The Man Dio Growing Faith Programme encourages children, young people and their families to discover and grow in the love of Jesus. This is a reflection of both the National Church's vision to become younger and more diverse, and the principles of the National Growing Faith Foundation. Our work contributes to our vision of becoming a worshipping, growing and transforming Christian presence at the heart of every community, embodying our values of Faith, Hope and Love. You can read more about our strategy here.
We hope to see more new Toddler Groups, Worshipping Communities for children and families, and Sacred Spaces for young people, to ease moments of transition within the school setting.
#MDGF Deanery Enablers work within specific Mission Communities to encourage the development of expressions of church that are accessible to children and their families. Some examples include Café Church, Creative Church, Outdoor Church and intergenerational midweek worship services.
Working closely with schools and churches, #MDGF seeks opportunities to create discipleship pathways for children through the development of safe spaces in which children can explore and grow in faith. We are also working with the Diocesan Children’s Officer in supporting a transition programme for Year 6 pupils as they head to secondary school.Wiggle Worship
Wiggle Worship is an innovative approach to worship that is specifically designed for younger children and their families. It is easy to follow and is both inclusive and invitational. Wiggle the Worm, a fun, recognisable character that children love, helps lead everyone in songs, stories, and prayers.
Wiggle Worship is held in church, toddler groups, and primary schools., and are accessible for all ages.
Created as part of the Children Changing Places project in Bolton, it is now available around the diocese. Here Jo Haslam, Early Years Adviser in the Man Dio Growing Faith team explains more. For more information about Wiggle Worship, please contact Jo Haslam, Early Years Adviser, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
#MDGF Deanery Enablers work with churches to establish groups specifically catered to those transitioning to high school. These groups provide opportunities to discover and continue on individual journeys of faith at this crucial time.
Working alongside the Diocesan Youth Officer, #MDGF Deanery Enablers are involved in establishing Youth Hubs, safe spaces for young people to gather, and Sacred Spaces, which are worship gatherings intended to be specifically accessible to young people.
Karen Beal, ManDio Growing Faith Programme Manager recently completed a small-scale research project for the Growing Faith Foundation about hearing the voices of children within church and school settings. The participants included three churches and two schools within Manchester diocese and they had a lot of fun collecting the research which included games, Lego, play doh and lots or art - examples are shown in the video.
Karen said, "It was an absolute joy to be able to undertake this research with lots of smiles as I collated the gathered information. If you would like to see the full research paper, please do let me know. I’ll be sharing a little more about it at the Growing Faith Research Conference in May 2024 where findings from a further 10 research projects will also be presented. It’s hoped that these will be shared on the Growing Faith Foundation website when they are completed.
The research is available here:
Karen, ManDio Growing Faith Programme Manager
Effie, Manchester North & East Deanery Enabler
Ruth, Manchester South & Stretford Deanery Enabler
Laura, Oldham and Ashton Deanery Enabler
Loretta Leung, Rochdale Deanery Enabler
Sandra, Salford & Leigh Deanery Enabler
Man Dio Growing Faith will be putting on a series of Deanery Hubs in February and March, where you can come and join discussions on how Man Dio can better connect with local schools.
Over in Manchester North and East Deanery, Mission Community 3 have been co-creating a Sacred Space and worshipping community with young people in the area.
On 31st October, the Man Dio Growing Faith team were commissioned by Bishop Mark Davies at Manchester Cathedral during a special Evensong service.
In Manchester South and Stretford Deanery, the congregation at St Paul’s Church Withington hosted ‘Experience Church’ for the first time.
Laura Tebay, Man Dio Growing Faith Deanery Enabler for Oldham and Ashton, led a group of school children to see the 'Human One' exhibition by Jeremy Thomas.
In Rochdale, schoolchildren are leading the way in encouraging local Christians to make changes that help the environment.
We also have some really active and supportive Facebook groups to inspire activities and your youth groups: