Children and young people at St Alfege Church
Blessing of the Backpacks - 29 August 2021
At our 10am Eucharist we will offer prayers to mark the beginning of the new academic year. All teachers, school staff and students (from Nursery to post graduate) are invited to bring a symbol of your education with you (such as a backpack, pencil case, textbook, laptop or tablet) and we all join in prayer for you, led by Revd Simon. We pray especially for all those returning to school this week, including the community of St Alfege with St Peter's Primary School and for those commencing tertiary studies in the weeks ahead
Back to school prayer resource for families
1. Pray for your child’s wellbeing
Even if your child is headed back to familiar territory, the new school year can bring all kinds of questions and concerns. There are new friends, new teachers and new anxieties.
Pray for your child’s happiness and stability to accept change.
2. Pray for your child’s education
With every new school year, new curriculum and teaching styles await your child in the classroom. Pray for an easy transition, focus and understanding.
3. Pray for your child’s teacher
Teachers have one of the hardest and most important jobs. Your child’s teacher will play a pivotal role in your child’s life for this year and many years to come.
Pray for your child’s teacher’s patience, understanding and grace.
4. Pray for your child’s classmates and friends
What your child absorbs from the world outside of your home comes in a large part from your child’s classmates and friends. Pray for their friendships, intentions and values.
5. Pray for a happy home
As summer ends, chances are your home has a new schedule. There are early morning wake-up calls, long days of learning at school and extra-curricular activities.Pray for good communication, easy transitions, cooperation and sleep.
Hand prayers - share this prayer idea with your child and encourage them to use the actions as a prayer when they need to throughout the school day.
Thumbs up – thank God for the good things
Thumbs down - ask for God’s help with the things that are worrying
Entwine fingers together – thank God and pray for school friends
Stroke one hand with the other – a reminder that God is always with you
Our Lockdown Journey
Since last March, Children's Church has been meeting over zoom almost every Sunday, following the monthly pattern of worship used in previous years. Over the year we have adapted to create a covid-safe Palm Sunday reading, nativity play, Christingle service and Advent window.
Watch this short film to find out about Our Lockdown Journey
If you would like to get involved or to find out more please email Children's Church
Families, children and young people are an integral part of life and worship at St Alfege Church. We aim to encourage and nurture children’s spirituality through teaching and activity, as well as through familiarity with, and inclusion in, our weekly Eucharist.
On the first Sunday of the month, there is a Family Eucharist in the church hall for children and their families and on the last Sunday of each month the whole congregation shares a communion service together in the church.
In the intervening Sundays, our children gather with their families for collective worship (without the Eucharist) in the church hall. As part of our worship we include drama and artwork based on the week's gospel. At the end of the session we all join the congregation in the main church building for communion or a blessing.
Our monthly children’s services follow this pattern:
First Sunday of the month
10am Family Eucharist in the church hall
Last Sunday of the month
10am Eucharist with children and families in the church
All other Sundays
10am Collective worship in church hall
Second Thursday of the month
4pm Family Service led by the children of St Alfege Primary School in the church
On the first Sunday of each month, the Family Eucharist takes place in the church hall located opposite the church across the courtyard. This is a place where the energy and enthusiasm of children of any age is welcome. It is led by either the Vicar or Curate, Revd Caroline Risdon (currently on maternity leave) and follows the same format as the service in the church building. However, the hymns, prayers and teaching aim to be accessible for younger people.
On the last Sunday of each month, the whole church family shares communion together in the main church building. Children’s church members are encouraged to welcome people to the service; to read the lesson, to take up the bread and wine at communion, and to serve alongside the clergy.
The vestry is open for very young children accompanied by their parent if they need a place to be fed, changed or to let off steam. A speaker in the vestry enables you to follow the service.
Our children’s church meets in the church hall at 10am on the second, third, and fourth (in a five week month) Sundays of the month. We explore a different lesson each week, based on the readings used in the main church service. The session starts at 9.55am with singing. We then join together in a simple welcoming prayer, hear a story from the bible and have a teaching session about it. The worship section finishes with prayer. Quite often there will be a related art activity available. These services start in the church hall, although we move across to the main church building to receive Communion or a Blessing.
Family service, led by St Alfege with St Peter’s Primary School
On the second Thursday of the month, we hold a family service from 4pm to 4.30pm. Children at our church school come up with the theme and lead our worship by preparing songs, prayers, poems and readings. The service is usually taken by the Vicar. All families are welcome to join us.
Growing in faith
Roughly twice a year, we run an early Admission to Communion class. Here children aged 8 and over can learn all about Holy Communion in preparation to join the regular congregation in taking communion each week. For young people over the age of 12 and adults, we also run classes (again about twice a year) to prepare for confirmation.
A safe church
St Alfege Church works to provide a safe environment for the whole church family, especially children and adults at risk. Our Children’s church leaders have been DBS checked; we aim to arrange yearly Safeguarding and Working with Challenging Behaviour training. Full information about our safeguarding policy can be found here.