Children of all ages are welcome at St Michael and All Saints’ Church. They are welcomed not just as children of members of the congregation, but as Christians in their own right whose spiritual development is as important as that of their parents.
On a more practical note, there is space for buggies within the church and two toilets, one of which has baby changing facilities.
There is an area in the south west corner of the church which is set aside specifically for this age group and their parents. It contains age appropriate toys, books and writing & drawing materials, and children are encouraged to play and move around without being constrained by pews and benches. As it is within the body of the church, parents can participate fully in the liturgy.
As children develop and respond to more structure, and are able to start to understand the relevance of stories, symbols and rites, they are encouraged to attend Children’s Church.
We hold 2 separate sessions of Children’s Church during the main 11am Mass, the first for children from roughly P2 upwards. Most of these older children have been admitted to communion, so they are in children’s church from the beginning of Mass and then re-join the congregation at the Peace so they can partake fully in the Prayer of Consecration before receiving the Sacrament.
The younger group come out during the Peace until just before communion, when they rejoin their parents to go up to the altar for a blessing.
We also encourage older children to sit with their parents during the Mass and sometimes to participate in Mass by reading lessons.