This project started as a direct link from Matt’s personal calling into youth work, which came about during his youth work training with Reign Ministries in Bicester that commenced in 2010. As a result of his experiences working with young people during his time with Reign, God broke his heart for teenagers, and he has been working in full time youth work ever since. Up until the summer of 2014, his role was of Youth Leader with Journey Communities Church in Bicester, the church plant of Reign Ministries.
Upon graduating from the degree programme, he felt called to get experience outside of Reign Ministries, and get a youth work position somewhere else. During the aforementioned summer of 2014, various youth work options in the UK were pursued, but Matt felt called elsewhere. After sitting in prayer about this, Matt found that what he really wanted my role to be was to establish new acts of youth work in areas where this was needed, but not yet happening.
After graduating, Matt returned to living with his parents in Woodstock, and re-started attending his home Church; Woodstock Baptist Church (WBC). During this time, the minister of WBC, Nick Harris, approached Matt to catch-up, and to get a sense of his calling, and the next steps of the journey. During this meeting, he suggested that for the time Matt was in Woodstock, he start doing some pioneering youth work there, as it was really needed. Around this time, Matt was also given the opportunity to meet with the head of the Religious Eduction department in the local secondary school, Marlborough, with a view of volunteering in RE lessons.
As all of these opportunities were appearing with no/little input, it was felt that there was a strong potential that God was perhaps calling Matt to Woodstock, especially as the “where” of his vision was still unresolved. The next couple of months were spent exploring what youth work in Woodstock would look like, and how it could be implemented, as well as meeting with various leaders of the different churches to discuss where they felt things were at.
During this period of exploration of what youth work looked like, Matt started meeting the school and various church leaders in the area, all of whom were excited by the idea. Each party were keen to support it, seeing the need for Christian youth work in the community of Woodstock, and believing that this needed to be happening in the schools, the churches and the community at large.
During this period, it was advised that Scripture Union get involved with the process on an advisory basis, and through this, it was decided that the trust should seek to get charity status in the form of a CIO. Under this direction, it was decided that each of the churches involved and the secondary school should nominate a trustee as a delegate from their church, as well as finding a Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. It was later agreed that the role of line-manager would also be provided by the trust.
In January of 2016, Wendy agreed to take on the role of Chair, and other trustees were nominated as delegates from the other organisations involved, and set about the task of legitimising the trust. On the fourth of July 2016, WYWT was granted charitable status.