On the 13 April Becky Wills hit the ground running as the Youth Missioner for Northampton Archdeaconry. We asked her to tell a little about herself:
My name is Becky Wills and I’m your new Youth Missioner. I’m here for you and your church, to help, advise, support, inspire and resource you in growing youth work where you are.
I have been involved with Church based Youth and young families work for over 25 years. Most recently I was the Youth, Children’s and Families Minister at St Andrew’s Kettering, but I’ve worked in very different churches in the North West, the North East and the Midlands, plus a very important foundation in working with (and having lots of fun with!) young people with a Scripture Union Beach Mission in Wales.
I have been inspired, encouraged and taught by many people along the way, especially in my own childhood in Warrington, Cheshire where I was part of a loving, close-knit family, church and youth group, and allowed to try things (often get it a bit wrong…) but learn leadership from a young age. Since being a teenager on and off until the present day, Greenbelt Festival has been a source of inspiration and challenge too.
I’m married to Nick, and we have worked together in Ministry for 20 years – he is ordained and Vicar of St Andrew’s Kettering whilst I’ve retained my focus for working primarily with young people and their families. We have two sons, Jamie and Matty, (now 17 and 14) who have at many times informed my youth and children’s ministry and at other times meant that I’ve had to take an inevitable back seat for a while.
Nick and I met at the University of Birmingham, where I studied Medieval Studies – I love the imagery, the stories, the other-worldliness of that time in history.
Whilst at University I ran the CU in my halls, but I also yearned to do some work with kids and “ordinary” people so I joined a church that needed help with its Toddler Group – after completing teacher training, Nick and I went back to that church to become lay assistants and set a pattern for creative, family friendly, fun ministry, inspired by some wonderful people, that we’ve tried to take wherever we are.
I enjoy travelling, especially touring holidays, where each day you can discover something new. I achieved a lifetime’s goal by going to Iceland last year, having studied the old language and stories years ago, and we are looking forward to a very special trip to experience the kitsch of 50’s Americana by driving Route 66 next Summer.
I love the Arts and we set up Kettering Arts Centre in 2010, using St Andrew’s Church as the venue. It has been a delight to bring some brilliant comedians, theatre, music and other eclectic shows to our local area. It has been surreal at times to be taking Jack Dee, Sean Lock and Milton Jones amongst many others into rooms used for Sunday Club amongst many other things as they wait to perform in our Church to people from all over our Community….!
Other things I enjoy… I’m a lover of literary fiction, great films, good TV dramas – I love to lose myself in a good story! Eating good food (but not cooking it!), listening to music (contemporary indie rock, & folk roots mostly, plus a bit of 70’s prog rock, 80’s electro pop & 90’s Britpop…!)
And so, that’s a snapshot of me! I look forward to meeting lots of you working at the coalface in Ministry in your Communities, finding out what is already going on, and helping you to grow your Youth Ministries where you are.
Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at Bouverie on 01604 887058 (I will be out and about a lot though, so email is best!)