Shakeel – CEYC Chair Welcome
Hello everyone! My name is Shakeel, I am the CEYC representative for Peterborough Diocese, and I have just come on board the CEYC team as its new Chair. Since the completion of my Theology degree in 2017, I’ve been working as a church intern at St. Andrews Church Kettering, as a part of Peterborough Diocese’s ministry experience scheme.
I’m so thrilled to be taking up this opportunity with CEYC. I believe youth is one of the greatest gifts for the Church. Having grown up in it, I know that being a young person in the Church can be challenging. So often we can feel that Church just isn’t for young people. Yet, Jesus made it clear that he has a heart for us. His vision for the Church is all-encompassing, of both young and old. God longs for young people to know that he loves them, and for them to enjoy the fullness of life that he gives. It’s a life-changing love. I remember when I first realised that God loved me. To be loved by God is the most incredible experience of my life, and my life has never been the same ever since the day that love found me. My hope during my time as Chair is that CEYC would be able to share God’s love and heart for young people across the nation, the same love that changed my life and of so many young people across the world.
I love the Church, and I love being a young person in the Church. God calls for the Church to be an active voice of his love and grace in the world. So in an ever-changing world, where God and the Church appear to be increasingly out of touch, who better than young people to share the love of God in the world today. God is not a relic of the past; he is a living God, who is present and active in the world. He is more relevant for today than anything else and longs to be at work in the world through the Church. This is why I can barely think of a more exciting time to be a young person in the Church. God loves to use us and our gifts and abilities to shine a light in the world. The world today offers more varied and diverse opportunities in life than ever before, and in turn, there are now more ways for God to use us than ever before. It could be through music, law, social media, accountancy, graphic design, medicine and more – the list goes on and on. It seems to me that the Church is in need of young people in order to best share God’s love with the world today.
I recognise that this is not always the reality in our churches. A lot of the time young people are looked down upon and outright ignored in many churches across the country. It is a shame that this is going on, but we do not need to let it continue. God calls each of us, no matter how young or inexperienced we are, to be a part of his Church and his wonderful story. So let’s step into this calling, to be light in the dark, hope to the lost, strength to the broken, and love for the empty. There may be obstacles before us, but I firmly believe that as young people bring their passions, gifts and skills to serve God, they will become the dynamic blessing for the Church that God calls them to be.
God is for all ages in all ages, and I pray that the Church will continue to reflect that more and more. I hope that during my time as Chair I will see more young people stepping into the joyful life and mission of God’s Church.
I am so excited to be a young person in God’s story. I pray that you would be a part of it too.
Peace and blessings,
Shakeel Nurmahi, CEYC Chair