Rector at Holy Trinity Church, Fareham
Sometimes, when I talk to mothers and fathers in the area, I realise that they are worried about their children being noisy or running around the church while other people are trying to worship.
Although we have Junior School at Holy Trinity Church and children are always made welcome, I can understand this anxiety from parents.
Even if no one else actually minds children playing during a service, parents may feel a little self-conscious about it.
So one of the things that we started three years ago here at Holy Trinity was a service especially for families.
We have called the service PraiseMakers, and it happens on the afternoon of the first Sunday each month in church.
The service has been specifically designed for mums, dads, carers and children, so no one needs to worry about whether children are sitting still during church; in fact, we tend to prefer it when they don’t!.
We start with lively action songs; we have a prayer time, often using visual aids to help us to pray; an interactive story; and a craft activity that relates to that day’s theme.
Then we all come back together for a final blessing before we sit down for Sunday afternoon tea, with sandwiches, cake and fruit.
We used to do this in the church hall, but now it happens in the newly-refurbished welcome area in church, which is a really bright and lively environment.
It’s happening this Sunday (March 5) at 4pm, and we’d love to see you there. It’s a great place for our families who would like their children to be baptised to come and meet us, but any family is welcome.
And while we’re all chatting and getting to know each other better over tea, the children love playing hide-and- seek together in the church.
Although Sunday services can be quite solemn, and it’s right that we act appropriately when we are worshipping God, I’m really pleased that we can offer something different for those who would find that difficult.
At PraiseMakers, you can be loud, have fun and eat cake to your heart’s content.
o To find our more, or to come along to one of the PraiseMakers sessions, vome to Holy Trinity Church, West Street, Fareham PO16 0EL, or visit htscf.org.uk.