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Children’s ministry: Children’s charter

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The Children’s Charter is a scheme set up to help your parish develop the welcome you offer to children. By joining you will be making a significant statement about the importance of children in your church and joining a network of London parishes from many different places and traditions who are trying to do the same. Joining is a commitment to welcome children into the heart of our congregations and think deeply about our mission to them.

Four Key Areas

The charter asks you to develop your work with children in four key areas. These were decided upon through consultation throughout the Diocese. We do not expect you to change everything at once but instead the charter asks that you change something for the better each year. It is non-prescriptive and allows you to interpret the charter within your tradition. The key areas are:

1. Worship

Children are welcomed into the heart of the parishes worship. They are neither entertained nor distracted but are encouraged to take a full part, in the same way as any adult member.

What might this look like?

  • The parish has at least one service that is accessible to children and allows them to take a full part
  • The parish has discussed whether to admit children to communion and whichever decision is reached children are
  • Children are encouraged to be involved through service, as servers, as musicians, as PA assistants etc

2. Welcome

Children are welcomed into the heart of church life

What must this look like?

  • The Parish fully adheres to the Diocesan Guidelines in safeguarding
  • The facilities provided for children are well looked after and safe

What might this look like?

  • There is provision for where their needs differ from normal adult needs.
  • They have representation at PCC
  • There is a budget for children’s ministry

3. Mission

The mandate of each parish stretches beyond those who attend on a Sunday.

What might this look like?

  • Where possible the Parish will have an involvement in local schools.
  • The Parish will provide something beyond Sundays for children and families that are not regular attendees.

4. Nurture

Children are made in the image of God and need a good balance of teaching and time to reflect and grow.

What might this look like?

  • Children’s workers are using up to date and appropriate resources.
  • Children’s spirituality is supported and nurtured, not just their knowledge.

How do you join?

The awarding of the charter mark to a parish will be done through self-assessment, as the aim of the charter is to encourage good practice not to pressurise. The charter will seek to reward steady, sustainable progress. The self assessment will seek to establish three things:

  1. Certain minimum requirements are being met, such as adequate Safeguarding procedures being in placeThen either:
  2. The parish is able to clearly display how it is fulfilling the values expressed in the charter; or
  3. The Parish has identified a clear route forward where it can change to become more welcoming to children. This would need to be ‘steps in the right direction’ not sudden and dramatic change.

Once awarded, the parish will be responsible through its representative for ensuring the charter is still upheld. To support this we will provide an annual review process encouraging parishes to continually look to improve.

It’s a simple process to sign up. Either complete the form online or download a paper copy.

Benefits of joining

Joining the scheme is a clear commitment to welcoming children into the heart of your congregation; it will make your church more attractive to families and make church attendance a more positive experience for children who already attend.

Members of the scheme will receive:

  • A Children’s Charter sign to display on your church to show you are members
  • A certificate of membership
  • A monthly newsletter
  • Access to a network of church all on the same journey
  • Access to a grant scheme that will help you to make improvements where funds are not available


Children's Charter logo.jpg  Download  
Self evaluation sheet  Download  
Information sheet  Download  
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