Youth and Children’s Ministry
The youth and children’s ministry here at Christ Church is exciting and thriving. We are fortunate to have an increasing number of children and youth to reach out to, and several of our church families are expecting their first child.
Children’s minds at this stage are about imagination: children are seeking, searching and reaching out for answers. Christ Church’s children’s ministry looks to facilitate that widening imagination, and to encourage children to include God in their thinking; understanding who God is, what God means to them and what God does for them. With dedicated team leaders, volunteers and supporters we help the children in their spiritual development as young Christians through fun and engaging worship, energetic Bible exploration and relaxed (messy!) sessions of art and craft.
We hope that you enjoy reading more about our various groups. If you’d like more information or to have a chat, you are warmly encouraged to speak to our Team Leader, Maria Semikina.
Sunday School starts with a short time of worship at 10:45 and then the children begin their learning and activities. The children join the rest of the congregation at the communion for the remainder of the service. Parents can stay with the children, until they are settled, but are then then encouraged to rejoin the service. Children aged 3-10 have a Bible talk and time of singing together; then they split into age-specific groups to learn more about the day’s Bible passage and to pray. They learn through discussion, memory verses, crafts and games that all connect with the learning theme of the day. This is often shared with the adult service, to allow parent and child to have discussions together over what they have learnt that Sunday. We use wonderful curriculum materials called Seasons of the Spirit.
The congregation enjoys having the children active and involved in the life of the church. In November the Sunday School took part in the Remembrance Day procession. The children made poppies and laid them at the war memorial. During the Advent season, the church enjoys the children’s Nativity Play and the Crib Service. We decorate the church with our various artworks, and report back to the congregation during the notices what we have been working on.
Sounds like fun? Come and join us this Sunday at 10:45 and find out!
Sunday School Team
- Team Leaders
The Sunday School leadership team is made up of every person who has been enlisted as a Sunday School leader in any age group. Everyone is a member of the team working to implement the Sunday School strategy.
The Sunday School Leader provides the general administration of the church’s Sunday School ministry. This person is responsible for coordinating the work of all Sunday School age groups, to achieve the aims of the Sunday School (see above)
- Children’s Champion
Our Children’s Champion is Joan Rock. Joan was nominated for her passion and long history in looking after and educating children within the community as a childminder. As Children’s Champion she speaks up for children and youth within the church, and challenges the church leadership when we forget to include children’s needs in our planning.
Joan sits on the PCC as our children’s representative, offering important feedback and ideas where the church can positively impact the children and youth that come to church. As one of the longstanding and vocal members of the congregation she is well placed to encourage the children and youth in the church to speak up for themselves.
Joan’s vision is to ensure the children and youth have a valued place at Christ Church, and that the services, activities and programs allow them to feel welcomed, valued and heard.
- Safeguarding Officer
Our safeguarding officer is Mandy Lashmar. With the Vicar and Churchwardens, Mandy ensures that we are committed to the safeguarding, care and nurture of everyone within our church. The Parish operates within the safeguarding policy of the Diocese of London. Everyone who works with children or with vulnerable adults will be recruited and appointed following the accepted principles of safer recruiting. References will be taken up and a DBS check will be undertaken.
EPIC Youth Group
EPIC meets every Thursday from 4:30 – 6pm for those aged between 8-12 years. EPIC supports and challenges the young people to reach their full spiritual potential. Every week we get together and have Bible Study, discuss the what’s going on at school and have fun. We often have a meal together, have a laugh and talk about Jesus and Pokemon!
Family Friendly Services
Churches often struggle to define what it is that is different about their family services. Until recently Christ Church was no different! The Mass should, Sunday-by-Sunday, be the family service of the Christian family. But there is no doubt that parts of what it means to be the family of God and the Body of Christ sometimes get lost and forgotten. So now we have devised a family service with a difference, the All-the-Church-Family Service. In this service we draw people’s attention to the various activities that go on in church or in the name of the church for the furtherance of God’s kingdom. This year we have had services which celebrate, in an informal setting, the work of the Sunday School, the Parish Pantry (or Island Gardens Foodbank), the contribution made by mums (and then by dads) to family life and to our church family. We have thought about disability and education and we have shared what our Bible Study Groups are learning, and celebrated what they do for God and the community when they are not doing bible study.