Last year Eleanor White managed to run a simple Godly Play based summer holiday club. She described this in our Associates magazine published in the spring.
As we started to move out of lockdown in late spring 2020, here in Guernsey, and I began to reflect on what my own children and the children of our local community most needed, I felt that extended time to play freely with other children would be healing and restorative.
I therefore offered two weeks of a three-hour morning club in the summer holidays. After gathering, we collected for an opening circle, then a session of outdoor play with options of free play or some more structured games. We returned to church for a morning tea break followed by a Godly Play story and wondering time. There was the chance for more play, either in the church or outdoors. We had plenty of materials available for open-ended creative play and were fortunate to be situated close to some lovely outdoor spaces. On a couple of mornings, when the weather was less good, we were able to use the sports hall at the neighbouring community centre for those who wanted to have some very active play. We finished with a closing circle.
At the planning stage, I wasn’t sure what Covid restrictions would be in place; as it turned out there were none. To help with potential contact tracing, I kept the group size small (maximum of 16 children) and stable, with children coming each morning for the week. I would probably have done this anyway as one of the main aims was to help the children build good relationships with each other and with the adult and teenage facilitators.
The best part for me was the chance to slow down and watch the children playing together without having to rush them on to the next thing. They had a wonderful time and so did I.
With her husband, Eleanor leads the children’s work at St Pierre du Bois Church on the island of Guernsey.