Emily Harris at the Greenbank Centre
Despite Liskeard being so close to home, I had no awareness of Greenbank before I had been given my placement there, so didnÃ¢€â„¢t really know what to expect. From the website, and the induction day I attended, I got to know names and faces, and find out a bit about the church, but I was eager to find out more, and so I aimed to really familiarise myself with the people at the church over the two weeks, and immerse myself in the community as much as I could. I also wanted to learn about a different side of Christianity, instead of the Catholic traditions that I had grown up with. Greenbank definitely appeared more down to earth, but with a strong sense of faith. After hearing about plans for the future of Greenbank, by means of a big refurbishment to the church- I decided that one of my aims was to try and help as much as I could with helping church life to carry on as smoothly as possible, whilst making the most of every opportunity I had.
The activities week with L.E.D up at the school provided me with a lot of food for thought on a number of projects I am doing at school. They had put together numerous workshops with interesting themes, often with a Christian backdrop. The session on identity provided me with content I could include in my article on individuality for the English magazine. Issues such as how the media influence us to change, and how pressure at school pushes us to conform to trends were two aspects of identity that I wanted to write on, and it was this workshop that brought it to light. Similarly the session on the Sanctity of Life revealed Christian perspectives on many topical issues, and even how these views differ within Christianity. I am doing a project on Euthanasia and it has given me another outlook on the issue. Finally, I think that spending two weeks at Greenbank has definitely contributed to a great deal of personal development- I feel more confident in adapting to new, perhaps unfamiliar situations, and IÃ¢€â„¢ve been able to make my mind up on a lot of religious issues too, instead of being fed it in school R.E lessons. (At Greenbank, I saw first-hand how God had changed peopleÃ¢€â„¢s lives, for example.)
A lot of the skills I have learned, or improved on over my time in Liskeard will be beneficial as I return to school in September. IÃ¢€â„¢ve definitely found the confidence to try new challenges (If I can sing Ã¢€ËœDonÃ¢€â„¢t stop believingÃ¢€â„¢ in front of a room of year 9s, doing assemblies at school this year should be no problem). I think IÃ¢€â„¢d be more willing to encourage friends and pupils to join or at least try out attending a church. These days many young people think it isnÃ¢€â„¢t important, or cool- but the welcoming atmosphere and all the youth projects going on at Greenbank are enough to convince anybody otherwise. I personally felt that my two weeks were a welcome relief from the stresses that A-Levels and exams can bring! Finally, I may take aspects of church services I attended at Greenbank and pass them on to the chaplain at my school, for example doing Christian songs instead of just hymns in chapel services.
My career aspiration is to become a lawyer, and Liskeard has made me aware of the importance of GodÃ¢€â„¢s words (i.e. the Ten Commandments) as a Ã¢€ËœlawÃ¢€â„¢ that Christians follow. Often, the law of the land and GodÃ¢€â„¢s law are one and the same, but it has made me think about moral dilemmas that I may face, should one law conflict with another. I have also learned that there is no set plan or a framework for life that everyone should follow, for example the school-university-job formula that many perceive as the norm, but instead each person should make their own way in life. IÃ¢€â„¢d love to factor travel to an African country, into my plans. I was really touched by stories of people who have visited there, and it has placed helping the less fortunate in the world as a top priority in my future (both as a lawyer and in partaking in some form of Christian aid work).
Even if Greenbank hasnÃ¢€â„¢t changed my mind-set on my future completely, it has definitely made me view it in a different way, and give more thought to the major decisions I will undoubtedly face.
I think it was both the friendliness of the people and the huge variety of different things I experienced that made my two weeks at Greenbank so memorable, and so enjoyable. The first week was spent at the church itself, and so I was soon familiar with many members of the church community. I was really taken by the dedication that Mark, Monique, Dave and many others exhibited in what they did, from the work and level of compassion those at Greenbank care showed towards their patients, to the preparation that Mark puts in to every service and every bible teaching and even the strength of their faith and the communities strong commitment to God.
Greenbank is a really inspiring place, IÃ¢€â„¢ve not only come out the other end with a clear head on many spiritual issues, but also the confidence to try my hand at new things and to express my opinions and beliefs more openly.
The church is in the middle of a big refurbishment, so I was never short of things to do, be it designing logos in the youth office, or admin or attending the Ã¢€Ëœyoung at heartÃ¢€â„¢ group in Greenbank care or even making tea for the builders themselves! I am grateful that my skills of organisation and ICT came in useful in helping to shorten many peopleÃ¢€â„¢s to-do lists, and to ensure that life behind the scenes at Greenbank ran as smoothly as possible, despite the obstacles and distractions.
The second week was spent working alongside L.E.D, who organised the Christian activities week at Liskeard School. Initially, many of the pupils were very hostile to anything religiously orientated, and so it took much motivation to bring them around to a Christian way of thinking. I admired the strength of the members of the band, and how they made Christianity to involving, yet also fun and exciting for the pupils. The concert shown at the end of the week brought the school, the church, the band and all the volunteers together. It was one of many moments where I witnessed faith unite people. It was a great end to my placement. I am so grateful for the time I was able to spend at Greenbank, and hope that I can return again in the future.