Diocese of Portsmouth

    Church youth groups gather in historic castle grounds

    Children and Young People
    26 July 2022

    YOUTH leaders brought together church youth groups from Stubbington to Emsworth, and from Purbrook to Portsmouth in the grounds of Portchester Castle for an end-of-year celebration.

    ‘High Tide at Portchester Castle’ was a celebration of all God has done in the past year of High Tide youth services. These regular events bring together church youth groups for games, worship, prayer and input in a variety of local venues.  

    This celebration brought together around 100 young people aged 11-18 for an incredible evening of exhilarating games, live music, barbecue food – and the chance to encounter God.

    On a perfect summer’s evening, they duelled in inflatable sumo suits, rode a mechanical bucking bronco, designed their own mugs, and enjoyed the Big Noise samba band. Volunteers from the charity Spirit in Sport provided a variety of sports challenges, and the St Mary’s Tea Rooms cooked burgers and sausages.

    Crookhorn youth leaders Clare and Nathan Hargreaves led team games that involved teenagers dousing each other with water – a relief, given how hot it was. Then a worship band from St Mary’s, Portchester, led a time of worship on a stage constructed outside the church.

    They heard from 19-year-old Storm Hargreaves, originally from Church of the Good Shepherd, Crookhorn, about her time serving God in the Middle East. She challenged the young people to believe that they too can hear and respond to God’s voice.

    As this was the final youth service before school holidays, they ended with an after-party – with a Spanish DJ, Jesus Macchia, playing some tunes inside the historic St Mary’s Church.

    Playing games with water in the grounds of Portchester Castle
    A worship band from St Mary's, Portchester, outside the historic church
    Young people from church youth groups across the area praise God

    Dom DeBoo, youth leader at St Jude's Church, Southsea, said: "We launched these monthly youth services four years ago with a vision to bring together Christian young people across the area. Having met on Zoom through the pandemic, the number of churches and teenagers involved has grown so much over the last eighteen months.

    "It’s a privilege to see teenagers being inspired to develop their faith and to serve our communities. I’m proud that they support and care for each other too, and are forming amazing friendships across churches and denominations.

    "At the High Tide residential weekend in April, we challenged them to be the church leaders of the future, and it’s a privilege to see that start to happen. It’s exciting to be involved in their development as Christians."

    Children and Young People

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