At St John’s East Dulwich, children, young people and their families are a fundamental part of our community. Our parish has a “young” population with a larger proportion of children, particularly of primary school age compared to the national average and we have two primary schools and one secondary school within our parish boundaries. Our commitment to making the church a place where children and young people are able to explore their faith in a safe, loving and nurturing environment, is supported by the choice to prioritise children and young people in our 2015 Mission Action Plan.There are several activities and groups available for all ages from babies to teenagers.
Activities during Sunday services
The Christingle service is held on Christmas Eve and is one of the most popular services in the church year with many local families attending. Children get a Christingle to light and learn about and Carols are sung.
In a Sunday Mass usually one or two weeks before Christmas, the Children and young people participate in a nativity pageant at the end of the service. Children dress as characters from the nativity story and process into church where they sing carols. The young people compliment this with related readings. All children and young people are invited to participate in this event which is much loved and anticipated by the children.
On the morning of Good Friday, Children are invited to our Good Friday Children’s service. We re-create the story of the week before Jesus was crucified including Palm Sunday, the last supper and the crucifixion. Children can get involved and all play a role as we move around the church using props such as palm leaves, bread and wine (grape juice) and swords!
The young people at St John’s play a visible role in the function of the Sunday services. They are on the rota for readings and intercessions.
Families, children or young people who are interested in learning more about these sacraments should speak to one of the clergy.
Baptised children of regular worshipping parents may prepare for first communion from the age of 7. Classes are held during Mass for several weeks before this for both the child and their parents. Children are admitted to First communion at the 10am Sung Mass on a Sunday during October.
Confirmation marks the point in the Christian journey at which you affirm for yourself the faith into which you have been baptised and your intention to live a life of committed discipleship. This affirmation is confirmed through prayer and the laying on of hands by the bishop . Children aged over 12 may consider confirmation. Classes are held annually for those who make this decision.
Young people (year 9 and above) meet at various points during the year.
Events include informal gatherings such as film nights, evening meals or trips to the cinema or theatre. Other events are related to our mission and include fund-raising. Examples of this are cake baking to raise funds for the diocesan Advent Appeal, Christian Aid sponsored walks and helping at church fayres. There is a Lent course for young people each year which is based on the course run for adults.
The aim of these meetings and events is to provide a safe space for young people to explore the Christian themes of peace and justice and their own Christian faith and to build up community and relationships between all the young people associated with St John’s.
We are always very happy to hear from volunteers who would like to join us in our various activities. To lead or help with any of the children and young people’s activities, please talk to one of the leaders who will provide more information.
Every person has a value and dignity, which comes directly from the creation of people in God’s image. Christians see this potential as fulfilled by God’s re-creation of us in Christ. Among other things this implies a duty to value all people as bearing the image of God and therefore to protect them from harm. At St. John’s we commit ourselves to nurture, protect and safeguard all our members, particularly children, young people and vulnerable adults. All adults that lead or help with children’s and young people’s activities will have undergone disclosure and barring service (DBS) checks and will never be asked to be alone with children or young people without another adult present.
- Safeguarding officers: Olivia Coates, Tina Hampson & Fr Bill Jacob
- Parish Children’s and Young people’s (C&YP) Representative: Julie Whitney
- Youth work lead (and deanery C&YP rep): Katherine Maddocks-Lyons
- Sunday school lead: Alex Adie
- Crèche Lead: Olivia Coates
- Junior Choir lead (and Director of Music): John Webber
Parish Children’s and Young people’s (C&YP) Representative