In 1781, a local Gloucester man called Robert Raikes felt called to serve the poor children of the city. He initiated a weekend school in which these poorer children would be educated in Christian morality and Biblical principles. He had started the Sunday School movement which in only 50 years had grown to have over 1.2 million children attending - almost 25% of the UK population.

Why does this matter? Because Robert Raikes' initial children's ministries were established in the following Gloucestershire churches.

  • Badminton
  • Didmarton
  • Acton Turville
  • Woodchester
  • Stroud
  • Stonehouse
  • Nymphsfield
  • Tetbury
  • Mitcheldean

Most of these churches have either closed completely, or have ceased children's work, but we are one of the only remaining original Raikes' Sunday School Churches.

What was a congregational chapel is now the Forest Gate Youth & Community Building, and we believe that we have a legacy of children's work that is important to uphold. As it is, we regard children's work very highly, and hold a number of weekly clubs and seasonal kids events. We also serve 6 local primary schools as we take collective worship (assemblies) and assist with RE lessons. Our Pastor also serves as a Governor of both Mitcheldean Primary School and Dene Magna Academy.

Whilst the methods are certainly different, we hold the same values as Raikes - that children are able to respond to the gospel and they are part of the church now, and not just in the future.