They are a way for children and adults to explore stories, themes and questions together through activities including craft, art, drama, music. Most of those who come do not have a church connection.
The themes and stories are Christian but offer opportunities for everyone to reflect on their own lives and respond in a creative way.
We have avoided a set structure for Footsteps as it gives us the opportunity to be flexible and experiment with different ways of doing things.
We have held events based on Messy Church, Godly Play sessions and drop in events using prayer stations. We have told stories through drama, freeze frame and Godly Play. Response has included free response, building an ark, painting a backcloth, scratch art, flames with shaving foam and painting stones to hide around the village.
Themes have included Easter, Jonah, time, Paul on the Damascus Road and the story of St Columba.
All our Footsteps events have offered opportunities to be creative, reflective or prayerful, and refreshments.
To give a sense of continuity we have some symbols and objects that we try to have out each session. These include the Footsteps "banner" - printed at our Advent event with stars and footprints; the cross we decorated at out Easter event and the olive wood Good Shepherd that I brought back for them from Jerusalem.
Where and when it is held
We have held Footsteps events in a variety of settings including local churches and the village community room.
We try to hold one Footsteps event a month; this has included some after school sessions, a lunchtime summer picnic and morning sessions during half term or holidays.
The timing of sessions is fairly flexible as we need to fit in with other local organisations.
Most of the children and adults who come to Footsteps are not church attenders.
Those that do have a church connection go to Anglican, Methodist, Roman Catholic and Baptist churches!
The children are mainly primary age and under 5s. Currently they tend to come with mums or grandparents though we have had dads in the past when we held events on Sunday afternoons.
The Footsteps team has contributed to several school events, including exhibitions involving reflective storytelling, opportunities for prayer and creative response, and whole school R.E days.
You can find out more about them here: School events
You can find out about how we began here: Footsteps: Starting out
Jesus the king? Stories of the kingdom: An after school event to complement our event for schools. Focusing on the kingdom parables with stations and a creative response.
Jesus in the wilderness: an event for Lent: Interactive stations focusing on the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, with a creative response.
Journeying in the desert: the story of Abraham and Sarah. An informal worship event, telling the story through drama and including the school choir and a variety of creative activities.
The Good Samaritan: Informal worship with the school choir, including drama, creative activities and a bring and share tea.
Hosanna! an event for Palm Sunday: Informal worship with drama, craft activities and prayer stations.
Jonah: Footsteps Summer Picnic: Interactive drama outside with crafts, activities, singing and prayer.
Taste and See: Stations for Holy Week based on our sense: taste, sight, smell, hearing and touch.
Mustard Seed: Our first experience of using the labyrinth with children, based on the parable of the Mustard Seed.