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Junior Church Named Community Champions

Tuesday April 20 2021

The children of the Junior Church at St James’ Parish Church, Ayr, have been named Community Heroes by the nationwide UK Community Network.

The group are the youngest of the Ayrshire nominees, and were awarded for their work in the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The youngsters made cards for elderly people living in isolation both in care homes and in the community; made videos to cheer up members of their congregation and community; and donated toys to the charity Children 1st at Christmas time.

The UK Community Network offers practical and emotional support to vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic and honoured ‘community heroes’ on 23 March, the anniversary of the lockdown, which the organisation aims to establish as an annual ‘community day’. It was a unanimous decision of Newton and Heathfield Community Council to ask the minister of St James to nominate the children.

On March 23, the children, their parents and leaders joined Community Heroes from all over the country in an online event, which featured the song ‘Join together’, especially written for them and performed by the Music Man Project for children and adults with learning difficulties.

There was also an address by John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, who described each of the nominees as ‘an inspiration’.

In recognition of their efforts, the children received certificates and a special prize.

The Rev Dr Barbara Suchanek-Seitz, Minister of St James’, said: “We are so proud that our Junior Church children are among those recognised as community heroes. Despite not being able to physically get together, they came together virtually and provided some much-needed comfort to those living nearby.”

There are 18 children in the Junior Church, from toddler age up to 13, as well as a 17-year-old who plays an active role in the group.

Normally meeting on a Sunday morning like most Sunday Schools, during lockdown they continued to meet via Zoom and have kept busy learning and working for the community – designing window posters and rainbow stones for their gardens to thank the NHS and to encourage passers-by to keep safe; raising funds for their church through sports challenges in the nearby Northfield Park; and planting hyacinth bulbs to give away for Christmas.

Moyra Smith, Leader of the Junior Church, said: “I am proud of each and every one of them. They have really worked hard and made a difference to their local community.”

The Junior Church’s latest video is still available and can be seen at www.stjamesayr.org.uk 

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