On Friday 21 February the Synergy Network convened a Prayer Breakfast at Montgomery Hall in Kennington Oval, south London. The gathering included a number of key youth workers and practitioners who were given an opportunity to hear an update of the Synergy Network’s current activities. After a successful 2019 which saw the hosting of the groundbreaking Day of Prayer and Action at the iconic Trafalgar Square and subsequent gatherings involving key church leaders and youthwork practitioners, also in London. Aside from the meetings and conversations have taken place across the four nations to encourage churches to engage more in the work to tackle serious youth violence.
The morning began with prayer, led by the Revd Steve Coulson, vicar of St Mark’s Kennington in whose church the meeting was taking place. This was followed by a hearty welcome from Synergy Network’s Chair, Bishop Lenford Rowe, who provided a synopsis of the Network’s history and most recent activities. Attendees then heard from the founder members of the network about why it is important for churches, para church groups and likeminded organisations work together to jointly work to address serious youth violence. The primary paradigm of the network is ‘standing together’ in which unity and collaboration are seen as ways in which all efforts can be improved. The Synergy Network recognises that combatting SYV will take many years and that all responses must have a ‘short’, ‘medium’ and ‘long’ term approach.
In turn, all the practitioners spoke about their work, primarily in London, which served to tangibly demonstrate that there is fulsome church-related engagement in tackling serious youth violence that is making a difference on the ground.
The Network will be hosting an ‘Expo’ on Saturday 27 June 2020 in London that will bring together church leaders, practitioners and Christians with a keen interest in SYV, and it is hoped that all those who attended this meeting will participate in this event.
Prayer will also be the major topic of a forthcoming Synergy Network gathering in central London at which Christians will be asked to pray for all the excellent work that is taking place to combat serious youth violence.