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Your child and church

We would love you to bring your children to church. As an Anglican church we exist to provide a spiritual home fo all members of our parish - young and old. Jesus said "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."

This page contains some suggestions to help you and your child make the most of church. It is not exhaustive, but hopefully you will find some helpful tips and if we can do anything else to help you, please talk to Revd Nick Bird or one of the chuch wardens.

Types of service

For the best services to bring children to, please see Children on Sundays.

Before coming to church

•  Have breakfast together in as relaxed way as possible.
•  Talk about the fact that you are going to church and why as positively as possible.
•  Leave plenty of time to get to church - rushing doesn't help any of us arrive in a good frame of mind.

Upon entering church

•  Take a service booklet for your child or a copy of "My Communion Book - A child's guide to Holy Communion", even if they can't read - children often like to be included.
•  Sit near the front where your children can see.

As you wait for the service to begin

•  Say a prayer asking God to help you worship him, learn how to follow Jesus and live as a Christian.
•  Talk quietly about the service: what is going to happen and why we do it.
•  Look at the church building - it is full of things that point to God. You might play count the crosses or look for the animals. Look at the colours of the alter cloth and other hangings (they change throughout the church year). Talk about the stained glass you can see.

During the service

Try to help your child engage with the service. Here are a few ideas:

•  If your child can read, help them follow the words in the service booklet or the book "My Communion Book - A child's guide to Holy Communion" available to borrow from the Tower room.
•  There is a large amount of repetition of the same words week by week in the morning services. The more often you can come to church, the more of the service your child will learn by heart. Encourage them to join in. Just saying "amen" is a good start.
•  Try not to say "sshh". The sound carries and often doesn't make children quiet. Maybe try whispering in their ear "We are trying to be quiet so that we can hear what the priest/reader is saying".
•  Whisper questions in their ear, or point out things for them to look at. During Communion point out what is happening with the bread and the wine. Point to who is speaking.
•  Borrow some of the Bible story books from the Tower room to look at and give them a snack to eat quietly. Try to avoid toys that can be used to make loud noises!
•  Feel free to move to the children's cosy corner in the church at any point. You will find cushions, toys and activity sheets and pens for older children.
•  Don't worry! The more wound up you get the more your children will probably play up. Little children will often need to move around and make a little noise and that is perfectly acceptable. If your child is getting really noisy, take them into the Tower room or outside until they are calmer and then come back in again.

Bear with us

We do not always get it right. Church is made up of different individuals with different ideas and ways of doing things. If someone does something which upsets you or your child, please try not to take it personally. At the end of the service, come and talk to the person leading or one of the churchwardens or contact Revd Nick Bird, our priest-in-charge.