Gathering in the children
Posted: 31 Aug 2012 @ 00:31
Tim Marwood finds fresh inspiration for
Creative Ideas for Sacramental Worship with Children
(with CD ROM)
Canterbury Press £19.99
Church Times Bookshop £18 (Use code CT420
THIS is a very useful book indeed for
the busy parish priest. It provides some excellent starting points
for work with young people, especially in eucharistic settings. The
chapter "The Spirituality of Young People" is worth the price of
the book alone. Simon Rundell's style is clear and to the point,
virtues worth copying when working with young people. Throughout
the book, the carefully annotated references provide signposts to
further resources. There is an easy-to-use CD included.
Rundell has become widely known
through his work in establishing "Blessèd", the "sacramental
alternative worship community" at his former parish of St Thomas
the Apostle, Elson, in the diocese of Portsmouth. The heart of his
book is the chapter "Liturgies" with sections on "The Eucharist"
and "Baptism", and also liturgies for life events in which children
are now more involved, such as funerals, and the wedding of a
parent. The layout and accessibility of this chapter make this a
useful text for a church school, too: for example, the section on
One of the strengths of the book is
its practical approach. The accompanying CD includes both a helpful
video on how to use "flash paper" and then a clip to show the
considerable impact on the faces of young people of teaching about
"the taking away of sin" using flash paper in church (and these are
"real", shuffly young people). The CD has a simple "How to use"
introduction, as has each of the seven sections. The animations on
the CD are useful in several contexts - in a service in church,
collective worship in a church school, or in a separate liturgy for
young people, such as the excellent "Disaster Responsory"
responding to the Haitian earthquake. The author pays tribute to
the creativity of Emma Rundell, his daughter, regarding the
animations. These simple but to-the-point films are a powerful
reminder that we need to use the gifts of young people more in
Increasingly, if clergy are fortunate
enough to be invited to speak to a group of young people, they have
to deal with the challenge that their audience (and their parents,
too) may not have heard anything of the gospel story hitherto.
Rundell's book is about accepting that challenge. "This is the real
mission opportunity: to place the hearer into the encounter for the
first time and to inspire and retell the teachings of Christ and
his marvellous . . . deeds, as though we were there ourselves."
Canon Tim Marwood chairs the
Children and Youth Development Group of Southwark diocese.