Bishop Martyn supports new association of children's, youth and families ministers

The Bishop of Leicester is supporting a new association of children's, youth and families ministers called Paraklesis and has written about the importance of Lay Ministry

Paraklesis means "to draw alongside" and "to be an advocate". The association hopes to be alongside; supporting, encouraging and equipping those working in children's, youth and family ministry.

It's a project of a new charitable umbrella body for supporting all those in lay ministry called 'My Ministry'. Bishop Martyn is Chair of its Trustees.

Back in 2019, Bishop Martyn called for action after the results of a survey of church children's and youth workers which he commissioned were analysed and published. Now he and youth and children's work development consultant Ali Campbell and a wider team of trustees hope this association will help meet some of the needs that were highlighted by the survey.

Bishop Martyn said: “Just as the Church of England has set an aim of being “younger and more diverse” and is releasing funding for this work, I am delighted that this new charity is being launched. It’s aim is to ensure that children, youth and family ministers are well supported, both in terms and conditions of employment and in training, mentoring and good supervision. I am honoured to chair this charity and very pleased that we are working in partnership with a wide range of other organisations.”

Paraklesis will provide the following: 

For children's, youth and families ministers we will provide "Association Membership" with the following benefits :

  •  Membership of a professional body that will set and recommend standards, enable and encourage ministry development and provide advocacy for our members.
  •  Access to a powerful network of children's, youth and families ministers to inspire, encourage and equip you in ministry.
  •  A FREE mentoring session each year from our mentoring hub of experienced practitioners.
  •  Access to discounts and rewards through our supporters (check out current offers via our "Supporters" page).
  •  Access to recommended providers of support services for those experiencing difficulties in the work place (e.g. stress, breakdown of relationships, unfair treatment or discrimination).

For Churches we will provide "Church Membership" with the following benefits :

  •  A benchmark charter which will put in place values, structure and support enabling children's, youth and families ministry to flourish.
  •  A suite of "good practice" resources that will help churches concerned about mentoring, line management, supervision and support for their children's, youth and families ministers.

You can find out more on the Paraklesis website here.

The Diocese of Leicester has a renewed focus on Growing Faith, which promotes a partnership between the three communities of church, school and household to enable the discovery, exploration and growth for all in those communities. Intergenerational Communities are one of five strategic priorities the diocese has agreed upon.

The Church of England says: "The Growing Faith Adventure is a call for the renewal of hearts and minds so that it becomes second nature to include and value children, young people and households in every aspect of church life for the lifelong formation of faith in the whole of life." You can read more about it here.


First published on: 5th July 2022
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