Daniel Williamson sees similarities between how he was drawn to Christianity at 19 and his work as part of the Chaplaincy team at Worth.
Daniel is one of the Forerunners, a community of youth ministers at Worth whose role it is to support the pupils in their journey through school, whether they have a religious faith or not.
Now 23, he recalls: “I didn’t grow up a Christian; I didn’t become a Christian until I was 19. When I was 17 I experienced a lot of challenges, what a lot of people experience at that age, and college became quite overwhelming. When I was 19 I was about to move to university and just before I moved away a friend invited me along to church one week. She said, ‘I can see you are not having the best time right now, you are welcome to come to church with me any time’. By that point in my life I had become a lot more open to spirituality. I thought, ‘Why not? I have never been before, I will see how it goes’. I have pretty much ended up in church ever since that moment.
“What I experienced was a sense of God’s peace in my life. I hadn’t felt anything like that in my life before and I started to find that challenges became easier to face.
“My role at Worth is to invite people to explore faith and see if they take up that invitation. It is, ‘You are very welcome to try it if you want to’. It is very similar to what happened with me.”
Having joined last September, Daniel has thoroughly enjoyed his work at Worth. He is attached to two Houses, Gervase and Farwell, and he oversees the planning of Oasis, which is run for Years 7, 8 and 9. He said: “When I was younger I had a lot of anxiety issues and it gave me a passion to work with young people, to support them, especially from a faith perspective. I am not hugely older than our students and being able to guide them and mentor them through the growing up process that we all go through feels really relevant to me.
“My work involves running things like Alpha. At the moment we are running a series with the Year 7s called ‘The Chosen’ which is about Jesus’s life and ministry. Even for the younger ones, it gives them the space to ask questions that I don’t think I was given the opportunity to explore. It is not forcing it in any way, it is just giving them the opportunity to be honest and just ask the questions that we all ask in our life. It is really nice to be in that space and guide them through that and see where they come out.”
Daniel has a Music Technology degree and he also puts that to use at Worth, guiding boys in the Houses he works with, writing songs with them and recording music.