Sundays

For the 0-3's there is a play area in church during the 10.30am service and play-bags are also available for those sitting in pews. Toilet and nappy-changing facilities are available in the North entrance to the church and in the Church Centre.

Junior Church for 3 - 7 year old's meets in church at 10.30am. During the first hymn we gather behind our banner and process to the Church Centre, where we have Christian teaching, Bible stories, games, songs and craft. We return to the main service in time for Communion.

Quest  Older children (from roughly age 7 (school year 3) and upwards) stay in Church until the end of the Gospel and then make their way to the Church Centre Lounge upstairs to explore the readings or theme of the day through activities and discussion, also returning to the main service in time for communion. This group is called Quest, as this is the name for the younger choristers, many of whom fall into this age bracket.

During term time we meet in different age groups, and during the school holidays we gather as one group for a holiday project.

We see Junior Church and Quest as the Ministry of the Word for children. We follow the Church year, and the lectionary readings from the Bible, although we also enjoy spending time working on special projects, and at certain times of the year Junior Church and Quest take a more active role in the service.
If you have any queries contact Sue on 01235 550497 or by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 

St Helen's Baby and Toddler Group
The Baby and Toddler Group meet in the Church Centre on Monday mornings in term time. There are two sessions; 9.30 -10.45 and 11.00 - 12.15. In each session we have toys for the children and coffee for the adults and we finish with twenty minutes of music and singing. We ask each family for a donation of £1.00 per session. We may have a waiting list but please come along and try a session first. We meet in term time only.

We occasionally hold weekend events which are free and open to everyone. The Baby and Toddler group also host their Christmas Nativity with everybody joining in, including the donkey.

Term dates, more details and photos at www.facebook.com/StHelensToddlers 


Come along or contact Rachel for details. 


Choristers

Younger members of the choir use the RSCM Voice for Life training scheme to help develop their knowledge and skills as choral singers. This involves working towards a series of different 'levels', each of which builds on the previous one. Members of the choir also regularly attend RSCM courses and events, including the annual RSCM Regional Festival, for which St. Helen's is one of the rotating host venues.

The choir is always very happy to welcome new members. If you are interested in joining, or if you are a parent and your child is interested in joining, in the first instance please contact the Director of Music, Peter Foster, to discuss this.

To help you decide whether it is the right thing for you, here are a few common questions:

Q. What is the right age for my child to join?
A. This depends on the enthusiasm and independence of the child. The 'official' lower age limit is Year 3, but this is not necessarily right for every child. Children should be able to read reasonably fluently before they join the choir. They do not need to be able to read Music – they will learn this as part of their training. They need to show a level of interest in music, and ideally should be able to pitch notes reasonably accurately when they are singing. Most children enjoy singing and can do so naturally as part of their normal development.

Q. Do I/does my child have to pass an audition to join the choir?
A. No. Willingness to work at improving your singing is the main requirement; we do not do voice tests before joining.

Q. (For adult singers). What standard of singer do I need to be in order to join the choir?
A. We are an inclusive choir, and have a range of members from experienced and highly skilled musicians, to others who have only started singing recently. We welcome new members from both ends of this spectrum, and we are all still learning! The repertoire we sing includes music that is sufficiently challenging and interesting to be enjoyed by experienced singers, but beginners will also find most of the music accessible. If you can read music (at least to some extent) you will find it easier to learn new pieces quickly, but if not, you can learn as you go along.

Q. (As a parent) What will my child get out of belonging to the choir?
A. Skills which will enable him/her to keep participating in choirs for the rest of his/her life; the chance to pass RSCM qualifications; the chance to get to know a repertoire of treasured and life-enhancing music; fun, friendships, and a sense of belonging to a group; challenges to their independence, organisation and self-sufficiency while singing in the choir (which has also been shown to be beneficial to children's intellectual and academic progress); and some pocket money. (Choristers are paid a small amount per service and per practice they attend).

Q. (As an adult) What will I get out of belonging to the choir?
A. The joy of singing some wonderful music (and the appreciation of the St. Helen's congregation, whose worship is enhanced by this), in a beautiful setting, surrounded by entertaining company; the long-term benefits to mental health and general well-being that come from music making; the opportunity to contribute to the wider community of St. Helen's; opportunities (occasionally at least) to be challenged to try something new and unfamiliar – even for the most experienced musicians.

Q. I'm very busy/I travel a lot/I have other commitments on Sundays, and can't sing every week. What level of commitment is expected?
A. We expect choir members to commit to attending services and practices whenever they can. Most members of the choir are extremely dedicated, and this is greatly appreciated. However, no one is able to sing at every service or every practice, and most choir members fit their obligations to the choir around commitments which may take them away from Abingdon sometimes, or require them to do other things either within or outside the church on some Sundays. There is an online sign-up sheet which is used to notify absences in advance to the Director of Music.

 

 


 

Young Bell ringers

Young people from about 11 years are welcome to join us at the Learners' practices, on Fridays, after school and early evening in St Helen's tower.  Please see the Abingdon Society of Bellringers website for further details.


 

St Helen's hosts the 10th Abingdon Beavers and Cubs on Wednesday evenings in term time.

Please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details 

The aim of our ministry is to establish and nurture each person as a member of God’s Family:

By providing a safe environment where children and young people are welcomed, valued, listened to, and respected.

By developing safe, wise, and quality work with children and young people.

By developing worship in which children and young people can feel comfortable and take part.

By being committed to the welfare and safety of all children and young people.

By working with families to provide a framework through which children and young people can progress from birth to maturity.

By supporting and resourcing those who work with children and young people in our church and on our behalf.