Primate’s office plans youth initiatives

The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada is spearheading a drive to enhance youth involvement in the church through the creation of a special youth network.

Since the start of his primacy, Archbishop Andrew Hutchison has emphasized youth. “Every opportunity he got, he stressed the importance of youth and challenged bishops and church leaders to come up with programs that would result in youth involvement in parishes across the country,” said Archdeacon Paul Feheley, principal secretary to the Primate.

Although it is the policy of the Anglican church to have youth representation on decision making bodies, there is still a disconnect between the church and young people, said, Mr. Feheley.

“However during visits to dioceses and parishes, we realized that youth don’t have any way of gathering together at a national level,” said Mr. Feheley. Hence the idea arose of creating a “Primate’s Youth Network” through which young people could communicate nationally through the Internet.

The plan is still in its initial stages, said Mr. Feheley, explaining that his role “is just to get the word out and setting the pace for future plans—we hope that in early 2005 something more creative would have come out.”

He also noted that the plan is proceeding despite the fact that the national church has no budget to hire a full-time facilitator. The aim is to get dioceses and parishes to own the network, said Mr. Feheley.

Initially Archbishop Hutchison started email conversations with some young people. Their numbers have now grown to an email list with about 75 members, said Mr. Feheley.

Members of the email group, diocesan youth directors and parish youth coordinators will be asked how best the youth network can function and what it should be, he said.

Organizations that already deal with young Anglicans such as Ask&Imagine, will also be consulted, said Mr. Feheley.

Interested in keeping up-to-date on news, opinion, events and resources from the Anglican Church of Canada? Sign up for our email alerts .