Last week saw 134 children from 26 churches and 14 with no expressed church connection, participate in His Majesty’s Secret Spies Online Holiday Club, a partnership between the Diocese of Leicester and Holy Trinity Church Leicester. The club featured two parts with a live stream, complete with video stories, craft and spy fitness, followed by Zoom groups. It is fair to say that there were moments of unintentional drama behind the scenes but there was also plenty of evidence of God at work and children and leaders having fun and connecting with others.
Agents of M.O.S.E.S. featured throughout the week and was filmed around Leicester a few years ago, originally for Boulder Gang at New Wine, and featured some of the presenting team: the children enjoyed the story, characters and seeing places that they recognised. Other videos were completed under lockdown conditions. Watch the best bits clip to get an idea and give a glimpse of some of the things the children sent in and demonstrating their creativity.
The Zoom calls allowed for the children to be part of small groups, where possible with leaders from local churches although there were groups run by churches with no children from their own church. The Zoom groups were run by a team of 51 leaders from 15 churches, including 3 young leaders. The groups featured a range of elements including chat, games, discussion, sharing and daily challenges to encourage putting what they had been exploring into action.
At the start we were not sure how the children would react to the Zoom groups, but a number of leaders commented that the children grew in confidence and participation as the week progressed.
Holiday club in numbers:
134 registered children
from 26 churches
14 with no church connection
45 schools, a mix of community and church schools
From 15 churches
3 Young Leaders
Running 12 Zoom groups
Comments about Holiday Club
Alex Scott from Holy Trinity, who had the original vision of offering the holiday club across the diocese.
I was delighted with the response we got from children and parents to the Diocesan wide Holiday Club. Over 130 children were involved, and you could tell how much they were engaged by the 300+ pictures we received from parents of their children making crafts, joining in with praise, creative prayer experiences, undertaking challenges and generally getting involved with every aspect of the club.
It was wonderful to be involved with the 30+ churches that were represented by team and kids, and there was a real sense of the diocesan wide church getting behind a kingdom building project.
We have really valued having this time to catch up with some of the families from our church, and the content and delivery has been fabulous! We have had nothing but positive feedback from our families, so thank you so much!
I have really enjoyed being involved, especially as I have not been able to run anything myself over the last few months. Thank you for the opportunity to be involved and especially having confidence in me to lead the prayer slot one day. I Always love seeing children grow in confidence as they learn and share their experiences with us.
A team member said she had learned a lot, especially that church is not like it used to be when she went with her mum and it was boring.
Also, for me, to see the Diocese working together, to see all those willing (if not a bit hassled sometimes) faces ready to serve. Amazing. Diocese team work. We just don’t see each other normally.
I just want to let you know I enjoyed HC very much. I had a such wonderful time. I’m very much inspired, moved and encouraged.
Some comments from families
My daughter has really enjoyed it and yesterday even had our neighbours daughter joining in with the work out and craft.
Thanks, the kids really enjoyed the holiday club. Been looking forward to it every morning when they wake up. This has been one of few times I did not have to drag them to have a quick wash in the morning.
Thank you for a wonderful holiday bible club. Both S and R loved every day.
Please pray for the children and families that were involved in holiday club and for the leaders: especially that the learning would continue.
Louise Warner. Children and Families Officer, will be capturing the learning from the Online Holiday Club to help others thinking of trying Zoom groups with children.