Celebrating Contemporary Research of UK Ministry with Children & Families

Sarah Holmes

Written by Sarah Holmes
on 9th July 2024

We had a great time on Friday morning, as over 50 people gathered on zoom for the inaugural conference celebrating research amongst children and family ministry, hosted by the CYM Research Centre. You can still sign up on the CYM website to access the ppts and recordings.

Sarah Holmes (CYM Director of Research) began the morning by reflecting on her journey of understanding the place of research - initially she had viewed research as an xray to see more clearly what is already present. But more recently, she has been thinking about how research aids in depth understanding and informing of all of the parts of the 'ecosystem' of children and family ministry. So she emphasised the importance of researching this ministry area and making the findings available so that they can inform practice.

Gareth Crispin (ForMission) then presented the keynote, entitled: ‘Symphonic church: tuning the church for youth, children and families ministry.’ In this, he explained and unpacked his understanding of intergenerational church and relationships within church. Some really challenging and inspiring thoughts. Do log in and have a listen!

We also had presentations from Ann Casson about researching in a cathedral and Mary Hawes about intergenerational ministry in the UK. There were also some practical insights about journeying from an MA dissertation idea to academic article from Emma Olorenshaw and about the methodological and ethical considerations of researching Christian support for traumatic childhood experiences from Rachel Bunting.

There was a ‘Research News’ segment which highlighted the Hand in Hand conference happening in Birmingham in Feb 2025, opportunities to be involved in Robin Barfield’s research about the use of Godly Play in the UK, and Sarah Holmes’ Taking the Pulse research which is now inviting young people to comment on the findings before they are shared widely. Emma Coy also gave us some highlights of the Growing Faith Foundation Digest - do have a read for yourself! And we finished off the morning with a panel discussion about some of the practical considerations if you are developing your own research interests - Thanks to Sarah Brush and Ann Casson for discussing these issues with us.

The recordings of all of these wonderful talks and discussions are available on the CYM website, so we’d encourage you to dip in and have a watch – you’ll find yourself inspired and challenged in equal measure!

As always, do get in touch with Sarah Holmes if you have any queries or ideas to discuss.


Important information regarding CYM HE courses as of September 2024

Important information regarding CYM HE courses as of September 2024

Please note we have suspended all new recruitment to Higher Education courses delivered by CYM, in partnership with Birmingham Newman University, with effect from July 2024.

Sarah Fegredo - Chair of Trustees

11th July 2024

Come celebrate with us!

Come celebrate with us!

Are you interested in what is effective in children's ministry? Are you fascinated by what others are doing amongst families and keen to learn from them? Do you want to know what good practice is happening?

Sarah Holmes - Director of Research

12th June 2024

Taking the Pulse of Ministry with Children, Youth & Families

Taking the Pulse of Ministry with Children, Youth & Families

"Listening to younger generations....91% of family workers said their church does not include families in decisions about ministry with children & youth; 89% of children's workers said that children were not included in decisions and 60% of youth workers said youth were not included in decisions."

Sarah Holmes - Director of Research

21st May 2024

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