Teenagers deepen discipleship on summer trip

    Children and Young People
    18 Aug. 2023

    TEENAGERS from across our diocese deepened their discipleship on a fun-packed summer holiday.

    Forty young people aged between 11 and 18 spent five days on the High Tide summer residential, held at Luckley House School in Surrey. They enjoyed mountain-biking, archery, baking, pottery, and an escape room. They threw powder paint in the air as part of a paint party, and slid along a water slide on an inflatable ring. There was also a zipwire, a murder mystery, a silent disco and a firepit.

    They worshipped God every morning and evening, learning new songs and being given the chance to pray for each other. And they had the chance to talk about their faith each day in smaller groups based on their ages.

    Each day had a different theme, with Christmas, Easter and Pentecost being celebrated on three of the five days. Day 2 involved Christmas crackers, the exchange of Christmas presents and a full-scale Christmas dinner. Day 3 included a series of activities that took the young people through Jesus's life - his miracles, his teaching, his death and his resurrection. They were also invited to write down prayer requests and fix them to a wooden cross, symbolically asking Jesus to help with each issue.

    Day 4 included the chance to make Pentecost-themed biscuits in the shape of fire - one of the symbols of the Holy Spirit. They also used potters' clay to create their sculptures, reminding them of the Biblical idea that God shapes our lives like clay. The final day included the chance to be commissioned as evangelists, and to decorate a candle that they could light to recall what they had learned.

    The water slide involved being pulled along a soapy track on an inflatable ring
    The teenagers create their own course of ramps and jumps in the mountain biking

    Ruby Martin, aged 12, from Church of the Good Shepherd, Crookhorn, said: "I really enjoyed the residential and it made me reflect on how I am growing my relationship with Jesus and God. The worship was amazing, because there were active sessions, like writing what you are thankful for.

    "My favourite morning activity was the SunWake, because it got me energised and ready for the day. My favourite evening activity was the silent disco because they had three different categories of music. I loved it and would definitely do it again." 

    Sharn Huggins, 16, from the same church said: "Me and Ruby really enjoyed the colour paint party. It looked amazing and was such fun, And the team exercise, where we had to work together to put the ball in the bucket on the first day was fun."

    Her sister Ruby Huggins, 13, said: "The small groups were good, and it was nice that we were in the same groups as others who were our age. The talks were good, and it was a great idea that we spent a different day on each story, and everything we did was based on it, such as craft activities, baking and so on."

    And Abbie Bacon, aged 13, from St Jude's Church, Southsea, said: "It really helped me to grow spiritually and I made some good friends. I enjoyed the powder paint party because it's not something you do all the time. And I liked the worship time too."

    Concentrating on the clay pottery activity
    The exchange of Christmas presents sometimes produced surprises

    The 40 young people come from church youth groups of all denominations across our diocese. They meet regularly for High Tide youth services, once a month at a different church each time. This is the third time they've been away for a residential in the past 18 months, with previous visits to the Isle of Wight in April 2022 and to Luckley House School in August 2022.

    This residential was organised by the paid and volunteer youth leaders in each church, working with the Christian organisation Scripture Union. Among the churches involved in our area are Church of the Good Shepherd, Crookhorn; St Mary's, Portchester; St Faith's, Lee-on-the-Solent; Holy Rood, Stubbington; Emsworth Baptist; Christ Central, Portsmouth; St Margaret's, Southsea; St George's, Waterlooville; St John’s, Fareham; and St Jude's, Southsea.

    The next High Tide youth service happens on September 15, at Christ Central Church, Shore Avenue, Portsmouth, from 7pm-9pm. As usual, there will be games, worship, teaching and prayer. Find out more here.

    An amazing paint party involved powder paint being thrown all over the teenagers
    Worship was a big part of the five-day trip
    Leaders prayed with the young people, who were also encouraged to join in with praying for others

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