“Celebration, thankfulness, and looking to the future”
Did you know that Christ Church Ware Toddlers ministry began around 1979? Toddlers is a flourishing ministry that was launched by Jan Young and team around 40 years ago. Jan began Toddlers because she recognised that there “was a need for young mums, parents and carers to have a place of belonging, support and Christian input.”
These Toddler sessions were incredibly successful, in both number of attendees, and pastoral care offered. Toddlers was such a success, that Jan decided to increase the number of sessions provided each week, and added to the programme seasonal Toddler services, such as for Christmas and Harvest. A baby group was also launched in order to provide for younger babies. This group continues to be an inclusive group of welcome and support for parents at this stage in their life.
After this, Alison Jackson took over the leadership for Toddlers ministry and shared that Toddlers has great potential in “opening the door to Jesus into the homes and families in Ware.” Alison also shares that Toddler ministries are key to the health of a church, and are one of the first places where people are gently introduced to Christian faith and the church community.
Alison transitioned the leadership by handing over the oversight to Rachel Swatton and Laura Barker, who lovingly nurtured and cared for Toddlers ministry for a number of years. Rachel shares that she decided to lead Toddlers in order to give something back to a group that gave so much to her.
Rachel says; “It had been such a lifeline for me after the birth of my son. It truly enveloped me in love and gave me a place to find friendship.”
Rachel recognises the great work that is done at Toddlers, and how a Toddler session might be the only time when a parent has spoken to another adult all day.
Toddlers is a ministry both loved, led and cared for by Christ Church Ware volunteers. The sessions are a place of welcome and home, where people can feel a sense of belonging and community. A Toddler session includes play time for toddlers, social time, snack time, and Christian story time, songs and prayer. There is potential in developing how this community connects with church, such as creating new forms of worship for families, crafts, creativity, worship for young children, Baptisms and much more.
This article has been written to celebrate 40 years of Christ Church Toddler groups and the journey that it has been on, whilst looking towards the future, in the faith that God will lead this group into its new season. Toddlers is looking for new leadership that can move the group into its new phase of potential and opportunity. Could this be you?
Please do continue to pray for Toddlers as it transitions into a new season, please do pray that it will continue to be led by dedicated leaders and volunteers.
If you would like to know how to get more involved with Toddlers ministry, please do speak to Caroline Keightley or any member of the PCC. We look forward to another 40 years of fruitful ministry.
CarolineTags: Magazine, Toddlers