Erith Deanery Youth Trust

A Short History of the Erith Deanery Youth Trust

The 13 Anglican churches comprising Erith Deanery received a grant in AD2000 to engage Christian Research in a Strategic Review of the Deanery. When the recommendations were considered it was agreed that supporting our ministry to children and young people should be the top priority. This led the Deanery Synod to  set up a trust to ‘employ a Youth and Children’s Support Worker. Grants were sought from our parishes, and the trust became a registered charity in January 2005.

As raising sufficient funds was proving difficult, the trustees decided to engage a consultant for 3 months and Lisa Connor began work in September 2006. She visited each church, interviewed many young people, led a loud and lively Christian gig for young people in Bexleyheath Academy, and wrote a full report recommending the appointment of a Deanery Youth and Children’s Development Worker. This report went with an application for funding to the Diocese who used money from the Archbishop’s Fund for Mission to make a grant of £25,000/annum for 3 years. Along with other grants this enabled the trust to advertise a full-time post for 3 years.

Interviewing in January 2009 led to the Trust appointing Mrs. Alice Pettit to begin work in September. After visiting all 13 congregations Alice developed quarterly training events on Saturday mornings in different places around the Deanery. These were much appreciated for their content and for the friendships that were made across parish boundaries. At the same time Alice who was already a theology graduate was training for ordination. This led to a stipendiary curacy in Canterbury Diocese from July 2011. Her finale with us was a splendid Children’s Festival at St Augustine’s School in Belvedere.

Left with enough funds to employ someone full-time for only a year, the Synod agreed to employ a new person part-time. Following interviews in June 2011 Jono Erodotou was appointed. Jono left us towards the end of 2012. During 2013 the work continued without a support worker, with volunteers organising a Children’s Festival in May 2013 and meals were arranged bringing together small groups of people working with children and young people at our churches. This led to a more closely defined role being put together, and in January 2014 Laura Webster was appointed as the new part time Support Worker. Laura can be contacted on children@erith.org or 07735 410698