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Working with children, young people and families in Norton and Wollaston

Published: 26th January 2024

Keri Robinson standing outside St James' Church in Wollaston, StourbridgeKeri Robinson is the Children and Families worker at both St James’ Church in Wollaston and St Michael’s Church in Norton, on the edge of Stourbridge.  Keri works 15 hours a week across with two churches with activities organised separately and together.

Keri said: Together with a team of volunteers from each church, we have organised a series of outreach events for local families, getting to know people and building connections. The aim is to help local families on their own faith journeys with the hope that they will connect with church more regularly and perhaps even come along on a Sunday morning!”

At St James’ Church in Wollaston, there is a monthly family service led by Keri’s team and they have a good partnership with St James’ CE Primary, offering ‘Gather’ after school worship each half term.  At St Michael in Norton, Messy Church has recently started on a Sunday afternoon beginning with a sandwich lunch and there are regular Mainly Music sessions for toddlers.  Keri has also organised events which are advertised to both church communities including an Easter activity and trail, pancake parties, a light party at Halloween and a holiday club over the summer with sessions at each church.

“All of our events have been very well attended. There is a huge amount of potential in our local communities and my most difficult task is trying to prioritise to fit as much as possible into my 15 hours.  It’s great that families are willing to attend events at ether church and we are continuing to develop links with St James Primary School where I take assemblies and the church pre-school at St Michael where I visit to do a song and prayer with the children. We are also hoping to build closer links at the community school in St Michael’s parish.”

Keri is connected with the diocesan network of children and youth workers that is being developed by Simon Hill, diocesan Children and Youth Adviser.  Keri said: “Simon is brilliant – I attend his meetings with other children and youth workers across the Diocese and we even had a retreat recently. When you work on your own it’s good to know that there are others you can get support from. Our WhatsApp group is a particularly good way to ask for help or advice.”

Keri continued: “I really enjoy working with children and it’s brilliant to be able to use my skills in a church context. I am also lucky that I’ve got some good volunteers working with me and we’ve got some great ideas going forward!”

Page last updated: Friday 26th January 2024 8:57 AM

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