Welcome to Junior Church at St. Margaret's Church Horsforth. The following is a brief explanation for parents / carers about what Junior Church is for.
What is Junior Church?
Junior Church is part of the (main) Sunday 10 am service. It provides an introduction to Christian life for younger members of the congregation and allows them to participate in age-appropriate worship (e.g. silly songs with lots of actions). Showing kids the value that Christianity can have in their lives. Having fun!
What happens in Junior Church?
A typical Junior Church session starts with everyone gathering round for a brief introduction by one of the leaders. The kids are encouraged to tell us about any special events in their lives (birthdays, trips, pets giving birth etc). A (topical) prayer is said and a hymn (traditional, modern or downright silly) is sung.
We then break up into three group: younger (up to Year 1); middle (Year 2 to Year 7 inclusive); older (Year 8 and above). There is one leader for each group. A group may do craft, quizzes, short dramas etc. The older the group the more bible study there will be. The focus is on learning through fun.
Which Sundays will there be a Junior Church?
There is no Junior Church when there is family communion or a parade service. Family communion is a family focussed alternative to parish communion. There will be something for both adults and children. Parade services are attended by the uniformed organisations associated with St Margaret's (e.g. Scouts, Brownies, Cubs, Rainbows) and the service is focussed on children. The second Sunday of the month is always family communion or a parade service, and there will be no Junior Church on that Sunday. There may be parade services on other Sundays in the month (e.g. Mothering Sunday) and there will be no Junior Church on those Sundays either.
There is no Junior Church during the main school summer holidays (late July to early September). Junior church is often skipped for the Sunday between Christmas and New Year as well.
Where is Junior Church held?
Junior Church is always held in the Parish Centre next to the church itself. Sometimes during the summer months we may go out into (but never leaving) the church grounds.
When does Junior Church take place during the service?
Early in the service, the Junior Church members and leaders will gather at the front for a blessing, and then head-off to the Parish Centre. For communion services, the kids will be back just before or at the start of communion. For morning worship services, the kids will be back in time for the last hymn.
What age groups does Junior Church cover?
We teach three age groups: younger; middle ; older (or youth). The youngest, unaccompanied children we take are ones in reception. However parents / carers are welcome to stay and play with children younger than this. Similarly parents / carers are always welcome to accompany their children to Junior Church.
Any parents / carers who want to stay with their children in the youngest (key stage 1) group are particularly welcome since the children in this group often need more help.
Do my kids have to go into Junior Church?
Absolutely not. Children are always welcome in (main) church, and there is a dedicated play corner.
What checks are performed on the Junior Church leaders?
All junior church leaders have up to date DBS checks. There is a minimum of three DBS checked junior church leaders in each session. The Church of England considers Safeguarding to be a high priority.
The older group in Junior Church have been writing their own psalms; see Junior Church Psalms.