Diocese of Portsmouth

    Church is packed with toddlers

    Children and Young People
    30 May 2023

    WALK into St Jude’s Church, Southsea, on a Wednesday morning, and it will be full of babies, toddlers and their parents.

    Craft activities, toys, puzzles and games are scattered through the nave, tea and coffee are being served to parents – and later on they’ll all gather for songs and stories. This is Little Tiddlers, which attracts dozens of families each week.

    It was launched after the pandemic, from 10am-11.30am each Wednesday in term-time, and is run by children’s ministry enabler Bethan Fogell and volunteers. It’s a great way of linking church and families, which echoes Growing Faith.

    Bethan said: “It’s fantastic to see the church transformed into a space that looks so attractive for the under-fives each week, and that so many families come along.

    “We have some amazing volunteers who develop relationships with these families. Many of them have had children themselves, and so can offer advice and support to anyone struggling.

    “We also have an opportunity to share something of God’s love with them through our songs and stories, and by inviting families to other church activities where they’ll hear more about faith.”

    Historically, the church has had a major involvement with pre-school children through St Jude’s Church Nursery, which is based in Silver Street and is part of the church’s mission to Southsea. Church members also lead collective worship at St Jude’s C of E Primary School.

    And the church also encourages dads to take their children camping in the New Forest for a weekend each year. The annual ‘Bears Camp’ happens each June. Find out more on www.sjs.church.

    St Jude's Church

    Kent Road, Southsea, PO5 3EL

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