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Youth pledge action on spirituality, peace and justice

The Church of England Youth Council – the national representative body exclusively for young adults within the Church – has marked its first anniversary with a full council meeting in Buckinghamshire of more than 30 members from across 17 dioceses.

The Council (CEYC), which aims to enable young people to have a co-ordinated voice within the decision-making structures of the Church, offers seats to two representatives from each diocese. Three representatives of CEYC are then invited to attend General Synod , the Church’s national ‘parliament’, as non-voting members.

The body’s most recent meeting, organised by a dedicated core group of 11 young people, addressed the Government’s Green Paper on young people and the situation in the Middle East. The Council also spent time discussing the Church of England’s Mission Shaped Church report – including reflection on how local parishes are responding to the report’s recommendations and how the Council could help resource young people taking an active part in this process.

A motion was also passed by the Council commenting on elements of Youth Matters, a Government Green Paper issued for consultation last September. The motion outlined how the proposed legislation may apply to young people across the Church, and suggested possible areas for reconsideration on the part of the Government. The Council in particular noted their concern that the paper does not mention spirituality, expressing their desire for the Government to address the importance of this dimension when considering the holistic development of young people.

CEYC also committed to a continuing engagement with the subject of the ongoing conflict in Israel/Palestine, and a desire to readdress the topic at a later date after deeper research and prayer.

The Council’s next meeting is scheduled for April, when the representatives plan to discuss topics including Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, drug and alcohol abuse, and the causes and symptoms of poverty in this country.