Going for Growth (2010), the Church of England’s national policy for ministry among children, champions a commitment to provide ‘support and development for those called to work with children and young people in the name of the Church, so that they might strive for the highest qualities in their practice.’
The Diocese of Manchester has responded by developing the Bishop’s Certificate in Children’s Ministry. The Certificate is offered at three levels. You can start at whatever level best suits you.
Download leaflet, The Bishop's Certificate in Children's Ministry
The Bishop's Certificate in Children's Ministry is administered by Karen Beal, the Children's Worker Officer. She also runs training sessions for the diocese as a whole. Karen can come out to deliver a training session in your own parish, tailor made to your own particular needs.
This page contains a full training menu from which you can select a session for your parish.
Baptism Preparation and Follow Up Baptism offers a wonderful opportunity for building a relationship with young families, supporting them, celebrating with them and helping them feel welcome in church. This session will help you explore ways in which your church can help parents in fulfilling their promises to help their children 'take their place within the life and worship of Christ's Church'.
Admission of Children to Communion
Manchester was one of the first dioceses to introduce the admission of children to communion before confirmation. Now, nearly 20 years later, most dioceses have adopted the practice. This session will look at the broad issues involved, and the Manchester Diocesan procedures to be followed by parishes wishing to apply for permission to admit children. A study pack is available.
All-Age Worship All-age worship is not children's worship with adults present, nor adult worship with children present but something that can only happen because both are together. This session will deal with the theory and practice of all-age worship and will give the opportunity to look at practical examples and methods of planning. Resource packs will be provided.
Spirituality is very much on the public agenda these days, and as Christians we need to spend time considering how spiritual nurture is encouraged in our churches. This session will look at some of the theories of faith development which have been put forward in recent years, and help you relate them to the kind of activities you do with your children.
We communicate so much more to our children than the straight forward 'message' of the activity we are leading. This session will help you think about broader issues of two-way communication with children as well as identifying ways of being more effective in 'getting things across' to your group.
Planning and Evaluation
These are not two separate issues – knowing how you are going to evaluate your work is part of the planning process! This session will look at schemes and resources and how to make best use of them and will help you identify realistic targets for your work with children. It will also look at how your evaluation can guide your future planning.
Working with Schools
Working with schools gives churches a chance to contribute to the life of the local community in general, and specifically to the lives of a large number of children who do not necessarily attend church, as well as establishing extra contact with those who do. This session will help you do an audit of the resources your church can offer to schools, and outline a process for establishing a good relationship with staff.
Positive Relationships with Children Working with children is never easy, but with careful thought and planning you can make the best of relationships in your group. This session will help you analyse the situation in your group and identify constructive ways forward in making your time together a positive experience for all.
Every year there is a diocesan training day on basic Child Protection for new children's work leaders. However, it is also possible for parishes to request their own training session. This could serve as a 'refresher' for those who have already undergone training, or an introduction to the issues, for those who are waiting to go one the full training day. Material from the Diocesan Training Pack, 'Security and Growth', will be used.
Using Creative Activities Imagination and creativity are what children use to explore and find out about their world. This session will look at ways in which you can use creative activities to help your children find out about and develop their spirituality. A mixture of art, craft, drama and music can be used, or the session could focus on just one of these activities. The pack 'Creative Spirit' is available with this session, which is based on the summer 2002 training programme of that name.
Godly Play Godly Play is a distinctive approach to children's Christian nurture which aims to integrate teaching and worship. It invites listeners to enter into the Biblical narrative through the use of sensory materials and a process of wondering and response; and it seeks to create 'sacred space' for a children's group. The session will include a demonstration of Godly Play storytelling and will help you think about the issues raised by this creative approach to work with children.
Using the Bible with Children
We are used to using the stories from the Bible with our children, but only about half the Bible is made up of this kind of material. This session looks at some creative ways you can use the other kinds of Biblical writing – law, wisdom, poetry, prophecy, letters and visions – and make them relevant to your children's experience. The session is based on the summer 2001 training programme and is accompanied by a pack.
Using the Gospels with Children The Revised Common Lectionary means that there is now a three-year cycle in which the 'Synoptic Gospels' of Matthew, Mark and Luke are used in turn. (John is used across the cycle, usually at major festival times). Each Gospel has distinctive features: this session enables you to explore one of the Gospels and think about some new ideas for helping your children experience what is special about it. A pack is provided and the material is based on the sessions offered to the diocese each year.
Praise and Play with Under Fives
This session gives an opportunity to look at some of the resources available for working with pre-school children and explore ways of developing material of your own. Issues of Christian nurture with young families, and within families will also be discussed.
Planning and Activity Day
Many parishes have found that introducing activity days into the cycle of their year has given a real boost to their children's work. This session will use material from a variety of successful activity days to help you look at the issues involved in putting a programme together.
Holiday Clubs A well-run holiday club can be an important element of a church's activities in its community. However, a lot of work and planning is needed beforehand to make sure everything runs smoothly. This session will help you identify issues that need to be addressed before, during, and after the club.
The above are broad outlines: the exact details of session content and length can be negotiated to meet the individual needs of your parish.
To make sure you get the date you want for a session, please make arrangements well in advance. Contact Karen at least a month before you would like them to come out to your parish on 0161 828 1433.