Training Grandparents'11 Oct 2018 By Sam Setchell
Helping grandparents to share their faith.
Director of Calling Young Disciples, Ruth Walker and Mission Enabler Anne Batchelor have been working with Children’s Officer, Emma Pettifer to deliver a series of training sessions for grandparents keen to share their faith with their grandchildren.
Emma said: “The idea grew out of the resources I had been putting together for ‘Faith at Home’. Ruth had had a few people asking if there was anything with grandparents and so she and I got together with Anne who is a grandparent herself. The first session was all about sharing the vision of Faith at Home, explaining how we can support parents and grandparents to share their faith and since then each session has developed in the way that the participants have asked. This time we’ve been looking at helping children with additional needs.”
Grandparents have come on the training course from Droitwich, Kidderminster and Stourbridge – some have grandchildren living locally while others see them only rarely – some are as far away as Australia. In a number of cases, the parents of the children don’t have a faith themselves and the group has been looking at how to share the grandparents’ faith in this context.
Comments from the participants included:
“It’s definitely given me some ideas of how I can connect my faith with my grandchildren – in particular I’ve started sending cards through the post – I’m going to send an Advent calendar this year!”
“I help with our Sunday School and am also involved in the youth group, these children often feel just like extended grandchildren. I believe that the church needs to be ready and open and it’s been great to have a different group of people to meet with where we can discuss ideas together.”
“I’ve learnt the importance of setting aside time to really think and pray for my grandchildren and the situations they’re facing. It’s been great to get to know different people in the Diocese and pray for each other and our families.”
“Our grandchildren often come to church with us, but we have worried whether this was the right approach. The training has been a good opportunity to learn from and share with others and we have realised that we just need to be there for our grandchildren as they develop into church members in their own right.”