The Children Changing Places Project aims to engage children, young people and families, across Bolton, in activity that creates new discipleship pathways and supports the growth of the Christian faith in schools, parishes and the home.
A key focus of the project is to build strong links between the home, church and school, to nurture and encourage a child in their faith, from toddler group or nursery, through primary and secondary education, and beyond. The project team aims to offer support to children, young people and their families, specifically at key points of transition in their lives, such as new beginnings at Primary or Secondary school.
The faith journey, for many families, begins when the child is very young and so toddler groups are a significant way for churches to engage with their community. The project helps existing toddler groups to become more intentionally Christian and the aim is to launch 10 new missional toddler groups, in church and school settings across Bolton, in the next few years. The Early Years Worker has a key focus on working with toddler group leaders, as well as enabling churches to reach out to reception children, and their families, through “Wiggle Worship”.
Three Deanery Children and Families Workers are working with Bolton clergy, and their teams, in developing strong partnerships with school staff in 30 CE Primary schools, developing the Christian ethos of the schools. They aim to engage children in Key stages 1 and 2 in a range of Christian worship and discipleship activities, including Bible projects, Prayer Days, Ethos groups and Collective Worship. Children are given many opportunities to grow in their faith within Primary school, as well as being invited, with their families, to various expressions of church, such as Messy Church, Café Church and all-age family worship services.
The Chaplaincy Assistants work, alongside the Chaplains, in three of our CE High Schools, in the Bishop Fraser Multi Academy Trust. They support transition from Primary to Secondary, nurturing a young person’s faith, in informal and formal settings, and enable young people to access pastoral and spiritual care and mentoring, at school. The Chaplaincy Assistants are an integral part of the school teams they work with, fostering strong relationships with young people and adults, and influencing the Christian culture of the school. Each Chaplaincy Assistant is on placement within the local parish, developing and growing youth ministry.
The vision of the Children Changing Places team is for children, young people and families, all over Bolton, to call the church their ‘home’. By empowering local parishes to reach their community, through a focus on children and young people. The project aims to provide countless opportunities for spiritual growth, as children grow from toddlers to teens. Although the project has grown primarily in Bolton, the hope is that the positive impact will grow beyond the town, into the wider Diocese of Manchester.
Meet the team
You can follow the work of the team on Twitter @PlacesProject
Contact details for staff can be found in the Diocesan Directory.
Wiggle Worship for reception-age children, toddlers and their families is having a wonderful impact in Bolton.
WOW! We are so excited about the opportunities that God continues to provide for Wiggle Worship in our schools and nurseries across Bolton and with families at home.
Libby Greenhalgh tells us all about her pivotal role as Chaplaincy Assistant at Canon Slade School in Bolton