Our Parish policy is to provide a safe environment in which children and young people can find out about the Christian faith in a supportive and creative atmosphere. We aim to respect the views of children and to be inclusive of their needs. ** See also ParentPort website details below **
We have an active Child Protection policy, which you can read attached at the bottom of this page, and all who work with children only do so after appropriate character screening. Coupled with our intentions to be clear in our teaching of the Christian faith is our desire that children should learn to respect people of differing denominations, other faiths and those of none. In accordance with government legislation our youth leaders and ministry team all have up to date Criminal Records Bureau Enhanced disclosures.
Children are an integral part of our community, and we welcome them at all our services. The arrangements we make specifically for them include:
At the Sunday morning services at St Augustine’s and St Luke’s, a team of adults prepare activities for children based on the Scripture Union scheme Light. All children are welcome to join the appropriate group for their age. For those children who don’t want to join the group, there are books and toys in church for them to use.
On the 1st Sunday of each month at St Luke’s, there is an All-Age Service, and the children are encouraged to take an active role in the service if they wish.
On alternate Mondays during term-time, from 6.15 pm to 7.30 pm, Live Wires and Live Wires+ meet in St Luke’s Church and the Rectory (next to the Church, at 2 Stretten Avenue). Live Wires is for children of Primary School age, and Live Wires+ for those of Secondary School age. Activities include art and craft work, cooking, games and stories. Most of all, it is fun! The main festivals of the church are celebrated with themed activities. Every so often, parents are invited to join the Live Wires group for supper or a party! Where possible, children contribute £1.00 to help to cover the cost of materials.
On Thursdays during term-time, 'First Friends' meet at Castle Street Methodist Church, between 10.00 a.m. and 12 noon. Children from babies to pre-school age are welcome. Activities include arts and crafts, toys, stories and music. £1 for one child and £2 for a family of two or more children. For more details, please contact Denise Miller using the contact form or just turn up on the day.
On Friday mornings in St Luke’s Church from 9.30 am to 11.30 am, Little Acorns, a group for mothers/carers with babies and toddlers, meets throughout the year. Everyone with young children is welcome to come along. There is, as you can imagine, much discussion about child development and the problems of raising children. Tea, coffee, squash, biscuits and fruit are available throughout the sessions. It is an informal group, with toys and activities for the children. At the end, everyone gathers together to sing simple songs and rhymes. There is no charge for Little Acorns.
On Fridays during term-time, at St Luke’s School, from 2.15 pm to 3.15 pm Old and Young Together takes place. Small groups of children take it in turns to join older members of the community in the Staff Room for conversation, games, a drink and a biscuit. Both age groups appear to enjoy themselves!
Easter and Summer Holidays. Depending on the timing of Easter, we run activities for children for up to three days before the Easter weekend, with a clearly defined Easter theme. Our friends from Castle Street Methodist Church usually join us. In one week of the Summer holidays, we arrange outdoor games and activities (with indoor options if wet!).
** ParentPort website **The Mothers' Union 'Bye Buy Childhood' campaign aims to empower families to challenge the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood through positive action. As a result of their Bailey Review, all the major Regulators involved e.g. ASA, BBC Trust, Ofcom, PCC etc have now made themselves accessible through a single internet portal, http://www.parentport.org.uk and all businesses are being encouraged to create on their websites a single clear link for Complaints.
If you would like to voice your concerns about anything in the media aimed at children then use the ParentPort website to contact all those concerned.