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Children & our church

The Salvation Army offers a range of local and regional activities to engage with children of all ages. This includes worship services to which everyone is welcome and activities just for children. 

Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these. (New International Version, Matthew 19:14)

Following Jesus’ teaching, we believe children are important members of our church families.

We want children to feel safe and happy, and to enjoy any Salvation Army activity they choose to attend. We believe that developing and encouraging positive relationships with children will help them enjoy exciting, fulfilling lives and be good citizens in their communities.

As Jesus recognised the spiritual potential of children, we encourage them to trust God and prayerfully consider how their thoughts, words and actions will affect themselves and others. For children wanting to make a commitment to follow Jesus and his teachings, we invite them to become junior members of our church. Junior Soldiership is open to anyone aged seven to 18 who wants to grow and express their faith through The Salvation Army.

God values children just as much as adults; therefore, children are significant participators in church life and social mission. Many churches have junior choirs and brass bands which enhance weekly worship and children are encouraged to pray, read the bible and testify in services; at Christmas a highlight in many carol services is the children’s nativity play. The Salvation Army even publishes a children’s magazine called Kids Alive!, the UK’s only Christian weekly comic which is filled with jokes, competitions, Bible-based cartoons and much more.

Each Salvation Army church will have a unique programme for children, based around the needs and interests of its attenders and local community. Here are some examples of the activities that may be on offer at your local Salvation Army:

  • Christian teaching programmes specifically designed for young people aged seven to 12, often known as ‘Sunday School’
  • Creche groups for zero to three-year-olds
  • Christian play groups, often known as 'Primary,' for three to six-year-olds
  • Opportunities to gain awards through the Mobilise course which gives teaching on the Bible, Christian beliefs, lifestyle issues and the history of The Salvation Army and its mission
  • Music, drama or other creative arts groups
  • Scouts, Rainbows, Brownies and Guides for five to 14-year-olds
  • Other groups such as youth clubs and adventure camps

The Salvation Army’s child protection policy is outlined in the Safe and Sound Manual, based on the Home Office guidelines, Safe from Harm.