The Child Friendly Church

By working towards and gaining Child Friendly Church Award, parishes in the Diocese of Rochester can demonstrate that children and young people are welcomed, valued, nurtured, and taken seriously as joint heirs in God’s kingdom and equal partners in the life of the church.

Aims

  • To assist churches to review their welcome, nurture and involvement of children and young people
  • To encourage development of best practice in the church’s work with children and young people, so that they are well integrated into the life of the church.
  • To recognise, celebrate  and publicise churches which are committed to welcoming children and young people as equal partners in the life of the church.

In Practice

The Rochester Diocese Child Friendly Church Award team will:

  • Provide a self-assessment tool designed to help churches reflect on their existing ministry among children and young people under the three broad headings of Church, Children and Community.
  • Allocate a Child Friendly Church Award Adviser to accompany and support each church through the process and beyond, providing encouragement and acting as a mentor to help the church achieve its goals.
  • Assist churches in agreeing a vision and an action plan for the development of ministry among children and young people.
  • Present the Child Friendly Church Award to successful churches in a public manner.

What are the benefits?

The benefits of participating in the Child Friendly Church Award scheme include:

  • Provides a process to help a church review their ministry among children and young people
  • Celebrates existing good practice and encourages further development of ministry among children and young people.
  • Makes church more attractive to children, young people, and their families.
  • Raises the profile of children & young people in the church
  • Increases involvement of children and young people in the life of the church
  • A certificate for display inside your church building.
  • The Child Friendly Church logo can be used on stationery, church websites and publicity.
  • Public recognition of the achievement.

How to apply for the award?

  1. Gain the agreement of the PCC to apply for the award. Invite one of the Rochester Diocesan Child Friendly Church Award team to introduce the scheme to the PCC.
  1. Form a small, representative working group who will work through and complete the self-assessment form. The group should be committed to seek out, listen to, and take seriously the experiences and views of children and young people as part of the process. This group should include members with different perspectives on church life. For example:
    • a couple of young people
    • a couple of children’s and/or youth leaders
    • a parent or two
    • a church warden
    • a lay person involved in church leadership (e.g. a Lay Reader/Pastoral Assistant)
    • the person in the church responsible for safeguarding
  1. Return the completed form by email to Sarah Cabella at sarah.cabella@rochester.anglican.org or post a paper copy to her at : Rochester Diocesan Office, St Nicholas Church, Boley Hill, Rochester, ME1 1SL
  1. On receiving your completed form:
    • An adviser will arrange to visit the church and meet with the working group to discuss the self-assessment questions in detail, to encourage and to advise.
    • A report will be provided for the PCC.
    • If necessary, the adviser will support the church in working on areas for development.
    • The award will be presented to the church once the criteria have been met.
  1. The award is valid for a period of 3 years, after which the Diocese will contact you to begin a review process which can lead to a renewal of the award for a further 3 years.

The Child Friendly Church award can be used as part of your Called to Grow plan for your church.




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