Trinity at Four, 6th Round Development Fund

A new after-school club for local families funded by a grant from the Development Fund has launched in Henley-on-Thames.

The Families on Fridays after-school club for primary-aged children and their families started in September at the beginning of the new school term. It aims to provide a space where parents can meet together, children can play, and church families can bring their friends to help build relationships beyond the school gates.

Peter Greenman, Children’s worker at Trinity at Four, leading the project, talks about the after-school club:

“We provide a cafe space for parents to chat and relax whilst their children can play and hear a little bit from the bible. The grant from the Development Fund enables us to kick-start with a good range of toys and resources for the children as well as serve coffee and cake for the adults.

“We are really excited for the opportunities Families on Fridays can bring and the chance to bless local families and build lasting relationships with them. In the future, we hope to continue building good relations with local schools and encourage people to find a welcoming and supportive place in the church.

“We are also hoping, longer term, to occasionally expand the usual one-hour session to a regular longer session where we can provide a meal and offer parents the time to explore the bible and Christianity.”

Families spent many months inside during the pandemic with schools closed and little opportunity to socialise with one another, so the after-school club is offering the space for families to form these new friendships. The after-school club is a relaxing and informal space for Christian parents to share their faith with other parents and the opportunity for questions and conversations about Christianity.

Peter shared some of the feedback from parents:

“It has been really encouraging to hear from parents who have been coming along to the club, that they have enjoyed and appreciated the time and space to meet with other parents. We have also had mums from our mum and baby group, which was running during the pandemic, joining us. It is great to know that we can maintain these contacts and that the after-school club is a much needed and important space for them.”

Trinity at Four identified children and families as an opportunity to explore and engage with the local context in Henley-on-Thames and discern where God was at work in their community. The Development Fund has assisted the church in this part of its vision to become more Christ-like.

Listen to Peter talking more about the project during an interview with That’s TV.

The Development Fund is open to all parishes and benefices in the Diocese of Oxford and especially those with limited financial resources to invest in missional activity. Applications are now open for the next round of funding and close on 31 October 2021, find out more and apply on the Development Fund page of our website.

The Development Fund was launched in 2019 to enable missional creativity and assist churches in the Diocese of Oxford with their visions to become more Christ-like and support their communities. Since its launch, the fund has donated almost £2 million to more than 100 church projects across the diocese.