Merry Christmas!

Well, Christmas is nearly here and soon we'll be welcoming in the start of 2011. It's a good time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the future.
If you still haven't pledged to do an action on Generous and would like to, click here for an overview of the outcomes from Youth Assembly to see what you can do.

So Merry Christmas and I hope you have a fantastic holiday. I leave you with a few words from Luke 2 and I will be back in the new year!

" So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."

Highs and Lows of Youth Assembly 2010

I’m really sorry for the delay in getting this posted- I’ve been taking a well-deserved break for the last week! I’m not going to bore you with a blow by blow account of everything that happened over the weekend of Youth Assembly (I don’t think I’d have the space or the time!) so I’m going to share some of the highlights instead.

Favourite session;

The Saturday evening session using the electronic voting system (I really did think it was fab in case you hadn’t already guessed at the time!). I loved the fact it was quick and easy and so transparent.

Worst bit;

Having to drag myself out of bed at 6.30 on Saturday morning to fit in 2 radio interviews before the first session.

Favourite space;

The 24/7 worship room. I may be a bit biased as I helped to hang up the curtains in there but I loved that area and wish I’d had a chance to spend some time in there over the weekend.

Funniest moment;

The Welcome session I hosted with Jemima- we really didn’t know what we were doing (as if you couldn’t tell!), but have a good laugh when thing didn’t go as planned! Plus the jingles by Ross helped to lighten the mood!

Best worship moment;

In the Communion on Sunday morning singing “Trading my Sorrows”. The guys from the workshops leading the singing and dancing were so enthusiastic and it was really enjoyable. I also really liked the intimate atmosphere of the Communion on Friday night.

There were a number of resolutions that came out of Youth Assembly. You can find some of them by going to but here are those going to Methodist Conference 2011;

  • Youth assembly asks Conference to affirm that sporting activity plays an important part in young people’s lives and encourages a healthy and holy lifestyle

  • Youth assembly asks Conference to appoint someone to promote and support sporting activities in churches, districts and across the wider connexion.

  • Youth assembly urges Conference to reinforce the efforts to make worship leader training more relevant and accessible to young people

  • Youth assembly asks Conference to encourage every circuit to included in its resources for ministry a commitment to providing specific support to people experiencing transitions and those impacted by drugs and mental health issues,

  • Youth assembly asks Conference to affirm its commitment to pay a living wage to young people aged 18- 21, and to clarify how much that living wage should be.

  • Youth assembly asks Conference to advocate for the UK wide implementation of the living wage by all Employers.

  • Youth assembly asks Conference to direct the Connexional team to facilitate and enable young people to lobby for fairer access to education including EMA and University fees.

Overall I found the weekend hard work but also really enjoyable. We’ve had loads of feedback already which is brill, but if you want to let me know your thoughts you can email me at

Recovery Time!

Anyone wondering what happened at Youth Assembly this year- I will be posting about it at the end of the week after having a few days to recover!

Thanks again to everyone who worked hard to make it happen!

Action for Children and Practising My Jounalism Skills!

Yesterday morning I met with Tom and Helen from Action for Children’s campaigns team. They’re really keen for us to find ways of working together more, which is fab considering the history between the 2 organisations and the fact that participation is high on both our agendas. Watch this space for more info about how we might co-operate in the future.

In the afternoon I met with Anna Drew, Head of Media at MCH, and picked up an MP3 recorder so I can report from Youth Assembly next weekend. Keep an eye out for me- I’ll be looking for people to interview!

Methodist Youth Assembly 2010

Things have a bit quieter for the last couple of weeks. Had some time off, which was brill and gave me a chance to reflect on my work so far. Most of what I’ve been doing has been going to meetings- which have been really valuable, but I’m really looking forward to Youth Assembly in 2 weeks so I can meet more young people!

Methodist Youth Assembly Goes Generous : See the PGL centre for yourself!

One thing I’d like to hear more is the positive things that are happening in local churches and communities from young people’s perspectives. If your church is doing something exciting- I’d love to hear about it! You can email me at or catch up with me at Youth Assembly.

My Introduction to the Ways of Methodist Council

Tuesday 12th October

My Epic Failure and Playing Dodgeball

Visited a youth group at St Georges Church Boscombe. I told them a bit about what I do as Youth President.

We made Chocolate mug cakes (which are amazing and only take 3 minutes in the microwave!). I was told that I had produced an “epic failure” but it tasted good so I didn’t mind too much.
After that we played Dodgeball. I felt sorry for the team that picked me and was praying I wouldn’t make an utter fool of myself! Amazingly I was still in near the end with one other person on my team (I think this may have had more to do with the fact that no-one wanted to throw the ball at me rather than my incredible dodging skills!). I was also very proud that I managed to get someone out- something of a miracle considering my throwing arm. Despite me being fairly inept (read rubbish) at any kind of sport, I really enjoyed it and had a laugh.
The group was really friendly and one of the youth workers was kind enough to let me stay overnight (in a very cool basement bedroom!).

