An all new Light Party?

Just three of us met last week to talk about the Light Party (held on Halloween by Council of Churches Holiday Club team) but despite this we have a new vision for what it might be and we are super excited! Clearly we need more than three people to make any Light Party happen so please would take a few minutes to read this and then think about whether you would like to get involved.

Light Party 2015 : Saturday 31 Oct 4-5.30pm

Matthew 5.14-16, Psalm 34.5


to bring parents and children together in a natural way,  encouraging whole families to come along to do stuff together: play games, make stuff, eat together and for us to share something of the love of God. To grow friendships and relationships within families and across the community.

This will be achieved by;

  • bringing the time forward to 4-6pm (it’s a Saturday this year)
  • opening the café space (or even full opening) where parents can enjoy a drink, papers, chat. The screens could have the Bible verses and something of the theme we are covering in a gentle manner and the clergy and other adults could be there too
  • allowing people(particularly adults) the choice to dip in to what is going on
  • Begin with an upbeat praise party as children arrive, using a full band and the lights etc to create a party atmosphere
  • a number of activities for all to join in with – families doing stuff together: preparing the feast, craft, games
  • the upper room could be either a prayer space or quieter space for the youngest children if needed
  • a time of sharing the bible story in multi media ways
  • a ‘banquet’ at the end
  • Upbeat songs with a live band and using the lights etc – party atmosphere
  • Coffee and refreshments in the café? Can the café space be used?
  • Crafts in Hall 2
  • Prayer space in the Upstairs Room
  • Preparing food at the start and then eating it later
  • Narnia?
  • A spiritual lift (Ben’s words)
  • Psalm 34.5 + Shine like stars Phillipians?
  • Revelation 2 (as at HC 2014)?
  • Rachel’s story parable with Matthew 5.14-16 – play with this image lots
  • Songs: I am a city on a hill (Nick & Becky Drake / My Lighthouse (Rend Collective)
  • Passing on light to one more person – Domino effect
  • Fish finger sandwiches! (White inside!)
  • Cupcakes with white icing and a candle – make two each to pass on on
  • Banquet at end at tables where we can pass the candle light on



4-6 – to help younger children / families come along and for feast at the end


Q & A: Natalie Collins – ‘Creepy Naked Stuff’ online resources

This is a short film on youtube designed to help children begin conversations about any bad stuff they might see online. It won’t destroy children’s innocence but will alert them and hopefully us as parents/carers to the dangers of online pornography

On the release of a new resource about the dangers of porn for children, Phoebe Thompson chatted to its creator, Natalie Collins, about why she feels it’s needed, how young is too young for parents to raise this topic with their children and what children’s workers can do to support and equip parents in this area.

Source: Q & A: Natalie Collins

Still Playing School: The After School Attitude: Why Is My Child Acting Out at Home?

Whilst this is not ground breaking, it has some good thoughts and ideas about managing the transition from school to home, especially focused on the first days and weeks. I think we can apply some of the ideas to our bigger ones too…

Reasons why kids act out at home during the back to school transition (and tips about what you can do to help)

Source: Still Playing School: The After School Attitude: Why Is My Child Acting Out at Home?

SJ Club Autumn Newsletter 2015

Welcome to a new year with Super Jesus Club! We are kicking off this year with some parables from Jesus under the theme of ‘Love Stories’. We’ve not covered these for many years although they are mostly pretty familiar ones. We’ll be trying to help our children grow the skills to unlock the hidden meaning that Jesus wove into these stories as well as sharing some of what we have discovered. For more about our general approach to our ministry with children head on over to the website

The rest of the programme is still in the planning except that at Christmas, we will be looking at Christmas! On that note, we are always looking for people to help create and plan the Nativity, which needs a new and novel idea every year! Do let one of us know if you would like to be involved. I’ll be sending out the rotas next week.

About half of the children change groups each year. Hopefully you know whether your child is moving up a group but it’s not a big thing and we will make sure they know which they are in. We are swapping JIGSAW and Acorns around so JIGSAW will be using the small room downstairs along with the garden and kitchen. The Acorns children will, initially, spend less time in the All Together and will use the bigger space to have more freedom of choice in activities.

