Children & Families
Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’
At St Mary’s we take these words of Jesus seriously. Children of all ages are welcome at any and all of our services; in addition, we have a number of activities and groups specifically designed for children and young people.
Junior Church & All Age Eucharists
At the 9.30am Sung Eucharist, Junior Church is offered during the sermon, with teaching and activities designed for children. Junior Church is run by a team of volunteers, all of whom have undergone DBS checks and safeguarding training.
All Age Eucharists are typically held once a month. Instead of the children going out for Junior Church, all the generations are given the opportunity of worshipping and learning about the love of God together, and children are able to get involved alongside adults in different aspects of the service, from welcoming and greeting to leading intercessions.
Our weekly Babies and Toddlers Session happens on Wednesday mornings in the Chantry House, from 10-11.30am. Little ones with their parents and carers are very welcome to join Fr Jeremy and the BATS team for singing, chat, play and snacks. There is no charge and no need to book.
New junior choristers join our Melody Makers and take part in Thursday rehearsals from 6pm to 7pm, where they learn the basics of vocal technique and choral singing. After a period of time, they progress into the full choir and join the seniors on a Sunday morning for our Sung Eucharist service.
Junior choristers are taught how to read music notation and learn many disciplines needed for later life. All children are paid per rehearsal/service attended as a reward for their work. This opportunity is open to boys and girls from school year three, and the youngest we have is seven years old. There is no need to have had prior experience of singing, just a love for music and a willingness to commit to our Thursday rehearsals.
To join the Melody Makers, please email the Director of Music: firstname.lastname@example.org
Many local schools visit St Mary’s for Christmas services and other occasions. We also welcome school visits; Please contact Fr Jeremy if you would like to discuss the possibility of bringing a group from your school to St Mary’s.
Children’s craft workshops are held in the Chantry House during Advent and Lent, giving children opportunities to make lovely things for the great celebrations of Christmas and Easter.
Fr Jeremy is Chaplain to the Henley Sea Cadets who provide young people an experience that will help them grow into the person they want to be. For more information go to the Sea Cadets Website
Confirmation services are usually held at St Mary’s approximately every eighteen months. Confirmation is preceded by a preparation course run by Fr Jeremy in the weeks leading up to the service.
The minimum age for confirmation is 10; there is no maximum age. Please contact Fr Jeremy for more information.
Holy Baptism (sometimes known as Christening) is a Sacrament of Initiation, through which we are welcomed and incorporated into the Church. In baptism we receive the grace of God, sharing sacramentally in the death of Christ that we may share in the fulness of His risen life. We warmly welcome enquiries for Holy Baptism, which usually takes place during the main 9.30am Sung Eucharist (although other times can be arranged where necessary).
The best way to start the conversation is to come along to a Sunday service and speak to one of the clergy. If for any reason this is not practicable, you can email the Rector at email@example.com.