The Church of England has recently released findings of research into church-based Toddler groups. The research included a survey which asked leaders to say how their groups were made distinctively Christian, while being open to all.
Leaders responded to say that priorities included making it clear from the start that the group in questions was Christian, and making sure helpers are nurtured and use the support of other groups within the church.
In the report’s wake, we went along to ‘Tots’ Praise’ in the parish of Byfleet to see such a project in action.
Alison Hendy Children & Families Ministry Adviser for the Diocese of Guildford has welcomed the study, highlighting particularly the need for support for toddler groups from clergy and the wider church, with some groups seeing themselves as another congregation.
And this is something which is very present in Byfleet, with ‘Tots’ Praise’ actively supported by Rector, John McCabe, who spoke of the benefits he has seen first-hand, “I see “Tots’ Praise’ drawing in new people; I see people flourishing, I see people praising, connecting and making community links.”
This sense of community is not lost on Nikki More, one of the co-founders of the Byfleet group, “’Tots Praise’ is brilliant because it manages to mash up a community social event and being able to chat to other mums, and let the children let off steam with church.”
Full findings of The Toddler Project can be found here.
If you are interested in setting up a toddler group with a Christian ethos you can contact Alison Hendy.