Here at St Matthew’s Church we’re excited to see so many families with young children attending our 9.30am Sung Mass on Sundays. Once a month, usually the first Sunday of each month, a Mass For All Ages is held. On other Sundays (currently during term-time only) children age 5 and over are invited to join our Godly Play sessions held in The Lady Chapel, whilst children age 3 to 5 are invited to join Pebbles Play the church hall.
Godly play is for children age 5 and over. Please bring your child/children into church where they can sit with the Godly Play leader near the pulpit and then follow the procession to the altar where one child will receive the Bible before being led to the Lady Chapel. The children will return to the main church with their leader and helpers for Holy Communion.
Godly Play is an exciting approach to learning about God and Jesus through interactive storytelling in which the leaders have received training. The emphasis will not be on facts but on giving the children an opportunity to wonder and to respond creatively to the presence of God in their lives. Godly Play sessions use the following format - spread over two weeks - that is not dissimilar to that of a church service, but at a level appropriate for children:
- Listening and watching a story
- ‘Wondering’ about the story
- Responding creatively to the story using craft materials
- Praising God through songs
- Thanking God for our time together and simple prayers
- A feast of biscuits and juice
There will be separate times built in for the younger and older children to respond and reflect, taking into account differing concentration levels. Please do not worry if your child/children miss the storytelling session as we will be retelling the story in a shorter form at the start of the craft session.
The sessions are led by regular leaders, assisted by helpers who have all been CRB checked.
Pebbles Play is for children age 3 to 5. We ask that you bring your child/children to the church hall by 9.30am where they will be welcomed and taken to the circle. Pebbles Play includes stroy telling, craft activties, singing and prayer. The sessions are led by regular leaders, assisted by helpers who have all been CRB checked. The children return to the main church with their leader and helpers in time for Holy Communion.
The nursery at the back of church is available for parents with babies and children under 3 where craft activities will be available to share with your children.