MABS is the organisation within St. Andrew's Church that undertakes most of our children, youth and families ministry. There is a huge amount of ministry happening in this aspect of church life, and it is constanty evolving.
This page should give you a flavour of the type of things that are going on. You can also watch some short videos about our activities here:
St. Andrew's as a Youth Minster:
The London Diocese, in September 2017, designated St. Andrew's MABS Youth & Community Project as one of six Youth Minsters to be established across our great city of London. In essence, these Minsters are deemed to be 'Centres' of Excellence'; projects that can model good practice and growth in their own locality - but also be proactive in resourcing other churches across London to help them develop their own strong youth ministry. The vision for the London Diocese is that, by 2025, every Parish should have a youth group - and these 6 Minsters (including St. Andrew's) are instrumental in realising that vision...
Meet the MABS Team:
We have a great team of volunteers across all the children, youth and family activities - about 30 or so in all. We also have Commissioned Lay Ministers in both Children's Work and Youth Work. These volunteers are ably led and supported by our team of full-time and part-time workers:
Dr Jo Griffiths is our full-time Families Chaplain. Jo has oversight of all the Children's Ministries and also Families/Parents' Ministries. Jo has been involved in Christian Youth Ministry since the mid-1990s. She was a Church Youth Worker in North Essex before gaining her BA (Hons) in Youth and Community Work & Applied Theology through Oxford Brookes University. Thereafter, she was Locality Youth Work Manager for North Essex Council before becoming Assistant Director and then Director of the Centre for Youth Ministry, Ridley Hall Theological College, Cambridge. As well as a BA in Youth Work, Jo also has an MA and a PhD in Youth Work too! She has been Families Chaplain at St. Andrew's MABS Project since it was founded in September 2015.
Nana Otchere is our Youth Discipleship Worker. She is full-time on staff with specific responsibility for developing the spiritual aspects of our programs and discipling young people into the Christian faith. Nana started in post in April 2018.
Rob Barwood Symmons works at MABS for one day per week. Rob is a member of our congregation with real experience in running Christian Youth Groups across many years. He is currently researching a PhD in the area of Youth Culture and Evangelicalism.
Rob is working in two primary areas of ministry at MABS. First, he is working with Jo in developing a major research project for the Diocese of London concerning Transitions Work amongst young people. Through MABS, we want to develop a robust Transitions Program at St. Andrew's - and also be a resource for other churches who are addressing this issue for themselves. Second, Rob is working with Rev Dr Steve and Jo establishing 'Ridley London' - our new Campus in partnership with Ridley Hall, Cambridge and Durham UNniversity to deliver a CertHE in 'Mission and Ministry' from September 2018.
Ruth Mackay is a Commissioned Lay Minister in Youth Work at St. Andrew's. She has been involved as a volunteer in Youth Ministry for many years and has much wisdom and experience in this area of church life. Ruth is currently heading up our Sunday morning and Sunday evening Youth Ministry; teaching sessions, worship, trips out and so on - nurturing our young people in the Christian faith. MABS is currently funding Ruth to undertake a 2-year course at Oak Hill Theological College in 'Biblical Counselling'. She will graduate in 2019, and we have no doubt that Ruth's expertise in counselling young people will prove increasingly useful at MABS as the years go by.
Children's Ministry at church on a Sunday:
There is a creche for coming to the 10.00am service every Sunday, except the 2nd Sunday of the month (which is our All-Age Parade Service). At creche, there are age-appropriate activities and songs, all geared up to Christian learning in a fun and relaxed environment.
Parents can stay in the creche with their children if they want to - but we would rather encourage parents to go back in to church. If any problems arise, one of our helpers will come into church and fetch the parent if required.
For those who really don't want to leave their children at a creche, we do have a Children's Corner with toys and books at the back of church.
Sunday Club happens during the 10.00am service each Sunday (again, except on the 2nd Sunday of the month) and is geared up primarily for Primary School-aged children.
All the children start off with the adults in church. They then come out into their various groups (divided by age) and then return into church to receive Holy Communion (all baptised children can receive the bread and the wine at St. Andrew's).
