Being a community of all ages is vital to our life as Quaker communities. It is especially important to be mindful of this during restrictions placed on worship due to coronavirus.

All-age community online

Children and young people are feeling anxious and isolated, with a loss of routine and regular contact with friends. As Quaker communities we need to find ways of connecting with and supporting children, young people and families. We need to include them in our worship and find opportunities for nurture and nourishment. The Children and Young People's Team have produced 'A simple guide for online all-age meeting for worship' which can be found on Woodbrooke's website.

Children's meeting online

A lot of Quaker communities around the country are organising online children's meetings, activities for parents, children and families and all-age worship. There are also a number of parents and families who have been in touch with us who haven't yet been able to find Quaker children's activities in their locality. Please do keep in touch and let us know what you're doing. We would love to hear from you if you are:

  • a meeting who would be happy to welcome other families to your children's meeting
  • a family wanting to connect with a children's meeting.

We would be very happy to put you in touch with each other, by asking an offering meeting if they are happy to contact a request made (and if not by asking another).

Please contact us via supportmeetings@quaker.org.uk

Guidance for online children's meeting

The Children and Young People's Team have produced some guidance for online children's meeting for worship. This can be found on Woodbrooke's website.

Guidance for running a youth group session online

The Children and Young People's Team have produced some guidance for holding a youth group session online. This also can be found on Woodbrooke's website.

CYP staff also host a Zoom support meeting on the final Saturday of every month. This is for anyone running Quaker online youth work. Opportunities will be made to share ideas and tips and to try activities and develop materials together. Please us this form to register for the support group (offsite link).

National online youth groups

In these unusual times a little connection can help. Quakers in Britain, would like to invite you to join other young Quakers from across England, Scotland and Wales to be a part of an online youth group (PDF).
Join a weekly group, with a choice of Monday to Thursday 4.30pm to 6.00pm. Fill in the online form to indicate your interest (offsite link). Questions? Contact Judea@quaker.org.uk.

Parents and families

This is a really challenging time for a lot of parents, many of whom are juggling lots of different needs and pressures. The Quaker Parenting Network offers opportunities to connect with other Quaker parents in Britain. It has a Facebook group which has been busy with parents seeking advice and sharing encouragement over the last few weeks. It is also running Zoom meet ups for parents. If you are interested visit this Facebook page or if you're not on Facebook, email quakerparentingnetwork@gmail.com.

For any families without a children's meeting locally or in your area meeting, let us know and we'll help them find ways of feeling connected and try to put them in touch with other online children's meetings. Email qladmin@quaker.org.uk.

The Quaker Parenting Network would still love to hear from meetings that are holding online worship and activity for children, who would be willing to offer connection, space and support to parents and children who don't have that opportunity more locally. Email qladmin@quaker.org.uk.

Safeguarding

It is vital that any online spaces and opportunities we offer are safe spaces. Please remember that meeting online needs to follow the same safeguarding guidance as meeting face to face. The guidance for children's meetings and youth group sessions both include safeguarding advice specific to these activities happening online. You can find this safeguarding guidance on Woodbrooke's website.

Resources and ideas

Journeys in the Spirit, resources for children's meetings, can be adapted and used by children on their own, families together or in online children's meeting for worship. An index of topics covered within previous issues can be found at Being Friends Together website (external link). See the latest issue Topical activity April (PDF). Subscribe to receive Journeys in the Spirit.

There are also some helpful ideas and resources from other Yearly Meetings. You might want to look at this list of resources on Philadelphia Yearly Meeting's website.

There are some interesting ideas and resources around at the moment for use at home, that can be adapted for online children's meetings. You can access free RE resources for you and for home learning with children on the National Association of Teachers website.

Image: © Mike Pinches