12th - Wednesday is lunch at Woking High School
For some people, the church can be a bit like a Tardis: it’s much bigger on the inside than it appears to be from the outside. We know our particular church building, squeezed between York Road and Mount Hermon Road in Woking, is a bit like that. It’s almost invisible from the road but, for those who step inside, there is a whole community which comes together, worships together, supports each other and serves our wider community.
In this series for Advent we want to open some windows so everyone can see a bit more of who we are and what goes on in a church like ours.
I am involved with four local schools each week, mainly at lunchtimes, running lunch clubs or Christian Unions.
Woking High School on Wednesdays is a bubbly, loud lunch club with young people between the ages of 11-16. Named Worship Wednesday, nicknamed Doughnut Club. Mainly fun and chat with a bit of learning and discussion. Mental Health, Internet Safety, Body Image, Alpha Course sprinkled with some good God stuff. Set in a classroom on the top floor, we’ve crammed in 35 kids but average about 20 young people.
So, in the car driving over I’m thinking of the conversations from the week before. Who hasn’t been around much? What’s the temperature of friendship been like? Any conversations to follow up on? ‘Mum’s not been well’, or ‘I have a dance exam in the week’, ‘It’s my Birthday’ or some chat about how half-term went.
There’s always talk of exams and stress about homework, friendship breakdown and put back together. The young people that are less forward in the conversations take a bit more energy and time to help open up. Helping the groups to listen to each other and not cut across each other can take some management without manipulating the situation. Plenty of laughter, but watching who is struggling to smile or join in. We get about 40 minutes and it flies by pretty quick, about 15 minutes of led material is about the most you can get out of the session.
Bit of banter with the other youth workers after - with Pete, Chris, Tracy, and noting any concerns to follow up. Back to the car. Stop. Sit. Pray.
Off to get my lunch.
Dave Doran is Youth Minister at St Mary of Bethany Church.
He’s married to Dee and they have 4 children and the dog, Charlie. He’s a Chelsea fan who grew up in South London and his hobbies include: taxi driver (for the kids), fishing and football.