My failed but tasty mugcake

Wednesday 13th- Friday 15th October

First joint Methodist Council and Mission Council (URC)
Up at 5.15 on Wednesday to get my train from Bournemouth. Arriving in Derby I was still feeling bleary-eyed. Outside the station I spotted a large group who looked like they could be from the Methodist and Mission Councils, so I scanned the faces until I saw John Colenutt (Youth Assembly rep). We were all bustled into taxis and sent on to The Hayes conference centre. When I arrived I briefly passed my Dad who was there for another conference. He insisted on wheeling my suitcase round which probably made me look very lazy!
In the first session I made an impression by introducing myself as Christy-Anna Briggs (my maiden name), which peopled seemed to find funny as they all laughed- well at least they’d remember me!

Methodist Council Session

Had a good time at Council- met the Fury (Fellowship of United Reformed Youth) rep, had an inspirational Bible study and heard about Fresh Expressions. At different points we split into groups. My group was fantastic. We talked about poverty, news ways of Church, what it means to be Church and one guy even suggested we sell all our Church buildings and start everything from scratch! (Not sure this idea would be popular with everyone...).
I went to a workshop about the “missing generation”. Ironically about half of us were actually in this age group, but it was good to get different perspectives on an issue currently affecting our churches.

Joint Council session

One thing I thought about a lot at council was prayer. I think everything we do should be based in Prayer and a desire to see God’s will done. Over the 3 days we had a Communion service and an in-depth Bible study which were really refreshing and helped to keep the focus on God instead of us.

The Joys of Travel

5th October 2010

Off to MCH for a YPS (Youth Participation Strategy) team meeting.
Frankly, the day didn’t get off to the best start. For some reason, my arms and legs didn’t want to co-ordinate with the rest of me so I tripped up escalators several times and even managed to get my suitcase stuck in the barrier leaving the toilets at waterloo.
At MCH the first thing I did was chat to some of the media team and record a podcast interview about Youth Assembley.

Good food and Good Company

Next, I had lunch with John Ellis and Mark Wakelin (two of the Strategic leaders of the Methodist Church). We went to a vegetarian restaurant called the crypt, which was lovely. It was really great to find out more about their specific jobs and talk about some of my thoughts so far- so much so that I was 20 minutes late for my next meeting with Doug Swanney (Head of Discipleship and Ministries Cluster)! Luckily he was very understanding and we had a chat about the Cluster which was very helpful.

After work, I had the pleasure of going for a curry with the PPM’s (Sharon, Rachel, Lynne, Carl and John). We waited a long time for food, but when it arrived it was well worth it. We then headed over to Leicester Square and had delicious real ice cream before going back to the hotel.

6th October 2010

My First (and hopefully worst) Walk into Work at MCH.

It was unfortunate there was a torrential downpour on the way so my linen trousers and canvas shoes were competing to see which could soak up the most rainwater. I think I left a puddle in the lift as I had to wring out my clothing when I reached the 6th floor to stop the drips!

More Good Food and a Team Field Trip!

Then for my first Connexional Team lunch! Got off to a good start with the food- stuffed vine leaves, olives, falafels and hummus- all my favourite foods. Yummy!
I’ll be honest and admit it was much more interesting than I expected. The Methodist President of Benin was visiting and gave a short speech. We also got to hear more about Bible Fresh and Equality and Diversity. Martyn Atkins (another Strategic Leader)spoke on the themes mentioned in his book, “Discipleship and the People Called Methodists”. I did nab myself a copy as I haven’t yet read it!

After that, a group of us legged it to the tube so we could catch our train to Swindon to visit the PGL centre in Liddington- the venue for Youth Assembley 2010. We were a bit disappointed to find our seats were in the Quiet Carriage- but not as disappointed as the other people sitting in it when they realised they’d be sharing with us! I think we did a fairly good job of keeping the noise down...
I was very impressed by the site. It was fun having a look round and talking about how it’s all going to come together. I’m really excited about it!

planning Youth Assembley at PGL centre

8th October 2010

The Not So Wise Taxi Driver

On Friday I went to Birmingham for a YPS reference group meeting at the Diaconal centre. Was slightly concerned when I spent the first ten minutes in the taxi waiting for the driver to figure out where we were going with his sat nav! When he finally started moving, we drove for 30 seconds, turned a corner and he announced “This is the road!”. Well if I’d known how close it was I would have walked, but as it was we spent the next 15 minutes driving up and down trying to find the place. After asking 2 random strangers (who also had no clue as to the elusive nature of the Diaconal Centre) we finally spotted the house number, so the taxi driver locked me in the car while he went to investigate (apparently I look like the sort of person to do a runner without paying!).

