Festo and Grace Kanungha, Britain
Supporting and resourcing local churches in their ministry to children and young people, working closely with St Martin’s Liskeard
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Cornwall is a place of contrasts, with rich second homes, tourism and natural beauty alongside severe deprivation and spiritual poverty. Working with St Martin’s Church, we focus on children, young people and families, prioritising meeting people’s need for Jesus. With that as our starting point, we hope to also begin to meet people’s physical and emotional needs.
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Festo and Grace’s story
We have always believed that God’s call on us is to work to see lives transformed by his love. Festo has a background in education and I have a background in youth work and we are offering our experience and skills to God to use in his transforming mission.
Liskeard has the highest crime rate for southeast Cornwall and is also one of the most deprived areas. For most people, universal credit is a way of life and the foodbank a regular feature. Added to that is the spiritual poverty that exists across Cornwall and especially in Liskeard.
We hope to mobilise St Martin’s Liskeard and other local churches to serve the needs of the community, reaching the missing generations with the love of Jesus and welcoming them into the Kingdom of God and his Church.
On a day-to-day basis, this means oversight of St Martin’s children’s, youth and schools work, adapting and building on it, working closely with other organisations with a similar passion, such as South West Youth Ministries (SWYM). We have introduced new initiatives such as Kids Matter, a parenting course which helps us to reach people who would otherwise have no contact with the church, and Transforming Lives for Good, a coaching programme which supports children and young people.
Some of our time is spent rethinking what we want children’s, youth and families work to look like in the church post-COVID. Our role is to innovate ways of reaching children, young people and their families and then share those practices across southeast Cornwall to mobilise the wider Church to reach out in these areas of ministry.
We put considerable effort into increasing the presence of the church in the lives of young families. This means a great focus on schools work but also events throughout the summer in the town’s park, free and open to all, giving parents something to take their children to and for us, opportunities for building relationships and starting conversations about faith.
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