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If you have received this email you are currently registered on my network list of over 500 children’s and family work leaders and clergy across the Diocese of Chichester.  If you are not involved in this ministry and would prefer to be removed from this list you can unsubscribe by clicking on the link at the end of this email. Our hope is that our mailings will support your vital work with the children and families we seek to serve within the Diocese of Chichester.

Children's and Family Work
Autumn 2019


Look out for our new style web site
coming soon 

“Work with children and young people must be one of the top priorities in the next 5 years of our diocesan life.  Statistics show us huge shifts in the patterns of church membership and association in younger people and we must be fleet of foot to address these challenges.  I warmly commend this practical conference which will both set out the landscape and propose some practical responses that can be applied in every parish. Do make a priority in your diaries to come with your team.”

The Bishop of Lewes
Conference on Children's & Family Work

6 & 7 September 2019

St Andrews Church Burgess Hill

A bespoke conference for
Children's & Family Work Leaders
and Clergy in the Diocese of Chichester 

Keynote speakers: 
The Bishop of Lewes, Sandra Millar, Mary Hawes, Rob Dillingham

Workshops will be led by highly qualified and experienced children's leaders already successfully working across the Diocese in:  Schools Work, After School Clubs, Godly Play, Mission to Families in our Communities, Toddler Groups, Families and  Faith, All-Age Worship, and much more

There will be a display of resources to enhance your work
The conference starts at 9:30am and finishes 4pm each day
Drinks will be served but please bring your own packed lunch

Cost £5 per person per day  
Book here:


For  the programme timetable subjects and speakers visit HERE 

An introduction to the

Parenting for Faith Course

led by

Anna Hawken
(National Parenting for Faith Coordinator)

Saturday 30 Nov 9:30am - 1pm 
Church House Hove BN3 4ED

There is no charge to attend this event
For further details contact:

It is our aim that these training courses will be replicated across the Diocese in local parish churches by local leaders.

Brand new certificate in
Parenting for Faith at Cliff College

We are very pleased to announce that you can now study for a recognised qualification in Parenting for Faith as part of Cliff College's short course programme.

This course is specially designed for anyone working in a professional or voluntary capacity with children, young people and families in churches. It will equip you to successfully support parents and carers as they disciple their children and explore what parenting for faith might look like in your church and community. 
Subject areas include:
  • The current crisis in spiritual parenting
  • An overview of Parenting for Faith and its five Key Tools
  • Skills and values you need to successfully support your families
  • Parenting for Faith in children’s and youth work and intergenerational spaces
Working with your church and planning your next steps HERE
The vision of the National Parenting Initiative (NPI) is that any parent in the UK will be able to enter their postcode and find a parenting course near them. The NPI was set up in January 2012 by a group of parenting professionals and senior church leaders from all over the UK. The goal is to encourage churches to run parenting courses in every corner of our four nations and to make it easy for parents to access them. Further details HERE

Training in Godly Play

in the Diocese of Chichester

Godly Play Core Training 

TRINITY Church, Lewes, BN7 1JH
Saturday 19th October, 9th and 23rd November 2019
Each day starts at 9am and finishes at 5:30pm. 
The course is run by Judy Yeomans and Stuart Lee, South East region trainers.
Cost £320 includes a comprehensive handbook, lunches and refreshments.


A Taster Morning in Godly Play


Fri 29 Nov  10am - 1pm

Church House Hove BN3 4ED

There is no charge to attend this event
For details contact:

Please note: Car Parking is limited at Church House on this day


for Children's & Family & Youth  Leaders 

If you are looking to start up a new children's or youth work or revitalise your existing ministry with young people, share ideas and resources, pray and network with other leaders in your area why not attend our Hubs informal gatherings led by highly qualified and experienced coordinators in your local area.

Regional networking HUBS are currently being established across the 4 Archdeaconries in the Diocese of Chichester for busy children's and youth leaders who are both volunteers and salaried to provide:
  • Training for professional development
  • Networking support
  • Prayerful encouragement
  • Sharing of ideas and resources
  • Friendship for those new to children's work

For further information  contact:
Book for our new Authorised Lay Ministry training electives coming up in the autumn HERE

Children's Work Elective Christchurch St Leonards-on-Sea on 28 Sept & 9 Oct 9:30am - 1pm & 16 Nov 2pm - 5pm

Children's Work Elective Chichester  venue & dates TBC

Family Work Elective Church House Hove 12 & 26 Oct & 30 Nov  9:30am - 1pm

Are you called to children’s and family work?

Ridley Lay Ministry (RLM) students specialising in children’s and family ministry are called to work with children of all ages and their families.

The work may focus on under 5s, primary school age, the transition into adolescence or involve engagement with all of these groups, and may take place in a church, school, community or other setting.

But at its heart will be the support of children in their emotional, physical, social, mental, spiritual and faith development.
For further details

Lists of Accredited Training Courses available for Ministry with Children and Families HERE


The Certificate of Higher Education in Theology, Ministry and Mission can be focused towards children and family work by choosing specific modules. These are taught over two years. Most students complete four in the first year and two in the second. Each module is generally taught over a series of seven days in Oxford. The days run from 10.30am to 4pm to give students time to travel. There are two weekends incorporated to visit and learn from  mission practice..

The resulting award is a Certificate of Higher Education in Theology, Ministry and Mission through Durham University as part of the Common Awards. For further details visit HERE

The Complexities of Inclusion

Integrating physical, social and emotional accessibility in worship.Wednesday 30th October 2019

St. George the Martyr, Southwark 
10.30 for 11.00 a.m. - 3.30 p.m.

