Over the last 3 weeks I have promoted and shared around a Google Map, the aim of which was to try and build a picture of where in the UK the church based employed youth workers are. It has been a not insignificant task. In case you didnt see the original post, the criteria for marking a location on the map was as follows:
- Employed by a single church
- Have ‘youth‘ in their job title (so it includes youth and children, music and youth, youth and community etc etc)
- Are employed to work Part or Full time (according to their contract)
That was all. If the person was employed by more than one church, such as a ‘deanery youthworker’ or work as employed by a parachurch organisation but be based in a church in some kind of church partnership, then this person or location needs to be plotted on a different map, this one is here: Multi-church map.
So, the results are as follows. Before these are shared, I want to and need to thank everyone who has taken part, everyone who shared the map, the link, and sent it around their networks, email groups, facebook pages and groups and the rest, without all of this the map would not be anywhere near as complete a picture as it could be.
The raw data. The blog post was viewed 1,382 times, and shared on facebook by 90 people, 268 locations were plotted in the UK, and by today 1751 people have viewed the google map itself. ( i think i might have viewed it about 50 times just to fix any problems or see how things were going).
A copy of overall UK map is here:
The following are screen shots of the original map – though you can view it yourself via the original post which is here. and zoom into areas as you please on it, and you can still insert your location, if you’re not featured on these result pages, I do a results update in a month or so, when its even more conclusive..
As of the results to the end of June 2018;
Ill start with some of the regions, from the most northern parts of the UK:
In Scotland there were 30 pins inserted. So, of 30/268 11% of the youthworkers employed by a single churches in the UK are in Scotland. The main areas where these locations are not too much of a surprise, the cities, Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth, Edinburgh, Stirling, Ayr and Glasgow.
Moving down the country, the North of England, doesnt fare quite as well. Only 6 churches employ people who have ‘youth’ in their job description. These are mostly in Newcastle, Durham or Middlesbrough, and surprising none in York, Sunderland or Carlisle. But only 6 churches out of 268 = 2%.
So, like a good weather person, I am moving down the Country, to the next screen shot, which included Mid to North wales, Liverpool, Manchester, most of the midlands and all the way across to East Anglia.
You may think that there paid youthworkers in all areas, but this showed not to be the case, as you can see:
Does any of these surprise you?
I can Imagine the church youthworker meetings in Norwich might be easy to organise. But counties such as cambridge, lincolnshire and leicestershire are fairly empty. North Wales seems to be well covered, especially compared to other areas. Theres a few positions in Hull. Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham (eventually – these were plotted very late on) have a good number, but not 100’s. There is a good number too in Essex, and even the south west of Birmingham areas.
It feels a west/east split though… So, what about the south and south west…. ?
Theres a tiny bit of overlap on the maps (apologies). But this is how London, the south east and south west looks like in regard to church employed youthworkers – any surprising gaps?
There were 34 reported church employed youthworkers based within the M25. Thats about the same as Scotland and the North of England combined. Only 1 in Kent, few in Surrey and a splattering in the south west of London, areas like Guildford and moving north west towards Reading and Oxford. The south west also has a large number. With paid youthworkers in north and south Devon and Dorset. Though none reported in southern coast cities of Bournemouth, Southampton or Portsmouth.
I am aware of a good number of caveats for these maps. They have relied on individuals plotting their locations and as such it is open to abuse (there is one pin on for a location in greece). I am aware that this was sent out via a blog page which is followed by about 1500 people and using social media and online, and not every youthworker, clergy or church is online. I am aware too that some churches might not want to disclose their locations, or make a contribution. These are caveats. Yet at the same time, over 1500 people viewed the map and could make a contribution if they wanted to.
I havent counted all the pins that feature in the 2 southern most sections, there is 36 in the Scotland and northern England one. Therefore there are 232 in the other two. Its a bit of a Sheffield south divide. Which to anyone based in the North of England doesnt come as a surprise. Theres definately clusters in some cities and a few in rural spots. This may indicate where the posts have been repeated in nearby churches, or also where this survey has been circulated. It has been said that each of the Anglican DYO’s has been encouraged to participate in this, and via social media a number of other denominations have also taken part.
Thank you again if you plotted locations, shared the post, and viewed the map with interest over these few weeks.
The next map is live, this is to plot all the voluntary youth ministry, where there isnt a ‘paid’ youthworker directly involved, where we discover the full extent of the church’s spread around the UK of its work with young people. A Link to that map is here – Voluntary Faith Based Youthwork
So, here are the UK church employed youthworkers – what are your thoughts? – share them below in the comments:
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