Grace Church Worcester Park was planted in 2009 and is led by Sam Williamson. Here, Claire Reynolds (Administrator) writes about the children's work and holiday club at Grace Church.
All kinds of people attend Grace Church Worcester Park, but the main thing you notice when you walk into one of our Sunday services is the sheer number of children. We regularly get over 100 children on a Sunday across our 10 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. services. Each week we run four Sunday school classes in the morning for ages 0–11 and four in the afternoon/evening for ages 4–18. On Friday evenings during term time we run Xplode! (boom!), a club for ages 7–11, followed by a youth night for ages 11–18. These clubs and Sunday school classes require a huge commitment from volunteers across the church who prepare, teach, play silly games and create challenging craft, often after a long week at work.
The highlight of the year for our children’s work is the annual holiday club held in the February half-term. Around 100 primary-school-aged children gather together for four mornings of very loud singing, crazy games, hilarious sketches and faithful Bible teaching. Each year we find that around half of these children are not regulars at Grace Church and have been invited along by their friends. This is a wonderful opportunity to teach them about Jesus in a fun, accessible way and hopefully ignite in them a desire to know more.
How do we make this happen? It takes lots of different people: an engineer using some annual leave and a part-time A & E doctor performing slapstick comedy with doughnuts and a serious Bible message; a part-time tennis coach and a full-time mum playing the guitar; a speech therapist, a solicitor, an accountant, an editor, a community nurse and an interior designer (amongst others) leading and teaching small groups of children. Behind the scenes, a customer-service assistant bakes cakes for the team; a teacher-training lecturer wrestles with glitter, paint and glue to make quality crafts; and a financial analyst bakes one hundred biscuits for the children to decorate.
All these people have come together in the past six years to volunteer their time and energy under the inspirational leadership of Esther Raja, who was the children’s and youth worker at Grace Church until Christmas 2019. Now Esther and her husband Rick have moved, with our full support, to Clayhall and Barkingside to plant a church there. Despite the excellent efforts of other staff members and many talented volunteers, we are keen to appoint a new children’s and youth worker to build on and develop Esther’s work. Please pray that God will lead the right person to us at the right time and maybe consider if anyone you know could fit this role.