Our Intern for 2022: Bailey, reflects on his 12 months here at Holy Nativity.
As Bailey moves on from his year as the ‘Mixi Intern’ we asked him to look back and tell us about the highlights of being our intern and to reflect on what the year has meant for him.
One of the things I’ve really enjoyed this year is the opportunity to learn about schools and youth work.
Almost the first thing I did as an intern was the harvest festival at our community school. I presented a talk about the parable of the Sower. Robb let me plan and deliver it myself and was on hand to give me advice and encouragement to try whatever I wanted, no matter how messy or mad an idea.
My favourite bit of work with the school would have to be the times we spent with the kids in church, whether at Harvest, Remembrance or Christmas. I’ll never forget the 8 Christingle services Robb and I did with the children in church. Retelling the nativity story using volunteers from each class meant it was different every time and always presented a different challenge; Let’s not talk about the time I almost forgot baby Jesus!
It was so good to see the children really enjoying being with us and helping them better understand that church is a place they can feel at home. I’ve loved bumping into them in the street and hearing them still asking questions about the things we talked about.
As well as the work Holy Nativity does in school; every Tuesday in term time we run our youth group for children in school years 5 to 9.
As Mixi Intern I’ve done so many fun things with the youth group every week it’s hard to list them all. I’ve learned that glitter is great for craft activities but gets everywhere (and I also learned a lot about how much hard work goes in to cleaning a church as a result!) and we’ve had some great trips and events including bowling, crazy golf, water fights, BBQ’s and a summer camping trip to Whitby. It was inspiring to be a part of the kids having some amazing experiences. I will never forget seeing the kids faces light up on a boat trip in Whitby where we saw dolphins playing in the wild around the boat. Truly a memory I will cherish.
I also gained experience working with the pre-schoolers at Stay and Play. It was really challenging but fun trying to simplify bible stories so toddlers can understand and engage with them.
The church pantry has been a major part of my internship year and it really fills my heart with joy seeing the church help so many families where they need it most.
Working with different community partners as well as local businesses and supermarkets has helped me to understand how the church can work together with other local organisations in the interests of the community. The internship has taught me a lot about community work, teamwork and working with volunteers and I can’t thank everyone enough for supporting me.
My internship year has also been a great opportunity to study, to deepen my faith and to gain experience of leading worship
I remember the first time I led a service. Despite having been in church for years I didn’t feel confident at all; it’s one thing to know when to stand and sit, it’s another to remember to tell everyone else to do it! After a year of having the opportunity to lead different services I can confidently say that one of the best things about Holy Nativity is they love you no matter what and will support you to learn even if that does include the occasional mistake.
I have found Sermons to be my biggest challenge but again, people at Holy Nativity have supported, advised and encouraged me to grow and I’ve grown as a preacher because of everyone’s support and advice.
Throughout the year I have joined Blackburn diocese’s urban evangelism course called Mpower. This course was created to inspire and teach people how to evangelise in urban estates and through it I have really solidified my faith and felt my calling towards this type of ministry. It was great to discuss where different people are on their faith journey and how they came to Christ.
Thank you …
So – what a year it has been; So many different experiences, surprises and challenges that have been thrown at me but always with a supportive church family around me. God called me to serve this community with everything I have and I certainly feel like I achieved that.
Now as I go off to university, I know that Holy Nativity will always hold a special place in my heart because its not only a church it is also my family. I have created such great bonds with many people and thank you all so much for giving me this opportunity. I know that God is calling me to serve him and that has really been solidified this past year. I’m sure this won’t be the last you all see of me but as I leave all I can say is Thank You and God Bless.