Families and children are warmly welcomed in our Churches
When your children are baptised we say “We welcome you into the Lord’s family”. Children are never too young to come to church. At St. Peter’s we want you and your children to feel welcome at our services. We particularly want to help you as you encourage your children to share in worship and to learn about God. The church is an inclusive community where all are welcome.
Coming to Church with young children
We realise that parents can easily feel embarrassed if babies cry or toddlers won’t sit still or keep quiet. It doesn't matter - it's normal for children. We want to do all we can to help your visits to church be enjoyable for both you and your child. If your child wants to crawl on the carpet or toddle around, do let them! But it is helpful to them and to other people if you discourage them from turning the church into a race-track. If children ask questions, try to answer them rather than telling them to be quiet - other people will not be as aware of your child’s noise as you think.
Try to encourage children to feel included and involved in the service. Help them to follow the service and to join in the responses to the prayers and in the songs. They can clap along to some songs if they want to! Tell them quietly what is happening and help them to imitate you when you join in. Sit where they can see what is going on, rather than staying right at the back in case they disturb other people.
If your baby or child cries or is very restless, you can take them into the choir vestry for a while for a break where you can both relax. Mothers are also welcome to sit there if you want somewhere private to feed your baby. There is a baby changing facility in the disabled toilet in the Hall, where you will also find toilets for older children. During Parish Communion services playbags of small toys are available for your child. These have been prepared and presented by the Mothers’ Union.
Finally, if there are things you think we could do to make coming to church with your children a better experience - do let us know. We are always open to new ideas.
Activities and Services at St Peter’s specially designed for families and children include:
Little Fishes group
Little Fishes is for babies and pre-school children and their parents/carers and meets in St. Peter’s every Wednesday at 11 a.m. Come and meet the Fishy team, join in stories, songs, crafts, prayers and games, and meet other parents, grandparents and carers with young children.
Our Sunday School is open to all children aged 3 and over, and meets at St. Peter’s during the 9.30 a.m. Parish Communion Service twice a month in term time.
Our Youth Club meets on Sunday evenings at St. Peter’s Hall. Membership is open to young people in Year 6 and above who have links with the Church. Details of forthcoming meetings from the Parish Office.
On the second Sunday each month at St. Peter’s Church, the hymns, prayers and address are designed with a younger congregation in mind and give an opportunity for your children to become familiar with church in a friendly and informal setting. Children and young people are often involved in leading the worship. This service is also the occasion when we welcome newly baptised children.
We are joined by the uniformed organisations (Scout and Guide groups) twice a year for a parade service on Mothering Sunday and Harvest Festival.
Most of our social events are suitable for families, and special-price family tickets are available where appropriate. Watch out for details on our notice board, newsletter or Parish Magazine, or see the Special Events page on our website.
Children in Year 6 or above, and adults of any age, may like to consider Confirmation. All those who worship regularly are encouraged to be Confirmed and share in Holy Communion. Preparation in separate junior and adults groups begins early in the New Year - contact the clergy for more information.
A week towards the end of the summer holidays with activities, stories, music, crafts and games for primary school children, meeting in the morning at St. Peter’s
Protection of Children and vulnerable adults:
The parish operates a strict Policy for the protection of children and vulnerable adults, in accordance with Diocese of Chelmsford guidelines; this is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of adults and children in our congregations and those who work with them. Any queries relating to Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults should be addressed to the Clergy.