Firstly I need to say sorry for my lack of blogging, I’m definitely not used to this. But here we go…
Since my last blog there has been loads happening with the work of The Feast in Bradford and Keighley. We were very blessed to receive a small grant from Near Neighbours that has equipped us to do bigger events and helped us move forward in more creative ways. One of my desires in life include taking young people to experience new places around them. As we’re in Yorkshire there is no limit to the places we can explore right on our doorstep.
We’ve had two events during the last month –
The first was a long walk around Ingleton Falls with 6th form students from a number of schools in Keighley. We set off early to make sure we had the longest, and best possible day, only to be greeted with rain for the entire day!! However this did not put a dampener on the event, as the young people’s conversations were as abundant as the rain. To be honest I’m not sure if the young people needed me to guide anything as they just started to tell each other about their faith organically! It really was amazing to witness such conversations.
Our second event took a bit more organising and effort. We decided to take 12 young people camping to a Scout Camp on the outskirts of Bradford. This was only possible because of the money we received from the Near Neighbours small grant. I was able to buy 4 tents to use for camping events or day trips. We also have new cooking equipment for camping.
Camping has always been a bit of a marmite activity – young people either enjoy it or they don’t. On this occasion out of the 12 young people, 9 had never been camping, so this was exciting. It was a new experience with new friends!
We collected all the young people from across different areas of the city of Bradford. Yet again, our fears were realised as the skies opened and for the second time we all got soaked! Fortunately this was only a brief shower, just to keep us grounded in reality! When we arrived and set up camp the sun came out and the fun began.
After playing some games to get things started, having dinner (pizza of course) we sat down for some chats about our faith. The young people all split into smaller groups with two questions in hand. 1 – What’s the best thing about your faith? 2 – What’s the best thing about Bradford? Again I was surprised by the answers and discussions taking place. The young people found it far easier to talk about their faith than they did their city, but we all agreed in the end that Bradford is a great place to live!
The purpose of these kinds of events is to create two things:
- An amazing experience that the young people won’t forget
- New friendships between youth of different faiths within the same city
It’s great to be a part of this work in Bradford and Keighley, and to be able to give the young people here the opportunity to experience new things and to create friendships which cross bridges across their cities and towns, and across faiths. Exciting times are ahead, stay tuned!