At St John’s we believe that young people have a purpose and place in God’s church. We’re committed to helping people of all ages encounter a loving God and come to trust his purpose for our lives. We want to be a community that equips and encourages young people to live out the way of Jesus in our relationships with each other.
Church is a family, from the baby to the centenarian and we are all equally welcome. Our 10:30 services have activities and sessions specifically for children and young people. However, all ages are welcome at both our 10:30 and more formal 9am services.
1st Sunday – all age Messy Church. All all-age inclusive service for everyone. This replaces a 10:30 service in the main church, instead we all worship in the hall.
2nd Sunday – J-Club. Children and young people start in the main church and then go over to the hall for activities, songs and stories
3rd Sunday – All age worship in the church. Children and young people stay in and we worship together as a church family.
4th Sunday – J-Club and YJ. YJ is our session specifically for young people aged 11-16.
As a church we agree with the principles laid out on this blog, some specifics as below.
It matters that they [children in church] learn that worship is what we do as a community of faith, that everyone is welcome, that their worship matters. When we teach children that their worship matters, we teach them that they are enough right here and right now as members of the church community. They don’t need to wait until they can believe, pray or worship a certain way to be welcome here, and I know adults who are still looking to be shown that. It matters that children learn that they are an integral part of this church, that their prayers, their songs, and even their badly (or perfectly-timed, depending on who you ask) cries and whines are a joyful noise because it means they are present.
I know it’s hard, but thank you for what you do when you bring your children to church. Please know that your family — with all of its noise, struggle, commotion, and joy — are not simply tolerated, you are a vital part of the community gathered in worship.
At St John’s we wanted to share these stories with the children in our local Primary schools. We joined ‘Open the Book’ which helps us bring the stories alive with drama, props and costumes. Find out more.