Here's all our very latest news.
To be honest, that's probably untrue. Despite our very best intentions to keep our website up-to-date, it's just not a high priority! So the best way, by far, to discover what we're up to is to follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
That way you'll
hear about things as they happen. And we'd appreciate it if you'd use the form on the right to sign up to receive our news report
. We hardly ever send out emails actually (same issue as the website), but when we do we'll keep them short & interesting, we promise!
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment it happened. Maybe it was whilst riding the double-decker bus packed with street-wise, life-savvy kids – buzzing with excitement and anticipation. Maybe it was when the pantomime gorilla unexpectedly swung through a trap door in the ceiling right into the middle of the auditorium. Maybe it was during the sound of pure, contagious joy radiating from the 300 children who were singing, laughing and screaming in utter delight. Maybe it was when – at the sound of a whistle - the whole building instantly transformed from a maelstrom of noise to complete & utter tranquilly. Maybe it was when the Bible lesson was taught with such passion, conviction & relevance that I can still remember to this day – almost 20 years later – the memory verse they were teaching about: “In all the work you do, work the best you can” Colossians 3v23
What I do know is that one Saturday morning, in a deprived Liverpool neighbourhood, in a converted postal depot (home of the UK’s first ever Kidz Klub) - God changed my life FOREVER.
That day is one of the few occasions in my life when I know for certain I was discerning the unmistakable, ‘still, small voice’ of the Holy Spirit. Amidst all the riotous noise & fun He spoke to my heart saying, “Who will do this for the children where you live?” And my heart replied, “Here, I am Lord. Send me.”
Even recalling the occasion today has the power to bring tears to my eyes.
Nearly half of the intervening 20 years I’ve spent in Bradford. I’ve spent them trying to reach as many of the city’s children as I possibly could with that same recipe of unadulterated fun, unconditional love & divine encounter. And, of course, not forgetting the ‘secret’ ingredient of this ministry’s success – making 1,000’s upon 1,000’s of personal, home visits for every child we work with. Lots & lots of things have changed – the name, the methods, the people – but the heart remains exactly the same. Our salt hasn’t lost its saltiness!
But success without a successor is short-lived – “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12v24). So after much soul searching and almost 10 years serving, I’ve decided the time is right to step aside from leading ROCK. I’ll still be a patron of the charity and banging the drum loudly for all that it stands for. But in the driving seat of ROCK from now on is Rachel Foster – a young woman who first started volunteering with us as a teenager 10 years ago! We’ve carefully appointed her, but more importantly is the sense of God’s anointing on her. I’m confident this is an appointment which will “bear much fruit” as ROCK grows and matures.
Taking the leadership of an organisation can be a daunting task. But there was a promise the Lord gave me as I came to Bradford to establish ROCK all those years ago, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the LORD is finished correctly”. He’s certainly proved faithful to His word. I’d ask you to pray for Rachel to experience the truth & assurance of this promise for herself.
Finally, I want to thank everyone who has demonstrated such incredible kindness & support to me personally and to the ministry this past decade – through prayer, through finances, through practical help or through words of encouragement. As I pass on the baton of leadership I hope all of you will pass on the baton of your support. Please will you renew and refresh your commitment to ROCK’s mission to Reach Out, Coach & Keep children with the life-changing good news of Jesus Christ.
There's probably some marketing book that tells you the best way to make important announcements like this one - about how to do it with fanfare; about doing it in carefully stage-managed increments; about how to maximise the publicity potential etc - but we haven't read it. So here goes:
We're changing. Kidz Klub Bradford is dead (well, almost). Long Live Bradford ROCK!
And here it is ...
Same mission ● Same passion ● Same principles // New name ● New logo ● New era. // Bigger hopes ● Bigger plans ● Bigger impact
It'll take us quite a while to transition everything over - you don't realise just how far the tentacles have spread until you start to try and change them all! However, over the next few weeks & months you'll start to see less and less of the Kidz Klub name & logo, and more & more of the ROCK name & logo. Bear with us in the meantime.
We'd genuinely love to hear your comments and feedback. And we'll gladly answer any questions you might have.
