Diocese of Portsmouth

    Sixteen-year-old preaches to teenagers at latest High Tide event

    Children and Young People
    25 Feb. 2023

    SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD Oscar Mellers was given the responsibility of preaching to his teenage friends at the latest High Tide event – and rose to the challenge.

    He spoke at the High Tide West youth service, which brought together church youth groups from across the Fareham and Gosport areas for hot dogs, pizza, games, worship and prayer. Dozens of teenagers came to Holy Rood Church, Stubbington, for their February service. It’s the latest in a series of High Tide events helping to disciple young people from our churches.

    Oscar, who goes to The Wave Church in Gosport, spoke about Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee and related it to his own experiences. Those who had gathered from local churches of all denominations were aged 11 to 18, meaning he was younger than some of those he was speaking to.

    “I have preached before at my church and I love it,” he said. “I was given this passage from the Bible to preach from and it really resonated with me. I was a bit nervous because I was talking to people who are my age, including my brother. But I do feel called to use God’s Word. I’ve been coming to High Tide West since it started and found it really helpful.”

    Playing games at High Tide West in Stubbington
    Teenagers enjoy the worship at High Tide West
    Teenagers and youth leaders pray for Oscar Mellers before he preaches
    Oscar Mellers preaches about Jesus calming the storm
    Oscar Mellers speaking to teenagers at High Tide West
    Teenager pray together at the end of the High Tide West youth service

    High Tide is a gathering of church youth groups of all denominations, who meet for monthly youth services and residential holidays. It began in Portsmouth in 2018, bringing together those aged 11 to 18 from a variety of churches.

    Last year, a new series of High Tide youth services began in the Fareham and Gosport area, and were christened ‘High Tide West’. Those who meet in Portsmouth and Havant are now called ‘High Tide Central’. The two groups meet each summer in the grounds of Portchester Castle.

    Last year’s residentials included a weekend on the Isle of Wight in April, and a four-day summer activity holiday in a school in Surrey in August. The High Tide summer residential this year will cater for up to 100 young people in two separate weeks at the same school - Luckley House, near Wokingham. Anyone aged 11 to 18 can sign up to attend here.

    The next High Tide West event takes place on March 11, when teenagers will gather from 5:30pm at Fareham Leisure Centre for ‘United’, which includes inflatable fun and sports. Details of that event and the chance to sign up are here.

    The next High Tide West youth service takes place on March 17, at St Mary's Church, Rowner. Details of that event and the chance to sign up are here.