Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

Growing Young Leaders is a programme which offers young people aged 13-18 the opportunity to spend 6 months serving in leadership in their local church/community whilst connecting with other young people on the programme to discover more about leadership and to explore their vocation. Young people are paired with a mentor (appointed by the parish and supported by the diocese) throughout the duration of the programme to support them in their local setting. The programme is organised by the Diocese of Chelmsford and delivered in partnership with young leaders from previous cohorts, local youth leaders and clergy. 

Programme Format

The programme is split into two key areas: learning & serving (dates and locations will be confirmed closer to the time)

  • Initial Orientation and Training Day (September)
  • A residential weekend (November)
  • Four 2 hour virtual interactive workshops (October, December, January, February) 
  • A Commissioning Service (March)
  • A mentor throughout the programme
  • Regular leading in your church, or in the community (the time you spend leading is flexible…for example it might be a weekly activity or could be done in larger blocks e.g. holiday clubs with time in-between spent planning and preparing). Some examples of what young people have been involved with in the past are listed below.

We ask Young Leaders to join the “Living Way” during the 6 months of the programme, which will give them opportunity to connect and pray with each other regularly as a group, to stay in touch and to have opportunities for leading worship for and with each other. This will happen mostly via zoom.

In order to enable as many young people as possible to take part in Growing Young Leaders we don’t have a set cost. However, we suggest that the church or young person makes a contribution of £60 towards the running of the programme.

Applications for 2021/22 will close 11th July 2021 (application forms and information in print format can be found at the base of this page).

Examples of leadership opportunities which young people were able to take as part of this programme so far:

  • Leading children’s work
  • Leading worship (music, readings and prayers
  • Leading messy church activities
  • Leading and supporting special events (quiz, Christingle
  • Leading a service
  • Leading youth sessions
  • Organising and Leading a Holiday club
  • Becoming a Eucharistic Assistant

What young people say about this programme

“I feel like I’ve grown into a better leader, the course has helped me realise what type of leader I want to be”

“I feel more confident and determined to grow”

“I’m looking forward to using my leadership skills within and outside of church.”

“I feel empowered and encouraged to be involved with the community of Christianity and my church, as well as my school.”

“It’s been an amazing experience and has built my confidence massively.”

“I do think I have grown in my relationship with God in the way I can speak to God much more easily”

“Taking part in the programme gave me a better understanding on leadership in the Bible.”

“Taking part in the programme has helped me experience the love of God and how the Holy Spirit can come in all different shapes and sizes (other young people and mentors).”

“Through taking part in this programme my relationship has become more of my own bond rather than my parents’ belief. I feel I now have my own connection with God.”

What young people’s families say about this programme

“It has helped my daughter to not only grow in faith but find ways to be part of the community.”

“It has increased my daughter’s independence and has given her a sense of belonging and a sense of responsibility outside of the home.”

“My son has enjoyed the sessions and the new friendships he has made. It has been beneficial for him to meet with a mentor.”

“My daughter’s faith has grown and her relationship with God is getting stronger.”

“Our son has become more reflective in his approach to life.”

“Logistics, timings and locations have been great.”

Information for Mentors

As part of this programme each young person will have a mentor. The role of the mentor is to act as someone who can provide pastoral support, opportunities for reflection and be an advocate for their mentee. We ask all of our mentors to meet with their mentee once a month during the programme. Mentors and mentees receive a booklet which gives them suggestions on content to cover during these meetings.

Mentors are recruited and selected in partnership between the young person’s sending church and a member of the Diocesan team. Mentors are required to go through their parish’s volunteer vetting procedures (including an enhanced DBS check) and attend a virtual briefing with regards to how to translate safeguarding guidelines to their role as a mentor.

Mentors need to be able to commit to six meetings throughout the course of the programme and we ask that they join the young people for the commissioning service.

Mentors are required to sign the Mentor Agreement and Consent forms:
Mentor Agreement | Mentor Consent Form

How to sign up and find out more

To find out more and apply please download and complete the below documents and email this to Dot Salmon. Your minister or youth worker will be asked to provide a short reference for you (this is mostly so they know you’re getting involved with this exciting project!).

Application deadline: 11 July 2021

Contact Dot Salmon - Colchester Area Youth Adviser via email.


Application Form

2021/22 Information


For more information please contact Charley Day
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