Godly Play Figures

Overview

On this page you’ll find information about the programmes we have for children on a Sunday. Use the links below to jump to whatever age group is relevant to you.

Our goal is to be as accommodating as we can be to families. As you’ll see on the page about our worship services, for the first part of a Sunday worship service, the whole family is together. After a couple of songs, a prayer, and a recitation from the Bible, the children will be invited to sit up in the front of the church with the minister and hear message aimed at them. (If they’d rather not go and sit up front, they’re welcome to stay with their parents in the pews.)

After the talk for the children, depending on the child’s age, you can make use of the following facilities and programmes:


Nursery Facilities

We offer the following facilities for people with children 0-3 years old:

  • Baby Rooms – In the back of the church on either side there are baby rooms. They have a comfortable chair in them, a few toys, a blind that you can lower or put up if you would like, a speaker so that you can still hear what’s going on in the main part of the church, and a door to the outside. Please make yourself at home and let us know if there’s something we could do to make the space better accommodate your needs.
  • Nursery Space in the Hall Foyer – If you would rather take your child(ren) out of the service after the children’s talk, please feel free to make use of the nursery space in the hall foyer. There are toys and books in the cupboards – some religious, some not. There is a small gate that can be used to keep your children from running away. It is also in close proximity to the toilets where there are nappy changing facilities.
  • Nappy Changing Facilities in Men’s and Women’s Toilets
  • Wireless Receivers to Listen to the Service Outside the Church – Maybe you want to walk your baby or push your baby around in a pram outside the church during the service while it falls asleep. You can do that and still listen to the service using our wireless receivers. Use the earbuds provided or whatever headphones you’d like to plug into the headphone jack. Speak to the person on sound desk to get one of the receivers and learn how to use it.

If you have any questions or requests having to do with our Nursery Facilities, please get in touch with Carey (info@newchurch.co.za, 031 262 2342).

When your child gets close to their 4th birthday, speak to our Godly Play coordinator, Belinda Carter, about having them start attending Godly Play (children@newchurch.co.za or 082 334 9037).


Godly Play

At New Church Westville we have just recently started using a new programme for our children on a Sunday. It’s called Godly Play.

What is Godly Play

Godly Play is a programme designed to nurture spiritual development of children. It was developed by Rev. Dr. Jerome W. Berryman over the course of 30 years. It is based on Montessori principles and emphasises the importance of each child’s individual process in developing faith and a relationship with the Lord.

The Godly Play approach helps [children] to explore their faith through story, to gain religious language and to enhance their spiritual experience though wonder and play. – www.godlyplayfoundation.org

The programme is built around telling stories from the Word using 3D materials to give the children the chance to soak the stories in and explore their meaning. The children are then invited to respond to what they’ve heard in a variety of ways, which might include art, reading, writing or playing with the story—the choice is theirs. The ultimate goal of Godly Play is to build a community of children where they experience the language of God and the church and learn to use that language to make meaning in their lives.

This is What Our Sunday Morning Looks Like

  • • 9:30 – Church and Children’s Talk – Children begin in the church, stay until the end of the Children’s Talk at the front
  • • 9:50 – Children arrive at Godly Play room – Escorted by the usher on duty and greeted by the door person
  • • 9:55 – Godly Play Session Begins – Opening Circle, Lesson, Wondering, Response Time, Closing Circle
  • • 10:40 – Blessing and Goodbyes – Children collected by parents after announcements, after the church service

How Can You Get Involved?

  • • Come to church on a Sunday and bring your children
  • • Contact our Godly Play Coordinator about how you can be involved – Belinda Carter – children@newchurch.co.za or 082 334 9037.

Youth

Once children reach high school age we encourage them to stay in church for the adult message or to help out with Godly Play.

We also have a youth programme, once a week on a Sunday evening in the foyer of the hall. It lasts for about an hour. There’s something tasty to eat and a good, relevant topic to discuss. It is led by one of the pastors or, occasionally, by some of the parents from the church community.

As youth programmes go it’s pretty low-key and informal but it gives the teens a chance to be themselves and really dig into topics that matter to them.

It’s open to any high school age people who want to come—you don’t have to have gone to Kainon School or have to attend our church.

If you’re interested in learning more, get in touch with Malcolm (malcolm@newchurch.co.za, 031 262 2342).