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Summer Savers series: How churches can help you over the summer

children playing
Pelena Cosme

Digital Content Producer

Find out how churches are providing engaging summer programmes for children 

More and more churches are meeting their local community need for family-friendly activities by opening up their facilities this summer.

  • Great examples of what churches are doing throughout summer to keep children engaged and entertained.
  • Practical resources that can help you fully prepare for the cost of the summer holidays.
  • Scriptures to give you encouragement and peace of mind.

The importance of preparation for the holidays

In the first of our summer saver series, we highlighted the importance of the mental, physical and practical preparations we can take as the 2024 summer holidays fast approach, and where we can find ideas of things to do during the break.

Here at CAP, we hope that by outlining helpful resources and tools, we can help you make this summer holiday enjoyable for everyone, whether you’re a parent, caregiver or childminder.

The fact that churches are involved in this is so crucial. Our data has sadly shown how much of an impact having children has on family finances and dynamics. Local churches at the heart of their communities are perfectly placed to offer support, community and free fun over the holidays. 

CAP’s latest YouGov* polling shows:

A green icon of a wallet with a pound coin next to it.
of respondents with children said they had borrowed money in the last 6 months 
A green icon of a wallet with a pound coin next to it.
of respondents without children said they had borrowed money in the last 6 months 

The last few years have seen a sharp increase of financial pressures, with the cost of living and the pandemic, particularly for families. The fact that all sectors are joining together to provide an outlet for children to have fun, make new friends and do something new shows that there is a shared concern about keeping children safe but creative over the summer holidays.

*data taken from March YouGov poll

The role of the Church

As parents/​caregivers balance the holidays with children, work and other responsibilities, the UK Church has stepped in to provide a safe and stimulating space to alleviate childcare worries for a few hours of the day. Searching for summer activities within the church space may be new to some of our summer savers, so keep reading for examples of several churches who are helping fill the gap by offering engaging summer activities.

But Jesus called the children to him and said, let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” 

Luke 18:16

Some of the activities provided by churches will be free, whilst others will have a cost attached. We hope that by putting this resource together, we can give you a sample of the types of summer recreational activities that you may find near to where you live. We encourage you to look within your local area for churches, by checking out their websites or visiting them to see what summer programme they may have on.

Mowbray Community Church

Mowbray Community Church in Harrogate is putting on a free five day summer festival called Satellites Youth Festival. It takes place in Shepton Mallet from Friday 2 August to Wednesday 7 August 2024. This year’s festival is highlighting the importance of prayer through fun games and useful tools, to help teenagers value regular connection with God.

Emmanuel Baptist Church

Emmanuel Baptist Church in Horsfroth is running their free Champions Holiday Bible Club on Monday 12 to Friday 16 August, from 9:30am-12:30pm. On the Friday, there is a special optional invitation for parents to also join in at 11:40am for refreshments. Throughout the holiday club there will be arts, crafts, games and quizzes with some sessions focussing on learning all about God. 

Chattabox Oundle

Located in Northamptonshire, and run by Oundle Churches Youth Association, Chattabox is a fun and long-standing week long summer club. They have been providing summer activities for 25 years, mainly aimed at 5–11 year olds. The five day summer club costs £25, and this year it runs between 12 and 16 August, from 9.45am – 12.30pm. There is assistance with the cost of the club if required, and children get to engage with a variety of exciting indoor and outdoor activities.

CFC Belfast (Holywood): Kids fun week

Situated in Northern Ireland, CFC are offering a fun packed three-day summer programme from Wednesday 14 August to Friday 16 August, from 10am — noon. It is aimed at children from P1-P7, and costs £20 (there is a bursary available for the cost of the ticket if needed). The cost includes refreshments, art and craft materials and a t‑shirt to take home. 

Danbury Mission Church: Mish Mash

Based in Chelmsford, Essex Danbury Mission Church is offering a fun summer programme on Wednesday 28, Thursday 29 and Friday 30 August, with each day being divided into two sessions split between infants and then juniors, up to year 6. The cost is £18, which includes a free t‑shirt, and lots of games and activities running between 9:30am-4pm, depending on the age of your child/​ren.

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. 

Proverbs 22:6

Next steps

There’s no doubt that local churches across the UK are passionate about meeting the needs of their communities by providing things to do in the six week holidays. While some of the activities may include a small talk or introduction to Christianity, most are open to people from all faiths, and there’s no requirement to make any steps towards exploring Christianity. Church just want to support families in their area, at the lowest possible cost to those attending.

Stay tuned for the next blog in the series where we will be going through ideas for more free summer activities.

Free resources to help you build a summer budget

If money is causing you to worry as summer looms, please feel free to use the resources below to support you in preparing for the holidays.

Budget worksheet

Download your own personal summer budget worksheet.

Download the budget worksheet

Three steps to building a budget

Download your free guide to building a summer budget that works for you.

Download Three steps to building a budget’

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Ruth, Co-Debt Centre Manager

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