The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Norwich Christian project engages young people


Norwich Christian youth project ENYP has been delivering youth and children’s work in the Heartsease area for nine years. They have used creative approaches to church to nurture and engage the young people.

For the past five years, their Defenders and Shoots and Roots activities been delivered from St Francis Church and have provided a consistent foundation for nurturing children. 

Defenders is an after school club, which helps children to unwind after school through fun, wholesome and creative activities where they learn underlying moral principles to support them as they grow up.  They are encouraged to think about their community, their friendships, the environment and to ‘defend’ different causes.  Once Defenders has finished the children then all sit together and enjoy a meal, and then Shoots and Roots follows – a fresh expression church for nurturing children and young people.  The children and young people engage well and journey in their relationship with God.

Canon Rev Peter Howard, from St Francis Church, said "I am thrilled about the work of Defenders and Shoots and Roots in connecting to the young people of the Heartsease Estate, engaging them in fun and creative activities, building community cohesion, nurturing values of self-worth and care for others and offering a non cohersive invitation to discover the Good News of Jesus and the foundation that faith can bring to life."
Danny Doran-Smith, ENYP Director, said “Statistics show that over the last 50 years there has been a decrease in church attendance for children and young people, despite the fact that more youth workers have been employed in churches.  We need to re-think about how we create church environments relevant to today’s culture and young people.  The children and young people who attend Shoots and Roots see this as their church, and we are cultivating an environment to nurture and disciple them in their journey.”
For more information on Defenders and Shoots and Roots, please visit

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