Children’s and youth ministry – updated guidance

Wednesday November 4th 2020

Connor Diocese has continued to review Covid-19 restrictions in relation to children’s and youth ministry, and has today provided updated guidance.

The guidance, issued by Diocesan Youth Officer Christina Baillie and Connor Children’s Project Development Officer Jill Hamilton, following consultation with Bishop George Davison, is as follows:

In respect of young people, those aged 11 and over

It is suggested that, where parishes decide it is appropriate for their situation, it may be possible to allow in-person gatherings for young people for worship and spiritual activities.

In the spirit of the current guidance from the NI Executive, gatherings for exclusively social activities (eg youth club, sports activities) should still be avoided. 

Any in-person gathering should be planned with great care and supervision, considering the guidance previously provided by the diocese and completing a risk assessment. The previous guidance and template risk assessment can be accessed here:

The diocese continues to encourage any online youth ministry and supporting young people through resourcing families.

If anyone has questions about this, please contact Christina -email: / mobile: 07753 312405.

In respect of children, those aged 0-11

It is recommended that in-person children’s ministry with primary age children and below should not commence at present. All children are asked to observe a two-metre social distancing policy in our churches. 

Previously it was recommended that primary aged children be accompanied by a parent/carer at in person children’s ministry gatherings. In order to avoid additional gatherings of adults and children at a time when stringent restrictions are in place, it is recommended that ministry with these younger children should not recommence in a face-to-face format during the next two weeks.

The situation will be reviewed once the current restriction period ends.

Great efforts are being made to stay connected with children and families during this time when we cannot meet in person.

Here are some examples of churches are doing this:

  • Online Sunday School via Zoom
  • Pre-recorded videos made by children’s leaders – These can be simple and straightforward but will mean that children can see and enjoy content led by familiar adults.
  • Videos and clips of children sent in by parents – they could include showing things children have made eg last week’s craft, praying, telling news and jokes, doing actions to worship songs, doing a short drama, answering questions, or anything else you can think of. Children are so creative they will surprise you with how good their video clips are!
  • Using the weekly All Aboard Bitesized material – storytelling videos and activity sheet (Available from
  • Sending out packs to children’s home – these could be stand-alone activity or story book packs with instructions that children and parents can do together, or packs to go along with online Sunday School so that children have the materials at hand to join in with the session.

If anyone has questions about this, please contact Jill Hamilton – email: / mobile: 078 8589 7022.

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