York has thousands of visitors each year, coming to explore this ancient city. They pile in and out of the Minster, in awe of its size and beauty. Unfortunately many of these tourists do not know the reason or understand why this building exists.
For the last 20 years or so St. Michael-le-Belfrey Church has put on York Student Outreach (YSO). YSO was initiated in the days of David Watson as a chance for students to make a lasting difference in the lives of these tourists. Over the years YSO has come in many shapes. It has included many forms of evangelism like drama, music, questionnaires, art, poetry, preaching, prophecy, social action, homeless outreach, chatting to clubbers & pubbers and much more.
Last year YSO was rebranded Summer Soul and brought right into the 21st Century. 2006 saw 70+ students from various parts of the country come and do the mission. Summer Soul is happening again this year from the 29th June to 9th July and looks to be another cracker. This year the target is to have at least 100 students on the mission.
One Voice York is giving its full support to Summer Soul and wants to encourage all churches in York to get behind it in every way possible. Details of how you can support Summer Soul can be found on the Summer Soul website.
Some testimony from the Summer Soul team 2006:
Summer Soul is about engaging with the people in York. Its about encouraging and challenging them to think about the dreaded big QUESTIONS of life. Its showing that we care, that we’re regular people and that we’re interested to hear what they have to say. – Megan
Now then, lasting memories…Being petrified going out at late o’clock to do refresh but then loving every minute of it once people came over and talked to us. The thing that stands out the most was how my prejudices about certain groups of people were broken down because SS gave me opportunities to talk to them and hear their stories and see people as individuals who God loves, not as potential converts. — Katie
Summer Soul is a chance to rise to the challenge of exploring the world outside of your comfort zones! I enjoyed being part of the team, and finding ways to share my faith in a genuine and relevant manner. Summer Soul also gave me an opportunity to develop my worship-related musical abilities, and of course to widen my friendship circle. — Ben