During July and August, United Beach Missions (UBM) operated approximately 90 missions in almost 30 locations across the UK.
A group of young people from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, volunteered as team members in such locations as Llandudno and Whitby. The first beach mission is thought to have been in Blackpool 64 years ago.
The aim of UBM is to share thegospel with children, parents and friends in the seaside area, whether locals or holidaymakers. This is achieved by holding games, competitions, Bible stories and open-airs on the beach.
Kathryn Grimwade is the eldest daughter of Dewsbury Evangelical Church’s co-pastor Daniel Grimwade. This year, she volunteered for UBM for the first time. Kathryn said, ‘I found out about UBM through my church. I think it’s a good chance to learn new skills, as well as make new friends, all while sharing the gospel!’
Previous experience or special abilities aren’t necessary to join UBM. All that is required is a desire to make the gospel known, although the minimum age for joining a beach team is 15.
Aimée Thomas attends Dewsbury Gospel Church and also went on a UBM team for the first time this year. She said, ‘I’ve always been impressed by their mission, so I was really excited when I realised that I was old enough to volunteer this year. I’m so thankful to have had this opportunity to witness on the beach in summer, where there’ve been so many people around!’
Each year, UBM have about 900 volunteers, though they would prefer this figure to grow to 1000, so the size of beach teams and the scale of their work can increase.
Tim Howlett, Executive Officer at UBM said, ‘We want to be more established, but this can only happen if more people join our teams. A week on a UBM team is a great way to help root our three core aspects in the lives of young people: love for God, love for each other and love for the lost. These are important for them, as they serve the Lord by sharing the good news of Jesus’.