I had the chance to visit St. Mary’s in Baldock recently, and to my surprise I found I was sharing my pew with … a pig!
No, I’m not insulting the person sitting beside me – there was an actual pig there. All right, so it was knitted, but it was still very much of a porcine persuasion.
It turns out that these pigs, which were knitted by a member of the congregation, serve as tour guides to children who visit the church! They’re for children who come to worship, children who come on school visits – any child who wants to figure out what the bits of the church building are for can be shown around by the pigs.
There’s a little leaflet, and each pig has a sign around its neck telling the child what its job is.
(I’m willing to bet the pigs have educated many adults as well.)
I often find myself reminding people that you don’t have to be “good with kids” to help with children’s ministry. The pigs have a huge impact on the church’s welcome, and also affects their schools ministry. But you don’t have to feel confident leading a children’s group in order to get involved. You can be a knitter, you can write the labels and print and laminate them, you can make sure the leaflets are restocked and there are pens available … these sorts of things are ways to get more of your congregation supporting your children’s work, even if they’re not comfortable doing hands-on work with the kids themselves.