children on beach

Dorothy Hughes, Children and Families Ministry Facilitator for the Diocese says the best part of her job is helping churches feel confident in their ministry to children and families, and seeing growth in those areas as a result.

Facilitator for six years, Dorothy also supports over 170 playgroups in 97 parishes across the Diocese. Her current emphasis is starting new playgroups in Mornington Peninsula, Geelong, and in the western suburbs.

Dorothy loves helping parishes in their ministry to children, families and young people, and provides resources for playgroups, as well as assisting parishes to explore options for these ministries. One of these options is Messy Church, which Dorothy says, “meets family’s needs on their terms as an alternative to traditional church styles”.

In the future she hopes to train volunteers, including refugee families, in running and coordinating playgroups and other children’s groups, with a particular focus on families from Burma and the Sudan.

Case study

With over 80% of parents born overseas, playgroup at St Martin’s Hawksburn involves a broad range of activities.

The playgroup recently included a 12 week cultural exchange component culminating in an Indian dance concert with over 40 children participating.

Assisted by a grant from the Melbourne Anglican Benevolent Society and the Frank & Flora Leith trust the playgroup was also able to present a 5 week course ‘Years O-5 - The developmental stages of a child’, and a second course ‘The journey through numeracy and literacy & what to expect at school’.


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