(If you want to show your approval in a practical way, it's amazing just how much time & money this sort of administrative & marketing stuff takes - time & money we'd much rather put towards our work with the children.
If you'd like to help us off-set some of the cost of this process then using the donate button - or any of the other Ways to Help - would be very much appreciated. Thank you.)
We've got to admit to being a little apprehensive when we got the invitation to do an Easter assembly at the local Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) - a school for primary aged children who have proved unmanageable in mainstream education. Our apprehension wasn't helped when we found that there was something of a 'lock-down' situation occurring as we arrived. When we were eventually led into the hall there was tension in the air, and the 20 or so children (almost entirely boys around the age of 8-10) eyed us suspiciously.
It helped break the ice when some of them recognised us from their previous schools. And when we started off the assembly by comparing each others scars and talking about how we'd got them, the atmosphere warmed up a bit ... in a macho kind of way!
Story-telling is a powerful tool with all ages and - for 10 minutes - twenty street-wise, hard-faced, young boys sat transfixed by the fictional tale of a 6 year old girl called Lucy and her mum's scarred hands. For 10 minutes they were indistinguishable from any other innocent children listening to a bed-time story.
In the ensuing silence it was an immense privilege to then talk to them about the scarred hands of Jesus which remind us - and Him - of the lengths He went to to rescue us. Scars that speak of love & sacrifice. It wasn't until we'd finished our prayer for them, and the children & staff started to leave the hall, that the 15 minutes of peace & tranquillity was broken. One of the boys shouted "God's gay", kicked over some chairs and shouted some abuse at the staff.
Nobody seemed that phased by it. There was a sense that this was a return to normality.
We left that place with real admiration for the PRU teachers & staff, and trusted that God might have used our small contribution to somehow draw those children closer to Him.
This past Sunday, Jack*, one of the boys from the PRU, unexpectedly turned up with a friend to the Palm Sunday service at St Stephen's church (Kidz Klub's HQ). They were as good as gold and extremely eager to participate in everything. They banged the drums and waved flags with genuine zeal - probably like on that first Palm Sunday. And the vicar has never had such enthusiastic responses to his questions during a sermon before! They stayed for lunch. And for several hours it felt like they'd belonged there all their lives. It all ended quite abruptly when Jack's mum arrived and quite literally dragged him out by the scruff of his neck. And we were starkly reminded again that the previous 3 hours probably weren't normality for Jack. But we pray they will be - for Jack and the 250 children we worked with last week. It's unbelievably sad & sobering to be reminded that so many very young lives are already damaged & scarred by what life has thrown at them.
But there's no better time than Easter to be reminded that the life, death & resurrection of Jesus has the power to give fresh starts; new lives; heal broken hearts. It's a message Kidz Klub share by our words AND by our deeds, week-in & week-out, with all the children we are privileged to encounter.
Everybody loves kittens. On Sunday evening you could give this kitten new hope.If sufficient people turn up to our Kidz Klub open day (this Sunday 21st Oct 7.30pm @ St Stephen's Church, West Bowling) to hear inspiring stories from head teach ers, children, families & volunteers
- then this kitten will live.
For the sake of the kitten, please come. Go to the website. And share this with your friends. Spoodles is depending on you.http://savethekitten.eventbrite.co.uk/
This summer - as most other summers - Kidz Klub leaders were involved in various children's summer camps. These are always remarkable, memory-making, life-defining experiences for the children (and often for us leaders too).
But it was particularly encouraging to receive an email from a parent whose 2 children attended the Urban Saints Nefyn camp
we were involved in. In an innocuous looking farmer's field, in a remote Welsh village, 2 more young lives were changed forever
by encountering God's love & power - as demonstrated through a bunch of devoted & diligent volunteers.
But don't just take our word for it, read what the mother had to say for yourselves below. And if you'd like to support us making this sort of thing possible for even more children please use the "Ways to Help" options on the left.
