Youth Activities in Marlow
Marlow Christian Fellowship
MCF has been running youth work activities in Marlow for over 15 years. From youth clubs to holidays and school lessons to prefect training, our work spans church, school and detached settings. MCF is based on the Foxes Piece School campus, where the church meets and the offices are located. All adult staff who undertake work with young people are fully CRB/police checked.
As well as a number of church-based groups throughout the week and at weekends, MCF runs XTREME, a youth club for secondary school age young people, on a Friday night. Evenings can include sports on the field, themed games in the hall, trips out and sometimes art activities, all of which are optional and depend on the time of year. There is also a tuck shop for snacks and both a table tennis and a pool table available on a weekly basis.
The HOPE BUS project was launched at “Hope in the Park” in 2008, and has continued to date. Our double-decker bus has been completely refurbished, resprayed and kitted out with computer consuls, music equipment and very comfy seats (some of which originated from Concord!) The bus is used weekly, as our team take it down to Court Gardens car park on Thursday nights, and provide a safe, friendly atmosphere for young people to meet with their friends, play games and chill out. It is also for use in the community, turns out for many events in Marlow and neighbouring towns and can be hired through MCF.
A recent collaboration of local churches has seen the launch of IGNITE, a monthly youth event aimed at providing young Christians with a place to meet together, get to know other young people in their town, and engage with God on a personal level. The team includes members from All Saints Church, Marlow Methodist, MCF, River Church and Valley Church, as well as Youth for Christ (Wycombe) and Churches Together in Marlow. The events are held on the 3rd Sunday of each month, at various member locations.
MCF’s present youth worker is Cat Sweet (nee Blow), who has been in post for the past 9 years. She has a degree in Teaching from UWE, a JNC professional youth work qualification and is just completing a Masters in Youth and Community Work with CYM. Cat goes into local schools to deliver R.S. lessons, PSHE lessons, Assemblies, and training sessions. She supports local Christian Unions and is presently working on a 6 week behaviour management course at Great Marlow School, in conjunction with the school’s Learning, Guidance and Support department, and other local youth workers.
Marlow Community Youth Project
(Marlow’s Anglican & Methodist Churches in partnership)
Nearly eight months into the Project and it’s exciting to be able to report that the all new Crypt Youth Café under All Saints Church is now open!
The crypt conversion looks fabulous with mood lighting, low whitewashed arched ceilings and the stone flagged floor. Have a look at the photos on the website. If you’re one of the young people who wants to become a member there is a range of games and activities to keep you entertained or you can just sit in one of the comfy chairs and chill out.
Since the half term break we have opened a drop-in After-School Club on Wednesdays (3.00 – 5.00 pm). The after school club forms part of the local extended services provision and we will be working with Bucks County Council’s Extended Services and the local secondary schools. The club is open to all young people in secondary school years 7 – 13, with all of the Crypt Café facilities available to relax after a tough day, or you can use the internet, play games or even seek advice and guidance. For this we intend to work with other youth support organisations in the area such as Healthzone and Connexions and are working on developing these links further as part of the detached and community work the Project is involved in.
A Friday evening youth club (7.30 – 9.15 pm) has also opened. This is an open youth club for the same age group, year 7-13 (that’s ages 11 – 18). During the evening there is usually time to relax with friends, the option to take part in organised games, challenges and activities and a short 5 minute ‘Viewpoint’ on relevant issues and topics. A tuck shop is available as well.
To help run these clubs we have a fantastic volunteer team of about 20 people who work on a rota to make sure the clubs are properly staffed and managed.
Finally we have Beta, our Sunday evening youth meeting from 7.30 – 9.00 pm. A church fellowship group for young people, Beta aims to encourage and help develop each individual’s Christian faith and their relationships with God and each other through games, activities, discussions and plenty of fun. You don’t have to be a Christian to join but you will be encouraged to actively explore what it means to become one! We sometimes meet in people’s houses, or at the Upper Room at Marlow Methodist or in the Crypt.
Details of programmes and events and contact details and some photos of work in progress will all be found on the website at cryptcafe.co.uk
It has been great to work with a team of local church youth workers including those from Marlow Christian Fellowship, River Church and Wycombe Youth for Christ so we can plan bigger events and work together in a way to complement and coordinate the work we are all doing in our local communities. One of the events organised by the local team include ‘Ignite!’ – fresh and relevant Christian meetings for and by young people. These take place on the third Sunday of the month and range from youth events at one of our local churches to bigger town events like the recent visit to schools and concert by bands LZ7 and The Steels. Most of the Youth Team will be taking part in today’s ‘Hope in the Park’.