We have now been holding Family services at St. Mary’s on a regular basis for 10 years! I find it hard to believe that from those very first small beginnings we have grown onto a major Church Service once a month (9.30 am on the first Sunday of the month). We regularly have a congregation of about 80 or more adults and children, including, Guides and Brownies, and The Colts Choir, who make a valuable contribution to our worship. It pleases me that many of our congregation come along with out children; because they find our more relaxed style of worship helpful. We are always developing the services, and offer different styles of leadership, from Vaughan, myself and other adults who feel that they can take over this important role, and most importantly, the children themselves, from Sunday School and the Guides.
In February 2007 we held our first Family Communion Service within the Family Service and it was so powerful to have a congregation of about 120 joining us, to worship God, for many it was probably their first time taking part in such a service, as Vaughan said at the beginning of the service – “there is only one person who knows how this is going to work today- God”- Well it certainly worked!
I am amazed by the fact that children aged from the age of 3 and 4 have the confidence to speak out loud in front of a full church because that is what they want to do, share their faith with others. Every Christmas the children and young people visit Park View Nursing home to share the Christmas story through reading, songs and drama and then on Christmas Eve lead the Crib service for well over 500 people. What a way of sharing their faith with so many! Please come and join us!
Catherine is our leader together with parents and young people who help. if you have any questions about St Mary’s Sunday School, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We meet in term time during the 10.30 Eucharist service. Whilst the first hymn is sung we line up and lead out to Church House where our activities take place. We greet each other and then take turns to share our news – things we’ve been doing during the week or anything we want to share with our friends. This is important as it helps us to be patient and listen carefully whilst others are speaking and it is good to share with each other.
We usually have a story or talk about the topic we are working on. Recently we have learned about the saints. We found out their names and discovered the important things they did. All of the children had lovely ideas about taking care of each other and being kind and helpful in all we do and say. We led a Family Service and shared what we had learned.
After the story we do our craft activity. We might draw or make models or work on a special project.
The final part of our meeting is spent singing and sometimes we play a game. One particular game involves finding words on small cards hidden around the room, which, when placed in the correct order, help us to remember words from the Bible, for example, “I will be with you always”. We say a prayer and then line up to go back to church singing our special Sunday school song, “I will make you fishers of men”.
As well as our weekly meetings we take part by reading and helping Vaughan in the Family Services and other special celebrations such as Mothering Sunday.