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What is Starchasers?
Putting it simply, Starchasers is a Sunday Morning Club for kids aged 6-11 years old. We meet fortnightly in St. Andrews School and it is open to anybody who is of primary school age.
We now have a group called Roots for those aged 12+.
What is our purpose?
As a Christian organisation our aim is to bring kids to faith in Jesus and for those who already are Christians to help them mature in that faith. Our main target is kids and families, not just those who already go to one of the three churches, but anyone in the Parish.
So our purpose is to make and mature disciples among kids and families in the Barnsbury area.
Isn’t all this church stuff a bit dull and boring for a kids club?
Well, no-one ever said that it had to be dull and boring. No-one ever said that church has to mean sitting still for an hour, listening to someone talk and not having any fun. So we get to play games, draw, play with plasticine, play football & cricket, take part in penguin racing, make books, watch some very amateurish videos, act, dance… well you get the idea. If you’re a leader, you also get the opportunity to have water, silly string and custard pies thrown at you at regular intervals.
We want the kids to see Starchasers as a place to have fun, where they can feel safe, where they are loved and cared for and where the parents are happy to send them.
So what is a typical morning like?
The doors open at 10:45am and first stop is registration. We register every kid who comes along and they get a name badge, a star for turning up and a label to collect more stars during the morning. (See below to explain what the stars are all about).
Then it’s straight into arrival activities. These range from the quiet and peaceful such as drawing, playing with plasticine and Connect Four to the much more noisy and active such as football, cricket and PS2 games. Arrival activities are a fun way to start the morning and they give us a chance to catch up with the kids and see how they’ve been since we last saw them. It also allows time for the kids who come from the different churches to get there as the three different services don’t always start at the same time!
Everyone needs to be there by 11am as the main session starts at 11:05am exactly. We start each session by going through the rules, so everyone knows what they are, and with a re-cap of the previous session.
Then it’s into the warm-up activity to help wake up those of us feeling sleepy on a Sunday morning. This could be a sporty warm-up, a dancing warm-up, a penguin racing warm-up or whatever, it just depends the person leading it.
Everyone is put in a team, either the Hot team or the Cool team and during the morning you are competing for points for your team. You earn points by winning games, cheering your team on during games and being the first team to be sitting in your area & ready to listen at the start of Quiet Time (each team has their own area they have to sit in for Quiet Time). At the end of the session the team with the most points gets first pick of the sweets. To see the Points and the number of wins for Hot and Cool team click here.
The central part of each morning is the teaching, when we try and teach the kids about God and His message. All our teaching is bible based and we try and get the message across in as relevant and engaging manner as possible. We’ve used many different ways of teaching the bible including puppets, videos, acting, dressing up, crafts, creative prayer, personal testimonies and plain old reading from the bible. There are two main parts to the teaching - one is when we teach everyone together to get the main message across and the other is in the small groups when we tailor the teaching to a specific age group. To see what we’re teaching this term please read down a little further, or click here.
Towards the end of each morning are the small groups, when we split the kids by age into groups of 4-8 people. These groups are an opportunity for the kids and leaders to get to know each other a little better; we tell each other about our week, pray for each other and the leaders can share stories about what it’s like being a Christian. These groups can be a mini-session in themselves with games, activities and teaching aimed specifically for that age-group but they are also a chance to look deeper at the teaching. They are a chance for the kids to ask the leaders their own questions and to look at what the teaching means specifically for their life.
During the small group time we also have a separate group for the Starlets. This is a small group aimed at those who are at secondary school or just about to move up to secondary school. Starlets have a similar format to the other small groups but they are tailored specifically for an older age group.
Finally, we end each session with the points total and the star count before we say goodbye.
And, just so you know, each session starts at 10:45am and ends at 12:15pm.
So what are the stars all about?
At Starchasers we like to encourage and reward good behaviour and stars are our way of doing that. You get one star for turning up and during the morning you get the chance to earn more stars by bringing along a friend to Starchasers, listening during quiet time, answering questions, encouraging others, and generally taking part & being helpful. Stars are highly sought after items as at the end of each session we have a star count and the person with the most stars gets the first pick of the sweets in their team.
But the really big prizes are on offer at the end of each term - in the last session of each term we have the BIG star count and the people who have earned the most stars over the whole term get a prize. As well as the big prizes for those with the most stars we like to give a small prize to every kid at the end of each term. It’s our way of saying thank you for coming and to reward everyone for the stars they’ve earned.
Starchasers is run by three different churches in the Barnsbury parish: Church on the Corner, All Saints and St. Andrews. All three are Church of England churches and we also work closely with London City Mission (LCM) in the area.
It is run by a team of dedicated workers from the three churches & LCM. But don’t worry its open to all kids aged 6-11 not just those from the three churches or just those from St. Andrew’s school.
How do I find out more?
You can contact Stephen Mawhinney, our Children’s Worker, on 020 7837 0720 to find out more. Or just turn up on one of the mornings listed above to come along. Each child needs a permission slip completed by a parent / guardian but these can be obtained at the door.
- Randell's Rd
- N1 0DH
020 7837 0720