A place to feed
How churches can support parents and carers feeding infants, by Sam Richards
Is it OK to feed my baby here? Will anyone be offended? Will I be asked to stop or move? Should I just leave? Many parents and carers of infants ask themselves these questions when they are in any public space, and they know feeding time is drawing near. Churches are one such place – and now the United Reformed Church has taken steps to answer these questions.
The Christian tradition directly associates God with infant feeding. In the Bible, the Lord is described as a nursing mother in Isaiah, and a caring father in Matthew. In Jesus, God is incarnate as a newborn infant, dependent on parents and carers for nourishment to thrive. As the people of God, we rightly celebrate each new life, and seek to welcome infants into our communities.
A key element of welcoming infants with their parents and carers is offering an environment where their needs can be comfortably met, while enabling them to participate in the full life of the church and its wider activities. The Children’s and Youth Work Committee of the URC was delighted to work with the URC’s equalities committee to develop a policy to help local churches consider their practice in this area…
Sam Richards is Head of Children’s and Youth Work for the United Reformed Church. The policy, poster and icon for websites and newsletters are available from urc.org.uk/resources-for-children-and-youth
This is an extract from an article published in the February 2021 edition of Reform