RSS Feed

Introducing Helen Laird C&YP Worker for three Worcester churches

Published: 20th February 2024

In Autumn 2023 three churches in Worcester joined together to recruit a full-time Children and Young People Worker following a successful application to the Healthier Churches Fund. Helen Laird was appointed. Helen was previously a Calling Young Disciples mission enabler and has many years’ experience of successfully engaging children and young people.  

Helen is now working across the three parishes of St John the Baptist in Claines and St Stephen’s and St George’s Barbourne in Worcester, building on their previous work with children and young people.

Working across the three churches

Helen said:

“I have settled into my role really well, it seems strange to think it has been less than 5 months since I started. The three churches have been really welcoming and I am enjoying my role. They are each very different in their styles of worship and other activities that they offer.  This gives me a wide scope of activities to encourage them with and other avenues of new worshipping communities that they could explore.” 

Helen is a regular at Little Stars which is St Stephen’s under 5 group and at ‘Little Friends’ which is the under 5 group at Claines Church.Circular calendar with an arrow and colours representing the altar cloths Helen has also helped to lead Sunday Stars, St Stephen’s new worshipping community for families with small children, which acts as a follow-on to Baptism.

For those churches that don’t have a junior church session, Helen is leaving activity sheets at each church for any children and young people who are there for the Sunday services. A prayer box has also been introduced at ‘Little Friends’ in Claines.

Helen has also trained the Open the Book teams, opening the training up across the Diocese. 30 people attended.

Working with local schools

At Claines Church, Helen has spent time with the worship leaders and children in year 6, reflecting on how they felt their Carol service at church went. Helen has also worked with the school council and headteacher at St George’s C of E primary to construct a new school prayer. Both of the C of E schools now have a large felt church year calendar as well, so that they can understand why the altar cloth changes and appreciate the significance of the season that the cloth represents.

Helen adds:

There are nine schools attached to the three churches. The main focus currently is the two church schools, but I have been in touch with several of the other schools.  I have taken 'Godly Play' into Riversides school, where we told the story of the Holy Family and encouraged the students to ask questions and spend time reflecting on the story by creating images of the Nativity using a range of craft resources. This was very well received.”

Christingles unfolding cardboard cube being used in churchHelen has also set up two new 'Gather' initiatives and both Christmas services were very well attended. Helen says:

“In Claines C of E primary school I took an assembly about Christingles using an unfolding cube to explore the various aspects of the Christingle (see pictures), which I created in a previous parish alongside the Revd Sarah Northall. Each child then created their own Christingle in the afternoon, even the children in Reception class where I went along to help. Everyone was then invited to the first 'Gather' service for them to light their Christingle, where the cube made another appearance! These have been the best attended ‘Gather’ services so far.”

Forthcoming plans

Helen is going to host ‘Experience Easter’ in both Claines and St George’s churches. Riversides school is being invited to St George’s Experience Easter.

Helen previously had experience of leading ‘Experience Easter’ as a Calling Young Disciples Mission Enabler. The indoor experience starts with the Hopes & Dreams of Palm Sunday and then goes through, the washing of the feet, the Last Supper, The Garden of Gethsemane, the Cross and Easter Morning. It looks at the events of the Easter story with plenty of space to stop and reflect on the taste, smells and feelings which surround the Easter story, which is told from different peoples’ perspectives.

“Experience Easter will hopefully also encourage more volunteers to come forward in each of the three churches and will encourage us to work more closely together.”

Helen is connected with the diocesan network of children and youth workers that is being developed by Simon Hill, diocesan Children and Youth Adviser. If your church would like to explore employing a children and families’ worker or linking with other parishes to reach out to local children and young people, then do have a conversation with Simon Hill.

Page last updated: Tuesday 27th February 2024 9:33 AM

Latest News

Step by step guide to appointing the next Bishop of Worcester

21st May 2024

Bishop John has announced that he will be retiring at the beginning of October this year. This announcement started the discernment process to find the next Bishop of Worcester....

Sign up for the Diocesan Mailing

The Diocesan Mailing is produced every two weeks and contains news, training opportunties and events from around the diocese and wider Church of England. Sign up here.

Send us your news

If you have a news story you'd like to share with us, please email Sam Setchell / 07852 302516. If you have an upcoming event you'd like to publicise, you can add it to our calender.     

Latest Video Reflection

Every two weeks we produce a short video reflection. These cover a range of topics and themes and are published on the website and our social media channels.

Powered by Church Edit