Children & Families' Work
Sharing the love of God in word and deed amongst the children, young people and families of Harwell and Chilton is a core part of our mission.
To lead and facilitate this important work our churches employ Sarah Barrett and Melanie Shields as our Children and Families' Workers who lead teams of volunteers. The activities and groups they lead are provided freely to all in our community* and the posts funded fully by the generous giving of church members. If you would like to support the work financially or through volunteering, please be in touch. Donations can be made here.
Below is a taster of some of the activities and groups that happen.
Twice weekly groups for babies, toddlers and the parents/carers, held during term-time in Chilton Field Community Room and St Matthew’s Church. Parents returning to work after maternity leave try and keep Fledgelings day free to be able to still come back to! We also regularly provide meals for the families of new babies, as well as other pastoral care.
An ever popular free annual week-long extravaganza during the summer holidays that mobilises 70 adults and a dozen or so teen helpers to run a summer club for over 120 local primary-aged children. We teach the Bible in the mornings through drama, music, video, games and craft, and fill the afternoons with sport, swimming, more craft and more games!
'Pebbles Family Service' is a monthly all age service in Chilton Village Hall or St Matthew's Church with up to 70 attendees including many families who would not usually attend 'regular' church. Moving online during lockdown meant a temporary pause on the popular free breakfast that proceeds the singing, stories and craft activities. During the other Sunday morning services we have groups for children and young people, and well-supplied creche areas for the very youngest. We also have a youth group which meets on Sunday evenings.
Advent and Christmas is a time of lots of activity for children and families, including the Crib Service, which last year had a new seating arrangement - on the floor! Other seasonal highlights are the Travelling Crib which is real Chilton community event involving the church, pub and local sheep farmers. The well-established Advent Doors trails around both villages continue to attract many families to a fun day-by-day re-telling of the Christmas story.
Other special services
We have regular Christingle services, to which our church-sponsored Scout group in Harwell attend, as well as other parade and family services at other times, e.g. Remembrance Sunday, an Advent 'Toy' Service collecting gifts for children spending Christmas at Oxford Women's Refuge, and at Easter. We also support the village Scout groups with visits to the churches, badge work, sleepovers, camps, etc.
Schools and community events
We regularly visit schools to assist with assemblies, and have regularly run Prayer Spaces in a specially decorated tent, kitted out with a range of interactive activities which enables children to explore prayer in an accessible and creative way. We also run a weekly after-school club at Chilton School. We also provide free family-friendly events at the village fetes.
If you would like to support the our Children and Families work financially or through volunteering, please be in touch. Donations can be made here.
* though donations are accepted!