Leeds Centre of Mission
The vision for Leeds Centre of Mission is to start a new youth church on the Seacroft estate, an area where young people face many challenges. Neil is passionate about young people’s self-esteem and longs to see young people fulfil their potential and develop life-changing relationships with Jesus.
Neil Obbard Writes…
Cost-of-living has been a problem. People are more needy. I get knocks on the door now for food; I’ve got packs here already made out.
WE’RE SEEING A LOT MORE KIDS AT OUR YOUTH CLUB WITH NO MONEY EVEN FOR TUCK SHOP.
This is very new. They don’t make a scene. It’s usually my wife who notices that they haven’t come up to the shop for a while, so she’ll ask me to have a quiet word. They tell me there’s nothing spare because “we’re finding it hard with gas”, so I spout them a couple of quid and tell them to go up to the tuck shop like everyone else. It’s part of the relationship, noticing the little things, those slight changes in behaviour that tell you someone isn’t quite OK.
For the older youth, we try to provide food each week, but there’s no funding for that. We tend to cover it out of our own pockets, just to make sure they have something to eat.
I’m working in an area where most are third to fourth generation welfare, some with parents and siblings in prison. The young people think getting involved with gangs will make them rich, but I’m here to talk them out of that.
One person in our youth group, his mum didn’t want him – that’s the long and the short of it. He lived with his nan until social services said he couldn’t do that anymore and to go back to mum. She was with a new partner, they smashed all his stuff, she nicked his mobile phone, and he found himself sleeping rough in a supermarket café at eleven years old. Just a normal lad. He ended up living with his dad who’d he’d only seen twice before moving in. That’s the life for kids here. Their role models have been really poor.
A girl I worked with as a mentor in schools, was on her last chance. School had given up on her, she was always getting into trouble with the police, she was basically written off.
WE HAD SOME FRANK CONVERSATIONS, AND SHE WAS ABLE TO TURN IT AROUND AND FINISHED SCHOOL ABLE TO ATTEND COLLEGE. I INVITED HER TO VOLUNTEER WITH US, AND SHE TOLD ME THE EXPERIENCE CHANGED THE DIRECTION OF HER LIFE.
She’s now working in schools, wanting to give back and to help steer other young people into making better choices.
Type of Work
Evangelists & Leaders
Diocese of Leeds
The territory of the Leeds Diocese now covers parts of five counties; it comprises the Catholic communities in the northern part of what is now West Yorkshire together with some areas of North and East Yorkshire, e.g. Ripon, Selby and Howden – and some parishes now in Lancashire (Barnoldswick) and Greater Manchester (Uppermill).
Bishop Young Academy
Bishop Young CE Academy is a successful, caring and happy Academy in the east of the City of Leeds. Our students aged 11-19 come to receive an education in which we work together to stretch them academically, support them pastorally and help them to develop socially and spiritually, as expressed in our mission statement.
Parish of Seacroft
The Parish of Seacroft has three places of worship: St James’ Church, St Paul’s Church and St Richard’s Church which meet on a Sunday and three other groups that meet through the week. Together we serve the communities of Seacroft, Swarcliffe and Whinmoor in East Leeds.
Missional Youth Church Network (MYCN)
MYCN’s vision is to establish at least 30 Missional Youth Churches (MYC) over the next five years, enabling 11-18 year olds to build community and discover faith in Jesus Christ.
Leeds Faith in Schools
We have an active involvement in city-wide church youth work across Leeds, partnering with other youth organisations to help shape the landscape of Christian youth work in the city and support the local church.
Mothers Union Leeds Diocese
Through the love of God and in partnership with the Church, we seek to reach out creatively and actively to support stable family relationships and to promote a more just society.