Newday youngsters have big impact in Norfolk
2010: Hundreds of young people from the Christian Newday event have been spending their afternoons for the past few days enthusiastically engaged in social action projects across Norwich and Norfolk. Keith Morris caught up with a group of around 50 in the South Norfolk village of Poringland.
When a coach-load of youngsters from Newday descended on Poringland on Saturday, the village did not know what had hit it.
They seemed to be everywhere: flagging down cars on the main road to have their cars washed, digging a pond and wildlife garden in the local primary school, clearing gardens, handing out invite to a free barbecue and conducting a community survey on behalf of the local Churches Together group.
Directing proceeding were Norwich Youth for Christ
and local vicar, Rev Robert Parsonage
, from Poringland All Saints
: “The youngsters have brought so much enthusiasm and joy that it is contagious. They have a great enthusiasm for their faith and their Lord Jesus.
“It has had a really positive impact, simply doing acts of kindness and good deeds. It also helps to promote a positive image of young people and gives them a chance to share their faith when asked.”
One car wash customer drove up and said: “Is there any catch to this, am I going to be fleeced. It is not the sort of thing you expect nowadays,” as he went inside for a free cup of tea and a cake while a gaggle of enthusiastic youngsters launched into their work cleaning his car.
Jemma Nelson-Bavin, aged 15 and Shannon Ferrie, 14 both from Sidcup, were helping to wash cars: “It is a chance to do something positive and to share our faith when we are asked,” said Jemma.
Alison Wright, from Poringland school PTA, is helping to create a new pond and wildlife garden complete with bug hotel and bird hide in the school grounds.
“The young people’s help has been great,” she said. “They are helping us to dig the pond out and do some weeding. It has been brilliant and they are really enjoying it too.”
Robert said: “We are working with other local churches in a pioneering local project with Methodist, Catholic and free churches to find out what the community would like us to help them with under the Churches Together banner. This visit has been a real boost to that.”