The bit in Church is something that a number of people have been thinking about recently. This is a time for ‘intergenerational church’ to happen i.e. where we serve each other across the ages and worship God together. A few years ago we created the soft area at the front of church to give the youngest children a space where they could be free to move about a bit and to feel more at home in the church. As the children have grown up, they have so enjoyed being in this space that it is now overcrowded and for some of the older children, it is now making it harder for them to engage with what is going on. Having talked with some parents about this and with the staff team, I would like to ask that we keep this space for the under fives as much as is possible. My suggestion is that older children sit just a little further back in the front of the Nave (incentive to get there early!) and try to follow the service using the (many) papers that we use (bring on the screens!). My experience of doing this with Ben (and others in his year too) is that they have enjoyed using the song sheets/books/service cards etc and then later on we have been able to leave them to sit by the pillars and be more independant. I hope that this make sense to you and do talk to me about it if you want to.

Let’s Play Spirituality Weekend:
Some of the team are going on this weekend but I think will be really useful for anyone bringing up children to know and love Jesus so have a look and think about coming along!

Finally, back to this Sunday which is the last 10.30am service. We have our first SJ Club and then at 12pm it’s the church meeting. At this point, please collect any Seedlings (créche children) but all the other under 11’s can stay for some SJ Club extra!
Keep checking the website for updates, musings, information and events. Looking forward to a great term walking in faith with our children and knowing Jesus more each day.


Holiday Club 2015 – It’s time to sign up!

In response to difficulties we had in 2014, we are making some big changes to the way we prepare for Holiday Club this year. Below is a letter to you outlining these changes. Please treat yourself to a cup of tea or coffee, read through the letter and then get in touch with your response or questions etc. Many thanks, Tim

Council of Churches Holiday Club

27-31 July 2015

Dear current, old, new or interested team member,

Thank you for your interest in Holiday Club, and for those who have served on team before, thank you for all that you have given already to the lives of the children in our villages. Holiday Club is a wonderful week where around 200 children come together along with a junior team of around 25 and adult team of about 50 and no one goes away untouched in some way by Jesus!

During the week we are privileged, commissioned and given the opportunity to share the love of God in Jesus with the children and to meet with Him ourselves as we sing, hear stories and listen to the children. It truly is a blessing to be involved in as an adult and one which will challenge and change you. It is probably the churches biggest opportunity to share the good news of Jesus with people in our villages as we also meet with the parents and family members of the children in our groups.

Over the years, we have come to accept that Holiday Club will just happen, and it always does. However, last year we encountered our biggest problems for some time as we struggled to find enough people to lead the small groups of children. In the end, we began holiday club 5 people short and whilst some people stepped up into roles and grew in their faith as a result, some groups did not have the leading that we would like. The Core Team has now made a commitment to ensure that every small group has a ‘committed, capable, Christian leader’ and a leader who has a DBS certificate. These qualities can be shared between the 2 or 3 leaders that each group has but they must all be in place well before Holiday begins.

Another big problem last year was that some leaders signed up very late and so were not able to prepare well enough or receive the training that we lay on. To solve this, we are asking that all team members sign up by April 12, 2015. If we don’t have enough leaders by then we will cancel Holiday Club or reduce the number of children we can take. We will then put on 2 training evenings on 25 June and 2 July from 7.30-9pm, with pizza from 6.45pm (pizza not compulsory but good for getting to know each other!). Some of the time during these evenings will be given over for group leaders to work together on the material that will be used with the children to ensure that everyone is well prepared. This will also help the junior leaders and adult leaders to get to know each other and give a chance for us to share ideas with each other.

I trust that you can understand why we are making these changes and ask that you will prayerfully consider being involved in Holiday Club this year. For those of you that work, would you consider taking a weeks holiday (as you might to do a mission abroad or help on a camp) to serve with us? I’ve attached the adult and under 16’s Application forms. (use link below)

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. And finally, to get yourself into the mood for this years Holiday Club theme: start dreaming of summer holidays, beaches and get singing, ‘Everybody’s gone surfing, surfing USA’!


Tim & the Core Team: Eileen, Rebecca, Gill, Joe, Kate, Sam