Join St. Michael’s & St. Mary Magdalen’s Children’s Church
Please note: During the current lockdown, Children’s Church is meeting on Zoom only.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, we have special measures to keep everyone safe. Please contact us ahead of coming, so we can let you know more details.
St. Michael at the North Gate and St. Mary Magdalen churches run a joint Children’s Church which meets every Sunday from 10.30am to around 11.15am in the Parish Room at St. Michael’s church. We have adapted our pattern to comply with Covid-19 regulations.
The service is designed to be accessible for all pre-school and primary school age children. The environment is very relaxed and easy-going. We find our children enjoy it most when they are accompanied by a parent/carer who can share the experience with them. Babies enjoy the action too!
It is a simple service for children which includes prayers, the readings of the day – explained and re-told in a child friendly way, and an activity based on these, run by parents and carers. Activities range across drawing, acting, sticking, cake making, biscuit decorating –chosen to make the message of the day engaging to children and adults alike. Bread and grapes are shared (but only within family groups), and we currently say the words of songs rhythmically with percussion instruments for the children.
At around 11.10, Children’s Church says its blessing together and the families can join either St. Michael’s or St. Mary Magdalen churches for the remaining sections of their services.
Enter via St Michael’s Church or via the St Michael’s Courtyard (press the bell) – the latter option works well especially once the service has started in the main church. Buggies can the brought through to the Parish Room. There is a toilet and baby changing facilities next to the Parish Room.
Traditionally we have special services for the major festivals, for example at Christmas we have the St. Michael’s Donkey Service and the Mary Mags Crib Service. On Maundy Thursday Service we normally bake unleavened bread and tell the story of the Last Supper with feet-washing and flower arranging. On Easter Sunday we usually create an Easter garden with flowers and plants brought by the families from their gardens.
Current Covid procedures:
We can currently accommodate up to 5 families in the parish room, so we need families wishing to attend in person to contact us ahead. If you wish to attend, please contact us for further information. Each family brings a picnic rug to sit on, and this helps our social distancing. At the moment we cannot cater for unaccompanied children, so a parent or carer does need to attend as well.
If you are not able to attend in person, we also have an online Children’s Church which runs in parallel to our in-person Children’s Church. For information about this, please also contact Monica. A padlet is also circulated with the readings, short reflections and ideas for activities, which is combined with the virtual meeting for those who cannot attend the ‘live’ meeting.
We look forward to welcoming you
The St Mary Magdalen School of Theology have recently produced a book on Catechesis: an invitation to living faith. The final chapter, on catechesis of children, is by a parent of children who attend the St Mary Magdalen/St Michael at the North Gate joint children’s church. It describes how we aim to invite children to participate in this living faith in a way that is both accessible and respectful, acknowledging that both young and old are children of God.
You can find this book here: Catechesis, an invitation to living faith