Future Youth Ministry Experience Scheme

The Church of England’s Ministry Experience Scheme (MES) has been running for ten years, with 700 participants and involving 35 dioceses.  It offers a year of experience and training in a range of settings for people aged 18-30 to help them discern a call to ministry.

This has been largely focussed on ordained ministry, however MES is expanding, in line with the Church’s Vision and Strategy for the 2020’s, to include a stream focussed specifically on ministry opportunities amongst children, young people and families (CYPF) – the Future Youth Ministry Experience Scheme. Funding has been received to run two pilot years of this new stream starting in 2023/24, with 12 participants nationally.

In the Diocese of Derby we have been a part of the first year of the pilot, and are looking to invest in two young adults aged 18-30, to join us as Future Youth MES workers. These 11-month training and experience gaining posts will seek to help participants discern a long-term possible vocation to Christian ministry with Children, Young People and Families.

The successful applicants will gain a diverse experience of mission and ministry with CYPF within one of our specially selected placements as part of a wider process of discerning God’s call on your life. These exciting roles will involve working closely with the ministry team of the church or mission community, to play their part in the Kingdom of God which is good news for all, helping to see transformation in the lives of CYPF, the church grow and communities built.

The FY MES scheme has also partnered with Aurora, and participants will join together with others across the country to complete the nationally run course. We will also work with participants to build in optional further training modules to their year through our Diocesan lay ministry training programme.

Placement contexts

Participants will be placed in one of four ministry placements across the diocese. After successful applications and interviews, the Diocesan team will work with the candidates to work out the placement where they are most likely to flourish. This decision will be based on location, church tradition, ministry interests and where there is most likely to be the best working relationship with placement supervisors. This allocation will be a conversation where successful candidates will have a chance to meet with placement supervisors and agree focuses for the placement.

The range of placements offer as diverse a range of opportunities as possible, across differing contexts including urban, post-industrial and rural contexts, as well as differing traditions and theological backgrounds. 

Whilst accommodation is not provided as part of this role, we will work with successful candidates and the local church to explore affordable lodging options with hosts from the placement churches.


 placement contexts


Ellie, current Future Youth MES Worker placed at Derby Cathedral, continuing a career working with young people beyond the completion of the scheme.

“After finishing university and moving back home, I wanted to gain experience working with children and young people whilst also accessing some further training, so Future Youth was perfect for me. It also gave me the chance to experience a different type of church and create a new Christian family compared to my normal church that I have grown up in. Although based at the Cathedral, I have been able to explore other youth ministries within the deanery.

I would not have been able to do this scheme if it had not been paid. Due to travel expenses and the climbing increase of living costs, it would not have been viable for me to start, never mind complete. It has given me the life experience of working a full-time job and helped me become more independent.

The highlight of my year has been the increase of children attending Sunday morning service and that of messy cathedral. Bringing part of who I am to the role has been great, including my agricultural background as I brought a lamb to the Easter Messy Cathedral. Asking colleagues at the Cathedral, they have all commented on how my input has led to an increase Messy Cathedral attendance and sustainability as well as the Sunday school. I am proud that being a part of this scheme at the cathedral has led to an increase in youth connection and outreach.”





For more contact Revd Aidan Watson Aidan.watson@derby.anglican.org | 01332 278144

Last modified on Thursday, 13 June 2024 13:39

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