Children in Church
Children are not the Church of tomorrow. They are the Church of today. They are equal members of the worshipping community, which we call the family of the Church.
The Christian family here at Braunton accepts children very much as members of the family. A couple with a new baby are faced with many difficult decisions, but one of them ought not to be “Shall we take the baby to church or not?” Children who are brought to church at a young age are not likely to find the building strange or frightening later in life.
But what if the children make a noise? Well, children have always made a noise, and they are not going to stop now! Yet it is worth remembering that they often make more noise if they are being held tightly in someone’s arms and told to be quiet (Children are like that). There are a number of points that are worth thinking about.
Firstly, I as the Vicar in this parish want parents to bring their children to church with them. Children belong with their parents in church, the noise they make will not upset me in any way.
Secondly, there is a carpeted area set aside in church for children. If your child gets fed up sitting in the pew please feel free to use this area so they can move around freely. You will find a variety of quieter toys there for the children to play with. Please ask someone on duty at the back of the church to show you where the area is.
You may also like to bring a drink and a biscuit or piece of fruit for them. It is fine for the children to eat and drink during the service.
Thirdly, don’t worry if your child wanders off during the service – on the whole they tend not to wander very far – but chasing after them makes a great game and they will run further away. It is helpful if the children are wearing soft indoor shoes and this will reduce the noise of them running.
The only thing we ask is that children do not come in front of, or onto, the platform area during the Eucharistic prayer.
As the mother of two children I know how difficult it is to bring young children to church. It takes great determination and very often a thick skin.
However if fewer and fewer parents bring their children to church, they become more and more conspicuous, and newcomers will feel very embarrassed and not come again.
Should you ever feel that you are not welcome in church with your child then please do speak to me about it. As I said at the beginning, I want children to come to church and be a real part of the church family.
SAFEGUARDING IN THIS PARISH
SAFEGUARDING IN THIS PARISH
If you have a concern about the safety of someone or the actions of someone working with children or vulnerable adults, please speak to someone:
The Parish Safeguarding Representative is
She can be contacted on telephone 01271 814082
The link to the Diocesan Safeguarding Team’s contact details - https://exeter.anglican.org/resources/safeguarding/safeguarding-team/
If you are a young person and you feel unhappy about something happening to you, you can call Childline on 0800 11 11.