We believe that all children and young people – without distinction of any kind whatsoever – are made in the image of God and should be valued equally, treated fairly, and cared for unconditionally.
Jesus welcomed children into his presence and blessed them (Mark 10:16) and delighted in the worship they offered (Matthew 21:15-16). He valued them as examples of greatness in God’s Kingdom (Matthew 18:4), and warned severely about being stumbling blocks to them or causing them to sin (Matthew 18:6). Children and young people – as well as adults – are part of the world, loved by God, for which Jesus died so that all who believe in him may inherit eternal life (John 3:16).
We therefore believe that children and young people are not marginal to the church’s life but should be welcomed and integrated into it. They have much to give as well as to receive, and adults need children in their midst to remind them of the nature of the kingdom. We believe that church should be a safe and welcoming community which fosters “life in all its fullness” (John 10:10) and which offers each child or young person the best environment in which to grow and develop into the person God intends.
Therefore we aim to foster a sense of community which enables them to be self aware and sensitive to the others’ needs, and which encourages them to express their opinions and to show respect and understanding towards others. We aim to help children and young people develop self confidence, independence and self esteem. We will encourage them to share their views, and take their views into account when making decisions about church life.
We believe they have the right to feel safe and protected from any situation or practice that might result in harm of any kind, and we take seriously our duties towards children and young people whilst in our care. We stand for and alongside them as part of our calling as people of God to be on the side of the powerless, the vulnerable, the voiceless and the marginalised in the world.
Should we have any concerns about a child’s spiritual, physical, sexual or emotional well being, we will take action to ensure that those concerns are dealt with. Any allegations will be responded to swiftly and appropriately, and we acknowledge our responsibility to report concerns to appropriate agencies.
We aim to show the tangible presence of God in all that we do and to encourage children and young people on their journey of faith.