Children and Young People
Every Sunday in term-time, our Sunday school meet during Mass. We believe in the importance of making decent provision for our young people and aim to teach the Christian faith in a relevant and interesting way. We try our best to offer a well resourced environment where children feel welcome, safe, and part of the congregation.
We don’t shy away from our young people taking part in traditional liturgy and services and try to include them in as much of the services as possible. An important rule for us at St Mary’s is that “Noisy Children are Welcome!”
On Sundays, children begin the Mass with parents and carers in Church to sing a hymn, take part in the singing of the Kyrie & Gloria, and to hear the special prayer of the day. Before the Bible readings, children are invited to take part in Sunday School (this normally takes place in the Sacristy). Children (and parents) take part in the session where they learn about the theme and story for the day. The story and themes are explored by taking part in an activity. Art and craft are a regular part of the activities helping the Sunday School explore the story for the day. Sometimes there is one activity for the slightly younger children and one for the older primary age children.
In addition to the provision for children who wish to take part in Sunday School, there is an area at the back of church with toys and play mats for parents to take children if they wish.
Sunday School return to the main body of the church to take part in communion where they are encouraged to go up to the altar rail for a blessing.
Following Holy Communion, during the notices, the priest will invite the Sunday School to share with the congregation what they have learned and to briefly explore the theme again. The congregation love to see what the children have been doing and appreciate the Sunday School taking part in the Mass. Sunday School normally lasts about 30-35 mins.
After the blessing, during the Angelus, the children are encouraged by the priest to light candles to honour the Blessed Virgin Mary as we commemorate the incarnation.
Mass is followed by refreshments, plenty of squash and biscuits!