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Inspire readers' report: Sowing seeds in Swanmore with Buggies and Brunch

Swanmore Methodists in Hampshire are inspiring youngsters with fun and Bible stories thanks to a mid-week coffee and toddlers group called Buggies and Brunch ...

Swanmore Methodists in Hampshire are inspiring youngsters with fun and Bible stories thanks to a mid-week coffee and toddlers group called Buggies and Brunch, says Martin Letts.

Every Thursday during the school term mums, dads and carers are invited to bring their babies and toddlers to enjoy a time together with a posh coffee, croissant and chat.

The youngsters are entertained by church grown-ups with craft, cooking, big fun toys and fruit nibbles. It’s just £1 for each grown-up, no matter how many children there may be in tow ....

The initial idea for Buggies and Brunch came from a chance remark by a BBC local radio presenter when interviewing Mavis, who leads the church catering team and is always looking for ways of outreach into the local community. The seed of ‘Buggies and Brunch’ was sown and is now led by Cathy Saunders, starting with ideas and leading them into actions for the youngsters.

There are about 40 children on the books and often a few more on the waiting list. However, to Cathy’s relief between 20 and 25 turn up regularly at 9.15 am for an hour and a half, just after their older siblings have been left at the primary school gates.

After refreshments, free play and craft sessions the children go into the church and take part in an interactive time of fellowship following the Christian year. It’s not surprising to see the grown ups come into this fellowship and enjoy this time together. 

So if you think your church might benefit from a Buggies and Brunch all you need is a willing team and enthusiasm. After all, that’s what ‘enthusiasm’ means – God within us. 

Photo: The group is run by Cathy Saunders (photo; back row, in blue waving) assisted by others including monkey “Herbie” (back row centre)

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