Children and young people are a very important part of the life of the Ascension. On average, children represent nearly a quarter of our total congregation. All of our worship takes account of children in some way ranging from what used to be called Sunday School but we call ‘Young Disciples’ in services through to activity based, ‘Messy Church’.
During all acts of worship we have a carpeted and cushioned creche area at the back of church for children who are three and under and their families. Toys and children’s books are available in the creche.
On the first Sunday of each month we have Funky Faith worship at 10.00am (except for August and around Easter when Funky Faith is on Good Friday instead). This service is designed for families with young children. After introductory prayers and singing, the adults who want to, go into the Community Centre for a short Bible study/reflection and the children and the young at heart stay in church to engage in activities related to the theme. We all join back together then for more singing, prayers and for a blessing.
Our Children’s groups are called Young Disciples as we recognise that we are ALL disciples and encouraging the youngest in our congregation is as important as the oldest. The Young Disciples are with us at the beginning of services but then go into the Ashenground Community Centre next door for child specific activities during the sermon. We have several groups of Young Disciples – Mini Disciples, Mighty Disciples and Extreme Disciples.
Our young adults link in with young people in the wider Diocese in the annual May-Camp weekend. Recently we have also established links with the Wivelsfield ‘Wicked’ youth group.
On 3rd Sundays and occasionally at other times, we have Family Communion in the round. This means we place the Holy Table in the centre of the church and arrange the seats around it in circles. We have created a simple, visual, tactile and musical liturgy which is accessible to all ages. This service is an ideal introduction to communion for those who are unfamiliar with it and who have children as well. The service is never-the-less all-age and suitable for the most mature also!