Young Adults Meet and Greet with Bishop Martyn

Eating pizza and pondering the important questions of life, faith, relationships and culture, were high on the agenda when the Young Adults group from the Church of the Martyrs in Leicester invited Bishop Martyn along to one of their gatherings recently.

The ‘meet and greet’ was a great opportunity for students and young people who live and worship in this intercultural church community to come together and share a little of what life is like for young Christians in the city.  

Gathering at the student accommodation in Upperton Road, the evening began with games, before the bishop was taken on a tour of the ‘digs’.

It was a ‘memorable experience’ of good food and good conversation, as the young people spent the evening connecting with Bishop Martyn and one another.

Sangeetha is one of our diocesan Ministry Experience Scheme (MES) youth participants and currently on an internship at the Church of the Martyrs. She helped to make the arrangements for Bishop Martyn’s visit and is walking alongside the group, sharing in their faith journeys.

“It was a great occasion,” she says. “Bishop Martyn and the young adults spent the evening learning from each other through shared experiences, insights, and perspectives on faith, life, and culture.”

The Martyrs Young Adults group meets regularly for fun activities, lively discussion and to explore faith together. They also tend to go along to the church’s Wednesday gatherings and Sunday evening services, which are held café-style, featuring intercultural worship.

“Whether students and young adults want to learn more about the Bible, meet new friends, or share their own experiences, we welcome every student,” says Sangeetha. “Our aim is to foster a warm and inclusive atmosphere where young adults can develop spiritually, build connections, and enjoy each other’s company.”

Sangeetha says it’s important for young adults to have gatherings like these for their faith and fellowship because it provides a supportive community where they can explore and deepen their faith, ask questions, and share experiences with others who are at a similar stage of life.

“These gatherings helps young adults navigate the challenges and uncertainties they may face whilst fostering personal growth and spiritual development,” she says. “Additionally, it allows them to build meaningful relationships with peers who can support and uplift them on their journey of faith.”

The young people really enjoyed meeting Bishop Martyn and felt inspired by his words of encouragement.
Shobha Gosa, Intercultural Pioneer Minister at the church, says: “I believe that young adult ministries, which prioritise genuine conversations with young adults, have been effective in fostering meaningful connections. Bishop Martyn’s approach of engaging with students from diverse faith backgrounds in a friendly manner is truly admirable, and it’s heartening to hear that his conversations have had a positive impact.

“Despite such positive experiences, it's worth noting that not all individuals hold positive associations with church, particularly those belonging to the younger Generation Z. This highlights the need for more inclusion and diversity in church communities to ensure that everyone feels welcome and valued.”

Speaking after the gathering, Bishop Martyn said: “I was so encouraged to see the spirit of curiosity and learning among this diverse group of young adults.
"It was a real privilege to receive their hospitality and welcome. And it was great to be reminded that in the midst of all the changes going on the world, young people today are searching for purpose and meaning in the same way as previous generations.
“The question for me is whether we as a church are willing to journey alongside young people and share the Gospel with humility and generosity.”

First published on: 16th May 2024
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