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Church group receives £2,000 to support youngsters
A charity dedicated to supporting church youth work in St Albans has received a £2,000 grant towards providing coffee shop sessions.
The 2:67 Project which aims to encourage young people to engage with God by collaborating with 25 churches across the district, will now be able to run their More? coffee shop sessions for another year.
The coffee shop project, which takes place in The Merchant tea and coffee company in Market Place, provides a place for teenagers to come along and discuss life’s big issues including science and good, being happy and sad, sex and relationships, university and jobs, and life and death.
Mike Palin, founder of the project, said the coffee shop sessions attract around 50 young people aged between 14 and 19 years, where they gain the opportunity to meet youth workers and debate life subjects.
He said: "The coffee shop project is creative and a disarming place for young people to walk in to.
"We aim to have a different flavour and to get kids talking about life’s big issues, which may be tricky or challenging to usually talk about.
"I recognise church is not for everyone and it comes with a lot of stigma and stereotypes. However More? aims to encourage kids to talk about God and Christianity in a different environment."
The project is now in its sixth year and along with eight charity trustees, Mr Palin works with church youth workers to organise weekends away, youth work training and youth work networking.
The activities attract children between seven and 11 years, 11 and 14 years and 14 and 19 years.
Mr Palin says after working as a youth worker for 10 years before founding 2:67 he realised how important it was to equip, encourage and network with youth work in churches.
He said: "I drew up a five year plan and now we are in our sixth year which is quite bizarre. I look forward to expanding 2:67 and am in it for the long haul.
"This grant will go towards funding the coffee shop for another year, which is great and we really appreciate the support."
Mr Palin also plans to expand the coffee shops into Harpenden and has organised a trial month at Cafe Nero in the High Street.
The £2,025 grant has come from Toyota’s Fund for a Better Tomorrow project, which aims to financially support charities, schools and good causes across the country.