Well last night it happened, myself and 3 others were licensed by the Bishop of Reading as Youth Ministers. We were at St Laurences and had a really good time, Bishop Stephen was on top form as usually with a very challenging message and the whole service was just really enjoyable. Needles to say its great, I have been waiting for several years to be able to do something like this so it is good to now finally be recognised in my ministry by the wider Church of England. It is great that the diocese here has such a form of licensing and although it was quite hard work to get through it was worth while. Now for the Church of England as a whole when are you going to get your act together, when is there going to be a centrally recognised form of licensing for those of us involved in youth ministry, who have worked and trained to get where we are, some form of recognition like for lay readers/licensed lay minsters. As things stand at the moment (at least to my understanding) if you dont study at an Anglican recognised collage you cant be licensed (at least on the basis of your qualification alone) to minister in the Church of England, but none of those collages that are recognised offer any training in youth work. Now even if this were to change I didnt primarily specialise in youth work so I would have still needed to put in some extra work and that is fine and perfectly acceptable but there are still diocese that dont offer any kind of recognition of Youth ministers and that is wrong, its time that the powers that be came up with some form of recognition throughout the denomination not just down to individual diocese.
End of rant
Thanks though to all those involved in planning and running last night!