At St Mary’s we have a Family Service on the first Sunday of the month.
This is an informal Service which is mainly designed to introduce children of Primary School age to the principles of Christian faith, but also encourages the involvement of family and friends of all ages. The Service uses the same format each time so that the congregation have familiar elements on every occasion, but the reading and talk relate to the chosen theme for that month. We all get the chance to join in with the songs, and activities, and there's even the chance to have a little fun as we sing and pray together.
The format is as follows:
Welcome, candle lighting and opening sentences
Short responses asking for God’s forgiveness
An age appropriate version of the Creed
Blessing, blowing out of the candles
The above is interspersed with 2 or 3 hymns and in total lasts approximately 30 minutes. The talk is usually quite interactive involving congregational participation. If little ones become restless it is absolutely fine for them to walk about or go and play with the toys in the children’s area.
Following the Service we have a time of fellowship in the servery area of the Church. There is a craft activity for the children and drinks and biscuits are served. The activity takes the form of either a poster which is displayed in the Church or a little craft which the children can take home such as a bookmark, model. It is not compulsory for families to stay on after the Service, but this time does enable people to chat and get to know each other and become more familiar with the Church building and the various activities and events which are happening.
"We do hope that we can welcome you to our Family Service soon (whatever age you are) and that through the wonder of the eyes of a child you will experience the love of God in this place".
Frances: Family Service Leader