After Communion, at the end of the service, the children come to the front and show the adult congregation what they have been doing in their groups.
We love having children as part of our church family - so please don't hesitate to bring your kids to St. Andrew's!
Messy Church normally happens on the 4th Sunday of each month at 4.00pm (subject to occasional variation - see the front page of the website for more details).
Messy Church is designed to be a relaxed and informal service for families, paticularly with toddlers and Primary School-aged kids. It lasts about one hour and is based around various creative arts activities, songs and other child-friendly activities.
There is lots of movement (the children do not sit down for the whole service, but work round the various 'activity stations' around the church), so hopefully no-one gets bored!
After the service is finished, there is food in the Parish Centre - 'party-type' food - for the children and adults to enjoy together. The whole Messy Church experience lasts for about 90 minutes each month.
Messy Church is a brilliant introduction to church for anyone who is not used to a more formal style of service. If you have not been before, why not come along and check it out?
N.B. Please be responsible for your own child at Messy Church - particularly when it comes to the food afterwards. St. Andrew's church cannot guarantee that the food will be suitable for your child, particularly if he/she has allergies. It is the responsibility of the parent/carer to ensure that the child only eats what is suitable for them.
Youth Ministry at church on a Sunday:
Breakfast Club and Youth Fellowship
For teenagers, there is a Club on Sunday mornings during the 10.00am service (again, except on the 2nd Sunday of the month). The teenagers meet in church first, then go out to their activities, then return for Holy Communion (which all baptised Christians, regardless of age or denomination, are welcome to receive at St. Andrew's).
Twice a month, this morning Club is supplemented by a Sunday evening Youth Fellowship. Here, the members explore together what it means to be a Christian and how we are called to live out the Christian life. There are activities, Bible Study and prayer at the Youth Fellowship. Occasional trips take place to other churches and Christian events around the London area.
Supporting Primary School Children:
At St. Andrew's, we employ a full-time Families Chaplain, Jo Griffiths. Jo is a highly experienced Children, Youth & Families Worker - she has been full time in this ministry since the 1990s. Jo has a BA, an MA, and a PhD in Youth Work and has many years practice-based experience, as well as training other Workers and Volunteers in the UK and around the world.
Jo also spends one day per week working alongside our St. Andrew's Primary School. One of her roles is to meet weekly with children who may value conversations with Jo and support from her.
It is great to have Jo in this role, because it enables us to have continuity of support and ministry between church and school - two 'communities that work increasingly closely together.
Midweek Work with Youth:
We have a team of enthusiastic volunteers in this area of ministry.
Exodus Youth Club
On a Monday evening at the Parish Centre, we have our Exodus Youth Club from 6.30pm onwards. This is an 'open youth club' without any spiritual agenda as such. It is a great opportunity for young people to come together, make new friends, and engage in a whole range of activities from cooking, pool, make-up activities, dance, first aid training, sports, computer games, quiet space activities - a whole range of activities too many to mention!
Exodus Youth Club costs £1 per session. There is a Tuck Shop to purchase snacks. Exodus does follow a termly agenda of activities to ensure that young people are learning social skills in a relaxed and fun environment. It is also a space for us to provide a volunteers training environment for those taking Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
Enfield Grammar School
Nana Otchere spends a day each week in Enfield Grammar School. There, she offers one-to-one support for pupils, she runs small groups, helps in the Exclusion Unit, and is involved in the delivery of some PHSE sessions.
At St. Andrew's, we are really pleased to have this link with the Grammar School - and we trust that our partnership together will strengthen as the years go by.
Supporting those with Additional Needs:
This is an area of ministry that we are only just beginning to properly explore at St. Andrew's Church. We recognise the need for it - and we are addressing the issues as best we can in a systematic way.
We have recently appointed Damian Browne, a mental health care professional in our congregation, to be our Additional Needs Champion at church. It is Damian's role to advocate for those who have Additional Needs, and to ask 'the hard questions' of the church leadership about what we are doing to become an increasingly inclusive church. This is a really important role, and we are keen to see how this will develop.
