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 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.
At the moment, we are doing a mixture of meeting online each Sunday at 10am (see link on our homepage) and meeting in person at the building for those who feel comfortable to do so and there are weekly activities for the children to do during the talk. We have recently started a small gathering of families at the church in our outside area where it is safer that our forecourt for any children who come along and are able to provide Sunday morning kids groups some weeks as we build our teams back up following Covid restrictions.
Our youth meet each Wednesday and Sunday evening in person either at the church building or in a local park to catch up, play games, do some Bible study and sometimes bake! At the end of July they 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!)
During term-time we also have a number of mid-week activities for children and young people:-
Lava, for school years 7 - 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.