At St Lawrence Church we belong to one big family and we want you and your children to know that you are not only very welcome, but have an equal and rightful place in the church alongside everyone else.
Children are never too young to come to Church; but we do realise that bringing babies and toddlers to church can be hard work - your own baby seems noisier than others, your toddler more demanding than the angel quietly playing - be assured, we’ve been there!
We do want coming to church to be a joyful experience for you and your child. On this page you will find some information that we hope will make being in church easier and more enjoyable.
Bringing Children to Church
Bringing Babies to Church
If your baby is settled, please feel free to remain seated, even if others are standing. Don't be embarrassed if your baby cries. We all understand that babies have special (and urgent!) needs. A baby who is crying needs help. If you just try to stop them crying it usually gets worse, you become stressed and embarrassed, others can't hear, and it is hard work for the person leading the service. The following facilities are provided for you and your baby's convenience and to help coming to church to be a happy, relaxed experience for you and your baby:
If your baby needs changing, there are changing facilities in the accessible toilet in the hall—just follow the signs.
Breastfeeding is welcome in our church.
If your baby needs comfort or engaging, please feel free to walk round with them, talk to them, there is lots to see up the sides of the church, e.g., windows and candles. Feel free to bring quiet toys for your baby to hold. There are also baby activity bags at the back of church, please feel free to use one. Some babies may be attracted by the flicker of candles. If they are near, point them out to your baby. Babies may well find pleasure in being held close as a parent sings, and in hearing the music of the services.
Older babies may watch active, dramatic parts of the service. Tell them when something different is happening. If it is a Eucharist take your baby with you to receive God's blessing at the time of Communion.
Already your baby is absorbing the atmosphere of worship, and so starting on the journey of faith.
If your baby is 6 months or younger, you would be more than welcome to attend our 'Parent and Baby Group', which is run by parents and meets during Hillingdon term time on Mondays, 10 - 11:30am.
Bringing Toddlers to Church
A service can feel like a long time for a pre-school child, So do make sure that you sit where you and your child can see. We all understand that young children cannot be still for very long, and for this reason we are very happy if you go for a walk around with your toddler - there is lots to see and touch. You can light a candle together, visit a saint, even look at a stained glass window.
In the interests of safety as well as quietness, children should always be accompanied by an adult.
Play bags are available from the back of the church. Each one has a bible story theme. We suggest that you keep hold of the bag and give your child an item from time to time to keep the interest going. The facilities we've provided are to help coming to the church to be a happy, relaxed experience for you and your toddler.
Children learn by imitation. Encourage your toddler to imitate what the adults are doing: holding a book and standing on the seat beside you 'singing', kneeling down, or sitting at prayer times. Draw their attention to processions, pick them up so they can see the Gospel reading. Their attention may last only a moment, but they are beginning to share in worship and praise. Encourage your toddler to respond to the music by moving or clapping when there is a strong rhythm. If it is a Eucharist take your toddler to receive God's blessing at the time of Communion.
Children who are allowed (or even encouraged) to run around during the service are not so much being included as ignored! They are present in worship as part of their own faith journey. Even when they are just amusing themselves they are absorbing the atmosphere of worship, but we should also be seeking ways of involving them and drawing their attention to what is going on in the worship, even if it is only for a few seconds. 'Watch!' 'Listen!' etc.