Play Church will be at St Adrian’s from Sunday 15th April. To give you an idea of what it’s about here is some information from the Diocesan website. The Play Church will be set up in the children’s area at the back of church for them to explore during services. We will also be holding a special family service to welcome Play Church to St Adrian’s.
A child is dressed in a minister’s robes. Another is cradling a doll in a Christening gown. A toddler is exploring the cross on the altar with his fingers: this is the play church project, inspired by children’s altarscapes in Sweden, is perhaps the first of its kind in the UK, and is now touring the Edinburgh Diocese.
Claire Benton-Evans, the Diocesan Youth and Children Officer, says, “The play church is about engaging children’s interest and encouraging them to learn through play. It is designed to help children explore worship and wonder about God and his amazing family, the Church.”
Similar to the way that young children explore life by playing homes and shops with child-sized kitchens and grocery stores, Edinburgh’s play church is made up of a beautifully carved and engraved altar, with drawers for items used in various church services. The altar has been built by Edinburgh’s Grassmarket Furniture, a social enterprise that helps to transform the lives of the volunteers who develop their skills in its workshop. An eleven-year-old from one of the diocesan churches designed the banner that hangs behind the altar and a local rector created this design in fabric, along with all the play church vestments. A wooden cross has been carved especially for the play church. Some church groups have sewn decorative frontals and altar linen, while others have donated everything children will need to play at baptisms, weddings and even Holy Communion.