• Matt Ager

Locked Down...or unlocking a new season?

Reality hasn't really bitten yet; it still feels like we're in the throes of a Bank Holiday weekend so the prospect of being confined to our homes for a considerable time hasn't sunken in yet for anyone in my house. For this, I'm thankful.

Okay, so in terms of our function as CYO, it's quite interesting at the moment; we're a schools working charity - and unless you've been in a cave for the past week, we're not allowed in schools anymore. The Local Authority have made it perfectly clear that it would be irresponsible for them to ask (and us to offer) for the forseeable future. This is quite a tough pill to swallow because, despite that our largest secondary school in the area with 1,400 on their books has only 25 kids in it, there will be a degree of mentoring, support and nurture needed over the coming weeks. It's the right decision though, however hard it is to accept.

So, what are we going to do with our time over the coming weeks? Be excited folks, because have a lot in store:

Developing course material

Myself and Olive, for several months, have wanted to expand on the mentoring courses we have written by adding new material and initiatives. This has never been possible due to a lack of time, so we're looking forward to seeing creative juices flow..!


We all enjoy attending courses throughout the year, as well as reading up on new ideas, but this again is something we struggle to work around a typical week's schedule. Research is often seen as an 'optional extra' in the lives of busy people; our hope is that we can turn the tide on this myth by seeing how productive our research times can be.

Video conferencing

That sounds WAY posher than it will be...but we'll be staying in touch as a team to encourage, pray together and see how life is going during lockdown. The added benefit of an internet video chat is you can wear what you like from the waist down..!


We continue to produce information for our trustees and this term will be no exception. We shall look forward to updating them (and you) as to how things are going, and to share initiatives and plans for the future.

Website resources

We're looking into providing primary and secondary-aged materials on our website, so we'll see how that goes. This will be largely gleaned from courses and projects we have recently run, so watch this space.

Big Step

We're due to visit all primary school children, as we do every summer term, to introduce me and hand over the "It's Your Move" booklet to each one as part of our Big Step project. We're not sure how this is going to go at the moment, so we're looking at alternative solutions to handle the issue. Furthermore, we rely on support from local churches and individuals to fund the book purchases (roughly £1500), so we need to see what will come from that...especially as we've already ordered the books!


Wonderful Sarah joins the team from 20th April...what an interesting start! We will be working closely together (not literally, obviously!) at the start of the summer term, but do pray that these uncertain times will not hamper the beginning of a new season with Sarah on the team.

Who knows..?

I have no doubt that, as the weeks unfold, we will discover other ways to grow in our abilities and opportunities to seek more of God's will in anticipation of returning to normality in the coming months. One thing is for sure though: we will make the most of the time we are in; and we pray that this will not be a time of thumb-twiddling, but a time of recharging, restoration and revival.

Thanks to you all for your support - please keep praying for us, because we haven't gone anywhere!!

07771 593506
St. Michael's Church House
St. Michael's Lane, Braintree, Essex, CM7 1HY
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Registered Charity, No. 1073418
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