"I believe we will see more young people in our churches again" - meet youth leader Lydia Chancellor

First published 21st March 2022

Meet Lydia Chancellor, the new Youth and Children’s Missioner for Yate and Fromeside Mission Area, in this special guest blog.

"My journey in ministry started at Youth For Christ back in 2004 where I spent a year training as a creative arts youth instructor, teaching kids and young adults about Christ, creativity and dance. 

Over the following 15 years I served at Hillsong London as a youth and worship leader, studied Theology and Pastoral Care at Hillsong Bible college in Sydney, helped plant two churches in London, and worked with Holy Trinity Brompton, which brought me back into the Anglican fold.

These early years of developing in ministry really gave me a strong foundation to serve and lead well within my church and my calling as a church and ministry leader. Whenever the road gets rocky I remember that season of training and all that God has led me to. I believe in particular that He has called me to people who have no understanding of who Jesus is or what the Bible says about them, and to reach and love people by His Spirit which is alive in me. 

I feel God is helping me at this time to a deeper understanding of what it means to be part of the local church and the importance of it within our social communities. Late last year my family and I relocated to the South West to start afresh with our two young children. We feel called to this part of the world and are expectant and excited to see what God has in store for us here. 

I have had the opportunity to work with many young people from all sorts of backgrounds and levels of faith. I found that most young people have the same pressures – the worries of work and studies, relationships, sex and their identity, along with the unhealthy pressures to promote their lives on social media and showcase their every move. I believe that young people more than ever need to know the closeness, care and love of genuine community, and to have spaces where they can talk, be heard and connect with God in fresh and exciting ways. Many young people have never been discipled. This is something that I’m very passionate about doing well in the church. We need to equip our young people with the knowledge of the word of God so they can withstand all that life throws at them, now and in the future. Many young people worry about the state of their mental health and this has since increased post pandemic. This is an area I hope bring support to across the parish and especially in our school work.

As a combined force, united for one cause, the Yate and Fromeside Mission Area has a unique opportunity. With this combined effort, the church can touch the lives of more people and extend their reach even further. Through this collaboration, I believe we will see more young people in our churches again. The shared initiative has empowered me to dream bigger for the whole parish area and connect with more schools, youth groups and churches. I have a big task ahead to reimagine the youth ministry for this parish and look outwards to connect with young families, young adults and children across the area to ultimately see more people come to know Christ; to experience his love, grace and mercy for the first time. Sadly, there has been a huge loss historically in the church where it has failed to capture the hearts of the youth, now is the time to change that narrative and see the future of the Church of England thriving with many young people switched on to the gospel and in deep relationship with Jesus. This is my hope and prayer for the future of Yate, Fromeside, Bristol and beyond. 

I hope through the Bristol Youth Ministry Network I will continue to build relationships with other youth leaders in Bristol and learn more about how to best serve my community."

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