Seeing Lives Changed

Claire and Sam Corley both regularly volunteer on Venture holidays and are also Church of England clergy working in separate churches within Leeds. Claire is curate at St Edmund's Church in Roundhay and Sam is rector of Leeds, based at Leeds Minster.

Claire states: 'We both started volunteering with Ventures back in 2000 when we were both secondary school teachers. We took over running Ripon in 2003 and since then have run around 40 Ventures at various times of the year. We were asked to come by a friend and it sounded like so much fun, we couldn't resist! We've been hooked ever since.

'I'd have to say, the best thing about volunteering for Ventures and Falcons is seeing God at work in the lives of the young people and leaders who come. Through all the fun and activities, just as much as the worship and teaching, God comes close and shows people what he is like and what it means to follow in the way of his Son Jesus Christ. We are always aware that we aren't starting from first base. Everyone who comes has a story, and whether they realise it or not, God has been at work throughout that story. Our role is really just to join with the Holy Spirit in pulling together the threads of that story.

'Having fostered, and now with three birth children and both working, life is busy for Sam and I, but we wouldn't miss Ripon for the world. We weren't married when we first starting leading on Ventures. We actually planned our wedding and honeymoon so that we would still have time to help on Ripon that summer. In fact, we came straight to camp from our honeymoon! And we have always tried to make Ripon the priority - it is the first thing that goes into the diary and everything else has to fit around that. We often say that time is one of the gifts that God gives us so, just like our money, we offer some of it back to him. You could say that the time we spend organising and running Ventures is a tithe of our time.

'Looking back over some of our favourite memories from volunteering with Ventures, seeing lives changed by God is the thing that gets us every time. There is no better thing than seeing a room full of people engaging with God and growing in faith. Playing a small part in making that happen is such a huge privilege. So if ever you have the chance to volunteer on a Venture or Falcon holiday go for it! Cancel your holiday, leave your job, do whatever, but get there!'

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