Hi, I live locally and have two children aged 3 and 6 and a husband called Joe. I started coming to St Anne's children's groups when my eldest was a baby.
I found Patter and Natter and Kids Rock to be very welcoming and a lovely place to interact with people as a young mum, working as a teacher and also bringing up a young family.
I am a Catholic and growing up in a Catholic church I have always considered myself to be a Christian but hadn't been to church in a long time. I had enjoyed going to church at Christmas with my mum and had always found church to be a very comforting place but hadn't really thought much more about this going forward.
We would come to the Messy church sessions which the kids thoroughly enjoyed and even though Rod kept asking if we wanted to try Sunday services I would politely decline.
As lockdown hit I had this feeling that there had to be more to everything and I joined the Alpha course (which incidentally at the time, as the name sort of suggests, I thought was just for men. I had always been a Christian but I just didn't really have that faith and it just didn't really mean anything to me to be honest, apart from the fact that I believed in God and heaven. Alpha has given me a chance to explore questions that I didn't really feel I understood the answers to or could ask about previously. I am not always particularly articulate, but can be very opinionated ...I felt free to bombard Rod with as many random questions as I wanted to within Alpha and this was encouraged. 🤣
Through engaging with St Anne's and getting more involved it has helped me to realise that my faith has always been there,sort of buried beneath the surface but that I just didn't really understand what all of these faith experiences that I had had growing up meant. I now realise there is a bigger plan.
We love St Anne's for its inclusive and welcoming environment. If you know my kids you will know that they are very lively and rambunctious and love running around St Anne's, and refreshingly, there is no judgement and the kids can just be themselves. It is such an accessible place and we feel lucky to come here. The kids skip along to children's group of a Sunday and we explore faith in a way that seems to make more sense now. We love the style of worship here, particularly the songs (nothing gives me more joy than singing and playing and it may sound a bit daft but we feel at home here.
Thank you 💗 Laura.