As a church, we aim for children and young people to feel welcome and at home here. All the groups and activities in our church seek to give children and young people a sense of belonging and help them know God’s love in Jesus Christ.
Matt Williamson is our full time Children and Youth Leader and is always happy to be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on his mobile: 07794 518 907.
Find out more about Matt.
Kathryn Bennett is our Parish Safeguarding Representative and she can be contacted by phone: 01799 521 773 or email: email@example.com Details of our Safeguarding guidelines can be seen on the Policy page of this website.
Team JC (Our Sunday School) is for children aged 3 to 11 and meets on Sundays during term time, except the 3rd Sunday of each month when there is a Family Service. Starting with breakfast in the Parish Rooms at 9.45am and finishing in the Church at 11.15am, there are stories, games and craft.
This is for 11 to 18 year olds and meets in the Parish Rooms on Sundays from 7.00‐ 8.30pm during term time except for the 1st Sunday of the month when it forms part of H2H. It provides a chance to socialise, explore the bible and enjoy each other’s company – and there’s normally food involved!!! Young people from other churches and non-churchgoers are all welcome.
H2H – On the first Sunday of the month our Youth Group also runs a café-style worship called H2H (Highway to Heaven) which takes place in the Parish Rooms at 6.30pm. All are invited to share in this worship with our youth group.
Our Family Service is normally held on the third Sunday of the month at 10am. This is a shorter, informal service to which children are encouraged to stay. We have lively music, a short talk and there are often special activities for children.
Our Celebrate@4 is an informal and interactive service for all ages held 6 times a year at 4pm on Sundays which suit the St Mary’s School’s calendar.
The services involve children from the school as well as Joyful Noise, our children’s choir.
See the church online calendar or Grapevine for the next date. Come from 3.45pm for tea and cakes. The services include activities for children of primary age.
The Children’s Corner is a space at the back of the church where you will find toys and books for children to make use of during the service. There are also activity bags available for your children to use as they sit in the pews with you.
Children and Holy Communion
Children may receive Communion before they are confirmed, provided they are aged at least 7 years old, come to church regularly and have undertaken a course of preparation.
Each year a number of young people decide to make a public commitment to the faith of the Church through confirmation. For more information see our Confirmation page.
We meet on Tuesday afternoons in the church during term time from 2-3pm for a very short service which includes songs, instruments and a Bible story followed by a craft activity, refreshments and toys in the adjacent Parish Rooms. All parents and carers of babies and pre school aged children are very welcome to this friendly group. Sessions are free but a small donation to charity is welcomed. For more information contact Alison Knights 01223 835 912 or firstname.lastname@example.org
“On Track” After School Club
This club for St Mary’s School pupils meets at St Mary’s School on Wednesdays from 3.15pm‐ 4.15pm for Bible activities, games, food and fun. Children need to sign up for it at the beginning of each term. Contact our Children and Youth Leader Matt Williamson for more information – see top of page.
We have a strong junior choir with up to 20 junior members. The choir sings at three or four Sunday services a month (either a morning service or evensong) and at some weddings on Saturdays. There are also occasional concerts and visits to cathedrals. Children have their own social programme as well. See our Music News for details of recent social events.
Rehearsals are held on Wednesday and Friday evenings. The juniors are paid for practices and services. Once new members are confident enough they are asked to sing with the choir on Sundays. The choir is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music and the juniors work through the ribbon tests to attain seniority, which is reflected in the remuneration that they receive. [see The Diocese of Chelmsford – Music – Dean’s & Bishops’ Chorister Award and The Royal School of Church Music ]
If you would like more information contact Oli King our Director of Music – email@example.com or 07928 339 310 (shared with choir admin)
This is an informal and inclusive group for children aged 6‐8, enabling them to ‘find their voices’ and learn to sing all types and styles of music, songs and rhymes from around the world. The children sing in Family services once a month. Joyful Noise takes place in the Parish Rooms from 3.45‐ 4.30pm on Fridays. For more details, contact Kate Beare using our contact form.
These Guiding units are affiliated to our church and meet weekly in the Parish Rooms. For more information contact Margaret Jacobs 01799 522 801.
Our Church Schools
We have close links with St Mary’s C.E. Primary School and St Mary’s Church Pre-school which are situated in Castle Street, near to the church.
Church members participate in the life of the school through assemblies and helping in class, through the governing body and on the staff, and the children are regularly welcomed into church for their special services.