Having spent 20 years in a teaching environment and as a mother of three, Jane Asquith is perfectly placed to take on the role of children and families worker in the Liskeard parish of St Martin’s, Dobwalls and St Keyne.

Taking over from her predecessor in April last year Jane has embraced the role within the three churches, all of which have an active relationship with the families and children in the parish.

With the help of volunteers, she runs two playgroups for babies to pre-schoolers which sees more than

Jane Asquith, Children and Families Worker in the Liskeard Parish

30 families attend regularly. Jane explains: “It’s a great way to introduce the church to local families in a relaxed way. In fact, one family has started attending services at St Martin’s, as well as their own church, since coming to the playgroup.”

Informal services like the Café Service also play a large role in making the church accessible and open to local families. The service takes place once a fortnight in the church hall and is set up in a café style so the congregation are sat in groups around tables to encourage more conversation and discussion. A breakfast of croissants and pastries is also on offer, which is popular with the children and parents alike.

St Martin’s Church has always worked closely with the local schools and Jane is continuing the good work. She runs a Friday club at St Martin’s School, which is regularly attended by 15 pupils and has a waiting list for those who would like to attend  – current volunteer numbers mean this is not possible at the moment. The club often carries on the topic used by the Open the Book team in the school earlier in the week and supplements this with games, DVDs and acting sessions, as well a drink and snack.

Jane is also the main point of contact for families who would like their child to be welcomed into the church through baptism. She will meet the family prior to the baptism, talking through the process and details of the ceremony with them.

Jane goes on to say: “I also like to take part in the service when I can – reading a prayer or presenting the candle. I feel it’s important to show continuity as their main point of contact in the church.”

Jane would like to reach out to the parish’s elder children in the future. She plans to develop the relationship with the local secondary school, Liskeard School and Community College, and is hoping to get involved in the independent counselling group that is situated in the school.