Jesus said to his disciples, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." Mark 10:14
It has been such a joy for us as a church family to have so many children coming regularly to our Sunday services. We have children of all ages, but have been particularly blessed with a large number of pre-school children. We currently have nearly 30 on our registers, and typically up to 15 on a Sunday! Praise God!
The self-contained room we have in church is now becoming too small to cope with that number of young children. And we very much hope and pray the problem will continue to get worse and more families with young children come along.
Which is why, this autumn, we are launching a new Sunday children's group: Sparks! Sparks will run for the 0-2 1/2 year olds. It will essentially be a creche with carers and toys but without any structured teaching. Our existing 'Candles' group will become a group for the 2 1/2 - 4 year olds, which will be a structured session with age appropriate teaching.
The challenge has been this: where to run the new group?!
Having pondered just about every option we could think of, we've decided that the best is to run 'Sparks' in the Chancel area, behind the main stage (where the organ and choir stalls are). To make this work, we have removed the pews and invested in some portable sound proof screens. The chancel area can be accessed around the side (through a door next the the loos), so it will easy for parents/carers to access it without walking across the main stage!
Please will you pray for the start of this new group? That it would be a means of (as Jesus says), not hindering children from coming to church and being well cared for, and taught about Jesus. And please will you bear with us as we work through the logistics of a new set up? Inevitably there will be some practical teething issues! And we will all need to get used to a little extra noise in the main church building.
Who knows? Perhaps in due course, we may be able to work towards a longer term solution involving a more substantial investment in the building.... but that for another day...