Shanklin United Reformed Church has received a national award which recognises its good work with children, young people and families.
The Child Friendly Church Award is run by the United Reformed Church and is designed to encourage local congregations to aim for high standards in their welcome and ministry to families. The Church of England also runs this scheme. Churches are required to go through a process of self assessment followed by a review looking at how they work with children and young people, including good practice and safeguarding measures. A three to five year development plan is also drawn up to help with better planning.
The plaque which is by our front door has a double message: It tells the community that here is a church that welcomes children, young people and their parents. It also reminds everyone in the church to offer a warm welcome and to keep up the good work that has been achieved.
Minister, Rev Brian Harley, commented, “This was a very proud moment for me as it was a recognition of all the hard work that so many people in our church family put in. We are delighted to have achieved this award which reflects the standards we seek to work to. People with children often say that they feel welcome when they come along to our services and other activities. We hope that this will encourage more people to look in and see what we have to offer – worship that aims to include everyone, special Sunday activities for children and young people, mid week youth groups, a new drop in after-school youth cafe, CatURpillars – our Parent and Child Activity Sessions, plus various social events, picnics and walks. It is not all about families of course. One of our visitors commented recently that we should also get a Mature Middle-aged Friendly Church Award!”