Banbury church awarded for work in community

Pictured with the children from L-R are: Sue Ayliff, St Leonard's Children's and Families' Worker, Ven Judy French, Archdeacon of Dorchester and Reverend Sue Burchell, Vicar of St Leonard's. NNL-160223-154141001
Pictured with the children from L-R are: Sue Ayliff, St Leonard's Children's and Families' Worker, Ven Judy French, Archdeacon of Dorchester and Reverend Sue Burchell, Vicar of St Leonard's. NNL-160223-154141001

A church in Banbury has been presented with the Oxford Diocesan Family Friendly Award for the support it gives to families and children.

St Leonard’s Church in Middleton undertook a rigorous process which took more than a year and they were presented with the award earlier this month.

Sue Ayliff, children and family worker at St Leonard’s, said: “The church had to examine the welcome and support it gave children and families, looking carefully at our attitudes towards all types of families and whether this was truly reflected in what we did.

“It challenged us to consider how families and children experience our church building and faith community, not just on a Sunday, but throughout the week. To ask what we were getting right and what could be improved.

As well as their main Sunday morning worship, the congregation at St Leonards provide ‘busy bags’ for very small children to share with their parents and a play area equipped for children aged between two to six. There is also a ‘Hands on Worship’ for children aged five upwards and various crafts available for people to take part in.

A flower festival with a twist is planned for late June and in July, the Bishop of Dorchester, the Right Reverend Colin Fletcher will be coming to consecrate part of the church garden to be used for the internment of ashes.

The congregation also hope to raise £6,000 to buy new chairs to stack and move so they can open up the building for more community and family activities.

For more information visit www.saintleonards.org