Over 30 people gathered on Saturday 25 March for a day of shared learning about foundations for life and faith in early years.
The Foundations day, held at Christ Church, Abingdon, and hosted by the Discipleship Enabler Team, brought together people involved in church ministries focused on preschool children and their families from across the diocese.
The unique event offered a chance for attendees to celebrate their work while gaining valuable insights and forging connections with others working with young children and their families. It provided practical 'how-to' tips on the importance of building strong foundations for young children in areas such as relationships, education, health, and faith.
The Bishop of Dorchester, the Rt Revd Gavin Collins, opened the event and there was a line-up of presentations from experts in the field including Louise Dalton, a consultant clinical psychologist, The Oxford Brain Story team, and Anna Hawkin from ‘Parenting for Faith’. They covered the topics of secure attachments and nurturing relationships, early brain development, how toddler groups can be distinctively Christian, faith-based education, and integrating faith into daily family life.
During a child's early years, the foundations are laid upon which their life is built. Relationships, education, physical and mental health, and faith are all influenced during the season before school. Toddler Groups, church creches, intergenerational and all-age worship, parent support groups, times with family, grandparents and Godparents, childminders, nurseries and playgroups all have a role that can influence and even change the story for a child and their family.
The day offered an invaluable opportunity for those involved in foundation years ministry to learn more about providing a solid foundation for children during their formative years and build a community to help them better serve preschool children and their families in their church and local communities.
Children, young people & families
Supporting parish engagement with children, young people and families is one of our Common Vision focus areas in the diocese. The team of Discipleship Enablers exists to support engagement between children, young people, and families within the church, community, and local schools across the diocese. Working with the Disciples Together vision and strategy, the team have a heart and passion for this ministry. Find out more and get in touch with the Discipleship Enablers.