Hundreds of Christian young people attending the newday festival at the Royal Norfolk Showground this week have been leaving the site to engage in social action projects across Norwich and Norfolk. Joanna Kendall reports on one of the projects.
Every year newday
is famous for sending out hundreds of young people into the city of Norwich
to serve the community and share the gospel with locals. This year on a very soggy Tuesday afternoon a team of about 30 delegates made their way to the Mile Cross
estate to take part in a project clearing and tidying gardens.
The delegates, armed with spades and wellies, met up with members of the Gardening Club
. The Gardening Club was born last year as a result of a newday outreach project in this area. The club was launched at the beginning of the summer and is led by members of Kings Community Church, Norwich
. It seeks to provide on-going sustainable help within the community whilst continuing the newday legacy of sharing the gospel within this estate.
The bad weather didn’t seem to dampen the young people’s spirit as they set about weeding, raking and trimming, turning overgrown jungles into well-kept gardens.
Pulling them briefly away from their work I asked one delegate from Bristol
why she had signed up for the outreach programme this year. She told me: “It’s very satisfy to help these people; I hope it makes a difference in their lives. Gardening is one of those things that always needs doing, even though it’s small, I hope it all helps.”
Chatting with a few of the youth leaders really highlighted the impact that outreach has on the lives of the young people who come to newday. One youth leader told us how encouraging it had been for her youngsters to come back to the same area and see the changes they had made still having an effect in projects such as the Gardening Club.
Joining the delegates this year was Norwich North MP Chloe Smith
. For the past five years, Chloe has supported our projects and this year was no different. She braved the rain and wearing an old newday t-shirt got alongside the delegates and started weeding.
Chloe said: “It is really fantastic to see how a project like the Gardening Club has been established out of the work that was done in previous years. It’s important to encourage the community to take heart from the work these young people are doing and to make these changes happen for themselves.”
She told us how she enjoys getting involved with the newday team as they reach out to the local community, stating how as a local MP it is “important to get stuck in and not just watch from the side-line”.
Also a part of the team this year was Saffron King
, Community Life Champion for local superstore Asda
. Many Asda stores dedicate themselves to supporting local projects within a mile radius, and this year the newday outreach has been selected as one of their projects. Having support from such a local figure is a great encouragement for the newday team and builds our faith to continue to pray for God to break out in this city.
Locals today told us how the young people were always very polite and worked hard with a smile, never complaining in spite of the rain. Providing this kind of witness is such a fantastic opportunity to share the love of Jesus with these people, and with so many young people eager to make a difference in people’s lives and to share the love of God let’s pray that God breaks out in even more incredible ways this year as we send more young people out into the city.
Pictured above are the newday team with MP Chloe Smith working on the Mile Cross estate in Norwich.