28 September 2023

Teenagers gain valuable life lessons at narrative workshops

St Stephen’s Gardenvale youth group members dressed in costumes for Storycraft. Image: Supplied.

Kirralee Nicolle

29 July 2022

Youth at a Gardenvale parish are exploring concepts of morality and character through stories they grew up reading and watching.

Storycraft was begun by writer and illustrator Mitchell Toy to help teenagers at St Stephen’s Gardenvale wrestle with difficult concepts in famous stories and understand how to tell stories themselves.

Mr Toy, a parishioner at the church, said that the youth engaged well with the concepts in familiar books and films.

He said the sessions were a great way to engage them at a critical point in their lives where they were facing exams and decisions around further study.

“They really are at that stage where they’re shopping around for an identity,” he said.

He said that engaging with familiar stories did not require deep Scriptural knowledge and offered valuable lessons about morality and pitfalls in life.

He said that as part of the workshops, they both engaged with stories and practiced telling stories of their own.

“It [includes] either the telling of parables, or discussing popular movies, books and tv shows,” he said.

Mr Toy also said that they were considering running the program more often.

“The youth have reacted very well to it,” he said.

“We’re looking at doing these sessions every other week.

“There is so much in this field of discussion and topic of study that there is no limit to what we can get out of it.”

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