St Augustine

Introduction to St Augustine’s – A place and time for our children

One St Augustine lesson tells children about the “Ten Best Ways” to live. This is the story of the Ten Commandments that God gave to God’s People.

Here we offer “Ten Best Ways” for parents – not commandments, but ways we invite you, the parent, to share more fully in your child’s St Augustine’s experience.

Our lessons are based on the concept created by Godly Play, Jerome Berryman’s interpretation of Montessori religious education, and it is an imaginative approach to working with children. This approach supports, challenges, nourishes and helps guide their spiritual quest.

St Augustine’s assumes that children have some experience of the mystery of the presence of God in their lives, but that they lack the language, the permission and the understanding to express and enjoy that spiritual experience within our adult led services. Within our St Augustine’s sessions we intend to enter into our parables, sacred stories, silence and liturgy in order to discover God from a child’s perspective, also to discover ourselves, one another and the world around us.

The ten best ways for parents

  • St Augustine’s sessions take place on alternate Sundays throughout school term time. We will provide you with the term dates.
  • Please help your children be on time, they won’t want to miss a minute and we only have 45 minutes before we join you during Mass. We will start our sessions promptly at 9.45 am and you are welcome to arrive from 9.40 am.
  • Our St Augustine circle is built slowly and lovingly, to welcome each child, one at a time. When children arrive, we invite you to hand them over to a member of our team who will help them remove their coat and outdoor shoes (they are welcome to bring slippers if they want or thick socks). We will then invite them to join our circle.
  • On your journey to St Augustine’s please let your child know where they are going and how you intend to take them to the door where they can go in and join their friends. Let them know that you will be next door in the Church and that you look forward to seeing them in Mass and will save them a seat beside you. Please say your goodbyes promptly at the door and know that the teachers are ready to make the next 45 minutes a safe and welcoming time for every child.
  • When we join you for Mass, please keep in mind that young children will not always be able to tell you what they have learnt, because what they learned was how to learn about the powerful language of our faith. We lay the foundation for their future understanding and their ability to listen to what is going on around them in church and to make sense of it all related to their own lives.
  • Also bear in mind that children will not always be able to show you a physical product for their “Work” that day, because some of what they’ve learnt cannot be put into words even by the adults. In St Augustine’s we will focus on our relationship with God and the depths of relationships in the community of children.
  • Please don’t come to the room during our class session as we want our room to be a special place for the children. Even the teachers keep their profiles low during our session.
  • We would be happy to invite you to St Augustine’s outside of the session time. You are very welcome to email us to make arrangement or ask questions.
  • As your children reach an age where you feel you would like to be more involved in our sessions, either directly or through making materials for us we are always grateful for volunteers.
  • We hope you will attend one of our parent introduction sessions where we can explain our intentions more fully.

For more details or questions contact Diana Cody