St Michael and All Angels has a thriving Children’s ministry, providing age-appropriate guided worship from infancy through to teens and including special instruction towards confirmation. Children can progress from the Creche to the Children’s Church, Confirmation and Youth Church, and can also join The Choristers, our children’s choir which leads the singing during our Family Service.
We include the children in our seasonal festivals such as Easter Sunday and Christmas Day Mass, and St Michael’s Day (our patronal festival in September) where the children dress up as St Michael and the angels and chase the dragon out of the church. See pictures in our Flickr album and left.
But we also provide them with special services such as our Good Friday Passion and Christmas Eve Crib service in which they participate. We also hold services after school on Ash Wednesday and Ascension Day.
Our children’s ministry is a vital part of the St Michael and All Angels community and our precious responsibility for the future. We value and nurture them, making worship meaningful, fulfilling and a little bit fun!
A Family Service is usually held on the first Sunday of the month except in March (when it takes place on Mothering Sunday). The singing is led by The Choristers (except in January, August and September), the sermon is aimed at young people (often illustrated with cartoons by Sarah Lenton – above), and the lessons and prayers are read by children. Family Services take place this year on January 6th, February 3rd, March 3rd, March 31st (Mothering Sunday) and other dates to be announced.
On these Sundays, there is no Children’s Church, although crèche facilities are available in the Parish Hall, and there are books for children at the back of the Church.
The Children’s Crèche is set up in the Gabriel Room in the Parish Hall for very young children, aged up to 4. An art activity related to a Bible Story will have been prepared, and they will have a quiet time for prayers, ending with a snack before they are collected by their parents to go into Church for a blessing. See pictures here. For further information on the creche contact our Creche Co-ordinator, via the Parish Office.
‘Children’s Church’ sessions are for ages 5 – 11 yrs and take place during parish mass on Sundays during school term time. (There are no sessions at family service when children and encouraged to stay and engage in the main service). The children process out of church during the first hymn, have a short service of worship in the chapel and then move to the Parish Hall where they hear the Gospel of the day and then explore its meaning through games or artistic activities. At the end of the session, the leaders bring them back into Church to receive a blessing. Sometimes they give a presentation to the grown-ups. (Parents are most welcome to join us if their child is shy or anxious; returning to the service when the child is happily settled.)
We have an energetic team of volunteers who plan and lead the Children’s Church sessions. There is a flexibly structured format to our sessions that the children become familiar with, including prayers and songs, plus a themed topic each week with activities and stories. For example, in 2019 we are looking at the Old Testament, starting with the Creation. We encourage the children to explore what it is to be a Christian, to be curious and thoughtful about their faith and to be confident in their identity as a Christian. We hope to instil tolerance and understanding of other faiths as well as a strong belief in themselves and their own spirituality. Contact: Christina Whiteway via the Parish Office.
See our Confirmation page.
The Choristers are the members of our children’s choir, led by the director of music, Jonathan Dods, and by Vicky Brooke. See our page for The Choristers.
Our SMAAA Youth Church aims to challenge and engage our older children (post-confirmation/primary school leavers +) with projects such as designing and creating an Easter Garden in the church grounds. We shall be giving our Youth Church stand-alone projects and topics to discuss and implement, hoping to encourage questions and debate about their faith and the world around them. If you’d like to join, or learn more, please contact Fr Edward or Christina Whiteway in church or via the Parish Office.