- 3/4 of respondents see St Giles mainly as ‘a place to celebrate traditional festivals and events’ – however, 78% of our respondents would like to view it as a centre of their community with activities that they can come along to. This is very encouraging for reaching out into the community!
- Just over half of those surveyed would like to see an an after school club for 5-11s, and 42% would like to see a youth group for 11+. 62% would like a monthly fun informal family gathering with food, crafts, songs and stories. This is a huge indicator towards ‘Messy Church’ – a fun craft activity over several hours which is practised already in many churches – for us.
- 2/3 said that they would like to see more big family events.
- 2/3 also answered that having more kid’s activities might make St Giles’ feel like a place where their family might feel like they belong.
- Nearly half feel this would be aided by having someone to talk to from time to time.
- Again nearlyhalf would like large numbers of other families around so they don’t feel like the only ones.
With this information and after the discussions I have had with church families and schools, I am going to focus on an activity within the four areas I believe this Children’s and Families Ministry should cover:
Within schools, we are planning to run a ‘Bible Study after school club’. This is planned at being one afternoon a week for 4-6 weeks, rotating around the schools within the parish, involving acting, games and crafts!
Within our community we are going to run a Messy Church, on a Sunday afternoon/evening for 2 hours. To begin with we will look to run this every three months or so, to fit in with seasonal events.
For our church kids we are looking at doing something a little different within the 11.30am service. For the moment, this will be one Sunday per month, involving crafts and interactive, ‘hands on’ activities.
For our church families, I am looking to set up a ‘Parents Group’ which will be a social group, giving our families within the church a chance to get to know one another a little better.
Please keep your eyes peeled for more information on all of the above events! And take a look at our news page for info about 2 outdoor family events we are running on 9th and 16th August– please come and join in!
I have had some wonderful suggestions from our congregations that we are considering for further down the line, so I would like to just say a huge thank you if you have taken the time to chat to me and I would also like to say an enormous thank you to those that filled in our online survey. It is important however to remember that at the moment all of these projects are pilots and will need to be assessed and reviewed. They are all open to change according to the feedback we receive.
For all of these activities, we will need your help! We can only start reaching out if we have the support of our congregations, whether that’s practically or in prayer. I would absolutely love people to come and join in with these events, it would be amazing to show the local families just how much the St Giles’ community cares about them. If you feel that you would like to come along and help us with any of these new activities, or you would like some more information on them, please do call or drop me an email.”
Jen Watson, St Giles’ Children’s and Families’ Development Worker