Just months after a group from Reading’s Greyfriars Church crossed over the parish boundary to join St John’s, Anna was taken on in her brand-new role.
Her path to children’s work started in Kidderminster. She was one of five children, and her family attended the Baptist church.
“The five of us, along with a few others, made up the Sunday School. I always enjoyed it, but my faith wasn’t real to me,” says Anna.
It was while studying at Durham University that life began to change. “I joined the Christian Union. It was an environment where other young adults were worshipping God. I got baptised when I was 20.”
“I am 100 per cent confident there will be a church where every family can feel at home, where children are loved and accepted.”
Around that time, her older brother, who was a big spiritual influence, started a worship band in her home church.
“We got some frowns as we were bringing instruments with wires and cables into the church and I was hesitant about whether I could be part of that.
“My brother encouraged me, and we started a Youth Alpha course. Our younger siblings invited their friends along, and around 12 sixth formers came. It was a really encouraging time and one of my first experiences of leading in a church.”
Following a year of volunteering with The Smiles Foundation and a period in Spain working with children at an English Immersion Camp, Anna’s first formal church role was as a children’s discipleship leader in Marlow.
Anna says she’s still finding her feet in her new role but is excited to join the church so soon after a group from Greyfriars have joined St John’s. “I’m getting to know people, learn about their different backgrounds and see them live out what they are called to do. It’s a ministry to equip and empower people. As one person you are limited, but with a group of volunteers you can do far more.”
“…there were other young adults who were truly worshipping God”
What advice would Anna give to families looking for a church that will welcome their children? “Go for it. Not every church is right for every person or every family. I would encourage anyone to try different churches. I am 100 per cent confident there will be a church where every family can feel at home, where children are loved and accepted.”