Conference & Festival: Children & Young Adult’s Programme
It's a conference, as there are talks, discussions and workshops, and it's a festival, as it celebrates the wholeness of the Orthodox Christian culture that is found within our church family: it's simply special to pray with people and children from so many parts of the country.
We welcome families to attend and we run a children's programme: the activities here follow the same theme as the Conference, in a way that is accessible to their age e.g. a musical performance, a play, a display of some kind, or a combination of those activities.
Whatever the nature of the activity, the aim of the Children’s Programme is to be creative. The children and young adults celebrate a Reader’s Vespers (usually on the Saturday evening) in the 'children's room': the reading and singing is done by members of the young congregation, as much as is possible; parents and clergy are encouraged to attend.
The children may also have an opportunity to watch a film in the 'children's room', and - when the weather permits - they are given plenty of opportunities to play outside.
Before the party starts on Sunday evening, there are individual musical performances given by those children who are capable, as well as a performance (of some kind) given by all the children that have been engaged with the Children’s Programme - this performance has brought joy to many.
The Children’s Programme is run by volunteers, but we also ask parents to take turns overseeing the activities: children (ages 3-11) left with the helpers, are a shared responsibility of the helpers and their parents.
The young adults (ages 12-17) may choose (with their parents' permission) to join the Children’s Programme or (again, as agreed with their parents) to either hear the talks or socialise in the secure environment of the venue. The young adults have at least one meeting with an adult, where they can discuss the Conference title/topic, and any other issues that might be considered as appropriate in the context of living as an Orthodox Christian.