Our church has employed a Children and Families Worker for about ten years , firstly as a part- time role, in partnership with Exeter ICE Trust, then as a full time job for 7 years when the worker developed great relationships both within the church and in the wider community. This growth brought a number of young people to us who now need a different provision; last summer we advertised for a paid part time youth worker which was unsuccessful. Looking at the options for a way forward the PCC opted for the SWYM model whereby we bring a worker into our fellowship and mutually work towards their and our goals - to bring Jesus into the lives of young people.
Structure & Vision
St Michael's has a missional vision to provide the church family with pastoral and spiritual support and serve the community with joy and love. We have a number of well established local initiatives which currently bring the church to the people including a community cafe, a mother and toddler group and a monthly lunch club as well as a presence in our local primary school.
"Due to the success of the Children and Families Worker initiative the church now recognises the increasing need to also disciple the exsisting older children as well as attracting more young families. We are open to developing the C and F W role wider by leading to the provision of youth-oriented facilities in Alphington, particularly in view of the planned major housing development adjacent to the parish"( Parish Profile 2017).
Alphington village is a large suburb of Exeter of about 8,000 people with excellent access to the city. We are adjacent to the huge trading estate of Marsh Barton with its diverse facilities. The population has a wide range of social, economic and age mix with the majority of young people mainly attending the local primary and secondary schools. A planned housing development is imminent on our boundary with Exminster and we have been nominated as the church to lead the churches outreach in a new community.
Our current clergy team consists of a rector, a curate, a full-time , Children and Families Worker, two ordinands and a lay leader. Supporting the lay leader is a team of church members who are gifted with leading services within the wider Mission Community*.There is a worshipping community of over 180 people across the church, with average figures of 80 at the morning service and 50 at the afternoon service. Many people are engaged in supporting the churches many internal and external activities, including helping with mission and outreach.
*St Michael's is the largest church in a group of three churches (Ide and Shillingford being two smaller rural churches )
We are keen to have a significant presence in West Exe Secondary School and provide a Youth club/ Activities for this age range . We have begun talks with the community through to elicit what provision is needed.