(Age 0-11 years)
As a church family, we seek to serve our individual families on a Sunday morning:
In the service
We as a church family want to worship God together, young and old, which can be quite noisy at the start of the service as we begin Sunday morning together in the main hall. We encourage families to sit together as we value the opportunity to worship by singing some songs together, hearing family news, praying together and at times laughing together. If there is a birthday, we will sing ‘Happy Birthday’ and finish with the line ‘…And may God bless you’. Children are invited to receive a little gift too. After all of this, the children leave, along with the youth, to go with their leaders to Sunday Club and our youth ministry groups (link to youth page). At some times during the year, the children might be involved in the whole service, (a family service), such as in the nativity at Christmas. So children stay in for the first part of our services, and on third Sundays of a month they also stay for communion. We value this opportunity for the children to worship through communion along side their parents. Grapes are given out for the children to help allow their participation.
(on the left before entering the church hall)
The Bawl room is a place for you and baby to find (despite it’s name), peace and quiet or a refuge for a child that has become disturbed. It is a unique feature at VEC, as it is a place where a parent can care for their baby in some degree of privacy, whilst still hearing and seeing what is going on in the larger church gathering. There are books and toys that can offer a welcome distraction for your child. Please respect other peoples wishes to listen to the service whilst in there, as although away from the main hall, the bawl room is intended to serve as your inclusion in what God is saying that Sunday to all the church family.
(first right on entering the church entrance)
We have a supervised crèche for children for the under 3’s led by Sarah Lay and her team. We encourage parents to keep their infants with them up to the age of 1 year at present due to numbers and staffing. However, depending on numbers that day, we can be flexible on occasions, and we have the bawl room. As a transition into crèche, a parent might have to stay with baby until they have gained a degree of independence at being left, or be willing to be called back in to supervise their child if needed, for whatever reason. The intension always is to allow the parent the freedom to be able to listen to God that Sunday. Flexibility with children at this age is needed all round, by parent, team and church family.
(up the main stairs)
‘Minnows’ is for children aged 3 to the start of school, and the team is led by Laura Wickham. They meet upstairs first left. They follow the ‘Toddlers’ teaching book from ‘Go Teach’ ministries. Time together usually involves many of the following elements. Talk time, crafts of age appropriate materials, songs, a game, puppet, play time but always a biblical story with teaching about what it means to us today. A register is taken.
‘Vectors’ is for Primary school ages, and is led by Susan Mitchell. Vector is a Latin word meaning "carrier" and we want all our children to be carriers of the Good News of Jesus as they grow up. Also, in mathematics, a vector is a geometric term for direction and it’s our aim that the children gain direction in their faith in Jesus. (VECtors is also a ‘play’ on the church name). The team follow the ‘Go Teach’ set of teaching books, whilst bringing their own creativity and spiritual walk into the mix. There is biblical teaching and application through stories, craft, games, videos and music and group discussion. A register is taken. We subdivide this age-range into smaller groups at times for age appropriate teaching.
All our children’s teams follow our Safeguarding Policy (insert link) and are DBS registered. We take this very seriously and there is training each year. We have to be seen to be accountable in our children’s work not only because that’s what the government requires, but because that is our wish also. Minnows and Vectors operate a three teaching set approach. Minnows has three sets of 1 Leader and 1 Helper, whilst Vectors has three sets of 1 Leader, 1 Helper and 1 Volunteer due to numbers and special needs. There is a rota. The teams that are on that week get in early to set up and then meet for prayer together before the service. All rooms can be entered at any time but only by parents of the children in that class. Other information is available on request.