On a mission to make a difference in Birmingham

Nine new Mission Apprentices are now ready to head out into some of Birmingham’s most deprived parishes to deliver projects and activities that will make a real difference to their communities.

On Sunday, the Mission Apprentices joined friends, family and congregations at St Luke’s Great Colmore Street for a commissioning service performed by the Right Reverend Anne Hollinghurst, Bishop of Aston. They will now take up their roles with parishes in Birmingham – most of which are among the 10% most deprived in the UK.

Allchurches Trust has provided £200,000 funding for the Mission Apprentice scheme, which will see this diverse group work on a wide range of different projects. These include setting up sports ministries, youth services, after school clubs, ministry with young adults and supporting the delivery of dementia-friendly services.

Ricky Sandiford is making a dramatic change – from builder to Mission Apprentice – and can’t wait to get started. He said: “Words cannot describe how excited I am to be involved in the Allchurches Trust Mission Apprentice scheme. This is an amazing opportunity for new church leaders to dip their toe into the calling of ministry, which I thought was beyond me.”

As well as being paid a wage, the Mission Apprentices will benefit from a mentor and a learning and development programme, as well as opportunities to develop their leadership skills and grow in confidence; gaining a wealth of knowledge, skills and experiences along the way.

Peter Mojsa, Grants Officer at Allchurches Trust, said: “The Mission Apprentice scheme is one we are hugely passionate about at Allchurches Trust. The apprentices will have the opportunity to become immersed in the parishes they have been matched with and will be supported to find innovative solutions and deliver activities that address a very real need in the communities they serve. They will also develop their own skills and become even better equipped to make a positive difference to their own lives and the lives of others.”

The Mission Apprentices and the parishes they will serve are:

Chloe Hewett – Holy Cross, Billsley

Fiona Allen - St John and St Michael, Langley

Jody-Ann Frazer – St John and St Peter, Ladywood

Lizzie Steel – Bishop Latimer, Winson Green

Lou Bayliss - St. David’s, Shenley Green

Mandy Widdas - St. Editha’s, Amington

Marie Ford – St. Gabriel’s, Weoley Castle

Ricky Sandford – St Clements, Castle Bromwich

Sian Mehlmann – St Luke’s, Great Colmore Street

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