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‘I just want to support the community’ - Kesgrave youth minister Oliver Scase on supporting his home town

PUBLISHED: 06:30 02 October 2020

Oliver Scase is a youth minister in Kesgrave Picture: OLIVER SCASE

Oliver Scase is a youth minister in Kesgrave Picture: OLIVER SCASE

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A Kesgrave youth minister has been giving back to the community he grew up in.

Oliver Scase from All Saints Church in Kesgrave Picture: OLIVER SCASEOliver Scase from All Saints Church in Kesgrave Picture: OLIVER SCASE

A Kesgrave youth minister has been giving back to the community he grew up in.

Oliver Scase is the youth minister at All Saint’s Church in Kesgrave.

His role involves working with young people in the town, although he is associated with the church it does not limit what he does.

“Everything I do is affected by my faith but its not about my faith,” said Mr Scase.

“There are things I do that are secular. I do things because I believe they are the right thing to do.”

The bulk of Mr Scase’s time is spent looking after groups associated with the church.

One of these is the home group; the sessions involve young people sharing a meal together with the rest of the time spent discussing important topics.

“It’s about building a relationship with a small group of people,” said Mr Scase.

“The reward comes from when the young people feel confident sharing things going on in their own lives.”

The coronavirus has brought its own challenges to the church.

Now more than ever it is reliant on using virtual technology to keep in touch with those it serves including through live streamed Zoom services.

Mr Scase uses social media platforms and even on occasions the streaming platform Twitch to help keep in touch with younger members of the community.

One of the latest additions to Mr Scase’s work is a new cafe, to be known as the Broom Tree Youth Café, which has been set up this week within the church to provide a place for the town’s youngsters to safely gather.

“It will be a place where people can hang out and have a can of Coke and a packet of sweets,” said Mr Scase. “But we are there for them to have a chat and we can look out for them.”

As well as the cafe, Mr Scase has been out and about in recent weeks to engage with local people.

“A couple of weeks ago I started doing community walks,” said Mr Scase.

The walks provided a visible way for him to communicate with people in Kesgrave and provide support to those who need it.

While Mr Scase now works closely with his community, he hasn’t always worked in the church. His work these days is rather different from his previous employment.

“I used to be a software developer,” said Mr Scase.

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“I enjoyed the work and I enjoyed the people. I just didn’t quite find it fulfilling. After that I started exploring doing youth ministry.”

The change in career was a natural move for Mr Scase.

He was familiar with the work of previous youth minister at All Saint’s, as they had helped him get involved in the church as a youngster himself.

The church spend a lot of time working with nearby Kesgrave High School, where Mr Scase was formerly a pupil.

After doing some more research about the role, a position became vacant at All Saint’s and Mr Scase saw his chance to get involved.

“I eventually decided to do it alongside a full time degree,” said Mr Scase.

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As well as all his work with the church Mr Scase is studying for a degree in theology, ministry and mission.

“I do the youth groups as part of my placement for that,” said Mr Scase.

So what is it that helps Mr Scase balance doing his degree work with helping out the local community?

“The Church family has been very supportive,” said Mr Scase.

“Members of the team are always looking for new and innovative ways to support the community and not just by bringing them to the church.

Among those at the church, Mr Scase said that vicar Robin Smith is one of those who inspires him most.

“He is very community focused,” said Mr Scase.

Indeed it is the ability to help his own community, the people of Kesgrave that has really kept Mr Scase motivated throughout his work.

“I have lived here my whole life. I feel a part of the community.

“I just want to support and give back to that.”

While he is very keen to stay in his current role as youth minister for now, Mr Scase is potentially interested in moving elsewhere in the church in the future.

“It’s nothing I would put out of the window,” said Mr Scase.

“I am not going to say I would not get ordained. At the moment I would like to stay in the youth ministry.”

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