We spent New Year visiting some friends down in Plymouth. One of the topics of conversation that comes up a lot when we talk to them is frustration with their local Church, where it seems that the older members very much dictate what happens, to the point that the uniformed youth organisations are no longer allowed to parade because the older members don’t like having children in Church – indeed it was apparently even a struggle to get a Children’s Crib Service this year. What is even more frustrating is that talking to our friends daughter, she wants to go to a church but doesn’t feel welcome! She is somewhat pinning her hopes on the fact that the current vicar is about to retire and that they might get a more family friendly replacement – so does anyone who have any influence over the selection process in Exeter Diocese? If our village of just over 3000 in Berkshire can get nearly 2000 people of all ages through the doors over Christmas, surely it’s not rocket science to get a city Church with a parish of thousands to not alienate young people who want to come?