From the Rectory - July 2019

caw logoLast year, I took on the role of planning and co-ordinating Children’s Activity Week alongside a small team of helpers. This was quite a task, following on from an established team with 20 years of Children’s Activity Week under their belt!

We made some changes to the format (running it over 5 days instead of 4, offering a breakfast club and an overnight camp in The Rectory garden!) and it was a huge success!

Dates this year are Monday 29th July to Friday 2nd August 2019, and application forms are available by telephoning 01747 830174. Alternatively, you can request an application form from me by email by clicking here, and when the new window opens, click on the 'Contact Form' tab to send your message.

We have chosen an eco-theme, partly after considering that our Diocese is the first to be granted Eco Diocese Status! There will be lots of fun activities, including an over-night camp and family BBQ! Please do share this with any families that you think may be interested.

In a time where the Church of England has seen a decline in attendance, this is three times as pronounced among children, so our outreach becomes more vital, yet it feels to go often unnoticed.

“The average attendance by children, defined as being under 16, fell by 24 per cent in our Diocese between 2012 and 2017, compared with an 8-per-cent fall among adults” (Statistics, 2018)

Here are some of our stats:

  • Children’s Activity Week 2018 involved over 30 families from across the Benefice
  • Messy Church - held in Semley School Hall each month during term time - has up to 25 children in attendance
  • We offer tea & coffee once a month at Semley Church - predominantly for those on the school run (although anyone is of course welcome!) which saw 18 children having fun exploring the Church while 16 adults (eventually) relaxed, letting their children run free while they enjoyed a cuppa!
  • We also have our re-launched Baby & Toddler Group in East Knoyle Church on the Ist Thursday of each month
  • There’s KidzClub at Charlton Church on the 3rd Tuesday of the month
  • Open the Book in our schools
  • The Easter Experience
  • Assemblies... not just at Semley and Ludwell, but Hindon too...
  • Regular visits to St Mary’s School, including preparing the students for confirmation

WOW - don’t we do a huge amount!

So here comes the plea for help! It is all too often the same people that volunteer for these groups ... please can you consider whether you can support us? You don’t have to lead anything in particular - just manning the refreshments would be fabulous!

We would love the families and children from the Benefice to know that our Benefice is a community of faith. They matter and they don’t need to wait until they can believe, pray or worship a certain way to be welcome. It matters that our families and children are an integral part of our Church and that their prayers, songs, and even their badly (or perfectly-timed, depending on who you ask) cries and whines are a joyful noise because it means they are present.

Anna Warhurst