Shire Green URC, in Sheffield, is the first church in the country to receive the new version of the ‘Children and Youth Friendly Church’ award. This award is made to churches who show that they are striving to think about children and young people in everything that they do – even if there aren’t any regular younger members of the congregation. In Shire Green there is a long history of work with children and young people in the community who are also welcome members of the worshiping life of the church.


As lockdown is easing, the re-opened toddler group and new baby group run by volunteer Kayleigh Scallan are proving popular with parents. It is very valuable for new parents to have someone who cares and who can offer encouragement and support through what can be a very challenging and isolating experience a the best of times. Other groups for children and young people had to stop during lockdown, but some specialist support work such as play therapy has been able to continue.


But it’s not the activities that are being run that necessarily makes a ‘child and youth friendly’ church. The award means that the whole congregation is committed to valuing and welcoming children and young people. There may be specific activities for those age groups, but more importantly children and young people (and their different needs) are included in different aspects of church life such as worship and decision-making.

Would you like to find out about being a ‘children and youth friendly’ church? You can find out more about the scheme on the URC website. If you want to explore further get in touch with Jon or Megan and they will be happy to talk to you about it.

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