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Tuesday 10th October 2017


As many of you will know, our regular venue in Eastbourne will be closed for redevelopment in early 2018 and so we are taking Hand in Hand ‘on the road’. We are always being asked to take the event to other parts of the country -particularly the north of England, and so we hope that you will support us in this venture.

In London we will be visiting City Gates Church in Ilford, on the east side of the capital with good road and rail links. Because City Gates is a vibrant church with several Sunday services, we will only have use of the venue on Friday and Saturday but the church will welcome any delegates who choose to stay over to Sunday and join them for worship.

Children Matter have been facilitating conversations about Faithfull Generation through social media and forums. Our London venue has space that we can use independently on Friday, as the rest of the conference is being set up, so we will also have a forum on Friday from 10am – 4.30pm addressing some of the aspects of Faithfull Generation in depth, including connecting with the big story of the Bible. Our regular conference programme will start at 4.30pm and run through to 9pm on Saturday. You can save money if you book both the conference and the forum.

In Bradford we will be visiting the TLG National Centre, just off the ring road to the south of the city and very close to the motorway network serving the north and midlands. There we will be able to offer a full weekend programme from 4.30pm on Friday to 2.15pm on Sunday.

The conference streams at both venues will include:

  • Family and children’s outreach and how the principles of Faithfull Generation are as relevant to mission as to discipleship
  • Faith development in the family setting
  • Children’s ministry basics, with each session including thoughts on being prepared for children with additional needs
  • Practical ideas for prayer and spiritual discovery

The outline timetable is on the website. More detailed descriptions for the sessions will be added gradually as the information is received from speakers.


Tuesday 10th October 2017

Messy parables

by Martyn Payne (published by BRF)

Jesus’ parables intrigued, inspired, engaged and challenged the crowds, combining everyday imagery with surprising twists that prompted all ages to wonder and discover the treasures of the kingdom of heaven for themselves. Introductory sections address the importance of story, the power of parable, the challenge of all-age storytelling and becoming a Messy storyteller. This is followed by 25 lively retellings of Jesus’ stories for a contemporary, all-age audience.

Sue says: A helpful initial section is followed by interactive storytellings that will give you some memorable ways of telling parables.

Tuesday 10th October 2017

Messy church does science

edited by David Gregory(published by BRF)

From elephant’s toothpaste to tornadoes in bottles, this brilliant new title from Messy Church offers 100 fun and eye-opening experiments graded for mess, danger and difficulty. Under the safety-spectacled eye of ‘Dr Dave’, discover how science and faith mix. ‘Science is welcome in church,’ he says, ‘and those who are fascinated by science are welcome too.’

Step-by-step instructions and lists of equipment and materials are accompanied by ‘Big thinking’ (explaining the science behind the experiment) and ‘Big questions’ (exploring the link of the experiment to faith). The 100 experiments are interspersed with reflections from working scientists and theologians, including astrophysicist Hannah Earnshaw, who is on the shortlist for the one-way voyage to Mars.

Sue says: I think we should spend more time challenging the idea that there is conflict between science and faith. Scientific understanding can enhance our faith and this book gives lots of ideas for having great fun, helping us all to appreciate the wonder of creation and reinforcing the concept that science and faith are complementary.

Tuesday 10th October 2017

My first Bible stories

Hayley Down and Dawn Mitchell (published by Authentic)

A large-format board book with beautiful illustrations and rhyming text that is a simple introduction to the Bible for adults and young children to read and enjoy together.

Also available: My first Bible stories jigsaw puzzle and book – the same book in paper format and a 28-piece jigsaw of the Noah illustration.

Tuesday 10th October 2017

Family question time

Lucy Moore with Martyn Payne and Jane Leadbetter (published by BRF)

New from Messy Church, this is a colourful, fun-filled little book that will take the whole family on a great adventure. Full of quizzes, activities and deceptively thoughtful questions to help families explore faith at home and with friends.

Written in highly accessible, interactive and jargon-free language, this small book offers information and suggestions as well as encouragement to help families ask the big questions about meaning, identity, God and Jesus and discover the answers – and more questions – together.

In the same series as Christmas Family Time and Easter Family Time

Tuesday 10th October 2017

The big Bible sticker book

Jan Godfrey and Paula Doherty (published by Authentic)

31 best-loved and beautifully illustrated Bible stories with over 250 stickers to keep little fingers busy and personalise the book.

Tuesday 10th October 2017

FREE Download

For the next 2 weeks you can download Sharon Prior’s 2016 conference session: Children’s Ministry and the Missio Dei for FREE. We serve a ‘sending God’. How is God sending the children you minister to into the world? How are you preparing them to go.