A group of volunteers at the church have created some Sensory Books for those with Additional Needs to use during the services. These have proven very popular indeed - and we are currently in the process of thinking about what further sensory resources we can create for those who would benefit from this.
In 2017, MABS paid for two young people to make a pilgrimage to Lourdes. We feel very happy to have made this a possibility for the two young people concerned. They joined a Youth Pilgrimage Trip to that holy site at Easter, and had just the most amazing time! We hope to support others in the future too.
At St. Andrew's, we have an increasing range of activities to support families in the congregation and in the wider community. These include:
Dads with Young Children
With regular activities for fathers with young children, this group meets to participate in both free and low cost events in Enfield. The DWYC Group offers a place to discuss issues facing us modern fathers, offering support once a month over a drink or even a meal together.
There is usually a social activity once per month for the dads and then another 'Saturday event', in which the dads take their kids out together for the day.
Twins and Multiple Births Group
This group meets every week on a Wednesday morning during term time.
It is a great opportunity for those with twins+ to have some social time together in a large enough hall (at the Parish Centre) for the children to let off some steam and have fun with the toys.
Enfield Single Parents Meet Up
This is a friendly informal group for single parent's to meet up for a cuppa, a chat and a bottomless plate of biscuits.
Plenty for the kids to do from babies to teenagers. It meets every Tuesday 4pm to 5.15pm during term time.
There is a FB page here
Parenting Courses and other Parental Support
Jo Griffiths, in her role as Families Chaplain, provides other forms of parental support. These include:
* Parenting Courses
* One-to-one support for parents and carers
* Listening support for bereavement, debt, marital problems and other issues
Whatever the issues facing families in our community of Enfield, we want to do what we can to support and help. If the issue is of a more complex nature than we are able to help with, we will work with individuals and families to signpost them to qualified professionals or agencies that can help.
Other Children and Youth Activities at St. Andrew's:
1st Enfield Guides
Fridays (during term time): 19:30 - 21:15
1st Enfield Rangers
Alternate Sundays (during term time): 18:00-20:00
Leaders: Sarah Butt and Carole van der Watt
Girlguiding provides an oppportunity for girls aged 10-14 (Guides) and 14-18 (Rangers) to have fun, learn new skills and make a difference to their lives and their communities. With lots of input from the girls, we organise a full programme of activities in the Parish Centre as well as trips beyond Enfield. We also attend the monthly Parade Service on the 2nd Sunday of the month.
Highlights from 2016 for the guides included a sleepover in Central London, rifle shooting and climbing, a trip Megajump, Christmas bake off competition, home made spa evening, and a film night. Ranger highlights from 2016 included a Hunger Games Challenge, a murder mystery evening, a range of craft and cooking (and eating) activities) and a trip to Megajump. Rangers also have the opportunity to work towards their Duke of Edinburgh award.
Who are we?
Mosaic is a family group within St. Andrew's that has been running for over 14 years. Mosaic hosts a variety of events for children of pre-school age along with their parents and carers. Although we are linked to St. Andrew's, Mosaic is open to all members of the local community. Activities include:
What do we do?
These are on Mondays and Fridays, 9.45-11.00am. There is plenty of play, healthy snacks and singing for the children - and refreshments for the adults. Sessional cost is £2 per family (2 adults and 2 children). Additional children or adults are charged at 50p each. A Mosaic membership card reduces the family cost to only £1.50 per session.
N.B. There is no Mosaic Playgroup on the first Monday of each month.
Outings and Events:
Previous activities have included trips to the pantomime, cinema, picnics in the park, family lunches, party nights, quiz nights, and sponsored events. We have a popular Book Club and welcome new readers.
Each year, we support a nominated charity, as well as St. Andrew's. In 2012, we raised £2,000 for SANDS. In 2013, we raised £1,600 for Noah's Ark Children's Hospice. In 2014, we are supporting the National Deaf Children's Society. In addition, we regularly support Red Nose Day, Jeans for Genes, Children in Need, MacMillan Cancer Support, and Sports Relief.