As part of St James’ Quedgeley’s month family service, children enjoyed making their very own bat boxes to help care for the protected species while reflecting on the beauty of God’s Creation.
Throughout summer and autumn, the family services, held on the first Sunday of the month at St James’, have focused on the Season of Creation – taking care of God’s Earth, its plants, creatures and people.
In November, the craft activity during the service was making bat boxes. Given the disappearance of barns and old derelict buildings within the area, these protected creatures have very few places to live. While the task was a little tricky to begin with, with a little help from parents, carers and the Revd Mark Siddall, the children each made a simple but sturdy wooden bat box and were delighted with the results.
Mark says, “As we read about the child prophet Jeremiah, it was inspiring for the adults present to hear from the next generation how much they already know about bats and how to care for them. Young people speak with an enthusiastic and joyful prophetic voice, showing us how to grow together with all God’s creatures for all our sakes so that we can truly live in God’s abundance.”
The families were then able to take the bat boxes home to decorate and hang in their gardens.
Rachel Keenan, parent of Archie, said, “Archie is in reception at Clearwater School where the Revd Mark took a Harvest celebration. Archie enjoyed it so much and came home asking if we could go to church as he really wanted to learn more about Christianity. We decided to attend the family service and Archie loved it. The service is so interactive and child-friendly. Archie was still talking about it, asking questions about animals and creatures. We will definitely be attending again.”
Earlier this year, Bats in Churches published a children’s book which explains the issues around bats in churches. Find out about The Little Church Bat here.