Spec-tacular Growing Faith Adventure

First published on: 22nd June 2023

Are you a holder of a Child Friendly Church or Church School Partnership Award, or considering how you can make better connections between churches and schools? Growing Faith helps you to consider the importance of making all your decisions through the lens of what it means for children, young people and their families.

Tracey Fitzsimmons from St John’s Church, Burscough, Lancashire shares their Growing Faith Adventure;

"During the recent lockdown, I took part in the six-month “Reflecting on Growing Faith” online focus group led by both Sue Mitchell Children and Families Missioner and Dr Sarah Holmes Researcher into Young Faith. As a group, we considered the church of England’s Growing Faith Adventure and how as churches we needed to make better connections between church, home and school to enable children to develop a lifelong faith.

Following on from this as a church we re-shaped our Children’s and Family Ministry with the Growing Faith Adventure at its core. This is just one of the things we chose to do to connect all three areas.

We began in our new “Kingdom Kids” group with our overarching theme of Team Jesus, this specific session was about “Being Spectacular” recognising that this can be found simply in the every day through creation and small simple acts of kindness.

We explored the concept in a creative way and then shared this with the wider church in other words sharing with “All generations of our church family”.

Each child received a pair of sunglasses to takeaway encouraging them to be proactive that week by putting the specs on and looking for spec-tacular signs in God's world.

In addition, the children were to deliver gifts to our local primary schools, pairs of Giant Sunglasses for the Headteachers, with an additional note to share what they had been doing and encouraging the Heads to look for teachers and children doing Spectacular things whether through classwork or simple acts of kindness!

There was great feedback on all aspects of this. Children were excited to see their teachers wearing the glasses around the school. It was posted about on school's social media. Ladies at a village knitting group were overheard talking about it. Parents shared how it sparked conversation at the dinner table. Glasses were worn by children when they were out and about, looking for signs of Spec-tacular God.

It sparked inspiration for the same idea to be used by our curate/doctor while speaking at a conference for pediatricians around Europe.

Months later, it is still having an impact in an intergenerational way. This simple, fun idea has been like a stone dropped in water; rippling through all three spheres of home, school and church, plus wider communities; showing how making even the smallest of changes can make a big difference. I would really encourage you to attend the conference and find out how the Growing Faith Adventure can help in your ministry to children and their families, there is so much potential in using it!"

Tracey Fitzsimmons, Children’s and Family Ministry Co-ordinator, St John’s Church, Burscough, Lancashire.


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