For almost 4 decades, Pastor Bill Wilson
has been living & serving in some of the most deprived & violent ghettos of New York. Every week 40,000+ children & adults are on the receiving end of an incredible & ground-breaking ministry. And it's his vision & pioneering methods which are the inspiration behind Kidz Klub Bradford and 100's of other children's outreach projects across the country (and across the globe).
Kidz Klub Bradford are proud to be co-hosting TWO special events with Pastor Bill Wilson on Tuesday 19th June.
- An exclusive, ticket only event for educational professionals or those involved school leadership. We want Bill Wilson's experiences of transforming children's lives in some of the hardest & most deprived neighbourhoods in the world to inspire & encourage our schools. Who knows, maybe we could spark a revolution in education that starts right here in Bradford
- An evening celebration at Bradford Cathedral, open to all. This is the Church's opportunity to hear the heart of a man who knows more than most what it means to put your life on the line for your faith. We guarantee you will come away with a fresh outlook on life, with your faith challenged & with a new resolve to make your life count towards something of significance.
There's publicity material attached below for you to include in your newsletters or to print out and distribute.
Please invite any teachers or educational professionals to the education event. They'll be very grateful you did.
Well that's 2011 pretty much over. All that remains to be said is THANKS
very much for your interest & support.
We hope this video asks some questions which help you (re)discover the awe & wonder of the Christmas story.
Kidz Klub wish you all a joyful & restful Christmas celebrating the Heav'n born Prince of Peace.
When loads of vicars and people from anglican churches got together one day, Liam & Lucy took some KidzKlub magic along too!
The theme was discipleship, following Jesus wherever He takes us, and Nick kindly accepted our invitation of coming with us on some home visits, and to see our clubs in the New Year, to really get a taste of KidzKlub in action! Although we don't wear bright tutus and giant underpants every week, we love following Jesus and journeying with the KidzKlub kids.
We gave out KidzKlub activity sheets and smiley stickers so people can follow us on twitter and facebook as we share the good news stories of how following Jesus really makes a difference.
Thanks for all the smiles from our anglican friends :)
Are we allowed to say that?
After all, isn't Halloween often a time when many Christians batten down the hatches or "hunker in the bunker" of their church building? Definitely not at Kidz Klub Bradford!
The reflex response of so many Christians often seems to be, "how can we invite people to us"? At Kidz Klub our reflex response is always, "how can we go to where people are"? So it's no surprise that this Halloween you'll find Kidz Klub & our partners out where the action is once again - out on the streets.
There's no denying it, children love the opportunity to dress up and go knocking on peoples doors. So that's exactly what we'll be doing. But instead of "Trick or Treating", we'll be "Blessing and Treating". Instead of promoting horror & fear we'll be spreading joy & laughter. Instead of begging for treats we'll be sharing our sweets. Instead of threatening a trick we'll be declaring a blessing:
"The Lord bless you & keep you.
The Lord make His face shine upon you.
The Lord grant you His favour,
And give you His peace".
So don't "hunker in your bunker" this year! Why don't you & your family put on a silly costume and get out to "Bless & Treat" your neighbours? You won't regret it. We're confident that, as in previous years, everyone who takes part will discover that laughter is more powerful than screams; giving more rewarding than taking
Join us turning Halloween on it's head. Let's make every Halloween a happy Halloween.
As part of our commitment to ensuring the children at our Klubs have the best possible care, we provide regular opportunities for our volunteers to be trained in First Aid.
The details of our next training are given below. It is provided by The British Red Cross. The event this time is being filmed by The Red Cross themselves as part of their own volunteer training. If you'd like to benefit from the training too, please get in touch.
| Course:|| "Everyday First Aid" provided by The British Red Cross|
| Where:|| St Stephen's Church, Donisthorpe St, Bradford BD5 7BX|
| When:|| Saturday 10th Sept, 9:30 - 11:30|
| Cost:|| £10 per person|
- Helping an unconscious person
- Helping someone who is choking
- Helping someone who is bleeding
- Helping someone with a broken bone
- Helping someone who is having a seizure (epileptic fit)
- Helping someone who is having an asthma attack
- Helping someone who has suffered a head injury
| Contact:|| Kidz Klub Bradford|