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CBeebies presenter hosts children's church services on Palm Sunday
TV presenter Gemma Hunt, from the popular CBeebies programme Swashbuckle, is hosting three services at churches on Sunday with pirate-themed games and songs.
Gemma, a Christian who has also presented films for the alpha course and hosted events such as Big Church Day Out and Spring Harvest, will host the 'pirate parties' at Christ church in Worksop, and St Luke's church in Shireoaks on Palm Sunday.
There will be pirate-themed games, songs inspired by the TV show Swashbuckle and an evangelistic kids talk.
The Revd Luiz Lima, the vicar of Christ Church and St Luke's told Premier that Gemma Hunt had told them she is looking forward to it: "She is coming and she is going to be leading a service of celebration and we're going to have a service themed according to her pirate show.
"She has been outstanding, she has been so engaging and so excited about this project."
The churches have been working in parntership with local schools to invite as many children as possible to the pirate services.
Inviting Gemma Hunt came as part of a push to engage more with families and young children and Rev Luiz explained that they hoped this would kickstart their children's work again: "Both churches are really pushing forward in the engagement with families.
"That's an area that, up to two years ago, we didn't have much of a ministry with and at my arrival we prayed about it and we thought: we need to really to engage in our ministry and our evangelism with families and children.
"That started with our connections with local schools and then we saw that actually one of our lowest attended services was Palm Sunday and we thought, let's address that in engaging with families, acknowledging that it's the holiday time and many people do go away but we thought actually not everyone is going away. So, let's do something that will be engaging with the community and engaging with that demographic."
He added that in Shireoaks a decade of not much kids work will be ended: "St. Luke's will start having its Sunday schools back after a 10 year break...we're starting afresh and to think that it hasn't happened over 10 years and that we are bringing back now and there's a demand for that for the community engagement with it, it's a reason have great joy.
"You can really celebrate and I think that the church itself is really excited about that. So we just see the day as something really special happening in our midst."
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