The new curate at Sleaford parish church is leading an initiative to do more work with children and young people in the town.
Italian-born Fr Ruben Angelici moved to Sleaford in July having undergone training in Cambridge.
The 35-year-old priest had worked as a science teacher at a school in a deprived area of rural Lancashire near Burnley, studying for his degree in the USA and the UK.
For this new project he has drawn on his previous experience of working with young people and explained: “There is very little that the church has offered to children and young people. We are there to help them in their transition from children to adolescence and adulthood and we have calculated there are over 3,000 students every day crossing the streets of Sleaford and unless the Church is willing to serve them and be there then we have no right to call ourselves that name.”
With not much in place at the moment, they have been starting from scratch. Fr Angelici has been speaking to schools asking how can the Church help and support their work. Children have been asked to fill in questionnaires on what they would like to see happening at St Denys’ Church, as well as asking how the Church could serve parents better.
To get the ball rolling, the church will open for free crafts activities on Saturday March 19, from 11am to 1.30pm, exploring Easter and the events of Holy Week.
Fr Angelici said: “We are trying to engage children and families in what we are doing. Today, often both parents work and weekends are the only times people are together as a family and we want families to grow together.
There will be games and activities and a hot meal served.”
Fr Angelici wants it to be a safe, fun day for families. He also wants to do something for older children - possibly regular pizza and film nights, and working pastorally as chaplains with year 7 students to aid transition from primary to secondary school, as well as offering support to staff, who, he knew, were under immense pressure to perform.
Another idea is to offer after school homework clubs in the afternoon and lunch time clubs to offer pastoral help and friendship, maybe pupils may feel they are struggling. But he insisted they were keen to fit in with demands.
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