We love being a Church made up of people from 0-100 and all generations and intergeneration connection are an important part of our community. So whatever shape your family takes, you’re welcome here with us. The it is so lovely seeing our 'grand' or even 'great grand' parent figures making connection with the children.
"Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come." Psalm 71v18.
Our children and youth
are the future of the Church and that’s only going to work if they feel at home with us now. Families are a key part of the present! So we’re working hard to grow a supportive network of families; loved, encouraged, prayed-for as part of Portswood Church.
Our weekly Sunday morning celebration-service sees everyone of all ages together for a while and then twice a month children from 0-16 go to other parts of the building to learn from the Bible in groups. It’s a fun time with lots of creativity and all kinds of activities. Normally they come back to join the rest of the Church when we share a little of what we’ve all been learning and sing a final song. Sometimes the children’s and youth groups lead the whole time and we have regular 'All2Gather' services led by our dedicated children's team leader, where we stay together as one big church-family and she adapts our usual service accordingly! We also have 'Downside up' services where the adults go out to groups and the children and youth stay in the main hall to learn and have fun together.
Our services are a mixture of live segments and pre-recorded segments each Sunday at 10am (see link on our homepage) and meeting in person at the building for those who feel comfortable to do so or live streamed for those gathering with us from home . There are weekly activities for the children to do during the talk. Children are always welcome in our services and we don't mind a bit of noise! On weeks where we do not have children's groups running, we try to ensure that all ages can engage in our service but are also very happy for parents or carers to make use of our back hall and outside play area if need be (there are a few toys, paper, pens etc available in boxes for your use). We also have a small box with paper, pens, scissors and work sheets for that morning available by the grey sofas at the back of the church.
Our youth meet each Wednesday evening either at the church building or in a local park (during the warmer months) to catch up, play games, do some Bible study and sometimes bake! Youth in school years 6, 7 & 8 also have a group to go to during the Sunday service twice a month in the morning whilst the older youth in school years 9-13 gather every other Sunday evening at the church for bible study and chat.
At the end of July they all had a brilliant sleep over at the church with climbing at Rock Up in Whiteley, pizza's, a firepit, games as well as tapping into an online Christian youth event. Much fun was had (if not much sleep!). They also had another sleepover in March 2022 with Laser Tag, bowling, bible study, games and sleeping outside to raise funds for the Ukraine.
During term-time we also have a number of mid-week activities for children and young people:-
Lava, for school years 6 - 11
, meets 7.00 - 8.30pm every Wednesday in the back hall of the church. Join us for friendship, fun and a chance to build relationships with God and with each other. We also have a Youth sleepover twice a year which is always lots of fun!
Throughout the year we have a variety of different events which take place for our families under the banner of 'Rooted' from lunches, beach trips, to walks in local woods. Look out for details of Messy Churches and family fun afternoons which happen several times a year. They are a great opportunity for families to get together and gain support from each other as well as having lots of fun. More information about Messy Church
Here at Portswood Church we realise that children don’t arrive with a manual, so we are working on giving parents support as they work their way through bringing up their children. As well as all the informal support-networks including a very active parents whatsapp group, we periodically run a five-week Parenting Course. For more information read what one of our parents thought about the course here. We very much believe that it takes a community to raise a child and try our best to support each other in doing this starting from the first steps by providing meals on wheels for a couple of weeks for new mums & dads.
‘As a leadership team we really want to be a Church where people of all ages are following Jesus together. He once deliberately placed a child in the middle of his disciples to show them what trusting and following Him as Lord really looks like. (It’s in Matt.18:1-5) So it’s crucial that we are with families and children learning together to follow Jesus; loving Him, loving each other and loving those who are lost without Him.’ John Ayrton – Lead Pastor until December 2020.
Note: All our work with children is covered by our child protection policy. Portswood Church is a member of thirtyone:eight (previously known as CCPAS) and all our volunteers are DBS checked.