This April, our teams in Witham and Whitley share with us about all the work they’ve been doing in the past months.

Enjoy reading 🙂


Witham Update

We’re back to meeting face-to-face in Witham, as much as we can!  We are so very thankful to be able to engage personally with our young people and volunteers.  The last 14 months have been the most extraordinary for us as it has been for everyone.  Our Boys’ Brigade & Girls’ Association Programmes have been running weekly (mostly on Zoom) since last March.  Here are a few examples of skills that our Company Boys’ & Girls’ (ages 11-18) have created over the most recent lockdown.

We pack up and deliver all the supplies to our members’ homes and our talented adult volunteers provide their expert guidance each week.  And the result is good online fellowship, learning new things and remembering the importance of our programme “4F” values: Fun, Friendship, Faith and Fullness of Life.

We’ve been busy in the last year as well as a community of adult volunteers.  We’ve taken the time to do individual and socially distant work projects at our camping & conservation land.  All this is in preparation for retuning to outdoor programming as restrictions are relaxed over the next few months!

Summer residentials are an important, and rustic, piece of the programme and we’re so very ready to spend some time camping out, roasting marshmallows to make s’mores!  The new toilet block is now functional and fits right into the aesthetic of the land. We’ve gotten solar panels, wind turbine, battery bank and led lights put up to power and light the kitchen.  All of this work is geared towards unlocking future residential and adventuring camps for our young people and adult volunteers to experience life together, worship together and empower everyone live out the Four “F”s.

Our programmes are still necessarily restricted because of Covid-19, but we are slowly coming back to full strength.  On 18th September, we start our 50th Year of Programming here in Witham and we are starting the many preparations for yearlong recognition events.  We are working on a new logo for (not finished yet) and looking forward to celebrating all the wonderful things that have happened in our history! God has been so very good to us here and it will be inspirational to reflect on that for a season.  The anniversary weekend will start with a organisation wide BBQ on Saturday and a commemorative church service on the Sunday at our founding church.  Throughout the year, we’ll be highlighting a number of our core activities which include: international exchanges with Brigade groups in the United States that started in 1979 and Denmark, youth sports with our weekly drop-in football, our annual Christmas dinner, a Queen’s Badge recipient reunion, and a ramped up “Le Tour de Witham” cycling event and festival.  The celebrations will build towards our official 50th anniversary on 18th September 2022 and the publication of our first all-inclusive history book which will capture the first half-century of the work.  The future is bright and we’re so excited to see what more we can accomplish after a most challenging year!
It has been so rewarding to keep in contact with our community as best we can this past season.  This coming year is shaping up to be a busy and prosperous one that we hope will inspire generations toward the next 50 years!
Our most recent devotions here in Witham were centred around the anchor in our Brigade Logo, Hebrews 6:19 – “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure & steadfast.”, and the Boys’ Brigade Hymn – “Will Your Anchor Hold…in the storms of life…”.  Illustrating the intentionality of the Boys’ Brigade Founder and our Brigade as a Christian youth organisation.  The Anchor as a symbol of Jesus embedded in all aspects of what we do.

Whitley Update

A little bit about our new intern, Joe Hethrington

“A bit of a music geek, especially when it comes to anything old school so be warned, I will talk for hours about the band ‘Toto’ when given the chance! After graduating from my music course in 2018, I returned to leading worship at my local church and have recently felt a strong calling to worship ministry. As an intern with Shift I really look forward to getting more stuck in with the wider community, as well as continuing my growth in spiritual maturity, and sharing fellowship with new friends made on the way!”

ROC conversation

On April 28th we were a part of the Reading ROC conversation – a conversation with over 200 other people from Reading looking at young people, health and wellbeing, community and isolation. The aim being to talk about what we can do as a community to enable our young people and our community to thrive. Of specific concern was the impact of violent crime on the community. As part of the response a new song, Born to Fly, which was filmed in Reading, was released; you can watch it here

It was fantastic having a representative from Reading Youth Council there during the evening gathering, and we are excited to see what initiatives come out of these conversations. To see some highlights of the gathering log onto


Thank you for reading! We hope you are keeping safe and well

Come back next month for another update


Stay safe and God bless 😊


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