All Hallows welcomes children of all ages, and has an active Sunday School, (formerly called YCB which stood for Young Church Builders), which meets at All Hallows Church during the Sunday service. Children are able to "tune in" to what is happening in the service, whilst engaged in crafts, discussion and stories. Younger children can play alongside and take part in the activities as much or little as they wish. From time to time we also take the children outside for Forest Church services.
REFLECTIONS ON THE YEAR
This has been a year of change for the younger children. Following covid number attending regularly were small and we took the decision to meet inside church during the Sunday morning services and to “re-brand” as Sunday School, following the example of WAAG’s change to YOG. We have met each week, nominally from the start of the sermon until the children join families for communion , but some have joined sooner and stayed longer! The changes seem to have been approved by children and parents alike, with one child sending a message to say that he liked it better now as he can hear the prayers, and a parent commenting that they much preferred it as the whole family was in one place and those with very young children find they have flexibility to join in activities or just play alongside, but parents can still take some part in the worship. Junior choir members have also been able to join us easily and young people who also attend YOG have sometimes joined in our activities leading to good interaction across the age groups. Numbers vary – we have had as many as 18 and as few as 1, but there is a regular core, some of whom have now felt confident to join the rota of people reading lessons in church, to sing with the choir or to consider baptism.
The team of leaders has included Ann Simmonds, Colette Court, Andrew and Alison Ricketts as well as help from Simon and Pam Woodman, Caroline Barber and Chris Goodwin, Steve Court and other parents. Thanks to all for good humour and great support. Some of us have also attended the BCM course in working with children and young people and this has been a stimulus to some of the changes. Going forward we are hoping to be able to refresh the children’s area to make it more comfortable yet retaining flexibility of use and the children have enthusiastically offered suggestions. Whilst it would be wonderful if numbers did increase, our aim is for depth - it really isn’t just cutting, sticking and colouring(!) We are all learning a lot from each other.
We plan to continue to join in the Sunday morning service for the foreseeable future. There will be some activities in the North Aisle for us to use. Parents and friends are welcome to sit with us if they wish and everyone is welcome to come and chat with us about what we have been doing at the end of the service. Children - please join us at the start of the sermon and then go back to your family to go forward with them at communion time.
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Reflections on the year
This is a poignant report to be writing, as it is my last as YCB co-ordinator. It’s been great watching our children grow up
and flourish (and, indeed, bringing their own children back to see us, as happened just this weekend). When Carolyn Jay first
asked (yes, she had to ask more than once – nothing if not tenacious, that one) if I would be interested in helping out at YCB, I
was slightly terrified at the thought. Little did I know what delights that hour spent with the children on a Sunday morning
would bring: insight, wisdom and humour – and not a little spirited recalcitrance at times! I’m sure I speak for all YCB leaders
when I say that teaching the children has helped to develop our own understanding of Jesus’ love for us, and I hope that we
have all have gone some way to returning the favour.
This year, Ann Simmonds, Alison and Andrew Ricketts, Pam and Simon Woodman and Colette Court (assisted by Jo and Tim
Fisher at Forest Church) have continued to provide Sunday morning fun and
teaching, navigating the uncertainties that Covid is still throwing at us. We continue
to pray that the coming year will see an increase in young families joining the All
Hallows congregation, particularly as two of our regular attendees will be moving on
up to WAAG in September. We would welcome your prayers in this, as well as in
finding a new YCB co-ordinator.