Community

Introducing Toddle Time @ Forbes Road

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The coffee machine is set up. The mini tables and chairs are stacked. The toys have been disinfected... We are ready to launch Toddle Time @ Forbes Road!

Starting on Friday 17th May at 10am, this new baby and toddler group will be held at the Memorial Hall on Forbes Road and is open to those 0-3 years old accompanied by their parent, grandparent or carer. Our prayer for Toddle Time is that it would be a safe, welcoming environment for your little ones. We hope that they will enjoy using our space to play, to enjoy bible stories, to join in singing and crafts and make new friends.

Six years ago, I became a mum for the first time. It was a joyful and amazing experience! But it could also be a worrying, anxious and often lonely time. I found going to baby groups a real lifeline in those early days. As well as a chance to get out of the house, someone else to make the coffee and a safe space for my baby to play, baby and toddler groups offered me the chance to chat to other mums, dads and carers. Many of those friendships continue to this day. As Christ Church Walkley, we are delighted to be able to use our building to support others in the community.

We want Toddle Time to be a place for carers as well as their children. Whether you’re coming alone or with friends; whether you’re loving looking after your little ones or finding it all a challenge; whether you’re the first-time mum of a new-born or an experienced grandparent of ten; our aim is to make you feel welcome and valued. And we promise there’ll be decent coffee.

If you want to find out more about Toddle Time @ Forbes Road then why not email us at info@christchurchwalkley.co.uk or just turn up!

Reading the bible with your children in 2019

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This is the third in our New Year bible reading series. This one is from Paul Jones who has two young sons.

Reading the bible with your children isn't easy - and I think that that's certainly true for me. I find it hard, but it's also fair to say that it is really rewarding. Our boys, 5 and 8, are both beginning to ask some really big and sometimes tough questions, which makes bible time exciting too.

We have 2 main 'slots' in the day where we do things. When we sit down for tea, we pray through the church family using the church prayer diary. We pray too, for the people we have around our table for tea that night. It's also a good time to make it a habit of saying thank you together, for our food. During Advent, we add in prayer and chat about the name of Jesus that is on our advent candle for that day. As the boys have gotten older this has been a good way to start to weave the whole bible narrative together.

The second slot is when we read the bible to the boys before bed. This has become a little more complicated recently. Our eldest has outgrown the Jesus Storybook Bible and The Big Picture Bible, so we got him the Holy Bible for Kids (ESV), which is the one he uses in Sunday School as well as the version we use in church. When we are reading the passage together, he will look up the reference in his bible and follow along with us. The Big Picture Story Bible is slightly easier for this as it provides references for each reading. This has helped to show both boys that the stories they are learning about come from the same bible as Daddy and Mummy have, and that we read from on Sunday at church. It has also allowed Sam to start linking things together - only last night he spotted that there were two instances in Matthew's gospel where God says "This is my Son with whom I am well pleased..." and so we were able to chat about that.

We then pray, normally in three ways; thank you prayers where the boys share, we pray about what we have learnt about Jesus from our passage, and sorry prayers which sometimes the boys will pray. From time to time we have to push hard on the thank you and sorry prayers - but as we say to the boys "there is always something we can say Thank You to God for!" and they are quickly learning that even if they've not been told off, there is always the need for God's forgiveness! We also make sure that we talk to the boys about what they've been learning in Sunday School. They don't always follow the sermon series - although when that happens it can make for a great discussion - so talking to them is really interesting. Seeing how their understanding of who Jesus is and what God has done is growing all the time.

Less formally, we have tried to take to heart Deuteronomy 6v4-7:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

To talk about the things of God all the time. Whether they be in relation to school things, or a great view when we are out walking, a rainbow or when the boys ask us questions. One of the things that Jennie is particularly good at is praying with the boys if they are worried about something, or can't sleep, or are having a nightmare. We are conscious that whilst the more formal slots are important, showing the boys that following Jesus is all encompassing and that God is not just interested in, but in charge of, all areas of our lives is really important too.

It isn't always easy, and sometimes it is the last thing that I want to do after a long day at work - but I never feel that afterwards. It's not just your children who benefit, you do too. I'm sure we could do more and I'm sure others do lots of other exciting and encouraging things; so as parents, godparents and members of God's wider family - let's be better at talking about these things and better at asking for help, so we can all be the better for it.

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S6 Foodbank Visit

Jen Rawling recently visited the S6 Foodbank and tells us about it here:

As a church, we love the community that we live in. As part of this love for those around us, we recently decided to start supporting the S6 Food Bank. It is part of the Trussell Trust, and exists with the purpose of 'helping people in crisis'. It is able to provide food packages to people from the local area who, for a variety of reasons, are struggling to feed themselves and their family. We were invited along to find out more about how it works, and came away incredibly impressed.

The Food Bank is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11am-1pm, so I turned up one Friday at the end of August with Chris and Caroline, ready to see how it works. We were quickly welcomed by the volunteers there, and made to feel like part of a team. Before opening, the volunteers were divided into two teams: those to sit at tables, and those to collect the food packages. It wasn't long before a steady stream of people in need of food started to arrive. As they came through the door, with their referral slips in hand, they were directed to a table. At that point, they were offered a hot drink before the volunteers at the table went through a 'shopping list' to see what food and toiletries they needed that week. When the list was complete, it was held in the air for the food packaging team to collect.

The food packers then disappeared with the list to the store room, and filled shopping bags with the requested items. Meanwhile, the table volunteers were able to have a chat with those who had arrived in need of food: about the weather, their weeks, their background, the various community events that were being organised... until the food packers returned with their week's food.

The sense of community that this format gave was inspiring. Everyone who came through the door was shown love through the way they were spoken to as well as the through the practical support that they were given. This is an incredibly simple and effective way of supporting those in crisis on our door steps. Sadly, the Food Bank is often short of, or runs out of, particular items. This is where we come in! There is a collection box in the office on Howard Road for you to bring non-perishable food items or toiletries. If you want to know what our local Food Bank needs each week, there is a free app you can download from Google Play / the Apple Store. The box will be available at any point that you are in the office, with the monthly prayer meeting offering a regular focus point for donations. 

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