St Mary's Uttoxeter

Uttoxeter Area of Parishes Young People’s Trust

3 Jun 2023 • Articles


This month I’d like to focus on the work of the Uttoxeter Area of Parishes Young People’s Trust. Some of you will know it as ‘Youth Trust’ but having checked the paperwork we have been calling it by the wrong name for at least the last 12 years!

The Young People’s Trust was set up before my time (so before August 2011) to fund youth work around the Area. Many individuals and PCCs kindly donated to the fund, and several still do, to the amount of £840 per annum. Up until Rev. Sue Willetts left the Area in 2016 the fund was well-used, paying for venue hire, activities and days away at Dovedale House. We also had two leaders in Sue and Andy Willetts who had experience in running youth work and they were aided by a group of enthusiastic people who volunteered at these events and largely made up the Board of Trustees for the charity. It went to pot a bit after they moved on, as we struggled to find people with the time and skills to carry on Sue’s work.

However, that has now changed, with the Trust recently finding a new lease of life in supporting activities for young people around the Area and indeed the Deanery, and also joining with three other local churches in providing finance for a Christian Youth worker, Jordan Lambert. Jordan was invited to a Trust meeting to tell us about what he has been doing. His work is quite extensive, going into most of the town and village First and Middle schools to work with the young people around worship and faith issues. Jordan has been doing this work for six years locally and in the past the Anglicans have not got involved. However, Jordan started his third 3-year cycle in September 2022 and from September 2023 we will be contributing an equal ¼ share of the c.£26000 annual cost of employing Jordan (c. £6500). The other churches involved are the URC, the Methodists and the Renew Pentecostal church. Rev. Margaret has joined the management committee that supervises Jordan.

As of 31/12/22 the Trust had £29309 in its account, so at the moment we have enough money. However, if Jordan (or his successor) continues for a fourth term we will need to consider how to

raise more funds to meet this ongoing cost. Secondly, as a sign of good intent, the Trust offered to pay the excess for Jordan’s scheme of giving a selection box to every Primary and Middle school aged child in the Uttoxeter area, along with the members of staff. This amounted to £1193.00. Thirdly, the Trust significantly funded (£440) the Saltmine Theatre visit to two schools (St. Mary’s Uttoxeter and Ryecroft, Rocester) with their production of Bob Hartman’s The Rhyming Bible. This took place in February 2023 and other schools were able to join in as well. The reviews and feedback have been fantastic. The Trust hopes to link in with any future productions from Saltmine so that as many schools in the area as possible can benefit from this innovative expression of the Christian faith. Fourthly, the Trust has made a £200 donation to Open The Book, which is run through Churches Together Uttoxeter, and, fifthly, has offered to fund start-up costs for Cinema Church at Christ Church, Upper Tean, which is in the planning stages.

This all adds up to a breath of new life for the Uttoxeter Area of Parishes Young People’s Trust and we are hugely grateful to all those who have contributed in the past, contribute in the present and hopefully will contribute in the future.

Peace and prayers, Joe (Team Vicar, Uttoxeter Area of Parishes and – slightly incompetently -Uttoxeter Area of Parishes Young People’s Trust Secretary)