Over recent years we have made great efforts to reach out to the younger people in our congregation. We believe they are today’s church not just the church of the future and we value their contribution. Our efforts were rewarded in January 2017 when the Blackburn Diocese “CHILD FRIENDLY CHURCH” award was awarded to us and we strive constantly to live up to the expectations which that award demands.
We have two members of the PCC who have 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 faith-based resources in pew bags which are age-appropriate and pew bags for toddlers which can be used by families 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.
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 and prayers.
Amongst our congregation we have young people who are included in our discussions about the church and asked for their suggestions. On occasion when appropriate, these young people are invited as guests to PCC meetings.
Children’s bible story books are available for children in church to allow them to follow the bible readings at an appropriate level.
Sunday School goes ahead on the other two Sundays in the meeting room at the back of church and is much enjoyed by all the children attending.
Strong links have been developed with the Church Primary 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.
The school children come into church for services during Lent, at Easter, Education Sunday and for the school anniversary / leavers service in July. Members of the Children’s Ministry team also lead a Moving On programme for the Year 6 Leavers to support them in their move to secondary school.