In recent months, children’s and youth ministries have been making great strides in the parish of Christ Church, Lisburn.
The parish has several well established ministries engaging with children, young people and families. The Girls’ Friendly Society has been running, as well as a Guides group. However, under the Rev Paul Dundas’s initiative, the parish has galvanised volunteers to establish some new ministries.
Among these was a successful Holiday Bible Club which ran over the summer and included an evening event for young people.
With the assistance of Christina Baillie, Diocesan Youth Officer, the parish has established a Youth Fellowship taking place on Sunday evenings. The group, run by volunteers with the support of the Rev Julie Bell, will have a discipleship focus as well as an opportunity to share together on a social level. The young people gathered for three evenings in the summer term before starting off a new year in September.
Christina said: “It was such an encouragement to come alongside the volunteers in Christ Church and help to get their new initiative for young people underway. I was able to lead alongside the team for the first sessions, suggesting ideas and writing a specific resource for their autumn sessions.
“We really want to celebrate all that is being done in the parish by Paul, Julie and the team of volunteers and all that it means for the children, youth and families within the parish.”
Alongside the established girls’ organisations in the parish, Victoria Jackson, Northern Ireland Development Officer for Church Lads & Church Girls Brigade, has also been working with the parish to develop a Church Lads’ Brigade. The parish has held a taster night for boys to come along in advance to see what the group would involve.
Victoria said: “We are so excited to be starting up a new Church Lads’ Brigade group in Christ Church, for the boys of the Parish and also to reach out to boys in the community. The Rev Paul Dundas, had recognised a need for a ministry to boys and I am delighted to now have the opportunity to work alongside the Parish to help meet this need.
“The new group already has a fantastic team of very enthusiastic leaders who worked hard over the summer to prepare for the opening of the group in September. We are very much looking forward to the year ahead and to seeing all that God has in store for this new group.”