Our overall vision statement for St Andrew’s and St Bartholomew’s, Churchdown is to offer “Hope for all ages”. This hope is for all age groups, besides being for this age and the age to come. Our strategy is the instruction Jesus gave us – “Love God, and love your neighbour as yourself”, fuelled from the conviction that we love, because God first loved us.
In our work with children we aim for each child to be
- secure in their identity as a beloved child of God
- growing in their faith
- encouraged to question and to own their faith
- encouraged to serve the community in church, in Churchdown and beyond
Secure in their identity as a beloved child of God
We recognise that families have a greater influence than church on the identity of babies and children, and that parenting has a profound effect on our image of God, and the ability to form trusting relationships. We will try to support parents through groups such as BLT. We will offer parenting classes. We will work with statutory agencies to support families in times of crisis.
Growing in their faith
Children can have experience of God before they have the language to express it. We will provide nurture groups where children can explore the Christian faith in age appropriate ways. When all ages are present, we will aim to provide an experience of worship and instruction that is accessible to all.
Encouraged to question and to own their faith
Indoctrination is the uncritical adoption of a set of beliefs. It does not help a person to have a faith to live by. We recognise that as adults we are perceived as powerful by children. What we say, and the way we say it will have an influence. We will provide opportunities for children to play with the big questions of identity, meaning and purpose, and to form their own developmentally appropriate answers.
Encouraged to serve the community in church, in Churchdown and beyond
We will provide opportunities for children to serve alongside adults, and to take on roles in the church according to their interests and talents. We will involve them in service opportunities in the local community. We will involve them in the mission activities of the church which are “in house”, local and global.
We train our paid staff and volunteers to be alert for signs of child abuse, and to take seriously any comment a child makes. We will follow the Diocesan guidelines for reporting abuse. We follow the Diocesan Safeguarding policies in recruiting and supervising paid staff and volunteers and in safe working practices.