With longer daylight hours and school holidays, there are lots of opportunities for parents to get out and about and spend time with their children. The church can offer activities to help families discover new things, meet new people, have fun and make memories. Here are some ways to help.
Publicising what’s on
You may already have planned a whole programme of ideas such as a holiday club, a summer church fete, family fun days, toddler groups, a church picnic, but need to find ways of making sure your baptism contacts get to hear about them. These are simple ways to get the word out.
- E-newsletter – Families are used to receiving e-mail updates from organisations and other outlets to let them know the latest news, offers and activities. Families are open to hearing from their local church too and an e-newsltter is not as difficult to set up as you might think. One vicar from Tyne and Wear offers a step by step guide>>.
You may already have an email list of contacts, and you can build on this with every baptism you take. The Pastoral Service Diary can help with this if you have an Account. You can extract a list of all your baptism contacts’ emails for just this sort of e-mailing. Read more about it here>>
Or, simply collect emails in your preferred way – one vicar shares how she stays in touch>>
- Social media – Many churches have their own pages on popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Social-media-savvy people in your congregation might like to maintain your church account and post up-and-coming events, as well as making sure that families with recently baptized children are following you.
- Posters – Posters for your big events like summer fetes work well on community noticeboards. Include a bold statement on your poster that ‘All are welcome’. Use your own ‘real estate’ too – if you have a church noticeboard, place colourful, up to date events posters there for passers-by to see.
- What’s on web page – Keep your ‘What’s on’ or ‘Events’ information up to date. Parents will search online for things to do in their area, so keep the content on your parish website updated at least every week.
- Word of mouth – Remind those in your congregation to spread the word about forthcoming events.
These are selection of church activities that can be offered at any time of year, but are great for mid-week events on any day throughout the summer months.
- Pudding and Pamper for pregnant mums
- Sunday afternoon ‘Refresh’ – a great idea to get young children thinking about Bible stories.
- Encouraging grandparents – many grandparents look after their grandchildren over school holidays or during the week when parents are working. This idea offers a church activity to involve them.
- Prayer ideas for babies – some lovely ideas to share in toddler groups.
You can also reach families through our free quarterly newsletter, called Next Steps, designed to help parents and godparents to support their child’s faith journey after a baptism. Encourage them to sign up from the Christenings website home page, just here: www.churchofenglandchristenings.org.
If you’d like to use some of this content for your own parish magazine or website, you can Download several summer-inspired articles for free. We’ll let you know as soon as it’s available through the Church Support Hub newsletter, or, you can revisit this page over the next few weeks to check if the articles have been added.