The age profile of the Diocesan staff has been lowered considerably by the arrival of its newest recruit.
Eighteen year old Eleanor McManus has joined the Diocese as a Student Youth Worker. The young Limavady woman will be attached to Derry and Raphoe Youth (DRY) throughout her three years studying with the Institute for Children & Youth Ministry (CYM), where she is studying Youth and Community Work with Applied Theology.
“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity,” Eleanor said, on her first day in the post. “Although I’m quite young, I have already been active in youth work at parish and community level, and even abroad.”
Eleanor, who belongs to Drumachose Parish, attended Central Primary School and then Limavady Grammar. She became a Sunday School teacher when she was 13 years of age and joined her local youth group, ‘Limavady Ducks’, when she was 14. In 2013 and 2014 she was part of the Derry and Raphoe Youth team which went to the Czech Republic. “We ran Holiday Bible Clubs for orphans there. It was challenging but I enjoyed the experience immensely.”
Diocesan Youth Officer Martin Montgomery says Eleanor will work strategically with All Saints Clooney Parish in Londonderry during her first twelve months. “During her second and third years she will undertake new placements around the diocese, reaching more rural areas. Her job is to come alongside parishes, support existing youth work and – where possible – develop new initiatives.”
One of Eleanor’s main tasks will be to raise the profile of youth work in parishes. But she will be working with the Diocese, too, shaping its strategy and vision.
Martin says he is excited by Eleanor’s addition to the Diocesan team. “This is a great opportunity for us to invest in one of our young people who can now go on and contribute to our various churches.”
Parishes who are interested in finding out more about becoming a placement in year two and thee should contact Martin at the Diocesan Centre.
Eleanor (left), pictured with her twin sister Emelye. (With David Boyd photobombing in the background)