Children and young people

Nativity play
Nativity play

We are delighted to welcome you and your family to worship at St. Mary’s and Christ Church. As part of our worship we provide the following groups that cater especially for children.

On your first Sunday you will be asked to complete a simple registration form. This is part of our parish child protection policy.

All Christ Church children’s Sunday groups meet at 9.30 a.m. – Nursery Church and Junior Church meet in the Hall. Junior Choir meets in the Vestry.

At Christ Church, the whole Church meets together towards the end of the service for communion and often later share something of what has been happening in one or more of the children’s groups.

Child, Young Person and Vulnerable Adult Safeguarding Policy

The Parish has adopted the Diocese of Chelmsford’s policy and has published a brief statement about this (available here). Our policy includes the checking of all paid and voluntary leaders with the Disclosure and Barring Service, adult to child ratios, and agreements for the changing and toileting of younger children. Copies of the full policy and procedures are available in the Parish Office at Christ Church and in the clergy vestry at St Mary’s. Click below for our full, updated 2017 policy.

Safeguarding Policy 2017 (V11)

Age groups

Christ Church Nursery Church

Our Nursery Church seeks to provide worship and play for our pre-school (0-4yrs) children and their parents/carers. It runs for all children up to and including their first term in Reception class.

Read more about Nursery Church

Christ Church Junior Church

Junior Church caters for children aged between 4 and 12 years old.

Read more about Christ Church Junior Church

St. Mary’s Sunday School (11a.m. at the New Warren tennis club)

Children aged from 0 to 12 are welcome at our friendly creche and Sunday School.

Read more about St Mary’s Sunday School

Signpost (11+)

Signpost is our youth group for young people 11+. It meets every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month from 8 – 9.30 pm in the Parish Hall.

Read more about Signpost

Helping our children to worship

Our children won’t always be perfect or quiet in church and we shouldn’t be frightened if they make a noise. Our watchword for young or old is respect – for God and each other.

First communion
First communion

You can help your children by…

  • Arriving for church on time
    Clergy greet the groups meeting at 9.30 – please aim for the children to arrive by 9.25. Late arrivals are very disruptive! If you arrive after 9.30a.m. you will need to ring the bell to gain access as the door is closed for safety reasons.
  • Coming prepared
    For babies and young children don’t forget the basics, nappies, a favourite toy or book. Perhaps a simple box of raisins or piece of fruit if necessary but please – the service is not the time for sweets or crisps!
  • Using the resources in church
    There are green bags with an appropriate book and simple quiet toys for babies and young children by the book stand in church – please help yourself or ask one of the sidesmen. For slightly older children there is an illustrated service book, which is great to follow together.
  • Demonstrating respect by your behaviour
    Church is a time to be quiet, please talk to God during the service and your friends afterwards!
  • Taking responsibility for your children
    Help the children enjoy the music, colour and prayers – point out quietly what is happening, and engage them with the worship. And if, as happens to us all, sometimes our children are naughty – don’t make a fuss, but please do pay them attention and intervene appropriately. If young ones are crying do pick them up and if necessary give them and yourself a few minutes’ break outside whilst they calm down – though do come back in!
  • Helping your children to pray
    Take some quiet time with them during the week and before church to talk about what happens, the singing, their friends, that Church is where we meet as God’s big family with Jesus who loves us. Why not say the Lord’s Prayer with them so they can learn our family prayer?

Then… together, young and old enjoy the privilege of this great gift of God in worship and in community.