Just coming to 24 years since I ceased to be Church of Ireland Youth Officer and headed back into the certainties, peace and order of parochial ministry. I attended my second meeting of the Provincial Youth Network in Edinburgh today – alas no copies of Cosmo or Closer to keep me going during the less exciting bits of the meeting. I must say that they manage to do a lot with very limited resources – but there is still that familiar feeling of having rowed across to an offshore island while the real business of the church is done on the mainland. And yet … most of the reading which I have been doing en route to our Diocesan Strategy which hits the table at the meeting of our Review Group on Monday says that age factors are critical for church growth. Age profile of clergy is critical and so is the presence of at least some people under 45 in the congregation. Meanwhile I spend my Saturday afternoon with people most of whom were not born when I left full time church youth work.