Training programme helps young adults link faith and work

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Daniel SimpsonDaniel Simpson, a United Reformed Church (URC) Youth Assembly member, has taken up an opportunity which allows him to explore his vocation, gain an invaluable professional experience and grow his faith.

The Methodist Internship Programme helps those aged 21-26 to make links between faith and the working life of a vibrant and busy work place.

Having been told about the programme by URC Youth Assembly colleagues, Daniel, 21, jumped at the chance to take part. Here, he explains what it has been like in his own words:

“The Methodist’s ONE Internship programme, I’ve been given the opportunity to work as a researcher for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Housing Commission for the next year.

“I have attended URC Youth Assembly since I was 15 and it was there that my faith was solidified. I got the opportunity to bring forward motions about important social issues, and I discovered that religion could, and should, be political. It was even through people I’d met at Youth Assembly that I heard about this scheme.

“Alongside policy suggestions, the Commission will help congregations to respond to the housing needs of their local area. Because of this, my research goes beyond reading - I get to go and see the great projects which already exist, to see what’s working well and create a toolkit for other churches.

“The Commission is ambitious, so working ecumenically is important: we’re stronger together. I spend one day a week with the Joint Public Issues Team - the voice of the URC, Methodists, Baptist Union and Church of Scotland.

“I’m really honoured to be doing this, and I wouldn’t have got this opportunity without the URC., I really hope to achieve some change.

“With that in mind, I ask this genuinely: what is the URC - in synods or local churches - doing to relieve the housing crisis we’re in? If you know of good projects, I would really appreciate hearing about them, so that we can equip others to do similar work.

“But I also ask: what more could we be doing? The last time that General Assembly passed a motion on the housing crisis was 1984. With more joined-up thinking, the URC could potentially make a huge difference to people’s lives.

“One part of the solution may be our real estate. I have been impressed by the approach of the Methodist Church. Their Conference called for all decisions around property to consider mission before money. This has led congregations, among other things, to provide social housing. Is a similarly clear approach something that we should consider?

“If you have an answer to my questions, or want to find out more about the commission, please do get in touch with me through our website.”

This programme is a paid internship. Placements have included charity development, research, advocacy and politics, finance, chaplaincy, media and campaigns, and community development More information can be found here.


Picture: Dan Simpson shaking hands with a Methodist minister/Dan Simpson.
Published: 26 November 2019


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