- It’s a good question, why Junior Church?
- Why do we separate out our generations nearly every Sunday during term time?
- Is it just because it’s always been done – I know many of us have been through Sunday School in the past?
- Or is there more to it?…
I believe that Junior Church is important for the children. It gives them an opportunity to mix with other children of Christian families, which can give them confidence to own the faith themselves. I think a lot of us know it is difficult to admit to our faith if we are in the presence of those who are at best indifferent and sometimes even aggressively opposed to our beliefs. Children in Junior Church can see that others do share their interest and growing in the faith – they are not alone. And that it is not just other children but the leaders and the rest of the congregation ready to stand up for what they believe in.
Junior Church can give them a sense of security and belonging, which is so important in the nurturing of faith.
Junior Church is a place to explore faith. To test out faith and ask the questions that young minds delight in asking. They can test out their faith with sympathetic leaders who understand where these questions are coming from and have the faith confidence to answer, or let the young people find their own answers in a safe place. They can also learn with and from the young people, demonstrating that faith is an ongoing journey – not a once-off point of knowledge, but a constant searching and learning and sharing of new insights and thoughts. It also is a place where their doubts can be expressed safely and with support. Our leaders are wonderful at leading and guiding young believers into a deeper understanding, walking with them in their journey and learning about their own faith at the same time.
Being together in Junior Church is also a good place to hear the Gospel, to learn the stories that inform our beliefs. To take part in fun activities, especially art, music and drama, which will help them understand what being Christian means and how we show we are Christian. Each week they explore different aspects of faith with opportunities to express their understanding in different and interesting ways, which they can then share with their families and the wider community after the service.
And of course, being in Junior Church gives children an opportunity to see what Christians do in church. They come up to join in Communion and see what we do in the service. At the same time they see adults taking faith seriously, sharing it with each other, and learning from each other, and the young people in our community. Once a month our young people get a chance to lead us in worship, taking themes important to faith and being Christian in todays world and sharing their views and ideas. Sharing in worship with other generations is important for all people – we learn about our faith, deepen our faith by sharing it with others, seeing and experiencing the faith of other generations and walking together on our faith journey.
So why Junior Church?
Well, it’s fun for all involved; it supports and guides all our faith journeys, and it allows for exploration of our beliefs, whilst supporting us all through tough times.
If you would like your child to join our Junior Church group, or if you are a member of our congregation and would like to be involved in nurturing our young people, in sharing your faith journey and learning from and with our young people, then do consider joining us. You can always Email us, or talk to Jacqui, Philippa, Jackie or any of the Junior Church team. We look forward to welcoming you!
All clergy and Readers within the Church of England have Safeguarding training and need record check clearance certificates as a normal part of their ministry. Our lay volunteers who work with young people and vulnerable adults also go through the same safeguarding process, so that we can ensure that our congregation is a safe place for young and vulnerable people to visit. If you have any questions concerning Safeguarding, please contact our Safeguarding Officer.
Click here to view St Andrew’s Chaplaincy Safeguarding Policy