Bradford: Sorted - helping hurting young people

Sorted is a fresh expression of church ‘for young people run by young people’ living in West Yorkshire, founded by Church Army’s Bradford Centre of Mission in 2005. Sorted Project Leader ANDY MILNE tells us more …

How many young people take part in Sorted?

Around 150 young people attend Sorted every week. We run three different Sorted groups, depending on the age of the young person and which part of Bradford they live in.

Do you engage with local schools?

We minister at Hanson Academy and Immanuel College twice a week. We are there to listen, empathise and get alongside teens in schools.

Our team believes in valuing each young person for who they are. We have good relationships with the school staff, and the feedback is that they’ve noticed a big improvement in the attitude of the young people who join Sorted.

We also give support to parents who are struggling with bringing up their sons and daughters.

What are the challenges facing the young people of Bradford?

Drugs, alcohol, self-harm, bullying, anger, depression and anxiety are some of the most
common problems. Many of our young people are from dysfunctional families and are hurting.

There’s a young man we are working with who, a few years back, threw a brick at a
teacher and shouted: “Why should I believe in God when my dad walked out on me when I
was six days old?”

It took time, but he eventually calmed down and placed his trust in us. There’s often no quick fix.   

We believe in a loving and patient approach, where the young person is prayed for and
supported as long as it takes to bring a transformation.

Why is it important to train young people as leaders?

Once God gets hold of them, the best evangelists are often the young people themselves! We did a survey a few years back and found that around 50% of them come to Sorted through a friend that’s already taking part in the project.

A lot of our young people are leading small groups and the worship sessions for the younger
members of Sorted. The role of our staff and evangelists is to mentor our young leaders,
empowering them to grow as disciples.

Are local churches supportive of Sorted?

Sorted is spread across six Anglican parishes and local churches have been very encouraging
of our ministry. Several members of the clergy have shared Sorted testimonies in their
church, some church members volunteer for our project, while many others pray regularly for us.   

Sorted was awarded the Bishop Mission’s Order (BMO) in 2010, officially recognising the
project as a fresh expression of Church within the diocese.

WHAT THE YOUNG PEOPLE SAY ...

George (18)

“If I hadn’t joined Sorted, I would be into drugs and crime like a load of other young people in this area.

“I’ve been coming to Sorted for six years now. At the beginning, I was just messing around. Then something clicked in me and I decided to become a Christian and get baptised.

“I love the atmosphere here at Sorted, we have fun and joke but we are also committed and focused.

“I met my girlfriend, Abby, through Sorted. Both of us being Christians has made the relationship so much stronger – we are always praying together and for each other.”

Abby (18)

“Last year, my sister had a brain haemorrhage and nearly died. I was in my bedroom praying, everyone at Sorted was praying for her too, and she came out of the coma.

“She is still finding it difficult to speak and walk, but she’s on the mend. I know that this is thanks to the power of prayer – when I told her she burst out crying. Now we pray together on a daily basis.

“Her children have started coming to Sorted every Friday night and they love it! Sorted is my second family, they’ve been there through all my problem and painful times.

“Being a Christian has made a huge impact in my life. I believe in myself because I believe in God.”


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