Calling Young Disciples Mission Enabler is currently working with the Halas Team in Halesowen. She has recently distributed exam packs to all the young members of the churches taking exams throughout the summer. Here she explains why: 

"The exam packs were an idea originally shared by Children's Officer, Emma Pettifer some years ago and I have distributed them to the young people taking GCSEs in my own church each year. On arriving in Halas, I thought it would be a good idea for the team to issue them across the parish.

"I was prompted to get the packs sorted after reading a report published recently by Youth for Christ, called Gen Z: Rethinking Culture, which identifies “school and exams as the most commonly mentioned concern”. I contacted the clergy who identified those of the right age in their parishes. I then purchased all of the goodies. Each pack cost roughly £2.66 and contained an A4 notepad, black biros (as these are needed for exams), highlighter pens and sticky note pads (to aid revision), a stretchy man (to aid stress!), and some edible goodies, along with an all-important encouraging letter which included some useful scripture.

"I feel these exam packs show our love and support for our young people in a tangible way, when they are potentially feeling quite vulnerable.

"Hazel Charlton, Vicar of St Peter in Lapal, is also the Chaplain at Halesowen College She took 20 packs in on a recent visit and was able to speak with more people than usual, so the packs have become a gateway to Mission, opening valuable conversations.

"I am currently also praying for the young people as they take their exams. They let me know the time and type of exam they are going to take and I commit to holding them in prayer at the start of that exam. As a result, at least one individual prayed for themselves, and then felt much calmer as they entered the exam."

If you'd like more information about how you could offer exam packs to students in your parish or for other suggestions for supporting this group of young people, please contact the Calling Young Disciples team on cydproject@cofe-worcester.org.uk.