We sadly bade farewell recently to Jo Oughton, who has stopped working for our church after nine years of employment as an administrator and youth worker. Jo has been a huge source of encouragement, inspiration and joy, and a very loyal friend to many of us.
Jo’s work in our parish can be best understood through the testimonies of the young people. When asked to summarise Jo in eight words or less, Grace Webb, a member of Monday Mettle, Street Academy on Wednesdays and Underground on Fridays says: “Jo has completely changed my attitude to faith.”
Clemmie Borthwick, a student at the University of Bristol, writes: “Jo always cares for the individual as well as the youth as a whole. Jo’s involvement in Mettle and Fusion has helped make both groups to be big successes, giving many people the opportunity to find and grow in their faith.”
James Heatley, a student at the University of Oxford, writes: “For me the most powerful thing about Jo is her openness, honesty and vulnerability. Jo has spoken to many of us openly about the sanctifying, life-changing power of Christ. Hearing someone who has had more than her fair share of trials talk about the reviving power of living water is a unique opportunity. But having that same person be someone passionate about young people, talented at connecting with them, and earnestly striving for them to know Jesus makes her so invaluable.”
Our Youth For Christ intern from last year, Joanna Edworthy, writes: “Jo encourages young people with positivity to be leaders in Mettle groups and builds up their confidence. In my opinion, bringing up young leaders is one of the most important roles a youth worker has, and never have I seen anyone do it as well as Jo Oughton.”
We wish you the very best for the future, Jo.
Catherine Cleghorn, Ordinand