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Hi I'm Simon, I'm an ordinand (vicar in training) and currently on placement at St Mary's. I have almost completed my first year of a two-year MA course in Christian Leadership at St Mellitus College in Liverpool.

S Stride cropped 

What have I been up to on my placement with St Mary's so far?
There is so much going on at St Mary's that I was spoilt for choice as to which areas I got involved in; however, when I prayed I clearly felt God tell me to focus on ‘youth’ for my first year. A large proportion of my time has been spent working with the Fuel team and The Cave. Whilst serving on the leadership teams for both areas of youth work I have realised the importance for Christ's love to be shared amongst our young people, especially considering the daily pressures young people face at school, with their friends and relationships. Over these past few months I have had the opportunity to lead the young people into encountering God in a deeper way through teaching, worship, prayer, reading the Bible and conversation. Equipping young people with the tools to have a personal relationship with Jesus allows future generations to be transformed by Christ.
Over the past year I have also had the opportunity to head up the Shake Up Sunday team, a group of gifted and creative leaders that plan and lead the 7pm services every fifth Sunday of the month. This has been an exciting time of developing, shaping and delivering alternative services such as the successful Advent Adventure and the Summer BBQ: Thy Grill Be Done. We will be holding another BBQ this summer on Sunday 21st July at 6.30pm so you can pop this date in your diaries; bring your friends, families and colleagues, as this will be a great chance to have fun and share the love of Jesus with your neighbours. There will be live music, testimonies and some great food.
I am really excited to be leading our six-week Faith Matters course this month and my prayer is that the people on this course can get to know who Jesus is and what He has done for them. Also, that they might dare to make the brave steps to saying 'yes' to a relationship with Jesus, perhaps for the first time. For me personally, it is a joy to be able to share Christ with others and all of these leadership opportunities are invaluable experience for ordained ministry and will help in the future when I begin my curacy next summer.
I enjoy being part of the staff team that aims to put God at the centre of everything they do. In meetings I have been able to grasp the vision of the Church and the team's passion for God, discipleship and spiritual growth, and the hope to see others across the church and beyond come into deeper faith in Jesus, knowing His presence with them each day. My hope and prayer is God's kingdom grows through worship and service across the different congregations at St Mary's, that it would continue to serve as a beacon of God's hope and light for the local communities of Sale.
Simon Stride

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