Children and Families Report

It has been a busy and eventful year! Covid casts a long shadow, but we seem to be emerging positively.

Assemblies in Christ Church Academy have been a consistent way for us to reach children despite covid. which has been a great blessing for us! For most of the past year, these assemblies have been video recorded, and then played in school – we praise God for providing a safe way for us to still tell the children about Jesus. In recent months, however, we have been able to go back into schools to deliver these assemblies in person (in addition to filming them) The Pursuit club has also gone well in this time – we recently made an Easter Display for the community to see outside the school.

Our Open the Book Assemblies in the first schools have taken many forms. Mostly we filmed acted-out dramas with our cast, which could then be shown in schools. And as of February Half- Term. Paul and I were able to go into the schools in person to Top and tail’ these drama videos.

We are thankful for the hard work of our team, and for the opportunities we’ve had. despite challenges, to keep reaching the schools with these great Bible stories!

Sunday School has also evolved over the past year. In the depths of covid, we relied on the Ebenezer videos to provide for the children in Church. We got good feedback on these videos from families, but really felt the lack of in-person engagement, so we were glad to be able to return to regular in-person Sunday School in September 2021. However, a lack of consistent numbers attending made this a real challenge. For this reason, from the start of 2022 we started delivering Sunday School packs to families, so that those who couldn’t make it in person wouldn’t miss out. This has been a real help in crafting a more consistent Sunday School – allowing us to craft a more solid series of sessions without gaps. We have had a lot of good feedback from families on these packs and pray that they will continue to be a helpful supplement to Sunday School

Toddlers has also grown over the past year. Toddlers couldn’t run during the height of the pandemic but has been happening since September 27th. However, recent months have been really encouraging – the children and their families seem to really listen more to the Bible stories and have shown a willingness to engage more with events run by the church, which is great to see!

While numbers at the Christmas Christingle event were underwhelming, Easter 2022 has been a fantastic period for Children and Families’ Work. The schools’ Easter services also went well, despite some last-minute changes due to covid (OFS’ Service had to be filmed). Additionally, we are incredibly thankful for God’s provision in Christ Church children’s work. Our Sunday School on the 10th April had 7 children attend, which is a drastic improvement, and thanks to some new families coming into the fold. The Easter Crafts event on Good Friday also exceeded our expectations. We had at least 25 children attend, and thanks to a great team of volunteers the children were able to enjoy a wide range of crafts, watch a short drama about the crucifixion, and listen to a talk about what Jesus’s death means for all of us. Also on Saturday, we had the fantastic Trains in the Garden’ event run by Pete and Liz, which was well attended! This Easter has been a real answer to prayer – we praise God for His faithfulness and provision and pray that He will guide all we do with the children as they grow as disciples of Christ!

Peter Cuthbert