This is the vision statement for the Child Friendly Church Award and during application, assessment and awarding the sense of journey for St Mary’s, Waterloo has been strong. Their application and initial assessment recognised and celebrated all that had already been achieved and begun. Between assessment and awarding their advisor was warmly welcomed one Sunday morning and saw further ideas, suggestions and developments being put into practice.
On Sunday 20th September, at the annual Pet Service which welcomes members of the community and their animals into church, the congregation were presented with their first Child Friendly Church Award. To the backdrop of scaffolding that reaches to the ceiling there was fun and laughter, balloons and cheers, followed by a BBQ and fabulous cake! It was a really special occasion.
St Mary’s are facing a time of uncertainty and change but through the awarding they were able to celebrate the journey so far, receive encouragement for the present and look forward with hope to the journey ahead. Because the journey continues for the church and its ministry to children, young people and families. The development of the children’s spaces are ongoing, upcoming training is booked and their advisor is on hand to answer questions and offer support.
St Mary’s Child Friendly Church Advisor, Emma O’Hagan, concludes: “Although the journey ahead can sometimes feel daunting I trust the congregation of St Mary’s will be able to shout ‘God is good’!”