FAMILY life is one of the major topics on the agenda of next year's National Pastoral Congress, but many people do not know how they can best promote this ideal.
A number of practical suggestions are contained in a new pamphlet produced by the National Children's Home as a contribution to the International Year of the Child.
The pamphlet asks people to look at the needs of young people and parents within both the local church and the neighbourhood and to consider what gaps exist in current services.
It goes on to suggest setting up and publicising a number of ways of filling the gaps, including: • A register of members of your church who can offer individual help (e.g. baby-sitting); what they can do, and where they may be contacted.
• A contact person who can put these people in touch with families In need of befriending.
• A play group or, during holdiay times, a holiday club which provides activities for children who otherwise would be unoccupied and possibly unsupervised, • A mothers' and toddlers' club.
• A latchkey club for children between end of school and mother's return home. • • An emergency baby-sitting service.
• An escort service taking children to and from school.
The pamphlet also suggests that a panel of church members ought to be set up to look out for parents coming into the district. These can then be visited and given information about organisations able to help, with a personal contact and a telephone number.
The pamphlet, called "Family Life: What can the Churches do?", is available from the NCH, 85 Ifighbury Park, London N5.