Introducing… Barrie, illuminate Coordinator.

Hi Barrie!


First things first, how did you end up working at The Door?

When I finished my degree in Youthwork I was looking for a new challenge. Most of my experience was working with churches but I was looking for something that connected young people with their faith on a personal level as well as in their school community and family life. The Door was (and is) rooted in those three things. I felt God prompt me to get involved and moved my family to the Cotswolds.

Since then I have taken on a number of roles within The Door landing on my current role as illuminate Coordinator.

So what exactly does an illuminate Coordinator do?

illuminate is all about inspiring and equipping Christian young people to be culture changers in their communities. While also helping all young people explore their personal spirituality from a Christian perspective.

Is that something new for The Door?

Definitely not. Engaging young people in conversations about faith has been an intrinsic part of The Door since it opened in 1991. We have always created spaces for young people to talk about faith whether in schools or youth centres.

As the charity has grown there became a need for our Community Youthwork to be open and transparent and distinctly non-faith focussed. illuminate has been created to be an equally open and transparent part of our offer but with a distinctly ministry-based approach.

When I started at The Door this work, Faith conversations looked like small groups in youth centres and school assemblies. Times have changed and illuminate is simply the 2020’s version.  We still go into schools and talk about faith in youth club settings but we also have an online presence and dedicated youth club sessions.

It’s great to hear how youthwork is evolving with the times. So what challenges do you find in your role?

Holding onto the vital distinctiveness of illuminate can sometimes feel like I’m on the periphery so I need to be self-motivated. And while I am supported by an amazing team of volunteers that help at youth clubs and in school, the day to day is down to me. So the biggest challenge is being a department of one. Especially when there are so many opportunities to increase our delivery.

I see, so if that’s the challenge, what are you looking forward to?

Over the last few months, we have made a conscious decision to grow our young people as young leaders. Rather than spreading the project wider geographically we are going to invest in equipping those we already know. Seeing a young person grow in Faith and confidence, it’s why we do what we do. Ultimately that’s what being a youthworker has always been about. So I’m excited to see our current cohort grow.

Sounds great! Is that what you enjoy most about being a youthworker?

That long term positive impact you can have on a person’s life is a gift. It’s something that’s hard to measure when we support hundreds of young people a year, but there are always a few that stick around and show that impact. Not only for themselves but also in their wider community.

A simpler answer would have been it’s just good fun and the cake, there’s always cake.

Ah talking of cake… 

Do you have some?

Sadly not, but that does lead us onto our less serious questions. 

Ah, I see

If there was only one thing you could eat for the rest of time what would it be?

One word. Cheese.

Just cheese?

Well perhaps more of a smorgasbord of all the cheeses.

Ok, that’s food covered, now onto entertainment – are you a sports fan?

Yes, I watch a lot of sport, particularly football. I have a season ticket to Forest Green Rovers and follow my hometown team Watford FC.

Thank you, and thank you for your time today. Would you like to leave us with a quote or Bible Verse?

I would say the whole of Luke Chapter 10 but as you are looking for one verse…

1 Thesselonians 2:8 (NLT) “We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.”


Find out more about illuminate at

Introducing… Barrie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *