St. Mary’s Church Shalford welcomes children of all ages

welcome to our church

Which services should I bring my children to?

Children are welcome at all services, but the service that is particularly planned with children‘s participation and attendance in mind is the following:

Family service – 4th Sunday of the month

Also the special services throughout the year – Mothering Sunday, Easter, Harvest, Remembrance Sunday, Christingle (end of November), Crib Service (Christmas Eve), and Christmas Morning

Where should I sit with my children?

You are welcome to sit anywhere but we encourage families to sit at the front so their children get a better view.

How can I amuse my children through the service?

Families are welcomePlease use the children‘s corner (at the back of the church). It is equipped with toys, paper and crayons and children are welcome to play here during the service.

For their safety please ensure they are supervised. You can also feel free to walk around the church with babies and young children – there is lots to see and quietly discuss. Explain to them what is going on and encourage them to join in with the service.

Is there a Church Club?

We run a Messy Church regularly throughout the months. Please see separate links for information, all welcome! Families are welcome

What should I do if young children want to move around during the service?

No problem, but please:
– Go with them to make sure they are safe
– Discourage running so they don‘t trip and fall

My baby’s asleep – must I stand up for the hymns?

Families are welcomeOf course not – please feel free to sit or stand as best suits you and your baby.

What should I do if my baby cries during the service?

Whatever you would normally do to comfort your child. Please do not rush outside at the first signs of crying!

“Mummy / Daddy – I need the toilet”

Families are welcomeWhen you‘ve got to go, you‘ve got to go! Please feel free to use the toilets and baby change facilities through the door near the back of the church opposite the entrance.

Families are welcome

Can I bring my children up to the altar for communion?

Of course! We are happy for you to bring your children up to the altar. They will receive a special blessing from the vicar, where he puts his hands over your child‘s head.


Christenings are lovely occasions when babies / children are baptised. Please feel free to let your children come close to the font so they can get a good view!

I’m new to the village – how can I find other families who have young children?

At family services we look out for any new faces. Please announce yourself as new visitors for the first few times. Also, the churchwardens will happily introduce you to other families.

And after the service...

Families are welcomeDo stay after the Family Service where refreshments are served, including squash and biscuits for the children. This is a great chance to meet and chat with other parents and for the children to run around and play together (after being so good!)