Further Education Sunday - 15 May 2022

20th April 2022

An invitation from Bishop Anne ...

The West Midlands Churches’ Further Education Council, of which I am becoming Chair, is inviting us on Sunday 15 May to have a particular focus on Further Education across the West Midlands - to pray for our colleges and the work they do.

As the church we are committed to supporting young people of all faiths and none to flourish together, believing that each and every young person is made in the image of God - unique, valuable and has the potential to offer their gifts to both their communities and wider society. The Christian faith also has much to say to young adults as they discover more about who they are and what their purpose in life might be -  the life in all its fullness that Jesus came to bring.   

As the Church of England we already have a wonderful track record of work and relationships with many schools and a tradition of offering chaplaincy in many places of higher education. Further Education (FE) has not always been so clearly in view and yet it is a growing sector usually rooted in the local context.

Within the areas covered by the Church of England Birmingham, there are eight FE colleges spread across 15 sites located in 12 of our parishes – with numbers that make up a significant proportion of the UK’s 1.7 million FE students and 100,000 staff. 

As recognised in the CofE’s 2021 report ‘Vocation, Transformation and Hope: A Vision for the Church of England’s Engagement with Further Education’, FE colleges have a hugely positive impact on individual lives and on wider society by training world-class, skilled employees and opening up opportunities and horizons. However, just as is the case across the Public Sector, FE colleges currently face significant challenges and need our prayers and support.    

May I invite you to include prayers for Further Education on 15 May. Please pray ….

  • That students coming to the end of their courses find support as they ask ‘what next?’
  • That continuing students are affirmed and supported as they learn
  • That staff are provided with the resources and security they need to teach
  • That Governors and Executive Teams are granted wisdom as they make important decisions about the future of their colleges
  • That staff and students who are struggling with bills and increasing costs of living have the courage to ask for help
  • That chaplains are able to find new ways to walk with staff and students and to respond to needs with love.

More information about and video resources for FE Sunday can be found here.

Further resources are available by emailing the WMCFEC FE Chaplaincy Advisor, Nigel Roberts.