Twelve Young People from across the Diocese of Durham have become among the first in the Church of England to form a Childrenâ€™s Council.
The Childrenâ€™s Council is made up of young people aged eight years (8)+ to come together to help give children a stronger voice in their local church and the wider Diocese.
The Diocese of Durham Childrenâ€™s Council was officially launched in November with a view to giving young people an opportunity to communicate their feelings, hopes, fears and opinions on being involved in the Church. The Childrenâ€™s Council also provides a place to work together on projects and areas of interest – giving young people a sense of community and belonging – developing their self confidence, communication, negotiation and team working skills.
Supported by the Diocese and their church – the Childrenâ€™s Council is a clear demonstration of the priority that the Diocese gives to Children and Young People as part of its strategic thinking.
Childrenâ€™s Ministry Adviser for the Diocese of Durham, Sharon Pritchard said: â€œListening to children has been an important issue for us in ensuring that children have a voice and are heard continues to be of great significance although this is not always present in our society.
â€œAdults often think that they know what children need and forget that they have views, opinions, ideas and concerns of their own.
â€œThere is a great opportunity for the Church at national and local level to respond to the Good Childhood Inquiry and to be a part of the continuing developments. Having explored participation, childrenâ€™s advocacy and â€˜Learn2Listenâ€™, it was felt that the formation of a Diocesan Childrenâ€™s Council would enable us to engage with children more as part of this agenda.â€
Pictured are: Harriet (10), Harvey (11), Jack (11), Leo (9), Lara (10), Jacob (12), Hannah (12), Thomas (11), Lily (9), Josh (13), Alice (10), Grace (9) – along with Leaders Sharon Pritchard and Nick Brooker and special members The Rt Revd Paul Butler – Bishop of Durham & The Rt Revd Mark Bryant – Bishop of Jarrow.