What is Spud?

The Background

The Church is a body, made up of many parts, all who have a part to play in serving Christ and his Church.  Ensuring that all the parts are cared for and supported is a difficult task.  In 2007 the General Assembly expressed the need to engage with the voice and views of its young people more effectively.  A group of young people put their creative minds to work and developed what is now known as the SPUD Youth Assembly.

The Purpose

The main aim of SPUD is to enable young people to have a meaningful opportunity to be involved in decision-making at a denominational and a local level.  However it is a key principle that we are not just making our voices heard, but also listening to the views of others and to the rest of the church.

Results

So far, over 645 delegates have attended the SPUD Youth Assembly and Mash Up.  22 resolutions have been decided upon and approved at the General Assembly with a number of delegates taking part in the Assembly debate and making presentations.  A SPUD report on 'Young People and the Church' was produced and sent to Presbyteries for their consideration in 2010.  In May 2012 the SPUD Youth Assembly presented their first full report to the General Assembly.

 

How Does it Work?

SPUD is run by a working group of 12 young people under the guidance of the Board of Youth and Children's Ministry.  They work alongside Boards within Church House to create an agenda that is relevant to both young people and the Boards.

 

Every Congregation in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland is invited to send 2 delegates aged 15-25 to the SPUD Blue Book Overnight. Delegates take part in small group discussion with the assistance of facilitators.

 

At each stage feedback to the churches is encouraged.

 

The work doesn't end at the General Assembly though.  The challenge is then to ensure that the progress made at the General Assembly is then filtered down into each Presbytery and congregation within the Church - a task that the SPUD team are committed to promoting.

 

For those who aren't delegates...