When adults bend their minds to weighty issues at the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church in Edinburgh in two weeks time, they’ll have the help of children to keep them to task.
After a successful trial last year, a Children’s Assembly will run alongside the main meeting.
Young people aged from nine to thirteen will discuss some of the same issues and the adults will take account of what they say.
The United Reformed Church is the only church to consider children’s views in this way, so far as is known.
Jo Williams, children’s worker in charge of the venture, said "We believe children are full partners with adults in the life of the Church. And that means taking their views seriously. Children aren’t the Church of tomorrow; they are the Church of today".
More than fifty children from across Britain will attend. They will talk about what prevents people coming to Church, including disability, and they will have the opportunity to learn sign language. They will also have a debate on the purpose of Church, and tell the adults what they think.
This will be followed by the launch of a survey, being conducted jointly with the Children’s Society, in which up to 15,000 children across the United Reformed Church will be asked what they would change to make Church better.
The General Assembly of the United Reformed Church takes place from July 11-14 in Edinburgh