Welcome to our Children and Young People Development Practitioner
Megan Tillbrook

Hello! I’m Megan. I’m 28 years old and I am from Doncaster.

I have had the privilege of working with young people for the past 10 years. As a teenager my faith was always important to me. I was active in my local Church and participated in pilgrimages to Lourdes as a young person (and later as a youth leader). The time that I spent in Lourdes really brought my faith to life. I was blessed to witness God’s love in action and moreover the power of young people being God’s hands and feet on Earth through service to others and to each other. Looking back I am certain that this was me rejoicing in what God had put on my heart – a love for, and a calling to minister to, young people. Following my A-Levels I took a year out and volunteered as part of a Youth Ministry Team in the RC Diocese of Hallam. The work of the gap year volunteers was to travel around local primary and secondary schools delivering retreat programmes, leading worship and encouraging young people in the development of their faith. We would also lead young people in preparation for the Sacraments. It was during my time with the youth team that I began to fall in love with the bible. We lived in community together for 10 months where each day started and ended with a time of prayer and scripture.

I studied at Sheffield Hallam University but maintained my links with the Youth Ministry team throughout my time at university and after graduation I was employed as a Youth Development Officer. I realised (rather slowly) that God was not going to let me off the hook in terms of working with young people and so I returned to university and studied for a Post Graduate Diploma in Youth Work and Community Development. I was in this role for 2 years before I moved to Surrey and took up a post as a Youth Leader in a small Methodist Church. As part of my role I began leading All Age Worship services and preaching. To my surprise this was something I found much joy in and felt it to be very rewarding.

After some time I began working at Surrey County Council with neighbourhoods in very high need of care. My primary focus was with the young people but the work extended into family and children’s work to support the most vulnerable of the community. In working with the young people, it became apparent to me that the love of God is what was fundamentally missing from their lives and that the behaviours they were displaying, the trouble they were getting themselves into was an attempt to fill that void of unconditional and unfailing love which sadly they had never experienced. I would pray for these families and worked hard to be the face of God in their lives.

A northern girl at heart, five years in South East of England was enough for me and I started looking and praying for an opportunity to return to Yorkshire. At Synod earlier this month, Stef and I were told that we are an answered prayer. I feel the same way about my new role. Just three weeks into post and I am so excited to be here and to be involved in the URC Yorkshire Synod. The young people that I have met so far are wonderful; keen to develop their faith and truly open to God working in their lives and those who I have met or visited have been so helpful and willing to support Stef and I in our work.

Outside of work I have varied interests. My favourite thing to do is exploring. I love visiting new places and experiencing what the world has to offer. This can be from walking along the Trans-Pennine trail on a winter’s day, to sitting on a beach in California, to climbing the Burj Kalifa in Dubai. My heart feels full during an adventure. I also enjoy sketching and painting, however I do not do this enough and I am embarrassed to admit that I am a fan of reading love stories and poetry. – Megan