JanAshtonHi All,

We used to say welcoming children in church is important because they are the church of the future. I suspect I may have said this or thought this myself. How wrong I was! How wrong we were! For we welcome children in church because they are part of the church now. Children worship and can have a real sense of God being near them, of being loved by God and enjoy the sense of awe worship brings. I myself knew God was calling me to be a priest (though I wouldn’t have used those words) when I was 8 years old.

Somehow in the 1980s and 1990s many churches lost their way. We began to say things like, no worry if your children don’t come to church, when they grow up and have children of her own, they’ll come then (yes, someone said this to me). Perhaps, we began to find children in church inconvenient.

Matthew 18 says,

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’
2 He called a child, whom he put among them,
3 and said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

We at St Stephen’s try to take Jesus’ words seriously. We try to provide opportunities so that children can both learn about our faith and worship. Here’s brief details of what we offer, do text me if you’d like more information 07737916499

Peewits - Worship for pre-school children and their parents/carers

Each Friday throughout the year, 9-10am, in Church. We sing, pray, tell Bible Stories, sometimes involving teddies who act out the story. Did you guess which Bible story Teddy Gruff and Teddy Fluff were acting out - see picture on the front cover ? David and Goliath is the right answer.

Children’s Church

Term time each 2nd Sunday and 4th Sunday. Starting 10th September 10.30 in Church. Teaching and Worship for children with parents staying or not.

All-in-Together Service

A chance of adults and children to worship together. ‘A Good Start’ - celebrating the start of the school year. Sunday September 3rd at 10.30am in church.

Harvest Festival

Sunday September 29th at 10.30am. Adults and Children together and we welcome our Beavers too.

Yes, children are welcome at St. Stephen’s. Even noisy 2 year olds. Even sulky 14 year olds.

Revd. Jan Ashton