From 'Small beginnings' – baptism, parents and tots group 10th birthday

Celebrating its tenth birthday is ‘Small Beginnings’, a group for parents and children begun in the parish of Shelf, near Bradford.

Ten years ago the church at St Michael’s, Shelf was wondering what it could offer the many families who were bringing children along for baptism. After looking at what other churches were offering, the decided to start a short, children friendly service on a Wednesday morning with action songs, interactive stories and musical instruments. 

“Our Archdeacon suggested we visit other churches to see what they were doing and so “Small Beginnings” came into being”, says the Revd. Marion Gaskell, Team Rector of Shelf with Buttershaw.

“On Wednesday 13th September we celebrated our 10th anniversary after hundreds of babies, under-fives, their parents, grandparents and carers have shared with us on Wednesday mornings at St Michael’s Church, Shelf.

“Our first children are now well into secondary school.  Many of our parents have made lasting friendships.  They tell us the children often burst into songs such as “Jesus love is very wonderful” – with the actions – in the supermarket!”

Small beginnings  is run by a team of six and others help by preparing refreshments. “The short, simple, family-friendly service has action songs, interactive stories, musical instruments and a blessing using a parachute. This is followed by play, refreshments and chat. 

“Our main aim is to share the love of Christ by making everyone feel welcome and special.  New members and visitors are always welcome.”

The Children, Young People and Families team are keen to support and encourage the development of groups like Small Beginnings. If you would like help, resources and training in setting up young families ministry contact Anne Carter at anne.carter@leeds.anglican.org   0113 353 0239