It takes a village

It takes a village

13th June 2019

Watch Helen Trew, a former teacher from a TLG Education Centre, share an inspirational spoken word at our 20 Year Celebration.



At 2 years old he is told he is worthless.

At 3 years old he is taken into care.

At 4 years old is angry ‘cos he wants to see his dad

The reality is that his dad was never there.

At 5 years old he is kicking off at break time.

And at 6 he’s been asked to stay behind

By 7 he is labelled as the problem child at school

He goes to school at 8 years old for the last time.

At 8 years old, he is soon to be excluded.

Misunderstood, he’s been told he needs to go.

He masks his sadness behind punches in the playground after school.

He’s told he shouldn’t, but it’s all he’s ever known.

At 9 years old he is desperate for acceptance.

So he burgles a house at when he turns 10.

Spends his first night in a cell aged 11,

Turns 12 does it all over again.

By 13 people don’t know how to treat him.

He’s been labelled ‘uncontrollable’, a thief.

By 14 he’s disillusioned with the life that he is living

A life that’s stamped on, and stole his self-belief.

Now that does not sound right, or just, or good to me.

Church - they say it takes a village to raise a child.

So what if we saw the girls struggling with self-worth as our daughters?

The boys on the streets as our sons?

What if we truly saw the church as a family?

A place of purpose and a place where they belong.

What if we saw ourselves as mothers and as fathers?

Sat with a child for an hour during break.

What if that hour was enough to change the course of their life

Just imagine the difference that would make.

Now imagine if we as the church

Stood with unshakable resolve

To give these children a hope and a future

What different tales those children’s children would be told.

What if we didn’t know the end of the journey

but we trusted what is good, and what is true.

What if we did the next right thing and trusted Jesus is the King.

What if we simply uttered ‘Lord, we will follow you.’

Church – they say it takes a village to raise a child.

And so, will you stand?

Palm to palm, hand in hand, face to face,

and face a disillusioned generation

which stands on sinking sand and say first,

“We are sorry.

It is our responsibility to raise you

and you are far too worthy to slip through the cracks.

Your eyes shine too brightly to be dulled and dilillusioned,

your mind beats too sharply to be numbed by confusion,

your dreams are too wild to be hindered by seclusion

and your future worth too much to be defined by school exclusion.

You may be shaped, but you will never be defined.”

Church - they say it takes a village to raise a child.

And so, will you stand?

Palm to palm, hand in hand

and with unshakable certainty in a world changing constantly

will you declare that we will not stop

until they start to see that they are loved.


Church – this is our responsibility.


Find out how your church can get involved here

Helen Trew

Helen Trew

Helen is a former team member from TLG Bradford Education Centre. She is an active spoken word poet and passionate about the church in action!

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