Download here

Tuesday 7th March 2017


Conference review

Below are a couple of comments written on the assessment forms.

‘A great atmosphere. Everyone is very approachable and welcoming. Felt able to talk to anyone. Overall a very positive experience and I’ll definitely come again.’ Including those with Family tickets for Saturday afternoon, speakers, exhibitors and the support teams, over 600 of us were on site during the weekend in the reduced space resulting from redevelopment work at the venue.

‘This has been the best conference of the seven I have attended. The clear focus, agreement across all the groups within the umbrella of Faithfull Generation is so exciting. Ways forward will be so interesting as we adventure together. I did think Rachel Turner was exceptional. The sung worship has been such a blessing. I liked the venue – it felt more together, so good to see younger people here too. We’ll be back next year but are returning home having heard God speak to us about building intergenerational relationships – so exiting.’

A third of the delegates indicated they were in a full time or part time paid role. Two thirds said they are involved in just children’s ministry, with most of the rest being involved in both children’s and family ministry.

After the encouraging comments relating to the launch of the Faithfull Generation concept at last year’s conference, most of our sessions explored and developed the concept in more detail and we also gave every delegate a Faithfull Generation book, written by ten practitioners in children’s and family ministry, looking at the ten key insights that may help churches develop resilient faith in children. If you would like copies of the book it should be available from the web site shortly.

Find photos of the conference, information on speakers’ recommended products and links to downloads of their sessions, plus the exhibitor directory on our website

Thank you for those who have made suggestions for possible venues for 2018, when the Eastbourne conference centre will be completely closed. I am visiting a few possible sites over the next month or so and will keep you updated in the coming newsletters.

Tuesday 7th March 2017

Children’s song

On Saturday morning Pete James joined us to introduce a new song he has written for children. You can watch, listen and download the track all for FREE:

Tuesday 7th March 2017

Conference Top Sellers

Tuesday 7th March 2017

Diary of a disciple: Luke’s story

by Gemma Willis, illustrated by Emma Randall (published by Scripture Union)

This is a contemporary retelling of Luke’s Gospel. Written in a quirky, contemporary, accessible style, it offers a way into the Bible for the next generation. Fresh from the fizzling imagination of Gemma Willis comes a whole new way of seeing the story of Luke; part doctor, part detective, all disciple. Every page of this book bursts with doodles, drawings, and discovery – booming angels, swirling baptisms in great rivers, storms and seeds and stories of miracles. Starting with an impossible birth, and ending with the stunning twist of a dead man coming back to life, Luke’s diary needs to be read to be believed. Aimed at 8-11 year olds.

Tuesday 7th March 2017

Explore Together: purple resource book

(Lianne Semans Smith & Lee Herdman, Scripture Union)

Explore Together is a fresh, new, exciting and creative way to enable groups of any and all ages to engage with the Bible. This is the third resource book, containing 12 more sessions including the themes of Good Friday and John’s vision of a new heaven and new earth in Revelation, to help you and your church engage with the Bible as an inclusive, authentic and creative community.

Tuesday 7th March 2017

Comfort in the darkness

(Rachel Turner, BRF)

Sleep, dreams and the night can be mysterious and sometimes troubling. Children can be afraid of the dark, have nightmares and night terrors, sleepwalk, or have insomnia. How do we deal with their concerns and fears and help them to draw close to God at night? This collection of Bible story retellings exploring God’s character and promises will enable parents to help children grow in peace, confidence and understanding of who God is.

Tuesday 7th March 2017

The big Bible prayer book

(Gemma Willis, Scripture Union)

Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words… But this book is here to help! With prayers written especially for reading aloud with young children, it encourages honest, open prayers on a wide variety of topics from having bad dreams to falling out with friends, from praying for people without a home to processing times of change. Space is also included for children to create a list of those people they particularly want to pray for.

Tuesday 7th March 2017

The All-In thing

(BIG Ministries, Elevation)

The idea of The All-In Thing is to help people create worship experiences that actually work for times when the whole church is ‘All-In’ together in a service. The whole premise for All-In Worship is to take into consideration the massive variety of people with such a variety of needs we have in our churches (regardless of age) and facilitate their worship by making things accessible and inclusive for all. The book includes the explanation of the vision of All-In Worship, 10 service outlines and all the details, scripts and resources you need to be able to pull this off!

