Youth Assembly

Hi everyone,

Sorry that it has been a while since I have posted a blog, things seem to have gotten busier and busier. With Youth Assembly coming round again we have been looking at the content and arrangements for this years Youth Assembly. Part of doing that has involved looking through various parts of feedback and reports that have been sent into us. I came accross this report to Synod from Cumbria district and wanted to share it with you all.

The Youth Assembly was at Ushaw College: a nice place, though it was a bit creepy having a statue of some saint with someone’s head under his arm in the dining room. You weren’t bored – there was always something to do – even at 2 o’clock in the morning. They only had rooms for 300, there were 50 more young people than that, so they put those aged 18 and over (including Rachel) in two hotels down the road. The hotels were posher, but not as much fun.

The main lounge had X boxes, giant Jenga, magazines, Wii equipment, and there were graffiti boards in most rooms: some had questions on to answer, others were for comments on the topics we were discussing. There were sweets inviting us to take one and think about where the sugar came from. There was an amazing band: “Lifecolour” – 4 16/17 year olds. People were chatting about everything.

Everyone was really friendly – at the beginning, one girl walked up to us, and asked if we wanted to join her group. She turned out to be Ellen’s room mate. We were both sharing double rooms. People came from all over the country. It would have been good to have had a big map to show people where everyone lived. People were asking us if we lived near Sellafield.

We got there about 7 on Friday. It started at 9 after we were offered sandwiches on arrival. There were tons of groups discussing things. On the Saturday there were 4 seminars – more fun than school workshops – with discussions and activities. One of the things we both did was youth violence: one of the starting games was putting a big rope down the centre of the room, and you were asked about a topic – starting with whether you preferred shoes or trainers, and ending up with serious questions such as “how much youth violence do you think there is” (you had to position yourself along the rope according to your opinions.

We both did “Youth Violence” and “Equality and Diversity”. Ellen did “God and Me”, and “Self Esteem”. Rachel did “Me and my rights” (talking about voting ages, discrimination, drinking rules), and “Sexuality”. You could change seminars if you didn’t feel comfortable in the one you were in, but we were quite happy with the ones we chose. In “Know your rights” one of the girls was very anti-government – she was quite a formidable opponent. It was good to see people from different races there – there were quite a few people from Nigeria (now living in London), a couple of French people, a New Zealander, an Australian, and people from other African countries.

There was a fair bit of reading to do for some of the seminars. At 8 o’clock in the morning there were informal prayers for the people in the college (optional, but Ellen and her room-mate went anyway). You’d do things like writing prayers on paper aeroplanes and flying them, and writing regrets on bits of paper, scrunching them up, and throwing them in the other direction.
The food was good. On the Saturday we got breakfast at half past eight, bacon butties at 11, and soup and sandwiches at half past 12. You had a big dinner – and we didn’t even have take our plates away to wash them up. The vegetarian options were good, too.

On the Sunday we had the main assembly for the voting process, and to tell our conference representatives what we wanted them to report from the assembly. After every seminar you would have “My Challenge” (something you wanted to do), a “Team Challenge” (something you felt your church or youth group ought to do), and a “Conference Challenge” (for the Youth President and other conference representatives to take to the Methodist Conference). The voting was very formal. The people wanting to be elected had posted messages on the Friday evening. One very nice Northern Scottish girl had the surname “Haggis”. We had to vote for the next Youth President. The new youth president is a nice guy – he’s quite funny, but serious at the same time.

The Assembly was good. It was run by the oldest young people, and people were able to express all sorts of views. We went straight from the Assembly to Sunday morning worship – it would have been nice to have a break. For worship people sat in a big rectangle with big screens for the words, and a huge stage. Because there were so many of us (some came from the community round about) people were sitting on bean bags, and on seats upstairs which were full. The band did all the music. Most of those leading worship were from the Newcastle area.

The next event is Breakout. We’d love to go again.
Rachel and Ellen Watson

These sort of reports are what helps us to create an amazing event for everyone. While we are talking about Youth Assembly, You may recall that at Youth Assembly there was a lot of talk about the Methodists ‘going Generous’.

Generous is an online community actions site that we want to be the platform which we deliver and follow through on the resolutions we made at Youth Assembly last year. We want Generous to work so that young people right across the Connexion can engage with those resolutions on an ongoing basis, rather than leave them as a fading memory back at Youth Assembly itself. ]

It also provides a great way for you to commit to actions that are all about treading more lightly on this precious planet we share and living more generously with all the people we share it with.

From the Generous actions page ( where you can commit to actions and leave comments) to the chat room ( where you can have online conversations about the issues that are important to you), Generous provides:.

• a great way to keep in touch with the people you met at Youth Assembly;
• the chance to share things that affect you on a daily basis in your lives and churches;
• the opportunity to be part of the decision-making process emerging from the Youth Assembly that will then play its part in re-shaping the Methodist Church

You can find Generous at It’s easy to join and the more of us leaving comments, signing up to actions, meeting in the chat rooms, the more dynamic content we’ll generate and the more chance we’ll have of really influencing the shape of things that affect us all.

So, I look forward to seeing you on the site soon.

Go on: be Generous!


1 comment:

  1. It was so interesting reading the report and your blog - thanks for posting!