When Boris Johnson announced that we were going in to lockdown and that we wouldn’t be able to meet together as church in the usual way, Rhiannon Price’s first thought was, “What about the children?”.
Corsham Baptist Church’s family worker shares with us how her plans for the children unfolded after that first thought:
I spent a couple of days trying to think of ways to overcome the problem. As with many others in the world, I turned to YouTube. I set up a YouTube channel and began my adventure in the world of video producing. Having never done anything like this before, I was apprehensive as to how it would work.
Thankfully, I have two sons who are well versed in how YouTube works so on Friday 20th March I frantically set about preparing junior church sessions for four age groups. With the help of Josh and Tom, these sessions were filmed, edited, rendered and uploaded to the newly created YouTube channel – CBC Junior Church, with all four successfully uploaded (even if one only just got uploaded on the Sunday morning!) in time for the children and their parents to go to church.
Thanks to the church notice sheet, email groups, WhatsApp groups, Facebook and word of mouth, parents were notified of these online sessions and the first one was watched at 8.30am!
Parents were encouraging with their positive feedback, sending pictures of their children sitting in front of televisions and computers engaged in learning about Jesus, I even received a video of one child talking back to me and answering the questions that I asked. Children were excited to see a familiar face talking to them on the television and others said it was as if I was in the room with them (I think that was a compliment!). Others sent pictures of their completed crafts which they accessed via links in descriptions, listing additional resources such as craft activities, family games / challenges, songs to listen to and for the older ones, some questions to reflect on over the week and additional scripture passages.
Having successfully provided junior church sessions for the children, I realised that this was a great way to reach children not only on a Sunday, so I planned to read daily bedtime stories for KS1 children (in my pyjamas or onesie) and, what I’ve called ‘daytime stories’ for KS2 children three times a week. Thanks to the amazing selection of children’s books, having enough to read shouldn’t be a problem!
I’m encouraged and blessed by the photos and videos I get in return of children sharing their enjoyment and parents expressing their gratitude. I’ve also enjoyed hearing the children’s news when they share their news through the comments section, this allows me to give the children a shout out which they love, so I’m told.
I’m sure that most people are desperate to resume normality and for the lockdown to be over sooner rather than later, but I must admit, I will be sad when things will go back to normal. So, my next project is to start thinking of ways to continue with the YouTube uploads and be able to incorporate it into my role as Corsham Baptist Church Children’s Worker.