Tuesday 7th March 2017

Messy prayer

(Jane Leadbetter, BRF)

Equipping your Messy team to pray and encourage others to do so, both within and outside the Messy Church context. Including:

  • Communicating prayer as a concept
  • Praying as a team in advance and on the day
  • Prayer ideas for the activity time, celebration time, and at home as a family
  • Ways of praying the Lord’s Prayer
  • Ways to reimagine other traditional prayers
  • Creating a prayer space
  • A Messy Quiet Day outline

Tuesday 7th March 2017

Prayers and answered prayers

illustrated by Sarah Vince (published by Authentic)

Inside a beautiful vinyl jacket are two glittery postcard-sized books. Each book contains related content: one designed to record prayers and the other to record blessings. Filled with questions and creative prompts and Bible references to look up, this is a perfect book for children to store their prayers and record things they are thankful for, becoming a gorgeous keepsake. Aimed at 8-12 year olds.

Tuesday 7th March 2017

Sticky faith

(Kara E Powell & Chapman Clark, Zondervan)

Nearly every Christian parent would give anything to find a viable resource for developing within their kids a deep, dynamic faith that “sticks” long term. Research shows that almost half of graduating high school seniors struggle deeply with their faith. Recognizing the ramifications of that statistic, the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) conducted the “College Transition Project” in an effort to identify the relationships and best practices that can set young people on a trajectory of lifelong faith and service. Based on their findings, this book presents both a compelling rationale and a powerful strategy to show parents how to actively encourage their children’s spiritual growth so that it will stick to them into adulthood and empower them to develop a living, lasting faith.

Tuesday 7th March 2017

Download Offer

Throughout the rest of March you can download any conference sessions from the web site and get 15% OFF. Find talks via the conference report. Use the discount code 17NF15.

Monday 16th January 2017


We hope that, in addition to being challenged and resourced for your ministry with children and families, Hand in Hand gives you time for personal reflection and refreshment. Back by popular demand after last year, Julie Costello and her band will be leading us in worship in all four of our main stage sessions and Ian White (from Cliff College) will remind us that we can trust God in a series of short Bible studies throughout those sessions. On Saturday we also invite you to start the conference day connecting with the Lord either in a time of Messy Prayer or interactively reflecting and responding in our Encounter God zones.

Our main stage sessions will also include two talks from Rachel Turner:
The downside to the Promised Land – families are surrounded by excellent Christian resources (bibles, curriculums, books, activities). They are in the promised land of provision. But often that is not enough to create sustaining life-change in the spiritual heart of the families we serve. How we can help them flourish and live fully in that promised land?
Squash leadership – as we leave this conference, we have so much potential to bring significant impact to our children and families, churches, communities. How can we be the most effective we can be without exhausting ourselves?

Due to redevelopment work at our venue, there will be a cap of 500 delegates, so I’d encourage you to book soon. The ticket price will include a FREE book addressing forming a Faithfull Generation.

We hope and pray that the conference will not be impacted by the ongoing strike action on Southern trains but there is the alternative of SouthEastern trains from London to Hastings or Tunbridge Wells. See more information on our website 2017-general-information

We believe that the Faithfull Generation concept makes it easier for us all to take stock of what we doing well, where there may be gaps in our ministries and how we may find support and resources to fill those gaps. As an extension to the February conference, over the last few newsletters, we have been encouraging you to assess your ministries and pointing you in the direction of some resources that may help.

This time we invite you to audit your work in the area of helping the church to thrive as a growing, intergenerational faith community. We also give you resource ideas for the enabling peak experiences and celebrating milestones aspect of Faithfull Generation.

Monday 16th January 2017


  • Do you have intergenerational services and how successful are they in catering for everyone – all ages; all stages of peoples’ faith journey?
  • Do you have intergenerational life groups or Bible studies?
  • Do you host regular or occasional social or skill sharing events for all ages?
  • Do visiting families feel welcome and integrated?

Sessions that will address Intergenerational church community at February’s conference:

  • An overview of intergenerational church options
  • Togetherness: generations learning from each other
  • All-in celebration (A Families Welcome session)
  • What is Messy Church?
  • Messy Walk

The full programme for Hand in Hand is now on the website.

Monday 16th January 2017


Fun and funky praise and worship for kids

by Doug Horley

Duggie Dug Dug is back with a brand new collection of awesome fun and funky praise and worship songs for kids. Bursting with energy, full of musical variety and packed with truth, these songs will quickly become firm favourites. Includes 3 tracks written and recorded in collaboration with Scripture Union’s Guardians of Ancora.

Sue says: If you have any of Doug’s previous albums you know exactly what to expect from this latest offering.

Monday 16th January 2017

Jump for joy!

by Dan Warlow

Dan’s albums feature songs that are rich in biblical truth and catchy in style, making them a fantastic resource for churches, ministries and families wanting to point young hearts to know God more. By investing in your kids and getting godly, fun music into their hands you’ll be helping God’s truth and love get into their hearts.  Jump for joy! includes special guests: The African Children’s Choir Watoto and Australia’s leading Christian Music Kids artist Colin Buchanan.