For more details visit HERE

Insight Beyond Words Frances Young, a theologian and Methodist minister, is the mother of a son with profound learning disabilities, now in his fifties.

Insight and Understanding Fiona MacMillan, chair of the Disability Advisory Group at St Martin in the Fields and a trustee of Inclusive Church.

Insight and Autism Ann Memmott, international consultant, trainer and speaker on autism, a director of AT-Autism, a trustee of Autistic Pride Reading and author of the main guidelines on autism for the Church of England.

Insight and Embodied Worship Zoe Heming, Church of England Vicar, Enabling Church Adviser for Lichfield Diocese, member of General Synod, and one of its representatives on the Committee for Ministry of and among Deaf & Disabled People

Insights and Flexibility In Common Worship Anna de Lange, lay member of General Synod and the Liturgical Commission when Common Worship was published, now a retired Reader and a member of GROW; the author of a number of Grove booklets, including 'Worship and Disability: a kingdom for all'.

Introduction to Schools Ministry (ITSM) is Scripture Union’s new course for those looking to develop skills and good practice in the schools context.

This is a hands-on course for mission-minded practitioners covering such key topics as collective worship, lunchtime and after-school clubs, lessons and sharing faith appropriately.

These two-day courses are suitable for those who work in Primary or Secondary schools and are running in several locations in the Autumn term.

Creationtide Ideas and Resources

‘Creationtide’or the ‘Season of Creation’ is the period in the annual church calendar (from 1st September to 4th October) dedicated to God as Creator and Sustainer of all life.

The Church of England's Environment Task Group is commending a set of liturgical resources to encourage churches who wish to celebrate and cherish God's gift to humanity in creation. HERE

Harvest Festival Resources

David Csinos and the 4 Spiritual Styles

Children encounter God in diverse ways. Amidst this diversity, four distinct avenues for connecting with God emerge in the lives of children: word, emotion, symbol, and action. These are the four spiritual styles, through which children experience God and make sense of their lives in the world around them.  Drawing from theology, personal experience, and the spiritual lives of children,  Csinos offers practical wisdom that will help pastors, parents, and teachers to move beyond one-size-fits-all approaches to children's ministry.  
A Guide to Helping Children Explore Stillness and Meditation in Worship
Sonia Mainstone-Cotton

How stillness, mindfulness and other contemplative practices can be used with children in worship. Looking at the benefits this can offer for a child's wellbeing, and ability to reflect on their own beliefs, this guide is full of ideas and practical examples on how to introduce a more reflective approach to children's work in Christian settings. HERE
Action for Children have produced an informative report to mark their 150th anniversary.

Looking at how childhood has changed in that time. 
  1. Over the last 150 years, things have got a lot better for children, however children and families think that in recent years childhoods have got worse
  2. Strong parent-child relationships in the early years are critical to a good childhood, and yet vital services that strengthen these are being cut
  3. For many young people childhood is overshadowed by anxiety, which is exacerbated by social pressure
  4. Increasing numbers of children are at risk of abuse and neglect without getting the support they need to prevent harm and recover from past trauma
The full report can be found HERE 

The 2019 GodVenture Sticker Advent Calendar

Pre-order, with a massive 50% when do you so before the end of August. HERE
Little Worship Company is the first project from Wonderborn Studios, offering a range of co-viewing products designed to inspire and delight children aged 0 to 7 years with a knowledge of God. For grown-ups, finding the right resources that will equip children on this important journey and build their relationship with God can be challenging. The beautifully crafted Little Worship Company products are designed to support grown-ups with a range of inspiring and entertaining media, built on a solid Bible curriculum. HERE

Children’s Spiritual Lives: The Development of a Children’s Spirituality Measure

Abstract: Previous researchers who have studied children’s spirituality have often used narrow measures that do not account for the rich spiritual experiences of children within a multi-faith context. In the current study, we describe the initial stages of development of a children’s spirituality measure, in which items were derived from children’s spiritual narratives. An exploratory factor analysis of the items revealed three main factors, including Comfort (Factor 1), Omnipresence (Factor 2), and Duality (Factor 3). As rated by their parents, children from families that were more spiritual and religious had higher scores on the newly-developed measure. Limitations and future directions are discussed. HERE

Children's and Family Work 

Keep up to date with news about children's and family work training, events and resources across the diocese at:

Information and materials for the Year of Vocation by the Diocese of Chichester can be found here

More about the year here 


New Diocesan Strategy 2020-2025


More Open + More Converted to Jesus Christ + More Generous + More Engaged


The theme of the next phase is ‘more’! We have made a start, but we need to be more effective in a number of areas if we are to be faithful in proclaiming the faith afresh to our generation. The four mores are manifestations of the Nicene Creed conviction that the Church is to be one, holy, Catholic and apostolic. They are not the exclusive manifestation of these qualities, but they are areas in our life to which we need to give serious attention.

Find out more HERE

Safeguarding Training
in the Diocese of Chichester

For further information on our policy and courses please visit HERE: 
For children's leaders continuing professional development, training, individual or group consultations, support with resources, hosting workshops and also introductory sessions to Messy Church, Godly Play, All-Age Worship, Theology of Childhood, Families and Faith, Toddler Groups and much more to support you in embracing the Diocesan Strategy, please contact me at the address below.
Kind regards
Revd Dr Irene Smale
Diocesan Children's and Families Work Advisor (Part-Time)
Chaplain to the Prebendal School Chichester
Associate Lecturer in Theology University of Chichester
M: 07980 617 584
W: 01273 425 684
Department for Apostolic Life
Diocese of Chichester
Church House, 211 New Church Road, Hove BN3 4ED
Copyright © 2019 Diocese of Chichester, All rights reserved.

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