We are extremely sorry to be losing Sue Fearon, our Children’s Team Leader, who will be retiring at the end of September. As schools re-open to all students this week, the Team, under the new leadership of Kathryn, is facing a whole set of new challenges.
(Virtually) a new school year, with new skills to learn
I am excited to be stepping up to take on the role of Children’s Team Co-ordinator and looking forward to the challenge and opportunities we have to continue and develop our ministry of sharing Bible stories and biblical hope with the children of our city.
It is a strange situation we find ourselves in. Schools are reopening but operating in year group bubbles and not wanting external visitors, which means that our usual sketchboard assemblies are not appropriate. Our work will look very different in this coming term! We are offering schools live, virtual assemblies including a short, non-sketchboard, pre-recorded Bible story. The assemblies will be hosted by a member of the Team, who will introduce the act of collective worship; set up questions before the story and answer them after the story; display and read the Bible; and pray. There is a lot to prepare and new skills to learn for the whole team, particularly in using the technology. However, we are encouraged by the number of schools who have already (during the school holidays!) expressed an interest in having these assemblies.
Please pray for students, teachers and other workers returning to schools in our city and across the country, that they would stay safe and healthy and that the re-opening would not cause an increase in the spread of Covid-19.
Pray too for those who are moving on to sixth form, university, apprenticeships or the workplace after a difficult GCSE and A Level exam period, that, wherever they go, they would have the opportunity to hear about Jesus. Pray for BCM’s Children’s and Youth Teams, that they would continue to be effective in presenting the biblical story in schools in new and creative ways.
God, whose work this is, will carry it through
Since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease 8 years ago, I have known that I would probably not work through to my 66th birthday. I am surprised and pleased to be retiring only 13 months early! Although, I confess, I am sad not to be celebrating 20 years with BCM.
I joined BCM in June 2001 and over the last 19 years God has given me so many reasons to thank and praise him. He has been gracious to me, patiently changing and moulding me to be more like Jesus; he has blessed me with an abundance of godly co-workers; and he has allowed me the privilege of involvement in the evangelisation of my home city.
We live in a city where the vast majority of children hear nothing about Jesus in their homes and in a time when traditional outreach methods (e.g. tent ministry) are made obsolete by safeguarding priorities. BCM has had a unique opportunity to take clear gospel-centred Bible stories to where the children can engage with them. Post-lockdown the opportunity still exists, but a change in methodology and approach will be needed in the short term at least.
I leave the BCM Children’s Team in the more than capable hands of Kathryn Hindley, who has laboured alongside me for 9 years. Kathryn joined us 9 years ago, having just completed a postgraduate degree course at Oak Hill College. I know that God, whose work this is, will not let it be burned up or lost, but will carry it through to completion. Please continue to pray for Kathryn and the ‘new’ 2020-21 version of the Children’s Team as they continue this precious work.