Hopefulness, vitality and potential at Children, Youth and Families conference
5 May 2022
A hundred people came together in Dereham on Saturday 30 April for the One Big Day conference 2022 to talk about engaging with young people and families. Jonathan Richardson, Children, Youth and Families Development Officer for the Diocese of Norwich, tells us more.
It was a real joy to gather for One Big Day conference. After a long pause since the last conference in November 2019 it was great to see so many people gathering once more to network and be encouraged in their work with Children, Young People and Families.
The Rt Revd Dr Jane Steen, Bishop of Lynn aptly opened the day by reflecting on the Israelites travelling in the wilderness and the need to take time to listen. Worship led by contributors Engage Worship gave space for participants to prepare for the content of the day ahead.
Throughout the day, delegates dispersed to a selection of seminar sessions which covered a range of topics and presented people with opportunity to consider new areas of ministry or dig deeper into their understanding and application of various topics and issues in their own context.
One delegate commented, “The children’s spirituality seminar will inform how I interact with children when engaging in faith conversations. The conference as a whole has sparked a lot of thoughts that will shape our strategy for reaching children and families.”
Networking time over breakfast, lunch and the morning coffee break allowed delegates to browse and connect with the 15 stand holders from both local and national organisations who had set up stalls around the main hall.
Phil Coltman, Church Relationships Manager for Tranforming Lives for Good said, “the welcome and hospitality was superb. It was great meeting so many from across the region and I am looking forward to following up on all the conversations and connections made.”
Green Pastures Christian Bookshop in Dereham also put on a fantastic display of books and resources reflecting the themes of the day which people were free to browse and buy.
It felt like there was a real buzz about the day:
One delegate summed it up by saying, “I appreciated the worship, reflection and prayer ministry particularly, there was an atmosphere of blessing, hopefulness and excitement.”
Whilst another referenced the most helpful thing about the day being, “the vitality of ministry, the potential of what we can do with God, the need to be flexible and to be guided by and personally responsible to God.”