Children and Youth

Children at the heart of St. Philip’s

We believe children not only make up the church of the future, but a vital part of our church community today. Children often show us what it means to trust in God and remind us of the wonder that can lie at the heart of faith. They also challenge us to live out our faith with full authenticity. Children are central to the life of St Philip’s.

Sunday mornings

On most Sunday mornings children begin the service in church with their families and then are invited to join Sunday School in the Upper Hall for story telling and activities to discover the Gospel message. They return to church at the Peace.

Children may also participate in the liturgy as Server, Chorister and Reader

Once a month, on the third Sunday, children play a major role in our main Sunday service, leading our prayers and reading lessons (see All Age Service below).

Please contact the Vicar for more information and to sign up.

Monthly All Age Service

Once a month on the third Sunday, our Eucharist is an All Age Service where younger members of the congregation play a more active role, such as conducting readings and leading the intercessions; and the sermon is focussed on the children (but hopefully reaches all...) and this Service is open to all members of the congregation, whatever age!

Festivals and Special Services

Children play a key role in important Christian festivals, such as Christmas, Easter and Harvest, filling the church with beautiful and creative decorations. They also participate at Epiphany when the wise men come bearing gifts for the Christ child.

We hold an interactive "Easter Walk" during Holy Week to invite the children to experience the journey from Palm Sunday to Easter morning in an informal liturgical setting. All Hallow's Eve provides for an opportunity to bring Halloween back to church with an interactive liturgy followed by treats and activities. On Shrove Tuesday we have a party of feasting and fun with pancakes and activities in preparation for Lent.

St Barnabas and St Philip’s School

We play a major role in the life of our Church School, St Barnabas and St Philip’s School, which is our local Church of England Primary School, also linked with with the neighbouring St. Barnabas Church on the Addison Road. The school joins St. Philip's for special services throughout the year as well as a termly Eucharist; and the Vicar regularly leads the school Assembly. There are also many opportunities for joint activities throughout the year. The Vicar and several members of the church serve on the Board of Governors for the school and many more are parents of pupils at the school.

One of the highlights of the year is the paschal Candle competition where children are invited to design the Paschal Candle for the Easter services each year, with many high-quality entries being submitted. A similar competition was held for our 160th celebrations in 2018 which produced some remarkable paintings of the church.

Regular members of St Philip’s are well placed when it comes to applying for a place at the school. For more details, read the school’s admissions policy on their website.

Ways in which children can be involved at St. Philip's

Whether in worship: reading, serving at the altar or singing; learning through interaction in Sunday School; or getting involved in seasonal events and activities, there are plenty of ways in which children and young people can become engaged at St. Philips and we trust make many new friends in the process.

Ways children can be involved:

  • Server/Acolyte
  • Reader (Lesson and prayers)
  • Chorister
  • Reporter – Church Newsletters (interview/article writing/design
  • Performer Epiphany/Harvest/All Hallow's Eve etc)
  • Church decorator (Harvest/Christmas/Easter)
  • Gardener – the church garden and ecological project (planting/watering/auditing)
  • Monday Afternoon intergenerational Community Activities

If you want to sing in the choir, just come along at 9:30 on Sundays – we meet next to the piano in the church. Even if you can’t make it every week – come and join us – we would love to see and hear you. To contact our Director of Music, Rebecca Taylor, email:music@s

If you would like to be an altar server, please contact the Vicar, Pippa, at vicarstphilips@specr.org. It is important to arrive by 10:15am to robe and go over the role for the day.

For other activities, speak to Swenja, Eco church Coordinator or Shoko, Children's Champion, before/after the 10:30 Sunday service.

Do you have an idea for a children’s activity which might enhance our Children's Ministries at St. Philips? If you do, please do speak to Shoko, our Children's Champion.

We also are looking for Sunday School Teachers. Please contact the Vicar if you would like to volunteer as a teacher or in any other capacity regarding our Children's Ministries.

We would love you to get involved. We look forward to sharing our gratitude and pride at your achievements at church with your community, both at church and at school.

If you would like to be involved in any way please do contact the Vicar at vicarstphilips@specr.org for more information and to sign up.

Baptisms

Being brought into the community of the Christian faith is a very special occasion and we would be delighted to speak to you about Baptism, whether for adults or children. Baptisms take place during our Sunday morning 10.30 am Eucharist and we would love to speak with you to find the right time for you and for your family. Please contact the parish office for more information at parishoffice@specr.org and/or see our Baptism page.

Safeguarding at St Philip’s

The safety and wellbeing of children at St Philip’s are very important to us. Our ‘Children’s Champion’ is Shoko Sets who can be emailed at childrenschampion@specr.org Shoko is someone who children can talk to about any problem, if they so wish.

The church also has a ‘Safeguarding Officer’, Peninah who can be contacted by email safeguarding@specr.org and who will play a key role in the safeguarding of children, young people and any adults at risk at St Philip’s.

Please click here to view our safeguarding document.