Friday, 30 September 2011

Young People at St Paul’s – It’s Not All Sweets and Coffee Shops!

StPaulsCamberleyYouthJumping Youth Director, Sarah Percival, has been at St Paul’s for over a year now. A good opportunity then to interview her, and get an update on what activities are on offer for young people.

Sarah on Sarah

Sarah is full time staff, backed by a tremendous team of volunteers. She said her first year as Youth Director had been pretty intense, hitting the ground running, but had been fun. Personally, she has been experiencing life at Sandhurst RMA and had done a coastal photography course.

What’s Been Happening?

Sarah has been meeting at coffee shops with a group of year 7-8 girls, to chat about the bible. I asked her how do you chat about the bible in a coffee shop? She says: “You just sit down, have a coffee, have a chat about the bible, and pray. It’s great, I’m all for coffee shops”.

Rock (for 13-18 year olds) has met at Starbucks and St Paul’s, alternate weeks. So one week it’s chilled out coffee, and the next it could be table tennis. We call it “Rock@Bucks”.

Evening Cell is for young people who have a Christian faith, and want to explore it further. They have started to take more of a lead planning and running and the group themselves, with discussions and worship.

Youth Alpha at Freezone was an experiment this year, integrating the Youth Alpha format into Freezone. Talks, a chilled out discussion zone and free puddings were the essential ingredients to make this a success. Freezone is a Thursday evening outreach group for year 6-8 young people. Youth Alpha is an introduction to Christianity, which includes a talk, food and discussion.


What groups are available for young people at St Paul’s?

You don’t have to be a Christian to take part in the young peoples groups. Sarah says: “A great place to come if you aren’t yet a Christian is Freezone or Rock. They are just really chilled, and not intimidating. Come along and get to know people, and if you enjoy that, come along to Cell.”

  • Freezone (year 6-8) meet at St Paul’s on Thursday 7-8.30pm for manic fun. There is a bible talk, then sports, games, activities or crafts, and lots of fun.
  • Rock (13-18 year olds) is on Friday evening, in town or at St Paul’s. A time to hang out and chill, have fun and chat about God and the bible. Nice place to go and meet new friends in the evening.
  • Youth Alpha (Secondary school age) at St Paul’s on Wednesdays from 6-8pm is a great place to have a meal together. There will be a short talk about the basics of the Christian faith, then a chance to have your say.

At church on Sundays, there are:-

  • Morning Cell (year 7-9) at St Paul’s at 11.15am for bible study, worship, young peoples talk and jellybeans!
  • Evening Cell (year 10+) 6-7.30pm hang out in the kitchen at St Paul’s with tea and coffee, then watch a DVD, pray, worship and check out the bible.

CamberleyYouthSt Paul’s work closely with Camberley Youth for Christ (CYFC), along with many churches in Camberley. CYFC run self-esteem programmes, anger management, listening programmes and activity clubs.


What Would Sarah Change at St Paul’s?

A cappuccino machine would round things off nicely she said. I guess that should be no surprise, given the amount of times she mentioned coffee in our interview. But it’s not all coffee and sweets at St Paul’s. It’s a great place to explore more about what life is all about, alongside chilling with friends.


Sarah says the vision for young people for the next year is: “for young people to be met by someone at St Paul’s, to hear to gospel, a nd to know Jesus loves them, and to learn how to live in a way that reflects that, and to go out and change the world because of it.”

For more information on youth work at St Paul’s, Sarah may be contacted at or telephone 01276 700210.

To hear more, listen to the full interview…