Children’s groups 

All our children's groups are run by a fantastic team of able volunteers who are carefully selected, vetted and inducted.   Working on a rota system they get to know all the children in their particular group and are a vital part of helping all our children to feel valued members of our church.   We are so grateful to all those in our children's ministry - they don't get thanked enough!

Newborn to third birthday – Crèche
A supervised group for children from new born until their third birthday  but parents and young children are also very welcome to remain in the church, if you would prefer.  The children (and their parent or carer) enjoy lots of toys with free play plus a simple Bible story and a short prayer.
 
Age 3–5 (until the end of Reception year) – Scramblers
A structured group session, following a regular weekly format to allow younger children to feel secure and comfortable in the session and provide maximum involvement and enjoyment.  After delivering the children to their group, the parents leave so that they can re-join the service.
 
Age 5–7 (Year 1&2) – Climbers
Being in Climbers is about having fun and building on the growing relationships between the children and their leaders and helpers.  The  teaching is based on Bible stories, using a variety of media including action songs; story-telling; role play; craft activities; games and question and answer sessions. 

The church calendar guides the planning across the year to mark and celebrate Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost and Harvest.  

The children get the opportunity to share news with the group and to celebrate birthdays.
 
Age 7–11 (Year 3–6) – Explorers
The format is similar to Climbers and indeed the two groups join together on the third Sunday of each month to enjoy craft activities.

All children have questioning minds and this is particularly true of Explorers. We enjoy finding out more about the Christian life but also want to explore the world and the big questions of life. We do this through talking and thinking out loud as well as through games and sharing together. We always spend some time in prayer either for ourselves, our families, the world or whatever has come up in our group time.

Explorer-aged children and above are encouraged to express their full membership of the church by receiving the bread and wine of Holy Communion – find out more here.

Our Fuel group (see below) also offers something different for our Year 6 Explorers.
 
Age 11+ (Year 7-10) – Pathfinders
Caters for our growing children and young people. Pathfinders builds on the relationships and Christian understanding that has been built up in the children’s lives over the preceding years. More focused on discussion and questioning, the emphasis in on creating a safe space in which the children and young people can seek to apply faith to their lives and find support for the issues which they face. The church celebrates when a young person wants to affirm their personal faith and their baptism as a child by offering themselves for Confirmation.
 
Age 10+ (Year 6 to Year 9) – Fuel – meets third Sunday of each month at St Matthew’s at 5pm
Fuel is a youth meeting held across our three THiS Team churches. Its aim is to help our young people in their faith, by providing them with Christian encouragement.

It usually meets on the third Sunday of each month at St Matthew’s at 5pm for about an hour. There is food and drink, the chance to relax and catch up with friends from the three churches. The group is in its infancy but we hope to have some social activities at other times too and that the group’s direction will be largely shaped by the group itself.

Fuel is not intended as a substitute for Explorers and Pathfinders but an extra chance to be affirmed in faith.

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