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Introducing a whole-church challenge: The New City Catechism

I’d love to invite you all to take part in a whole-church challenge for this coming term! We’re going to have a go at learning the first part of the New City Catechism (NCC) together.

What is the New City Catechism?!

A catechism is a way of presenting the big truths of the Bible in a Question and Answer format. Back in the day (as in, most of Christian history over the past 2000 years!) it was a staple for children and adults new to the faith to learn these big truths through catechism. The New City Catechism is a contemporary catechism produced in 2017.

What’s the purpose of the NCC?

Jesus said “everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matt. 7:24). The truths of the Bible are ROCK for our lives. A catechism helps us to learn these truths. It also gives us a theological framework through which to understand the Bible when we read it.

So how does the NCC work in practice?

It’s dead simple. The NCC is a collection of 52 questions and answers divided into three parts. This term we’re learning part 1, which includes 20 questions, focussed on ‘God, creation, fall and law’. We’ve condensed it a little further to fit between now and Christmas. Each question comes with a shorter answer for children, and slightly longer answers for adults.

  • There is a brilliant App, which includes supplementary Bible passages and a short commentary on each question.

  • There is a very catchy song for each question and answer, in the app, or on Spotify/Youtube (just search ‘New City Catechism’).

  • There is a booklet, which will be available at the Getaway, and at church.

Everything you need to know is at

How will we do this at church?

We’ll be working through one question a week, which we’ll flag at church, on the church WhatsApp and Happenings newsletter. To help us all with the challenge we will also:

  • Give a sticker-chart for children to complete. Stickers given when they are able to give the question and answer for the week at church to Peter or another children’s leader.* There will be prizes for any children who have completed the sticker chart by the end of term.**

  • Learn some of the songs at church. The songs make memorisation SO much easier. We’ll do a few of them all together on a Sunday.

  • Incorporate the Q&A into our Sunday service. When there is a Family Focus slot, we’ll work through the Q&A together. We will also include them occasionally as part of our collective responses.

  • 3 minute reflection for adults each week. One of the teaching team will produce a 3 min video each week unpacking the question and answer, with some personal reflection and application.

*Don’t worry- there will be plenty of grace for any children who find memorising things more challenging.

** Again, don’t worry- we’ll give some leeway so it doesn’t feel unachievable!

Some tips for parents

Parents- this is a brilliant opportunity to teach your kids the big truths of the Bible!! This is what God calls all parents to do- and something that we all struggle with. So why not embrace this as a golden opportunity? Children from about 4/5 and up should be able to engage.

  • Learn the songs together. This will be by far the easiest way to learn the questions and answers. In a trial run in the Brewster family our older kids (6 and 5), easily learned each question after a few runs through the song at breakfast each week.

  • Talk about the questions and answers together. We want to foster understanding, not just memorization.

  • Create some extra incentives for kids to learn them! We sometimes call it bribery and corruption in our house…

All going well, I hope we might return to part 2 next Autumn term!


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