There are a number of Children and Youth activities which go on in the parish:-
The Sunday School meets each week during the 11 am service. The children have many different opportunities to engage in different types of activity, from arts-based and creative projects to active games. Each Sunday School group also has the opportunity to lead the Family Service. This usually involves the creation of a drama in which the whole group can participate, together with prayers written and read by the children and readings and a responsive psalm, read by the children. We try to involve the congregation as much as possible. These opportunities to lead the service are wonderful in the way that they bring the children together and give them a very strong sense of belonging to the church community. The recent X-stream service on Mothering Sunday included a question and answer session with their mothers and was enjoyed by the whole congregation.
Transformers and X-Stream
There are two Sunday School teaching groups which cover Reception to school year 6 - ‘Transformers’ and ‘X-stream’. Each group includes a fairly wide age range of children and this has resulted in larger core groups of children who come to Sunday School each week. As in previous years, there are a large number of children on the register, but many of these do not regularly attend Sunday School. Teaching in Sunday School is an uplifting experience. The children are delightful, giving us all great learning opportunities and time for laughter. Their questioning, personal interactions and growing knowledge of God’s word are sources of inspiration. Our continuing challenge is to grow the numbers of children who come regularly.
Messengers is the Sunday Morning group for those in school years 7 to 9 (ages 11-14) We meet in the air raid shelter alongside the 11 am service, when we explore our Christian faith through the bible, games and activities. It's a time of learning and fun; a time for building relationships with each other and with God as we get to know more about Him, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We sometimes go off site, holding our bible study and discussions in Cafe Nero or the park. These were good sessions giving opportunity for developing relationships and more personal applications of the passages studied. an hours
A mid week cell group meets at a leaders house, where an hour is enjoyed socialising and eating dinner together, followed by an hour of studying the bible in a more informal way, giving opportunies to build trust, go deeper and develope the practise of praying for each other.
Re:Sound open youth group
Re:Sound meets fortnightly at St John's Gills Hill Lane where we welcome and befriend local young people in school years 7 - 11, most of whom have no other contact with the church or one of its youth groups. On a regular evening we offer a tuck shop, football, games, crafts, cooking, music and chatting. Meetings are on Friday evenings from 7.30 - 9.30 pm.
Messy Church meets once a month after school on either a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon at St John's and continues to attract a large number of families with children mostly from St John’s School and the Tuesday Toddler Group. Many of the families do not normally attend any other church activities. The sessions include socializing and playing table games over tea or squash, an introduction to our story or theme often using a DVD, you tube clip or power-point presentation, a variety of activities and crafts, rounding up with songs, prayers, a short talk and sometimes a drama all concluding with a light supper.