Into the Heart of the Church
At St Paul’s we are actively committed to welcoming and befriending children, young people and their families so that they can all discover how much God loves them. We invest much heart, soul and careful planning into crafting age appropriate activities, our children’s and youth programs.
We were one of the first parishes in the Diocese of London to be awarded the Children’s Charter — an acknowledgement of our commitment to welcoming children into the heart of the church. It recognises that we have reached a high standard in our work with children in four key areas:
Worship, Welcome, Mission and Nurture.
Our vision for our work among children and families at St Paul’s is to help children, young people and families:
- feel they belong to our church community;
- know and follow Jesus as Saviour and Lord.
- enjoy growing in their faith;
- contribute actively to the Christian community; and
- To support and resource parents in the care of their children and the nurture of their children’s faith.
Children of all ages are part of the 10:00am Open Door service. This enables everyone to worship God together, by singing, praying, hearing from the Bible and experiencing what it means to be part of God’s big family.
Children are invited to attend children’s groups halfway through the Open Door Service.
Our team of leaders are trained and supervised and we place a high value on safeguarding our children.
Children under the age of rising 3 remain in the historic church throughout the act of worship where we have a special area set aside for them to play, as appropriate. With comfortable sofas, soft toys, a carpet and a buggy park we hope the under threes and their parents/carers feel included in the worship service.
St Paul’s Toddler Group
Friday Morning 9:30-11:15am (Term-time)
Our St Paul’s Toddler group meets in the St Paul’s Centre Hall. Our excellent facilities, equipment and structure of the morning enable children to play, make crafts, listen to a Bible story, sing, march, eat healthy snacks and generally have a fun time as they develop their social and play skills. The atmosphere is great for parents and carers to make their own drinks whenever they like, to chat with others and to play with their children. We have a reputation of being warm and welcoming, and we seek to share God’s love with everyone.
We celebrate the seasons, reflected in the crafts and songs, such as harvest, Mothering Sunday and everyone enjoys the Christmas party, the story around the crib in the historic church and the visit of Father Christmas!
St Paul’s Toddler Special
Friday Friday of the Month | Morning 9:30-11:15am (Term-time)
Toddlers Special is open to visitors and anyone on the waiting list for our Toddlers Group. After a time of free play, we hear a Bible story before refreshments (which include something special for the adults) followed by singing and a craft related to the Bible story
It costs £3 plus £1 for all subsequent siblings. Visitors are welcome to come at any time for a trial visit and can then add their name to the waiting list. For more details contact us.
Children who are rising 3s to 5 years old (up to Reception) join the Splash! group halfway through the Open Door service, around 10.30am. Here they worship and talk with God, listen to the Bible story, sing, play games, make and play – and grow in their love for God.
Children in years 1, 2 & 3 join the Xstream! group halfway through the Open Door service, around 10.30am. Here they worship and talk with God, listen to and read the Bible, sing, play games, make and play – and grow in their love for God.
Young people in years 4, 5 & 6 join The Grid group halfway through the Open Door service, around 10.30am. Here they worship and talk with God, read the Bible, chat and chill out – and grow in their love for God.
Once a month they go to a local café after the first part of the service. Drinks on offer include smoothies and hot chocolate which enliven the Bible discussion.
Once a month, the group goes to a local café at the start of Open Door for breakfast. There is plenty of time in a relaxed environment to read the Bible, chat and explore the Christian faith. On the other Sundays, they meet as a group, for their own session, in which they read the Bible, pray, chat and explore each others questions about the faith.
A Fresh Expression of Church
5:00pm Sunday | Fortnightly (Term-time)
A worship service planed by our youth for our youth. …..[need more information]
“I was born into a Catholic family and attended a Catholic church and school. But it had no meaning for me. That all changed after the birth of my first child. Giving birth to a little life moved something inside me and prompted me to seek a church connection again, but I had no idea what I was seeking.
Through being part of a wonderful community, supportive Christian friends and attending St Paul’s baby and toddler groups, I found a real love for Jesus that is often difficult for me to express. However, I have seen God with me. Just at the right times, I’ve been with people who can help me or been on an Alpha course that has strengthened my faith. My faith journey still continues and I wait in excited anticipation to discover the next stage of my relationship with God.”
“When I started coming to St Paul’s, it was after many years of regular church going. I mean I would go around Christmas and Easter. I was baptised as a child and attended a Church of England school. My understanding of Christianity was based on lessons learnt in childhood.
After moving to Finchley , I felt and urge to go to church. Based on an acquaintance’s recommendation, I decided to try St Paul’s. Feeling a little anxious and out of place I came along, but to my relief I found a warm welcome! I came alone, as I didn’t associate church with young children. After it was suggested I try the family friendly Early Start service, I brought my 2.5 year old daughter and her little sister. This was the first of many Sunday morning visits that my family grew to love.“
We are committed to safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults within our church community. We take this issue extremely seriously and continue to seek to enhance our procedures through our commitment to the London Diocesan Safeguarding Guidelines. Our safeguarding policy and practice is based on the policy and guidance issued by the Church of England.
Our Safeguarding Officer is Maggie Barnes, who works closely with our Vicar, the Revd Nicholas Pye, and the London Diocesan Safeguarding Team.