Building links with USA – Diocese hosts action-packed youth visit

On CanalA group of young people from our link Diocese of Southwestern Virginia are homeward bound after an action-packed programme of visits across the diocese included a trip on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, visits to some of our most famous beauty spots and worship at a variety of churches.

On the 16 day trip, the students from churches in the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia also visited Whitby, Rievaulx Abbey and York as well as spending  four days in London. Pictured on the London Eye are (left to right}: Lydia, 16, from St John’s Wythville; Caroline, 18, from R.E. Lee Memorial Church Lexington; Elizabeth (above), 17, from St John’s Lynchburg; Isabel (below), 16, from St John’s Roanoke; Anneliese, 16, from Christ Episcopal Church Martinsville; Josie, 17, St James’ Church Roanoke; Dory, 17, from Christ Church Blacksburg; Taylore, 17, from St James’ Roanoke; the Revd Canon Connor Gwin,  and the Revd Whitney Burton from St John’s Roanoke.

With Bishop Toby HowarthWhile here in the diocese the youngsters  and their leaders were hosted by church families in the Bradford and Keighley area, and enjoyed the hospitality of local churches. They met with Bishop Toby Howarth, the Bishop of Bradford (pictured right), as well as Chief Inspector of Bradford Police, and the Deputy Lord Mayor of Bradford  They experienced a variety of worship styles including Taize and Celtic spirituality. At the Diocesan Retreat House, Parcevall Hall in Appletreewick, where they stayed one night, they experienced a Myers Briggs personality test morning with Joint Diocesan Secretary, Debbie Child, while in the inner city they got their hands dirty helping to clean St Christopher’s Church in Holme Wood, Bradford. In Leeds on a multi-cultural day, they visited the Makkah Masjid Mosque in Leeds.

Whether it was staying visiting Bolton Abbeyl, ten pin bowling, a trip on the Worth Valley railway, or Group at Haworthcurry at restaurants in Bradford, the group say they have had a wonderful visit and have thanked all the churches and hosts who welcomed them

Isabel – “I wanted to come on this exchange because Charlotte came to Virginia last year on the exchange and I wanted to return the visit! I loved getting to see all the history in London.”

Dory – “It was good to meet new people and make long lasting friendships. I really enjoyed visitng Whitby, that was fun! I know lots of people on the Youth Mission Team who have been and they said it was really cool.”

Office visitLydia – “My favourite parts of the trip were seeing Westminster Abbey, the National Gallery and the British Museum in London, and the visit to Holmewood in Bradford and meeting the young people there. And the curry!”

Mosque visitElizabeth – “I loved the itinerary because it included things I would never have known to do in the UK. I especially liked visiting all the abbeys."

(Pictured right: the group visit Church House, Leeds)