Babies & children

If you would like to find out more about any of the activities listed below, please be in touch with Revd Mary Copping, our children’s & youth work co-ordinator. Do let us know if there is anything you would be willing to help with, or a new initiative you would like to start.

Informal Sunday afternoon services

Informal services particularly suitable for families are run at 4 pm, generally on the second and fourth Sunday of each month, in the parish rooms. We sing songs, tell a story, pray together and do craft activities. There are refreshments afterwards. If you are new to the parish you are especially welcome.

Sunday crèche & activities

During the Sunday 9.30 am services at St Paul’s there is a DIY crèche for babies every week. On the first Sunday of each month we have Family Eucharist, with children staying throughout the service. On all other weeks there is a Scramblers group for pre-school-age children, a Climbers group for children from Reception to Year 2 and an Explorers group for years 3 to 5. Activities include craft, stories, games and drama based on the Sunday gospel reading.

Junior servers

Children between the ages of 6 and 11 may like to join the wonderful team of junior servers at our 9.30 am Parish Eucharist. Please contact the parish office. This is a lovely way for children to be involved, giving them responsibility and helping to enhance our worship.

Annual Show

The Annual Show is a wonderful community event performed by our children and young people along with pupils from Western Primary and Westgate Lower schools. Usually held in January or February at St Paul’s, the show is a chance for children of all ages to get involved in whatever way they are comfortable – acting, dancing and singing.

Toddler group

This is for families with children up to three years old, and meets in the parish rooms behind St Paul’s every Friday from 9.30 to 11 am. Activities include craft, playing with toys, games and doing actions to songs. Refreshments are provided. It’s running under Covid guidelines, with an aim to be outside as much as possible. If you would like to attend, please contact Mary Copping, 07921 886016, youth@stmatthewstpaul.org, and she will put your name down and send you our Covid instructions.

St Paul’s Pre-School

This meets every weekday on our St Paul’s site and is OFSTED registered, a member of the Early Years Learning Alliance and registered with Hampshire County Council. Children are welcomed from the age of 2 years 9 months up to school age. For more information, please visit its website.

Florian School of Dance

Florian is one of the most successful and well-respected dance schools in the area. Annette FitzGerald and her fully qualified team provide a high level of teaching while keeping classes fun. They have ballet classes for ages 3 and up, with Royal Academy of Dance ballet, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing modern & tap, jazz and contemporary dance. For more information please visit the Florian website.

Western Church School

We are delighted to have excellent links with our local Western Church of England Primary School, where Revd Mary Copping takes regular assemblies. Children from Western are often involved in church events and festivals, singing at services and taking part in the annual show or dance and drama workshop each winter. Church members Vicki Tibbitts and Helen Jesty are Foundation Governors, with Vicki serving as Chair of Governors.

 

Westgate School

We have a good relationship with the Westgate School, an all-through comprehensive in the parish. Revd Mary Copping takes assemblies there.