Our Events: Winter Ball

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On the evening of Saturday 15th of December, the City Youth Winter Ball took place at Petham village hall and an incredible 65 youth and leaders came! The evening was great with lots of amazing food prepared by generous volunteers, a pick-and-mix sweet station, chatting and lots of dancing! Each teenager left with flyers about coming up events, information about the youth group and chocolate.

I was blessed to have been able to help with the decoration of the hall and a group of younger youth girls did a great job at making the large white tissue paper pom-poms which hung across the ceiling and decorated the reception area. Fairy lights and ivy were everywhere and made the hall feel really sophisticated and wintery! Part of the fun of the evening was also seeing everyone so dressed up and looking nice. It was lovely to have something so exciting to look forward to with all my friends.

I had the privilege of being able to bring 8 friends this year who loved every second and really enjoyed being able to have fun together whilst meeting lots of new people! In fact, the surprising percentage of the people there who were school friends was really encouraging. One of the best things about the Winter Ball is the knowledge that it is a safe environment to just be yourself. I loved dancing and chatting with both my school and youth friends and there not being pressure to act how many teens feel pressured to at other parties.

I feel confident that any of my friends who came would happily come to other social events we put on as a youth group. Not only this, I feel much more confident sharing my faith with them all back at school, something I think is really important to do. We loved being able to share God’s love with those who don’t know him and making them feel loved, accepted and encouraged. A bible verse reminded me how good this was:

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

The mix of ages there meant the atmosphere was really unique, and the love and respect we had for each other probably spoke louder than anything we said about our faith. It was lovely seeing people inspired to invite lots of friends and feeling a sense of ownership of the event. I think this made it feel personal and made friends feel really welcomed. I would really encourage any youth to come along to the youth socials and bring lots of friends as it can be so powerful just showing them how church can actually be not what they’re expecting!

I am so thankful for a youth group that helps me to introduce my friends to a positive image of church in such a relaxed and fun way. Thank you to all the youth leaders; Aaron for being in charge of music and doing such a good job; all the girls who helped with decorations; and the incredible volunteers who prepared and served such lovely food. All of your efforts were really appreciated on the evening and you helped to make it a lovely time for all of us who were there!

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About the author

Lily is 16 and a member of the City Youth Year 10-13 Canterbury Small Group.