On Sunday 24th April, Christ Church Lisburn held their first Cradle Roll Service. Families who had children baptized in the church in the last three years were given a special invitation to participate in the service with their young children.
Rev. Paul Dundas, rector of Christ Church said the service was part of Christ Church’s desire to reach out to local families and welcome them by providing family friendly services where families can feel relaxed and at ease with their young children present.
The children were fully involved in the service. Rev. Julie Bell the curate in Christ Church has formed a children’s choir and the choir performed two beautiful songs for the service. The children were also involved in leading worship, lifting the collection and reading the bible lessons. They were invited up to the front for the Children’s talk led by Jill Hamilton, the Children’s Development Officer for Connor. Jill and Scruffy the dog puppet helped the children (and adults) learn about trusting God through some of Scruffy’s experiences as well as the bible story of Jesus blessing the children.
Part of the service involved the congregation as a whole having the opportunity to renew their baptism vows and think again about the promises that were made on their behalf. Later in the service the invited families were asked to come forward with their young children and place the child’s name on a Cradle Roll display board. A Cradle Roll book has also been created with all the names of the children which will be kept and updated and displayed in the church. The children also received a book and sunflower seeds to take away with them. The sunflower seeds are part of a competition to grow the tallest sunflower and families were encouraged to help their young children take part in the challenge and then send in photos of the results.
After the service families were invited to the hall for “wee buns” and tea/coffee/juice. The “wee buns were a lovely selection of home -made tray bake, cakes and apple tartlets. There were puzzle and colouring sheets to keep the children busy and a great buzz in the air as families chatted and got to know each other.
The church leaders and volunteers who organised the Cradle Roll service were really delighted to see so many of the invited families coming along to the service. Christ Church plan to hold a Cradle Roll Service every 3 years.