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Toddler Group is back!

Summer 2021

‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and ‘Toddlers isn’t built in an hour on a Thursday morning’

It is with great excitement that we can say TODDLER'S IS BACK! It has taken much reading through government guidelines and Early Years Alliance guidance to plan for our return, but we're here.


The Team

Judy Sharman, Sue Mulligan, Claire Wacher, May Muhr and Tracy Plumpton would like to say a massive THANK YOU to Heather Lane, Frances Wilby, Sue Coe and Jane Chaplin for the many years of dedication to Toddlers. These lovely people have taken this opportunity to step back from the Thursday morning session but are still at hand behind the scenes.
 

The return

Toddler Group garden 2021 TPSo, what does it take to get back up and running? We firstly had to mow the garden and clean all the toys and equipment and remove any ‘soft’ toys as these are not permitted under guidelines. A steamer has been bought so that we can steam the toys after each session, then they are quarantined for a week.  We are planning to be outside as much as possible as it’s safer and there's no requirement to wear face masks if socially distanced. We have started with a one-hour session to get a measure, but may increase this to an hour and a half in September.

The first week back we had 18 children and 13 parents/grandparents. There was some apprehension by some of our little ones as it was obvious they hadn’t been around lots of people for a while. Within minutes, toys were picked up and engagement with others occurred. One little man was extremely hesitant to begin with and then sobbed at the end as he didn’t want to leave. It was an absolute blessing to see so many happy faces and to see so many excited conversations unfold.


Toddler Group church garden 20Searching, story-telling, singing...
Our focus on week one was ‘creation’. We supplied brown bags and the children had to find a tea light, a cloud, plant a sunflower seed, a star, feathers and a person template to colour. Children and parents then explored the churchyard to find the items. It was just lovely to see. All these items were then used to tell the story of creation using The Rhyme Bible. Lots of songs were sung and much fun was had by all.


The gift of the rainbow...
Week two saw our first ‘wet’ session. We had planned for this by purchasing a tarpaulin, hooks, poles and guy ropes. Sadly, Tracy is no engineer and hadn’t thought about water pooling in the tarp so we are re-designing our outdoor space. We are going to have a gazebo in the middle to hold the tarpaulin up. If anyone has one of the ones that fold out easily that they would be happy to donate or lend long-term, please email Tracy: standrewstracy@gmail.com. Thank you.

Toddler Group garden art 2021 As it was a soggy one, fewer people ventured out but we saw some different faces to week one so that was really lovely. Fittingly, we looked at the story of Noah. Blue glitter bottles were made to help with the story. The big blue parachute was used as the children sat on it to do actions of sawing and hammering with giant Jenga bricks. The animals then had to be found and brought to the Ark.  As the rain came down and the floods came up the adults (socially distanced) moved the parachute up and down around the children with lots of excitement. The glitter bottles were shaken and the dove brought a leaf. We talked about Noah being ‘locked down’ in the Ark and how thankful Noah was to God once there was dry land again. We talked about God’s gift of the rainbow and his promise. The parents were then given the opportunity to think about their own ‘lockdown’ and think of something they are thankful for and tie rainbow-coloured wool to the branch used in the story.                 

Tracy Plumpton (St Andrew’s Family, Children and Youth worker)
 -from an article in our July/August parish magazine

Glenys
Hello and welcome to St Andrew's. If you are new, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
Click here to see more.

Planning your Visit

A Warm Hello 

The following information is specifically for those planning a visit so that you know, beforehand, what to expect on a Sunday morning. During the period of Covid-19, please see the information at the bottom of this page.

Where and When

We meet at the Church Building (details below) for our main Sunday Service starting at 10.30am. For your first visit, we recommend arriving 10-15 minutes early to ensure you find a parking space and can settle in before the service begins. When you arrive, you should be greeted by someone on our Welcome Team who will be wearing a Welcome Badge.

Plan your journey:
Unfortunately, St Andrew's does not have its own carpark. However, there is a council-run pay and display carpark a short distance along St Andrew Street, to the east of the church - there is no charge for parking in this carpark on Sundays, but please check for charges on other days.

This is a useful East Herts Council website page for full details of parking in Hertford.

There are single yellow lines outside the church with parking restrictions, but some 30-minute parking bays are situated on the opposite side of the road for short stays (longer on Sundays).

Open Google Maps

Accessibility: There is wheelchair access, and a sound loop for anyone who needs it. Please let one of the Welcome Team know on your arrival and they will help you to get set up. There is a disabled toilet towards the back of the church, behind the kitchen.

Our Service

The service will usually begin promptly at 10.30am and will last between 60 and 75 minutes. We enjoy the presence of an excellent choir who help us sing hymns (modern and traditional) as well as provide anthems and special songs through the period of communion. We have a traditional organ but also benefit from music played on the piano and by our band (eg on the Second Sunday of each month when we have an All-Age Service in which our children and young people are fully involved).

Each 10.30am service includes a sermon, prayers and eucharist.

After the service, everyone is invited for coffee and conversation - some like to stay for a  quick chat while others remain in the church for a longer time.

Communion

Children and Young People

We have a great programme lined up for our children. This is organised by our Family, Children and Youth Worker, Tracy Plumpton, who is always delighted to welcome new faces. Those arriving before their first service at St Andrew’s can ask to see Tracy or one of the other leaders.

We really value worshipping God together as a family, so children stay with their parent or grown-up at the start of the service before being invited to leave for the age appropriate activities after the first hymn. You will need to go with your children to their groups and register them as part of our child safety policy.

The children and young people then return to the main service in time to join the eucharist and, if confirmed, take Holy Communion or, if not, receive a blessing.

There is a Children's Corner in church where you can go at any time. You will find books, toys and drawing materials there.

Toilet and baby-change facilities are located at the back of church, behind the kitchen.

Junior Church celebration

Getting Connected


Home Groups

While Sundays are a great way to meet new people, it is often in smaller gatherings that you can really get to know someone. Being part of one of our small groups allows you to make new friends, share together and support each other. We have a variety of groups that meet throughout the week. Check out Home Groups on our website and see if there’s one that you could join. Alternatively, speak to a member of the Welcome Team who will give you the information that you need.

Serving and Volunteering

If you want to get involved in the life of the church and help us make Sundays run smoothly, you can sign up to serve on a team. Please contact Phil in the Church Office.

SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS DURING COVID-19:
What we describe above reflects our normal practice on Sunday mornings. However, since March 2020 we have had to adopt new ways of organising ourselves. For up-to-date information about current services (in church and online via Zoom), please look at details on our Worship and Prayer Page.
 
Get in touch with us
If you have any questions, please do get in touch. You'll find our contact details here.

We hope that you will feel at home at our church.