Sue says: Some great songs to include in children’s or family worship.

Monday 16th January 2017

Veggie Tales: Princess Girls Pack

An omnibus pack filled with songs, fun, and lessons about becoming a ‘girl after God’s own heart’. It includes two Veggie stories that encourage girls to be happy to be themselves and understand the meaning of true beauty.

Princess and the Popstar Princess: Poppyseed’s life on her family’s farm is far from the glamorous world of her favourite pop singer Vanna Banana. While Princess milks cows and dreams of a life on stage, Vanna dreams of a life far from the hectic pace of stardom. On a chance meeting, Vanna and Princess cross paths and realise that they look almost exactly alike which leads to the crazy notion that maybe they could switch lives!

Sweetpea Beauty: Once upon a time, there lived a royally sour blueberry, a fair rhubarb maiden and a dastardly deceptive mirror! Sweetpea Beauty knows that what’s on the inside is what matters most, but insecure Queen Blueberry can’t see past her own reflection! So, when a decree is handed down that only the most beautiful can rule the land, the Queen gets nervous and things turn ugly!

Monday 16th January 2017

…to help enable peak experiences and celebrate anchor points and key moments in a child’s life and spiritual journey

Enabling peak experiences is important in the faith formation process because they show you are part of a wider community of faith; faith may be deepened through meeting new people with a real faith and being inspired by new leaders with fresh insights;  there is a memorable ‘wow’ factor from a big or special event.

Celebrating anchor points and key moments in a child’s life and spiritual journey is important in the faith formation process because there are anchor points throughout the Bible for memory and understanding; they anchor us in our culture – helping us understand who we are and where we belong; without them, many young people make up their own rites of passage.

Sessions that will address peak experiences and milestones at February’s conference:

  • Coming down from the mountaintop
  • Growing faith: marking milestones

Other helpful resources:

  • Organisations offering residential or day camps for children and leaders: London City Mission; Pulse Ministries Rock UK; Scripture Union; Urban Saints
  • Organisations offering festivals, Christian holidays or day events for families or church groups: Big Church Day Out; New Wine; Spring Harvest
  • Organisations offering visiting teams or speakers for celebrations or day events in church: BIG Ministries; Duggie, Dug Doug (Doug Horley); Pulse Ministries
  • Resources enabling participation in plays or other productions: Musicals from Starshine Music
  • Baptismal anniversary cards: Mothers’ Union
  • Church year resource books: The no-rehearsal Nativity (Gillion, BRF); Christmas wrapped up (SU); Easter cracked (SU); All age sketches for the Christian year (Shaw, BRF); Oh no, not the Nativity (Barndon, SU)
  • Booklets for transitions to school, secondary school, completing education: Get ready, go!; It’s your move; Life actually (all published by SU)
  • Hand in Hand conference downloads: Seasons of family life (Kyte, 2016); Developing year-round ministry (Smart, 2014)

Monday 16th January 2017

FREE Download

For the next 2 weeks you can download Sarah Smart’s 2014 conference session: Developing year-round ministry for FREE. The calendar provides opportunities to reach out to communicate the love of Jesus to children and families in your church and community. Ideas for different times of the year and how to link them, forming year-round outreach opportunities.

Download here

Monday 16th January 2017

Gospel Flash Cards

A new resource from Pulse Ministries

A pack of 12 cards that enable you to share, discuss and explore the Gospel. With images, scripture references plus downloadable scripts available from the Pulse website

Monday 16th January 2017


A new Bible study app for children from Bible Educational Services

Encourage children to learn about the Word of God. Memorize scripture, listen to Bible stories, and interact with Bible characters. With games and puzzles that will also help them understand some of the most important truths about life All based on the free Bible lessons for children produced by Bible Educational Services

Monday 16th January 2017


…exists to equip the church to tackle holiday hunger

1.7 million children in the UK are registered for free school meals but when school stops for the holidays, so does the food. MakeLunch partners with churches and communities to help feed hungry children in the holidays. Thanks to the help of volunteers, their Lunch Kitchens provide a hot, healthy meal and some great activities. If your church could open a Lunch Kitchen and support families in your local community, MakeLunch provides the training, resources and support needed to get going.

The first step is to take a small team from your church to a MakeLunch training day which take place across the country:

  • January 21st – Bristol
  • February 11th – Bradford
  • March 25th – West Midlands
  • May 6th – London

To find out more, get in touch with Hannah ( who can tell you how to register as a partner or answer any questions.