Children

Children

We are passionate about the Church being a shining beacon in communities and every child, young person and family having access to a vibrant, welcoming and worshipful church in their locality.

Children are welcomed by Jesus. Indeed Jesus said we need to be like children to enter the Kingdom of God. We encourage and support parishes to welcome children. Children help us to grow in faith, ask good questions and understand the good news of Jesus afresh. Ensuring children have a voice that is heard helps churches to be healthy, vibrant communities.

Schools

Schools, like churches, are found in every community. They are an ideal place to share and show the love of God.

Forging stronger links with local schools, praying for them and working with them should be central to any parish’s youth, children and family strategy with a school in or near their parish. By working with other local parishes, and ecumenically, it should be possible to see every school in the Diocese have links with at least one local church.

Linking with schools can be tough, and it takes time to build a healthy and helpful relationship between a school and a church. As a Diocese we would like to resource parishes to do this by advising and working with parishes, enabling them to build an effective and helpful missional framework to work with their local school. Assemblies, giving out Bibles and running lunch time clubs can all benefit a school and its pupils. To find out how to begin to grow links with your local school you can visit the serving your locals schools page

If you would like any other help linking with your local school please contact Jonathan Masters.

Resources

There are many resources to help churches welcome children. At Church House we have hard copies of books and other equipment for parishes to borrow.

We also encourage the use of Godly Play. Godly Play is a movement to influence the Churches’ support of spiritually rich practices with children and adults.

The Heart of Godly Play:

  • Creating Sacred Space
  • Building and working in community
  • Learning religious language
  • Using religious language to make meaning

 A Godly Play session includes a time to:

  • get ready
  • tell a story using objects and artefacts
  • explore the story more with open questions and discussion
  • respond with a free choice using a variety of materials – art… silence… play… writing…
  • enjoy a simple feast and sharing

To find out more about Godly Play you can visit the website. http://www.godlyplay.uk/method/

Some parishes use other great resources or ideas. If you are not sure what to do in your parish do get in touch with Jonathan Masters and he will be happy to help.

Holy Communion

If your parish is having questions about administering Holy Communion to children, this section is for you! Children can be welcomed to receive Holy Communion in parishes in Chester Diocese. The parish needs to apply for permission to do this after a consultation process and a decision by the PCC. For more information, please contact Jonathan Masters, Youth, Children and Families Missioner, who can:

  • advise on the process of getting permission
  • introduce the issues to the PCC or wider meetings
  • put you in touch with parishes where children are admitted to Holy Communion
  • suggest useful resources – our library includes background reading, published preparation courses and 'The Communion Cube'

Jonathan recommends that you read the documents linked below to help begin the process.

Diocese of Chester guidelines

Short guide – just the basics

Discussion starter sheet