Amy Rees and her husband Chris run two groups at St John in Bedwardine Church in Worcester, Diddy Disciples for children aged 1 – 11 years and Explorers for older children. During the Coronavirus pandemic when churches are unable to meet, they’ve taken Diddy Disciples to YouTube, releasing a weekly film for people to join in with at home.

Amy said: “We follow the national structure for Diddy Disciples and the children really enjoy the sessions. Our two girls were upset that we couldn’t carry on and I heard similar stories from other parents, so we thought we’d take it online. The first session was recorded in St David’s church and since then we’ve been doing it from home.”

Amy involves her two children in the recordings – Abigail, age 5 and Matilda, age 3 and they are pre-recorded and uploaded to YouTube. “With the girls, it’s easier to be able stop and start rather than try to do something on Facebook Live,” continued Amy. “The girls found it tricky to start with, but they’ve both been really good. They’ve watched it back and friends have FaceTimed to say they’ve seen it, so they now understand that they’re doing it for other people.”

The films follow the same structure as a normal Diddy Disciples session, starting with an opening song, a gathering section on a particular theme and finding something in a box which leads into a story. There is then a short activity, followed by prayers in a simple format and finishing with the peace.

“We’ve tried to do activities which can easily be completed at home with things that people will have in the house – for example making Mothering Sunday cards and creating palm leaves by drawing around hands. Although it’s aimed at primary school age children, it’s something that everyone can join in with and our young people are used to us sometimes doing sessions for them all. It’s also been great to hear of many of our older congregation members watching – I think they’ve enjoyed seeing the children!” Said Amy.

Amy and her girls are now looking forward to Easter Sunday where they will be telling the Easter story and singing songs. “In church we normally have an Easter egg hunt, which obviously won’t be possible. But there will definitely be Easter eggs and chocolate involved somewhere!” Said Amy.

The links to Diddy Disciples from St John in Bedwardine Church are posted on the parish website. You can watch their Palm Sunday service here and future episodes will be available on this channel