Over the last two years particularly we have made great efforts despite the small number of children regularly in our congregation, to reach out to the younger people. We believe they are today’s church not just the church of the future and we value their contribution.
We have two members of the PCC who have recently completed the course for the Bishop’s Certificate in Children’s Ministry and they endeavour to use their skills for the benefit of the children.
We have a children’s corner with faith-based resources appropriate for the age group which can be used by families and pew bags for toddlers and school age children with specially developed resources which can be used in the pews during the service.
Two out of the four services each month have a special family-friendly format with folders for the children which lay out the service in a way which we hope engages and challenges them with things to think about and do whilst leading them through the service so that they know what to do, when to do it and why they are doing it.
Children’s bible story books are provided for them every week and a relevant story which matches or ties in with the bible reading is marked.
Every effort is made on these two Family Sundays to ensure that the talk has elements which the children can relate to. Often the children are asked to take the collection or read the lessons.
They may greet people coming into church or ring the bells and help to put the books away after the service.
Sunday School goes ahead on the other two Sundays in the church meeting room at the back of church and is much enjoyed by all the children attending. We try to include the children when they come back into church, showing the congregation what they have done or encouraging them to prepare prayers in advance for the next family service.
Strong links have been developed with the day school through school governors elected by the church visiting on a regular basis and through shared activities. Every week one of the Children’s Ministry team or clergy go into school to lead worship and on a regular basis the benefice “Open the Book” team do the same. The children come into church for services during Lent, at Easter, Education Sunday, harvest etc. and for the end of term services. On these occasions we provide refreshments and fellowship for all of our visitors. The church has recently created a quiet prayer room in school for use by the school community. It is maintained by the church and the theme is changed half termly. The school features in the weekly intercessions and a prayer box is provided at school for prayer requests which are transferred to church for the Sunday service.