Christian youth worker from Newham lands Church of England role
PUBLISHED: 14:54 01 September 2016
A youth worker has made history as the Church of England’s (CofE) first youth evangelism officer.
Jimmy Dale, 30, will leave his role as leader at Newham Youth for Christ (NYC) to develop and pilot methods of witnessing to the young.
Jimmy, who lives in Field Road, Forest Gate, says he will begin his role in October and is still taking the “surreal” news in.
“I’m so excited,” he said. “I am really looking forward to working alongside people across the country as we seek to support and promote where youth evangelism is working well, as well as dreaming together of new ways to reach young people with the gospel.”
Working with the church’s Mission and Public Affairs Division (MPA) and the National Education Office of the Archbishops’ Council, Jimmy will help young people spread the message of Christianity to their friends, evaluating the effectiveness of different models.
The director of MPA, Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, welcomed the announcement of the appointment in August, saying it represented a new way of thinking about faith in the church.
“I am very pleased that we have appointed Jimmy Dale to this important new post,” he said. “It represents a creative response to the priority of youth evangelism which combines the resources of the education office and the MPA and will start to address the challenges of reaching out to a generation which can confound our assumptions about how they see the world, the church and the gospel.”
For now, Jimmy is focusing on the legacy he’ll leave at NYC after learning his leadership skills at St Mark’s Church in Lorne Road, Forest Gate.
But the CofE’s chief education officer, Rev Nigel Genders, thinks he’ll excel in the role.
“We are delighted to welcome Jimmy to bring a specific focus on youth evangelism to this work and look forward to working with others across the church,” he said.