North Belfast teens meet Earl at St James’s Palace

Tuesday June 9th 2009

Sister Valerie Thom, Chelsea Lewis, Christine Peeples and Toni O'Neill chat with HRH the Earl of Wessex at St James's Palace.Two teenagers from north Belfast had the opportunity to meet the Earl of Wessex, HRH Prince Edward, at St James’s Palace thanks to Sister Valerie Thom of the Church Army.

Valerie, who works for both Church Army and Connor Diocese, accompanied Chelsea Lewis, 15, and Toni O’Neill, 16, to the Palace.  Christine Peeples, a leader who assists in Valerie’s youth project in north Belfast, also went along.

The visit was organised by the One 2 One Club, which supports and sustains Church Army projects in the UK and Ireland that work mainly with children and young people. 

Mark Russell, Church Army Chief Executive, said the One 2 One Club had a unique focus within Church Army. “It creates the opportunity to see and support frontline ministry amongst young people.  That ministry by its nature has an immense influence on their lives and bears witness to the amazing transforming work of Jesus Christ,” he said.

Mark went on: “It is wonderful that the One 2 One Club enjoys royal patronage and HRH the Earl of Wessex KG KCVO is supportive of our initiatives to create sustainable relationships with young people.”

During their London visit, Chelsea, Toni and Christine had the opportunity to do some sight-seeing. Valerie said: “These children are regular attendees at the project and have not been on a trip before.”

At the Palace the girls were able to talk to Prince Edward, telling them about the work Valerie does with them in north Belfast, and they found themselves quite the centre of attention. “They had a wonderful time, and people were queuing up to speak to them,” said Valerie.

To learn more about Valerie’s work in north Belfast, which includes organising an annual visit by Liverpool FC’s community coaches, watch her on video on the Church Army website by following this link:


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