When I got inside, I was greeted by the beautiful, but homely decor and a delicious smell coming from the kitchen. People arrived over the next few hours, and we had a dinner of pasta bake and flatbread followed by ice cream and homemade chocolate and toffee sauces (mmmm...).

After the 1st 2 sessions introducing everyone and looking at the history of the YPS, we all wandered to Tesco to get some drinks. We spent the next couple of hours relaxing and chatting in the living room. It was great to get to know the group better- although after another long day I was very sleepy so didn’t add much to the conversation!

9th October 2010

Strange men on trains

The next day we discussed a range of issues surrounding YPS- it was fun and informative. It was also my first experience of chairing a meeting, which I think went ok, except that I kept forgetting I was chairing and was supposed to move the conversations along. A few prompts from Jude (Youth Participation Development Officer) helped me along the way!

The journey home was fairly uneventful, until I was on the train between Bristol and Weymouth. The drunk man opposite me seemed to think that by looking over his shoulder it would somehow disguise the fact that he was taking pictures of me...very weird. I hid behind my book until he got off! Then another man sat opposite me and we got chatting. He asked me what my job is, so I said “I work for the Methodist Church- I’m the Youth President for the year.” To which he replied “ you’re religious?...You don’t look like that sort of person! You know what I mean by that?” I can honestly say I didn’t know what he meant so I just laughed. He then went on to say “Isn’t that odd...I don’t meet many angels in my life”

I wasn’t sure what to make of this encounter, but it did make me smile!

(Not so) Scary CLF

First Official Meeting

Spent Monday and Tuesday in Swanick for CLF (Connexional Leaders Forum). It basically consists of all the chairs of district, the 4 strategic leaders, the presidency and me. It sounds a bit scary, but I had so much fun!

When I arrived, people quickly started introducing themselves and I was made to feel really welcome. There was a mix of presentations and discussions and I even contributed twice during the last half hour! I ‘d been praying for the nerve to speak up when I got there- but in reality everyone was so encouraging, it was easy. It was clear this is a group of people who are passionate about discerning God’s will for the future of the Methodist Church.

It’s a shame my journey home wasn’t so great. Stupidly, I forgot my young person’s railcard and had to pay a £52 excess for my journey. I won’t be making that mistake again in a hurry! At Chesterfield my train was delayed by 40 minutes so I missed my connection and added an hour to the journey. Then to add insult to injury, after running to the bus station in Weymouth I was told by a bus driver “Going to Portland? I wouldn’t bother. The traffic’s so bad we’ve got 9 buses stuck over there. Not sure if there’ll be another one”. Really helpful…As you can imagine, after already travelling for nearly 8 hours, I wasn’t best pleased! I eventually got home 9pm after getting a lift from one of the bus drivers who goes to my church.

Despite the rubbish end to my trip, I was still left feeling uplifted by my time away and can’t wait for the next one in January!

First 2 weeks as Youth President

Hi ! I’m Christy-Anna Errington, the new Methodist Youth President for 2010-11.

Who Am I? - Some Random Facts

- I was named after a canal boat my parents saw while they were expecting me

- I’m married to Jon and we have a 3 year old daughter, Millie

- I grew up in the Methodist Church but only started taking my faith seriously when I was 16

- Over my life I have lived in 13 different houses

- I’m obsessed with reading and drinking tea

- My big dream is to take my family on a round-the-world trip

Tea Party and meeting the Wesley Brothers!

3rd Sept 2010

My first official event was a Celebration Tea Party for the 2009/10 OPPS (One Program Participants). I was quite nervous as I wasn’t sure what to expect, but everyone was really friendly. It was a good chance to hear about the work of the OPPs last year and to meet the new OPPs I’ll be working with. The scones were pretty fantastic too! I was then given the Youth President Cross, Bible and lanyard in the official handover from Pete Brady.

After that, the new OPPs, PPMs (Participation Project Managers) and a few others headed over to St. Katherine’s conference centre for the first OPP training weekend.

It was loads of fun- informative but also quite laid back. The weekend was a mix of “getting to know you” games and sessions with titles such as “How to be an amazing OPP”. One of the highlights was a sung history of the Wesley Brothers- brilliantly performed by Carl Dodd and John Boyd!

The Wise Taxi Driver

14th Sept 2010

Spent the day at MCH (Methodist Church House) for a Methodist Council Training day. Met some more members of staff, who were all very accommodating. I just hope I don’t forget all their names!

I actually really enjoyed the day. Am definitely not as scared about going to Council now as I have a better idea of what to expect. It was also really helpful to be told not to worry about asking if I don’t understand what’s going on!

The worst part was that I had to leave my house at 6 in the morning! Luckily the taxi driver was really interested in hearing about the role of youth president, so got to have a good chat about it with someone from outside the church! Towards the end of the journey, I was talking about what I think some of the challenges for the year are going to be and he said “I suppose the trick is getting the balance of confidence and humility and making sure one doesn’t get in the way of the other.” Brilliant!