Beyond the Children’s Corner
Author Margaret Pritchard Houston
Publisher CHP £16.99
The author writes about creating a culture of welcome for all ages. Most churches try to welcome people, but few develop the culture. The book examines the changing pastoral needs of modern families and relates them to what it means to belong to a church and worship within it. It offers some ‘quick wins’ such as making a children’s corner truly child-friendly, and addresses deeper challenges with church buildings and leadership. It deals with real issues such as noise, toilets, changing facilities and prams. And there is wise advice regarding consultation, ownership and management of change. It would not be possible to do everything in this book, but there are some strategies which any church could do to improve ministry to children and families. The author writes practically and with empathy for mature church members who remember how things used to be, using case studies and discussion topics. I am lending it to my incumbent and churchwardens so we can pursue what it may mean to my church. I recommend it for yours.
Reviewed by HOWARD ROWE