At St Mary's we love children and young people. If the church is the body of Christ then we believe children should be at the heart of our faith and worship. It is our aim that children at St Mary's are fellow pilgrims with adults on the journey of faith. We have separate activities for children and young people to explore and experience the Christian spirituality but also we believe that a 'childlike' faith is an essential way of seeing for everybody. If anyone wants to discover God as best they can they must listen to children and learn from them.
What happens at church for children and young people at St Mary's.
For very young children (aged 0 to 2½) we have a crèche that is available every Sunday. This is in the prayer room and is available at any point in the service. There is an audio feed of the service into the room and a large selection of toys to play with. We also have full changing facilities.
On the second Sunday of the month we have our All Together Church service. During this service the children remain in the main service. We always have a theme that the whole church reflects on and often there is opportunity for everyone to share their perspective.
On the other Sundays (1st, 3rd and 4th) we have our groups listed below. All children and young people who get involved in our activities have to register (this is a policy that we have adopted from the London Diocese safeguarding guidelines. This provides us with emergency contact details and any medical or dietary conditions. Upon arrival at church you will be greeted by Tim Broadbent (our Youth & Children's Minister) who will guide you through our registration process.
At Starter Church (for those in nursery to year 1) we use storytelling, symbols, prayer and creative reflection to create space for children to experience God. We also have fun through playing games and often a chance to sing together.
At Kid's Church (for those in year 2 to year 5) we might have a discussion about a bible story or person and try to help see the connection between their life and following Christ in school and with their friends. There is often a game or two and some creative craft.
For those in Starter and Kids church we have a badge system that has the name of the child on the front of the badge and any relevant medical or dietary conditions on the back. This is info is really helpful for our group leaders.
Youth Church (for those in Year 6 to Year 10) is a place young people can discuss faith honestly and think about how they can contribute to the church, their community and the wider world.
For young people in secondary school we have a youth group called SMS (St Mary's Soul). SMS meets every Sunday evening at 6pm during term time. We meet in the church crypt (basement) and have about an hour to play table tennis, team games, Nintendo Wii U and we cook food together once a month. We spend the last 30 mins talking and thinking about life, faith and what it means to follow Jesus as a young person. Its also completely free! Call Tim Broadbent on 07890770002 for more info.
We are thrilled to have been awarded the Diocese of London's Children's Charter, making children fully part of St Mary's through welcome, worship, mission and nurture. All our leaders and helpers are CRB checked and take great care to ensure the children have fun in a safe environment.
Our own St Mary's Youth Club and St Mary's Pre-School are led by the St Mary Islington Community Partnership, and we have excellent links with St Mary's Primary School.
For more information contact:
Tim Broadbent - Youth & Children's Minister firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Salmon - Safeguarding Officer email@example.com