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Youth church praised for its precious work by the Archbishop of York

First published on: 21st May 2024

Sorted, the Bradford youth church, was visited by Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell for a live event which saw thousands of young people nationwide say the Lord’s Prayer together.

The Prayer, hosted by presenters from The Way UK, aimed to do a live link-up across the country to encourage youth groups as part of the worldwide initiative Thy Kingdom Come.

Archbishop Stephen’s visit came ahead of a Church of England report that shows how strategic funding of £60 million in 2023 prioritised doubling the numbers of children and young people, and revitalising parishes for mission.

Sorted, a long-standing Bishop’s Mission Order for young people, was selected to be one of the key venues in the North for The Prayer. 

Describing Sorted as a ‘Fabulous youth church’, the Archbishop said: “What I’ve seen here is not just young people learning about their faith but young people leading in the church.”

Gathering at St John’s, Greengates, on Pentecost Sunday, May 19, young people were able to hear from the Archbishop as he spoke about prayer being a bit like filling up a car, a lot like breathing and much more like being in the presence of someone who loves you. 

After the live link-up, two members of Sorted interviewed the Archbishop. He told them: “What you’re doing here at Sorted is creating a space where younger people can feel that the church belongs to them, they can have their say, have their influence and not just grow in faith but grow in leadership.” He added, “What you’re doing is really important, precious and beautiful.”

Sorted operates across the north of Bradford, offering wellbeing to young people at senior school; facilitating after school clubs and hosting two large social gatherings every Friday night. Those who are curious about faith are invited to Sorted on Sunday.

In true Bradford style, the Archbishop and his Chaplain the Rev Dr Jenny Wright were taken for a curry by the young people who are part of the Sorted Church Council, together with the small army of volunteers who are vital to the charity.

The Revd Canon Tracy Milne, one of the founders of Sorted, said: “It’s been an amazing experience for our young people and volunteers and we’re grateful to the Archbishop for taking the time to inspire and encourage us.”


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