‘This is my best church’
I’ve always thought that to be a welcoming church, the welcome needs to be present throughout the week as much as on Sunday. Upper Tas Valley Benefice agrees.
Like many rural benefices, we don’t have a lot of money to spare and so when the PCC heard about the Sharing Good News Fund we made an application for financial help to update what had become tired provision for children. This was straightforward and very easy to do. We heard that our funding bid was successful quite quickly, and, together with the Benefice’s contribution, it has made a positive difference to what we can provide for children.
Since that time, we have refurbished the children’s areas in all eight churches with new furniture; now have freestanding display boards for children’s art, prayers and reflections in place in the four churches that are closely connected with a primary school (there are four Church of England primaries here); we’ve updated books and have bought new Christian-themed games; have increased art materials for Baptisms and Messy Church; have introduced children’s visitors’ books; and, finally, we now have a huge and unmissable banner for Messy Church.
How has all this gone down with children? The children’s visitors’ books tell us …. “this is my best church”, “it’s a friendly place”. A parent has recorded that “it’s a wonderful children’s area” and one child told their teacher, after a church visit, that “the church makes me feel welcome”!
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