Children & Youth


Breathe: Youth Retreat

Darlington District Children and Young People’s Executive (C&YPE)

There are excellent examples of work going on in local churches but children and young people appear to be missing from any Circuit planning and strategy.

While Messy Church stands out as the fastest growing new children’s work nationally and in the District, questions are being asked about what happens when the children grow older? What nurture programmes and opportunities to explore their faith will be available? These are questions for the District and Circuit as much as the local church.

Added to this is the major issue of recruiting, training and supporting volunteers who work with children & young people. Two of the most frequent comments heard are: “We cannot get people to volunteer” and “our volunteers are tired and want to resign”. The Executive has been trying to address these issues, but it is slow process. One initiative that the C&YPE piloted on behalf of the Connexional Children & Youth Team was something called “The Well” – retreat day. The Well retreat day is for those who work with children and young people. The aim of the day is that workers can come to relax, pray, learn and share together.


We propose basing the strategy on the Connexional Children’s and Youth strategy which is set out below.

At the heart of the children and youth strategy is a desire to share the Gospel message with children and young people.

It is based upon the following beliefs:

  1. Children and young people are equal partners with adults in the life of the Church
  2. Learning is for the whole church – adults, children and young people
  3. Mission and ministry is for and with children and young people, as well as adults
  4. The call to evangelism comes at whatever age
  5. The concept of the ‘Priesthood of all believers’ includes children and young people
  6. The Holy Spirit works through children and young people as well as adults


The strategy’s seven themes


Encouraging churches to value children and young people and ministry with them and to plan strategically for its development Think, talk and be with God

Exploring our understanding of how God connects with children and young people – and the challenges and opportunities this creates – through resources, retreats and teaching.

21st Century Church

Helping children and young people to experience different forms of church and worship, through events, resources, and exchanges.

Supporting the Workers

Enabling those working with children and young people to connect with God, the world and each other through a programme of retreats, training and ‘The Well’, our network for children’s and youth workers. And enabling those recruiting, managing or supporting children’s and youth workers to connect with guidance and resources.

Useful web-links:

Teaching and Challenge

Providing resources and training to enable people to give appropriate teaching, challenge and nurture to children and young people in their journey of faith.


Helping the church to connect with children and young people by using different methods of participation, through training, resources, Youth Assembly, the One Programme and children’s and Young People’s participation days.

Speaking Out

Connecting people with the issues that affect the lives of children and young people in Britain and across them to speak out and take action.

We propose that two of the seven themes are considered as core and these are Valuing and Participation. These two will underpin the remaining five themes.