When you're looking for a church for your children or family to attend, it can be difficult to know which ones will be welcoming to younger participants.
The Child Friendly Church Award Scheme is there to help! By working hard to consider how all aspects of their life and work affect children and families, child friendly churches are able to demonstrate that they are doing everything in their power to cater for the needs of parents, carers and young ones in their context.
A Child Friendly Church award means that a local congregation:
- has a comprehensive and shared vision for Children’s and Youth Work
- provides good opportunities for the voices of children and young people to be heard
- takes seriously and responds to feedback from children and young people
- provides opportunities for children and young people to be involved in planning, organising and delivering child friendly church services
- makes suitable provision for under 5s in church
- provides groups and organisations to help nurture children and young people
- takes Safeguarding, Health & Safety and First Aid seriously
Click on the map below to see which local URCs currently hold the Child Friendly Church Award (correct as of July 2016). You can use it to find your nearest child friendly congregation.
If your church doesn’t have any children, working for the Child Friendly Church Award is a great way to start thinking about how best to support and encourage them and their families to become involved with your congregation.
If your church does have children, working for the Child Friendly Church Award offers a great framework for reviewing your current work, ensuring that your church truly is aware of and catering for the needs of children in your community and context.
The Award doesn’t promote one, specific, perfect model of child friendly church, because there’s no such thing! Every church needs to respond differently to the challenge of being child friendly, depending on location, demographics, availability of volunteers and so on. As such, the application process is designed to be flexible in celebrating the good efforts which churches are making as they strive to do all they can in serving the needs of children in their context.