Children and Families in the Four Parishes

Families with children are always welcome to join in worship at any of our four churches, but we do have some events and services and which are particularly suitable for younger children. 

Recently we have started some new activities in the benefice to augment Family Church which has been running for some time, even though there have been developments with that too. All these activities are intended to be of special interest to pre-school and primary school children and their families, but of course everyone is welcome to them all! With all the activities, parents, or another adult, must accompany the children. Each activity is different, but they augment each other. You might be more drawn to one than the other, but please do think about trying them all. Those who have, have had a great time. A warm and friendly welcome awaits you!

We hope the guidance below is helpful but please don't hesitate to
contact us if you would like more information.
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Children's Service at St Nicolas
1st Sunday, 4pm


The Children’s Service at St Nicolas is led by Anthea along with Julia Stutfield from Forest Hill, and aims to encourage young children to become familiar with the essential elements of a service in church, by presenting them in a brief and accessible format.


The service is at 4pm on the first Sunday of the month and lasts less than 30 minutes. The format includes story-telling, usually with props and/or costumes, and songs led by members of the St Nicolas Choir, together with some simple prayers. The story scripts are specially written by Betty Dye and other members of the ‘Open the Book’ team.


Children and adults are welcome to join in rehearsing and acting out the stories (by prior arrangement) or to try singing in the choir. Please contact Anthea or Julia Stutfield (07766 103427) if you would like more information.

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Messy Church
2nd Sunday, 4pm

Messy Church is led by Anthea the Vicar together with Betty Dye, one of the Licensed Lay Readers, who leads the ‘Open the Book’ team that goes into Beckley School fortnightly.


It is held at 4pm for an hour on the second Sunday of every month, generally in Stanton St John Village Hall. There is a short drama about the theme, and then the Bible story is read from a children’s Bible which draws out the drama of the story. There are prayers, a related craft activity, some songs, and food and drinks. We chat together as we do the craft activity and eat and drink.


We hope everyone will have fun, build supportive relationships with each other, learn about Jesus, and gently grow in their faith.

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Family Church
4th Sunday, 4.30pm

Laura Mermet-Burnet from Horton-cum-Studley leads Family Church, along with Anthea. Over the warmer months we have started meeting in Bernwood Forest as ‘Forest Church’ which is new for us and has been very exciting. We meet for an hour, usually on the fourth Sunday of the month at 4pm in the carpark. Worship is intermingled with outdoor play, woodcraft, a walk and an opportunity for appreciation of the natural world. Our relaxed get togethers always end with refreshments of cake and fruit. Attendees can bring their dogs along. Worship and learning through play and walking is a family friendly activity and the children really engage with it. All ages and not just families are warmly welcome!


In the colder months we meet as an informal ‘Cafe Church’ in Horton-cum-Studley village hall. We sit at cafe style tables, so it is nice and relaxed. There is a Bible story and conversation about the story, a craft activity, fun live modern music, games and supper for the whole family. We hope everyone will have fun, build supportive relationships with each other, learn about Jesus, and gently grow in their faith.