Our Diocesan Gen2 team welcomed a new member at the beginning of 2021 – Charlotte Nobbs. Charlotte has been appointed Diocesan Children’s Mission Enabler, and we thought we would catch up with her to say hello and discuss her new role.
Hi Charlotte – welcome to the Diocese! Please introduce yourself…
I am Charlotte Nobbs, married to Charlie, with four adult children. We have recently moved to Earls Barton, having lived in Northampton for 20 years. As a teenager I led younger children and have never stopped, starting as a house captain at school, a Sunday school teacher, running a youth group and, after studying for a theology degree, training as a primary school teacher. My own children brought new contacts with families and opportunities for fresh expressions of church, including Messy Church, assemblies, puppet shows, gardening with children, parenting support groups, growing new leaders and new teams.
My husband is a vicar, so our family life was shaped by life in the vicarage, and I feel very privileged to have been given this view. It means that I have a certain admiration and compassion for clergy and for all they are called to do. I chose to work voluntarily alongside him and the church teams we were involved with, focusing on intergenerational church and reaching out to children and families who had no connection with formal church.
In the spare time, I enjoy theology, writing, pottering in the garden and sharing food with friends. I also love to run – and I am a raving extrovert!
You have been appointed as Diocesan Children’s Mission Enabler – can you tell us about what the role entails?
I am working to enable churches throughout our diocese to find ways to bring good news to children and their families through connections with school, home and fresh ways of doing church. I am here to encourage and develop good practice, new initiatives and to support clergy, children’s workers and those who volunteer through their church across our diocese.
Is it nice to have finally started?
I am delighted to have started. It is a dream job to be part of such a fabulous team to bring good news to our children in this diocese.
Is it a role where ‘no two days are the same’?
I have been in post since the start of the year, so I am still finding my feet. So far, I have been working from home, with a few one-to-one walks, but mainly meeting people through Zoom and on the phone. A fun morning was filming an assembly on ‘Building a Peace Den’, with my cat making a star appearance! Never a dull moment!
How will your role sit within the team?
I am part of the Gen2 team, and as well as having a lead on advising on children’s ministry, I will have some shared responsibility for youth ministry. Much of my work will be to train others through the Children’s Ministry Certificate, and to promote the vision of Growing Faith – a wonderful vision of interconnection between church, home and school.
What was your background prior to joining the Diocese?
I have been a children’s practitioner all my adult life, whether volunteering, being a mum or professionally. My degree is in theology and I worked as a primary school teacher. We moved from Durham in 2000 for my husband’s first curacy at St Giles Northampton. We moved on to plant a church in Grange Park, connecting with community families and their children from babies through to top-end primary. I have been teaching RE to primary children, volunteering in the diocese to facilitate the Children’s Ministry Certificate, and teaching on various mission enabling modules. I have a passion for the Church to connect with families and children who do not attend formal church on Sundays, and to help them grow in the Christian faith together.
What are your immediate aims in the role? It must be difficult to start during lockdown.
It is very strange to start a job working from home, and away from the team. Even so, I am loving it already! I am meeting people, even if it is through phone calls, Zoom calls or one-to-one walks. It has been inspiring and humbling to hear about what churches are doing to connect with families in these very difficult times. I am reading various research papers, meeting with the Gen2 team, preparing resources, gearing up to ‘How do we do Easter?’ and learning all the time.
What are you hoping to achieve ultimately?
I would love to enable parents to encourage faith in the family, and to see churches feel enabled to connect with families and children – not only within the church walls, but through school and partnership with other community groups. If this became a priority for churches – or at least as focused as adult ministry – then job done!