Encouraging grandparents

Children’s Worker Ester van Dijk, from the parish of Leatherhead, has been interested in the role of grandparents in children’s faith journeys after researching it in her native Holland. There, she discovered that children learned more from their grandparents about the Christian faith than from their parents. She now holds grandparents’ meetings in her English parishes to talk about how the older generation becomes involved in supporting their grandchildren’s faith. She thinks the meetings will be held about four times a year. In meetings so far, the format follows this loose outline:-

  • Everyone introduces themselves.
  • The grandparents discuss their own religious upbringing with each other. The leader facilitates discussion, highlighting similarities and differences.
  • Discussion moves on to talking about how they brought their own children up and the role of faith in it.
  • The Dutch research among non-church children is shared with the group.
  • A presentation is then given about the spiritual development of children and the opportunities for grandparents.
  • The session ends with a short Bible study about grandparents in the Bible.