In our Parish we are very fortunate to have willing and enthusiastic volunteers to engage in Sunday School activities, both at St. Alban’s during the 11am service and at St. Bartholomew’s during the 9.30am service.
This year at St Bartholomew’s, instead of ceasing to operate during August we have been able to hold sessions throughout the year. The team work extremely closely together following the Mosaic book but also include many exciting activities of their own designs.
There are basically four teams who run the activities on the same Sunday in each month at the two buildings. All team members say how much they enjoy the experiences working with our younger members. As a church we can only say how grateful we are for all the efforts from both St. Bartholomew’s and St. Alban’s and we are sure they are providing experiences the children will remember all through their lives.
All the children are learning together through stories, games, crafts, drama, sharing and prayer. Both groups of children use the Mosaic material produced by Scripture Union, plus other supplementary materials. In addition to these activities, both groups have worked together on Thy Kingdom Come Prayers and at Harvest time have supported a local homeless charity. They have also joined in World War 1 Remembrance activities, learning about Christian aid activities and Advent preparations.
The younger elements of our parish have also been involved in more diverse ways. In June, a concert was performed to raise funds towards the Girl Guide Smile 5 initiative in support of the guide’s project to visit and help develop a school for underprivileged children in Kididima in Kenya.
Other activities have included piano evenings run by our choir master and members of the Stoke-on-Trent Youth Group performing at St. Alban’s
Our church school joined in a celebration of Carols by Candlelight at Christmas. In October, fireworks lit up the sky during our fun packed light party. Our church school, Belgrave St. Bartholomew’s Academy wishes to continue these links and the new Incumbent will have the opportunity to develop not only links with the church school but the other four Primary Schools and one High School which are situated in our parish.
With regard to initiatives involving the younger members of our parish we also have a newly formed parents and toddler group called First Steps. There is a lovely atmosphere during the sessions where toddlers, parents, grandparents, carers and friends enjoy a variety of activities.
Also, running at St Albans is a Nursery called Little Learners which keeps on going from strength to strength. Little Learners Nursery has recently had a growth in children and is thriving at the present time. They have recently had an OFSTED Inspection which they received a GOOD rating for and they are feeling very proud of themselves.
Therefore, any new Incumbent, if they feel part of their Ministry is linked to the younger members of our society, will have a wealth and variety of opportunities todevelop the youth and themselves. We value the opinions and contributions of our children. So we used a Sunday School session to talk about the role of a Vicar.