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FAST Bishop’s Award for 13-16 year olds launched
October 30, 2016 @ 8:00 am
FAST – Faith And Service Together Award Launched at Synod
A new, practical service Bishop’s Award for 13-16 year olds has now been launched. It involves young parishioners actively helping others in church and community to demonstrate both faith and service.
Teenagers are asked to undertake specific tasks in 10 sessions during the school year.
Those tasks will be decided between them and their leader (usually the Rector) before they start.
Launching the new initiative at the Synod recently, Reverend Susan Green, member of the Board of Religious Education, said that many young people are already helping out in practical ways in their parishes and that this award is to reward, encourage and acknowledge what is already happening in many places.
A Bit Like the Gaisce President’s Award
“The young person doesn’t get points for going to church but each time the young person completes an action in one of the decided areas it is signed off by the leader – a bit like in the Gaisce President’s Award, with which young people are familiar.
Examples of the tasks could include helping with the coffee rota, play the music, read the lessons, stacking the chairs – very practical things.”
Helping others is the goal
The second aspect of the award is community-based.
“This again would be agreed between the young person and the leader and could involve with GFS or BB or visiting elderly people, or tidying up or helping with the sports team. The basic criterion here is that it’s for the benefit of other people, not for the young people themselves.”
When the 10 sessions are completed the young person is asked to write a short reflection about their experience of doing the work.
“It’s not a test, rather to show that, in some way, they are connecting their faith and their action together and their thinking about these.”
Certificates will be awarded in parish churches on Pentecost Sunday.
“The Award scheme is ideal for both parishes with youth clubs and for those parishes who have only a small number of young people,” Susan says.
“It is also designed for those with special needs.”
Names of those who would like to participate as soon as possible to your Rector.
Note: This is separate to the essay-based Bishop’s Medal Competitions for school-goers and adults.