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Youth ministry brings Emily from the USA to East Anglia

The newest member of the Ignite Team for the next year is American Emily Murphy from New England. She explains what brought her to East Anglia.


No matter how I do it, I know that I am meant to work for God and help prepare young souls for salvation.

I discovered this while working in youth ministry part-time at St Christopher’s Parish in New Hampshire. The parish didn’t have a youth ministry programme, so I started one from scratch, discussing teens’ questions about the faith, teaching them different styles of prayer, and, of course, playing games and eating snacks.

After two years, I expanded the ministry to include programming for younger children who, with a little creativity – Catholic jump rope rhymes, anyone? – benefitted just as much as the teens! I found youth ministry so important, fulfilling, and too often neglected that I decided to make it my full-time work.

I was last in the UK in 2016, when I studied abroad for a semester at Canterbury Christchurch University in Kent. The impetus to do that was my love for Jane Austen and other British period dramas. I found that I loved the modern culture too – so much that I wanted to return to England someday. So I simply searched the internet for jobs at the country’s Catholic dioceses until I found the Ignite Team here in East Anglia. I’m excited to help bring the diocese’s youth a little closer to Heaven!

Aside from youth ministry, I have also worked in journalism and am a self-published author. I have a BA in creative writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University. In my free time, I like hiking, baking and making up stories. I’m also quite the name nerd, so I’m happy to be working with people named Ciaran and Hamish!

Pictured above is new Ignite Team member Emily Murphy.

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