All are welcome at St Bene’t’s, from the very young to the very elderly, and everyone in between. Here’s some information that you might find helpful if you bring children to church:
– Buggies can usually be left near the font, by the main door
– There’s no reserved seating at St Bene’t’s, so please sit wherever you want to. If you want to sit near the front so your child can see what’s going on better, please do. If you’d rather be near the back where there’s more space for toddling around and exploring, please sit there. There’s also seating under the Tower (at the back of church), where you’ll find toys and books for children, if you want to use them.
– There are children’s groups that meet during the service in the Ramsey Rooms (the glassed off area at the back of one of the aisles), and you and your child are very welcome to join them after the Collect, near the start of the service. (If you prefer to stay in the service, please do that,) Here, children have their own Liturgy of the Word, where they hear and respond to the Bible reading. Then we all come back together as one congregation to share in the Eucharist together.
– If your child has been admitted to communion, he or she is welcome to receive communion at St Bene’t’s. Otherwise, he or she is welcome to receive a blessing at the altar rail.
– There’s a loo through the door by the table in the north aisle (the area with chairs rather than pews). There’s also a baby changing unit there, if you need to change a nappy.
– Above all, please don’t feel awkward or embarrassed if your child gets wriggly or makes a noise. Jesus welcomes children just as they are, so we try to as well.
All work with children and young people at St Bene’t’s is done in accordance with the Church of England’s safeguarding policies.
A varied pattern of teaching is used in our children’s groups, which covers liturgy as well as theology and biblical stories. It is based on the ‘Godly Play’ approach and is open and creative. We aim to distill theology rather than dilute it. We give attention to the shape of the Church’s year and the different themes offered by the festivals and seasons.