JCh test

After being with the rest of the congregation for the start of Sunday morning worship the children and young people go through to the halls for their own Junior Church groups. There are groups for children as young as three years old right up to eighteen.

The Primary and Beginners Department is for three to six year olds. The Junior Department is for seven to ten year olds. The Seniors is for eleven to thirteen year olds. The Youth Group is for young people of 14 years and over.

The children and young people of the Junior Church and Youth Group lead services in church several times a year – especially at festival times like Harvest and Christmas.

Junior Church Christmas Festival Service

Children in the Primary and Beginners meet in the Small Hall. They listen to bible stories and sing together. They enjoy accompanying themselves using the Junior Church percussion instruments! They also draw, paint, cook and make things to take home from time to time. One of the special things they enjoy is when a baby who has just been baptised is brought through to meet them. They sing to the baby and present him or her with a book. Mum is not forgotten as she is given some flowers. The Juniors meet in the Upper Hall. They share bible stories and discussion and also respond through drama and dance. The Seniors and Youth Group discuss a wide range of religious and spiritual matters – sometimes over coffee – and consider how these relate to daily life.

There are a vide variety of activities and, sometimes, we go out to take a service at one of the Abbeyfield Homes for elderly people.

At the end of the morning the Youth Group and older children from the Junior Church provide coffee for members of the congregation after the service has ended. The Youth Group also organises congregational lunches for the church from time to time. Money raised from donations given for the coffee and at the Congregational Lunches helps raise funds for a variety of charities. Members of the Youth Group participate in Synod youth Events including Youth Weekends (MMM) and some have attended invitation events at Yardley Hastings and at Edale.

Taking a service at Abbeyfield

Junior Church Show

Over the last few years, the Junior Church Show has become a popular annual event. Recent productions have included The Little Mermaid, preceded in the past three years by The Wind in the Willows, Return to the Forbidden Planet and Bugsy Malone. (Looking further into the past presentations have included Oliver!, Calamity Jane, the Wizard of Oz and Summer Holiday, Annie Get Your Gun, Beauty and the Beast, Hello Dolly! and a “Good Old Days” show.

Sunday morning worship at Junior Church Camp

Sunday worship at Junior Church Camp

Junior Church Camp

Another highlight of the year is the Junior Church Camp which is generally held at Wallesby Forest. The older children and young people set up the tents on Friday evening and have two nights under canvas with the younger ones joining them for the Saturday and Sunday activities.

There are usually between thirty and forty children at camp weekends and there are organised activities such as archery, climbing and swimming as well as opportunities for impromptu games in the wide open spaces of the camp site.

It is a camp tradition to have a barbeque and a sing-song on the Saturday evening.

Charitable giving

The Youth Group and Junior Church are pleased to make regular appeals and donations to charity. Recently, they have baked biscuits and sold them in aid of the RNLI, used a wishing well they created to collect money for Water Aid, sold cakes for Children in Need and run (or walked) a mile for Sport Aid. In addition to their annual collection of coins to cover the Christian Aid symbol, the Youth Group have used the money given at coffee time to make gifts to Spiral, the National Association of Child Contact Centres, the Midlands Women’s Refuge, Banardos and the Red Cross appeal.

Operation Noah

An important project that our Junior Church and Youth Group have been involved with is Operation Noah. This was aimed at raising awareness of green/environmental issues in faith communities and involved not only our young people, but also those from local Jewish and Muslim communities. There were activities at church, the synagogue, environmental work outside and the display that we produced was displayed at each of the places of worship, at the Council House and at Coventry Cathedral.

Operation Noah