National funding secured for a pilot project supporting youth work

Published on: 13th March 2024

Image of hands being held up in praise with neon Jesus sign in background

Hereford Diocese is delighted to confirm that the national church Strategic Mission and Ministry Investment Board has granted £0.5million Diocesan Investment Programme funding to help run a youth hubs pilot project in two areas focused around Leominster and Bishop’s Castle.


The diocese is aiming to establish at least 25 new worshipping communities for children and young people by 2030 as part of ambitious plans to grow younger and more diverse inline with the aims of the Church of England. Funding for the Youth Hub Pilot Project is the first step towards achieving this goal and will help build an understanding of how young people come to faith in rural areas.


The Youth Hubs will be focussed on developing new worshipping communities as an extension of local churches with supporting community and schools-based activities. Connecting to surrounding village churches, they will inspire and develop ministry with young people through the employment of Youth Pioneers and Youth and Community Workers and the development of local leaders. The Youth Hub areas and the wider diocese will be supported by a programme of training and equipping for clergy, and emerging adult and young leaders.  


The diocese faces considerable challenge, presently under 500 children (0-17) 'usually' attend church compared to over 12,000 children and young people who attend a Church of England school in the diocese. The project marks a pivotal moment in revitalising youth participation in spiritual communities, seeking to learn what works well and how this model can be replicated in other areas.


Lizzie Hackney, one of the pilot project leads and Lead Intergenerational Missioner for Hereford Diocese explains: “This is an exciting next step in our journey.  It follows the success of our Intergenerational Mission project which concluded in 2022. Since then, we have felt the signs were clearly pointing us to focus on the spiritual needs of young people living in the diocese as part of our intergenerational ministry.”


“We felt God call us to journey with young people wherever they are in our diocese.  Many of the young people we connected with during our intergenerational project are looking for answers to the bigger questions of life.  The longer term effects of the lockdowns are that many are seeking in-person connection and friendship because they feel isolated. Others lack safe places to come together with peers in our sparsely populated rural communities.  This pilot project, working in partnership with a number of organisations, will help us to explore how we [the church] can connect with younger people living in rural areas, how we can draw them into a closer relationship with God and ultimately how we can grow new disciples.”


You can learn learn more about the diocesan strategy on the About Us section

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