Children and Families
We currently employ a full-time Church and Community Families Outreach Worker. Dr Helen Bell seeks to foster belonging, all-round wellbeing and faith in an increasingly disparate community. She also co-ordinates a growing number of volunteers, both old and young, who run or support various events:
Children are able to engage fully in our All Age services on first Sundays, for example: as acolytes, participating in intercessions, welcoming and the offertory. There is usually an interactive talk which young and old enjoy. Recently a group of families has started a bring-and-share picnic lunch after the service – not just for those with little ones – all ages are welcome to join in!
Junior church meets on second and fourth Sundays during the 10am service and offers activities for mostly pre-school and primary-aged children. Overseen by Helen, the sessions are run by a small group of parents (who have undergone the church’s safer recruitment process).
Messy Church takes place on the second Thursday of the month in term-time from 3.30-5.30pm at church. There are several ‘messy’ activities based around a theme, usually in tandem with the liturgy for that month. A faithful band of volunteers help run the activities around the church; this is followed by a Bible story and celebration. Everyone then joins together for a meal. Messy Church currently attracts around 70 people, most of them not Sunday morning attenders. Click the image for a flyer with dates (pdf)
A ‘Messy Church Unwrapped’ Bible-study group is beginning in autumn 2018, responding to the desire of some in the group to deepen their relationships with one another and to explore more fully what it means to follow Jesus.
In recent years M&Ms, a youth group for school years 6 and up, has met fortnightly on a Sunday afternoon in term-time. It brings together young people from Trumpington, Grantchester and Newnham, offering social events alongside opportunities to go deeper in faith.
St Mary and St Michael’s has strong links with the primary schools in the parish. The vicar has traditionally been a governor of Fawcett School, latterly of the Trumpington Federation, while other clergy and several members of the congregation have served or are serving on the various school boards.
Members of the congregation are familiar faces thanks to the popular Open the Book assemblies. These are currently given in two primary schools, with a third team being assembled to extend this in autumn 2018.
The Church and Community Families Outreach Worker has developed close partnerships with council-employed Child and Family Centre Workers and other organisations. This has enabled the running of a range of successful seasonal events: Shrove Tuesday Pancake Party; Messy Christmas; Easter garden session and a Mossy Church at Trumpington Meadows Wildlife Reserve. We plan to make these into annual events.
Support for pre-school families
Church members are involved in a range of initiatives to support key relationships in the first years of life. MOPS (Mothers of Pre-schoolers) meets fortnightly on second and fourth Wednesdays at Trumpington Meadows School 9.45-11.30am during term-time, with a supervised crèche, Moppets, which is run by members of the congregation, thus allowing mothers to meet in a relaxed way.
During the past year the Church and Community Families Outreach Worker has assisted council family workers by leading Circle of Security Parenting groups (COS-P) at one of the schools, and a group of parents who wish to continue to support one another have started a stay-and-play group of their own: HonC! (Hands on the Circle). Further COS-P groups are being planned at the Clay Farm Centre starting September 2018 with a crèche running alongside. Contact Helen Bell for further details. Click the image for a leaflet (pdf)