Whoever has ears, let them hear: Theology on listening to young people explain life in all its fullness

A group of teenagers look at a phone

Our collection of theological essays, Whoever has ears, let them hear: Theology on listening to young people explain life in all its fullness, has been written to reflect on the nationally heralded findings from our latest Good Childhood Report and wider work on well-being.

Larissa Pople begins by outlining the key insights from the report that highlight the growing disparity between genders and their happiness with life as a whole, as well as their appearance. Somewhat surprisingly there is no clear link between living in deprived areas and children’s well-being, rather it is young people’s perception of their safety, behaviour of local adults, and access to facilities that the evidence points is clearly linked to their well-being.

Jim Davis builds upon this evidence and insight by reflecting on the book Not now, Bernard and becoming a grandfather. Using two powerful testimonies, Angus Ritchie argues the theological case for adopting a child’s perspective and reminds us how important it is to put ultimate goods above material goods and growth.

Bishop Rachel Treweek concludes with a timely reminder and challenge to us following the rapid decline of girls’ satisfaction with their lives and appearance over a five year period. She calls us to break the norm of today’s often upside down world and value people from the inside out, affirming children’s character before their appearance.

There is also a set of discussion questions to enable small groups to interactively engage with the materials and thoughts presented in the papers in a personal and practical way.