Peter Freeman (Children and Family Worker) [ Feb 2018]
Happy New Year to All Readers!
This has probably been the busiest Christmas ever, a time of deep reflection but also a time when the impact of all our work with children and families became evident. The first indication was at the Rainbows, Brownies and Guides Carol service, with the church packed with girls and their parents. As the girls arrived they greeted me with a smile and hello because I was being recognised for the work we are doing with Open the Book. Similarly, this was the case at the Scouts carol service when one young man warmly greeted me, to the astonishment of his mum. ‘How do you know my son?’ she asked with a worried face. ‘Oh I go into Bexton school with Open the Book each fortnight.’ I replied. This allayed her fears. The Scouts’ carol service was also when we first performed ‘Baarbs Christmas’, which involved around ten puppeteers!
I was very privileged to be asked to be part of Bexton Primary School’s Christmas festivities and I enjoyed going into their preschool, telling the youngest children the Christmas story each week through Advent. Sadly the end of the school term also saw the end of Princess Street Preschool. The staff were magnificent right to the end but it was sad to see them leave the building, as pre-school workers, for the last time. We were fortunate that a new nursery is opening up in Mobberley, so they have been able to take many of the resources but clearing what they, parents and other settings did not want, is taking some time.
Christmas Eve was the day of the Christingle service. The Christingles were made by the children and young people at the 10:45 service and then the service took place in the afternoon. Once again we did ‘Baarb’s Christmas’ and sang songs that were projected on the screen with a backing track. This service was very well received. Particular mention should be made to Rachel, George, Miriam and Sarah who worked so hard as part of the puppet team.
In the first week of January we held a Messy Church with an Epiphany theme. We had 31 children who came along with parents and grandparents and it was really great. The last two Messy Churches have both been on Wednesday mornings in the school holiday and been successful when compared with previous ones after school. It seems this may be the best times to hold them with 4:1 occurring monthly on the second Sunday of the month. This month (January) at 4:1 we were pleased to welcome two new families. We looked at The Lost Coin’ and it was great watching the children searching for the ‘lost coins’ that had been placed around the church. On the 10th January ‘Jolly Tots’ started. It was great to see parents, who had previously attended Mums and Toddlers’, arriving and the feedback was excellent. I am sure that Eve James and her team will be encouraged by the start of this new venture and more will attend as news travels about the new format.
On 22nd January, we started a Care for the Family course ‘Time Out for Parents – The Teenage Years’. This is a seven week course and I know that there will be many people from Knutsford and the North West who will be attending.
As well as all this, Rob has asked if I will facilitate the ‘part’ of the first section of the 10:45 service. Over the coming months it is our hope that you will see a variety of ways that the gospel is proclaimed that is accessible to all.
Children and Families Worker