Luke Carson, a member of the YMIC team, introduces himself and shares exciting news of what he's been doing at All Saints Fulham.
Hello everyone I am Luke, the new YMIC youth worker for All Saints Fulham, where I'll be for the next year - hopefully longer! I am originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland being raised in the Church of Ireland. Growing up in St Donard’s (Church of Ireland) was a strong foundation to begin my journey in faith and life. I regularly attended any youth events that were going on in the church and loved them all.
These events and clubs supported my development through life and helped me grow into the person I am today. They provided a secure environment to explore one’s faith while providing a community to support one another. There, I also learned to bell ring (which is probably the only musical thing I can do). Once a month, I attended Quaker meetings (which really are quite unique), so I have experienced a diversity of Christian worship, from traditional to more contemporary. The Quakers provided me with ample opportunities to lead youth events and it was during these that I first gained an affinity to youth work, which has followed me into my studies and career.
Crossing the Irish Sea
Moving to England was, as you can imagine, quite a change from Belfast. I originally came to study psychology at the University of Kent in Canterbury. I enjoyed my three years there so much that I just was not ready to head home. Hence, I came to London to study my masters in educational psychology at UCL. Working in the Sherlock Holmes museum on the side of my degree was not overly fulfilling. So as my time studying drew to a close, I started to look for jobs stumbling across a pastoral youth worker position advertised by YMIC (Youth Ministry in Communion). I instantly felt called to the role and thankfully I am now here.
Energising youth ministry
With YMIC we want to renew youth ministry in the sacramental tradition: seeing young people encounter the love of God and be transformed. Our mission is to enable churches of the liturgical and eucharistic traditions to become thriving centres of youth ministry where the gifts and visions of young people are encouraged, realised and implemented. Often, when it comes to youth work we do not explore our sacramental tradition and this is something we will aim to do. Having experienced many different forms of worship, I can appreciate the importance of our tradition and I hope to teach but also learn alongside the young people of All Saints Fulham. As a network Youth Worker, I will be based between All Saints Fulham and the Parish of Putney, with the goal of supporting the youth of these areas in their own individual journeys. One day, I hope to bring together these similar but unique Churches in youth ministry and create a wide network of youth support and provision.
One step towards this goal was taken on the 14th September with the commencement of Youth Connect, a youth club for secondary school children to hang out and worship. During this we hosted a BBQ in the vicarage garden with Revd Penny cooking some delicious food, while Revd George and myself played a range of games from football to spike ball to mafia. We then closed with a short reflection on what had brought us to this stage of our lives and our faiths. There was a real buzz around the night, everyone left with beaming faces and more energy than when they arrived. I left rather hot, flustered and tired but also with a great sense of satisfaction at the success of the evening.
Upon return, we will have even more activities on offer including jungle speed, table tennis, and more. Throughout the year we hope to become more ambitious and plan escape rooms and tag rugby.