take the van in and the young people see it for the first time. It melts my heart every time.”
Churches can book Tracks for events and use it as a development tool for their worship team. The van is proving to be a good way to upskill and build community and relationships.
NYFC’s gap year students spoke about their experience of working with young people and mentioned some of the event s they have helped with, including Cathedral at Night and the mid year retreat.
Joshua and Jack, two young people who acted in a short film called ‘Hunted’, a modern take on the nativity story, spoke about how they felt when their film was launched Jack said, “I was blown away by it and the capability of the Tracks van.” Joshua said, “I really like acting and serving God in something that I like.”
Jack said, “Getting the word out to people in Norwich about God was cool.”
Hunted had over 2,300 views and lots of positive comments from the young people’s peers as well as from the real Channel 4 Hunted show. The young people involved in making it gathered together as it went live on the internet. Nick said, “They began furiously sharing with their friends…this is what it’s about; equipping and empowering young people to share the gospel.”
Youth worker Dave talked about a project in Surlingham that he became involved with at the point of closure as he felt God convicting him to do something with it. The numbers are picking up and it is now a close-knit group more open to hearing about faith. Another youth worker, Emmy, plans to run youth Alpha this year. Any churches who would like to be involved in youth Alpha are invited to get in touch.
Abbie, a gap year student from last year was commissioned as a staff member – she is now a student youthworker at TEC
One of the highlights of the evening was hearing a song recorded by Alice Quarterman, a young person who attended Norwich YFC’s midweek music session The Jam. Alice was feeling the pressures of life and having a hard time. She found that music helped with these difficulties and she recorded an amazing song that she had written herself. Alice was linked up to a church in her local area and is now part of the youth band and has even led worship there.
Ben Lawrence talked about Looking to Eternity, an 80 minute film he edited and gave testimony to Dan Lawrence, who wrote the film and was an inspiration to all of the team. Churches are urged to share the film.
There are exciting things for Norwich YFC on the horizon as 2018 will be their 40th year. Several fundraising activities are planned as well a book full of testimonies – if anyone has a story of the impact of NYFC, please get in touch.
Norwich YFC is exploring the possibility of providing alternative education for young people who are at risk of or who have been excluded from school. They are in the planning stages of Who Cares 2018 and want to use the county-wide outreach project to reach young people.
More supporters are always welcome and people willing to be champions for Norwich YFC to keep their church up-to-date
If you would to get in touch with any of the opportunities highlighted, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01603 620678
Click below to listen to Alice’s song Friends
Click below to watch Hunted.