Back in 2011 Toasty Ted – aided and abetted by Rev Marcus Torchon, Deacon Ruth Lackenby and Emma Sofayo – started Toasty Church: monthly worship for children aged 7 and under (and their slightly older siblings), and their parents or other carers. Worship was held on the first Saturday of each month and was based on a ‘Messy Church’ model.
The good news is that it’s still going strong over five years on, with anything from 12 to 38 people (children and adults) worshipping together every month (and eating vast quantities of TOAST).
We have been asked if it’s really worship – after all, it happens on a Saturday, and it involves fun, and running around, and chatting, and eating TOAST, and we don’t sing hymns. Our answer is yes: this is worship. We gather in God’s presence; every family joins in a prayer as they arrive; everyone is engaged in fun learning activities – crafts, games, puzzles and more reflective activities, all suited to the age of the children – finding out about Bible stories, about Jesus, about Christian festivals, and about our relationship with God and with other people.
Before we get to the TOAST we spend a quieter time together: hearing a story, sharing our experiences and our concerns, and bringing these to God in prayer. Marcus, Ruth and Emma have moved on, but Toasty Ted (and now his helper Tilly Ted), aided and abetted by a team of leaders and helpers, still welcomes us all – children, parents, foster carers, grandparents and occasional adult visitors, to come to worship and learn together.
Since Toasty started, over 70 children have come to church on a Saturday morning. Some are visitors who only come once or twice: some have come every month for several years (we’ve had regulars up to 10 years old). Some even started coming before they were born! All are made welcome, and we believe that all are blessed and bless others by their presence.
Toasty Church meets at Bromborough Methodist Church from 10.30 to 11.45am on the first Saturday of each month (except August). If you want more information, please contact Veronica (0151-328-1761) or Andrew (0151-334-0057).