Revd Helen Eke is a Curate in the Carr Dyke Group of Churches (near Sleaford) and her dining room table has recently become a ‘crafting and production line’ as the Group bagged up their ‘takeaway church’ in time for the beginning of December.

Takeaway Church has been developed to reach out to children who live in the villages that form the Carr Dyke Group of Churches but who don’t go to one of the three local primary schools (two of which are Church of England); and to the older children who all go to schools outside the group area.

Helen said: “After listening to what other parishes were doing in these hugely different times, we thought about what we could do for the children in our area as we realised that there has been nothing for these children that we do not see and care for through our village schools.”

Given the coronavirus situation Takeaway Church seemed like the only option. “We thought that the name was very apt and we also have an element of click and collect as well” said Helen. “Our Takeaway church is just that – boxes filled with bags that contain different activities for both young children and teenagers that families can come and pick up” she continued.

For December there are two bags; one for primary children, which has the materials to make an advent candle window decoration and the teen/adult bag contains everything to make 3D stars. In each bag we have added a message about why we celebrate Advent and its importance. It also includes Bible passages for each day relating to the advent period and mindfulness colouring pages for all age groups.

Helen said: “We hope that once we can gather at church and in groups again, that our takeaway church initiative will lead to the children coming together to join us at a service or at one of our other group activities that still allows them to “takeaway” something from the Church.”