Connections: Growing Young Leaders

First published 13th June 2019

Sophie Mitchell, from the Church of England Youth Council, is keen to see churches invest in helping young people to become leaders.

The 21-year-old, who attends church in Bristol, is a member of the General Synod of the Church of England, representing the Church of England Youth Council. She has spoken recently at General Synod, during debates on climate change and Growing Faith.

Sophie said:

People talk about growing young leaders, but also need to give them the opportunity to put their gifts into practice.

We need churches which believe in young people and will persevere in supporting them in their faith. Too often, young people are just left to one side and ignored.

It is about more than just being in the choir or reading Scripture in a service; it is about leading services and having a say on the running of the church.

There needs to be a change in the dialogue at churches which stops youth work being just a box-ticking exercise. It needs to be a platform to allow young people to be heard by the church.

Sophie attends both All Saints, Clifton and Christ Church, Clifton, and praised them for the way they help young people develop in different ways.

Sophie continued:

By having young people taking an active role in the life of the church, we are keeping the church alive.

It is about being more than just another group, kept separate from everything else happening in the church; it is about being recognised as an integral part of the Church.

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