The purpose of this research project was to explore the image of a relevant Christian faith for the young people at St Aidans church.
Through doing this I was able to draw conclusions and make recommendations to St Aidan’s to effectively respond to the young people in the congregation in addressing their thoughts and opinions regarding what a relevant faith would look like to them and its applications to their daily lives.
I was able to explore this topic by using questionnaires to initially gather data relating to what is relevant to young people at St Aidan’s church and then to more deeply explore those in a focus group and consider how they perceive the Christian faith and how it transfers to their lives, the worries they have and issues they face.
It has been possible to acknowledge two key themes in relation to a relevant faith for the young people; content and presentation. Both aspects were deemed relevant in shaping a relevant faith for young people and are therefore analysed more deeply with reference to their links to wider literature and in correlation with the teachings of Jesus.
It was also possible to highlight the disconnection between a knowledge of faith and how that transfers to their lives outside of the church walls as well as their perceptions of faith through experience at St Aidan’s church.
I have touched on the idea of church as a source for faith as that is what arose out of data gathered, an intrinsic link between faith and church was highlighted and therefore the response of the church has been considered within the image of a relevant faith.
Drawing upon their answers and experiences of church in connection with literature available for other young people, I have been able to identify any discrepancies with their answers and test the validity of what they are saying. This has also highlighted an issue with discipleship and how knowledge of faith is transferred to reality of life.
I have attempted to explore the question from a number of angles to create a more holistic image of what a relevant faith would look like for the young people at St Aidan’s church and considered its implications for practice alongside any recommendations for practice, both specifically for young people and with the church congregation as a whole.
Charlotte studied with MCYM for 3 years achieving a first class BA (Hons) in Youthwork, Communities and Practical Theology