Below are some of the general questions we are often asked, but click the links above to go to more specific questions, depending on who you are!
WHO ARE URBAN SAINTS?
Urban Saints is an interdenominational youth and children's organisation. We've been supporting and resourcing local youth and children's groups that have a Christian emphasis for well over 100 years and also offer special events, holidays, mission experiences and training.
WHAT DOes urban Saints DO?
Many people know of us through our 'Energize' resource. This huge web-based, teaching programme resource currently serves over 1600 churches and community groups around the UK and beyond - click for information. However, we also provide other activities and experiences that local groups can connect with. We work very closely with many other organisations and denominations to ensure that churches and local Christians running outreach or discipleship groups have access to dynamic and engaging youth and children's resources and experiences.
WHAT DOES URBAN SAINTS WESTBROOK DO?
Urban Saints Westbrook hosts many different groups every year, whether they are Urban Saints groups, church or other youth groups, University Christian Unions or schools. Many of our visiting groups come to us every year because time away with us is integral to their group's programme. We often find groups come to us because their leaders came to Westbrook as young people and had such a great time, and we have a lot of groups each year that come for the first time...sometimes it is their first residential experience!
DO WE ONLY ACCEPT URBAN SAINTS AND CHURCH GROUPS?
No! We are delighted to welcome all groups that would like to visit Westbrook, regardless of their background, and we have a wide range of different groups visiting us each year, many of whom have little or no Christian connection. However we openly tell everyone who visits the centre that it is a centre founded on a Christian ethos and we ask that groups are respectful of this so that they can enjoy the inclusive, caring welcome we like to give them.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
Urban Saints nationally relies on an army of volunteers - particularly to help run the local Urban Saints groups and camps across the UK. We also value volunteers who come and help at Westbrook. We are always grateful to hear from anyone who would like to offer help in the grounds, with maintenance or to assist in the running of activities for groups.
Westbrook has a paid staff team and opportunities to join the team do come up from time to time - see the 'Join the Team' page, where there is also information about volunteering at the Centre.
URBAN SAINTS?! DO YOU ONLY WORK IN CITIES?
We are aware that the word 'Urban' generally means 'of/from the city'. With this in mind, the word 'Urban' in our name seeks to reference the city, or Kingdom of God, that is talked about in the Bible. We are about helping young people become 'saints of the Kingdom' but this doesn't resonate with them quite as well as ‘Urban Saints’!
From other feedback we have had, 'Urban Saints' could also be called 'Community Saints' as this is about young people being agents of change in their communities by living lives of faith, hope and love through Christ. Again, ‘Community Saints’ does not resonate with young people as well as ‘Urban Saints’ and it might imply a purely social action agenda, which is not our mission.
DIDN'T YOU GUYS USED TO BE CALLED CRUSADERS?
We did! Crusaders became Urban Saints in January 2007 after celebrating our centenary as a movement. The name change was primarily motivated by our conviction that a new brand/image was needed in order to better serve young people in the new century. We believe that God has continued to refresh the movement in the years since that decision, ensuring that we are holding to the original mission of the movement yet also remaining flexible enough to stay relevant to our changing world. To this end, we firmly believe that the name Urban Saints works better with un-churched young people and therefore provides us with increased opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). Since the name changed in 2007 we have seen many doors open to us that were previously closed.