As I reflect on 2021 I am reminded again and again of how faithful God is to us and how young people and young adults are being blessed through the work and ministry of Sorted.
This time last January all our youth work was suspended due to the ongoing ramifications of Covid and the restrictions we were all under. Creatively, Sorted staff continued to do garden gate detached work, meals delivered for the most vulnerable and wellbeing calls. Zoom sessions in abundance etc.
When schools opened their doors to us, we worked tirelessly to reach and talk to as many year 7’s & 8’s as we could as well as staying connected to those now older teenagers who came to Sorted two years ago.
In July we baptised a young man in the River Wharf in Ilkley. It was very cold! But we managed a barbecue of sorts after the event and the young guy is now part of our regular worshipping community on Sunday nights as well as participating in other sessions for Sorted.
Sorted was not able to do a residential in the summer of 2021 but not to be deterred, our team with the support of St James’ Community Hall, put on 2 weeks of summer provision. We had over 30 young people attend including some of other faiths and they came back to us when we restarted Friday nights after the summer holidays.
In September, Sorted intentionally sought creative ways of connecting with young people through school. At Immanuel, Kate and Natalie have started a new lunchtime club and 15 new young people are attending with more coming each week. There is a gradual spill over to Friday nights. After a conversation with Hanson along the lines that Christianity is under represented in the school, Vicky has started a Christian Lunchtime club which grew to 28 new young people in three weeks. Again there is some spill over to Friday nights. Carl continues to work with Hanson alongside the out of provision unit with some of the most vulnerable students.
Covid and all things related made it very difficult for us at times but through God’s grace, mentoring and equipping of each other alongside encouraging and empowering, Sorted has managed to restart its social Friday nights with over 30 young people at one venue and 15 young people at the other. It is small seeds of growth but we continue to join in with what God is doing in the area and hopefully giving unchurched young people a different choice as they ask questions about faith.
It became very apparent during 2021 that the gap between young people and young adults was glaringly obvious and that the natural process to step people along had taken a hit. So, as well as making sure we intentionally brought through new young people, I was conscious that the older young people had lost their group. Robert and a small team started a separate group for these older teenagers and for those who have missed out on Sorted during the last two years of shielding. The new young adult group is showing signs of growth.
On behalf of Sorted, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks for those who financially support the work we are doing either through giving directly to Sorted or by giving to Church Army. A thanks also goes to Liam Jagger’s Consultancy Agency for securing other funding for our project. I am pleased to announce that from September 2021 Sorted sought further employment for a young adult lead and a youth missioner. I welcome Rev’d Robert Johnson and Mrs Kate Watts (both mentioned above) respectively to our small but growing team here in Bradford.
I would like to take this opportunity of sharing the news that this year, Sorted will help and support our curate; Rev’d Marianne Clough for the next four years or so. Ordination will be on the 2nd July at Bradford Cathedral and we look forward to Marianne joining our staff team. I look forward to introducing Marianne in our next newsletter.
With heartfelt thanks