The Children's and Youth Church is a major part of Chudleigh Baptist Church as when we leave the congregations on a Sunday morning, there are lots of empty seats! Our aim is to help the children and young people grow in their knowledge and love of God and to learn about what the Bible says and how we can apply that to our lives. We have several groups that help us achieve this.
We have creche for the 0-3s where we play, sing songs, listen to Bible stories, do some craft as well as enjoy the odd snack! We might not manage to fit all these activiities into one morning, but we have a good go!
Once the children are eligible to start pre-school, they can join the 3-7s, which includes children up to the end of school year 2. Following that, there is a group of 7-11s which takes children in school years 3-6. In both these groups, the children might take part in music, quizzes, treasure hunts, learning about the Bible, eating sweets, prayer times,doing craft and more.
Finally for a Sunday morning, the 11-14s meet (school years 7-9) and enjoy chatting and discussing, praying and learning about what the Bible says and working out how we might apply it, as well as eating jelly babies, but there is a growing pressure to have Haribo. We regularly pray together, giving thanks and praise to God as well as asking Him about stuff.
Whilst we have a great time in groups with activities aimed at our age groups, it is great when we meet with the rest of church as we can join in with worship, playing musical instruments and learning about God together. We also look forward to the end of the service when grown ups might like to enjoy a cuppa and we can often be found by the biscuit tins!
We now have regular All Age services - they are held about once a half term. These services are great as we can all be involved and you never know quite what the service will hold or how you might be praising and worshipping God - anything from kneading and shaping bread dough to using balloons to walking round the church pretending to be an animal on its way to the ark!
Some of the highlights of our year are going to SW Spree. This is organised by Urban Saints and SWYM and is a weekend of camping and fun but with the aim of enabling children and young people to deepen their relationship with Jesus. We have been each year since 2011 and wonder what colour T-shirts we will have for the next Spree?!! Highlights involve Duggie Dug Dug, Inflatable Sumo Wrestling, Writeway, Spree's Got Talent, archery, kayaking, raft building and so much more!! (Highlights for the leaders are getting home to a real bed at the end of it all!!)
The youth are also involved in ET (Everybody's Territory) which is run by Maren Hedermann who works for the Chudleigh AreaYouth Project. ET meets weekly in term time on Sunday evenings 7-8.30pm at Chudleigh Parish Church.