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Edward Bear Club

This is a special 'club' for the 0-5 year olds with their Mums, Dads, Grandparents and/or carers, centred round a large teddy bear called 'Edward Bear' . The idea originated from the Mothers' Union in Chelmsford, and is open to anyone in Grange. It is held on the first and third Tuesdays in the Meeting Room and an involves crafts, story, drinks and a time for play/chat.

Edward Bear is now over 40 years old - enough to be a motherly/fatherly figure, young enough to be lively and energetic! He arrived at the church through a somewhat circuitous route! Mollie Bell, a member of the congregation, had been given the bear by her mother who lived in Lymington, Hampshire. Her mother had bought him 'because he had a very kind face' for her grandchildren and any other children who came to visit. When she was 95 she passed the bear on to us to look after. He has been well-loved and cuddled for all of his 40+ years, and we are delighted to have him at St Paul's.

In 2016 we decided that Edward should have a long-term rest.  He returned from his travels very tired.

Other events are being planned for our young families, following the success of Cake and Candles at Candlemas, and Cake and Crosses on Palm Sunday.

Latest pictures, taken on 17th January 2016

on Edward's 16th birthday



Edward returned from his travels -

he sent us this postcard



He was delighted to see his friends at St Paul's once again, and showed off his new jumper that he had been given in Peru when he visited Paddington. It is made out of llama wool and has a picture of the llama on its front.  He was carrying a very battered suitcase.  He told us all about his travels, the places he had been and the people he had met.  

He was only just in time for his birthday party. He and his young friends had a lovely time in church having lots of fun.

As usual everyone wanted to ring the bell to get the party started.

‘Ring, ring, ring the bell, we know that we are here.                     

Ring, ring, ring the bell, to show that God is here.’

Pass the parcel is always a popular game and always a good ‘starter’. It is amazing how adamant the children are about only taking off one layer at a time and knowing there will be a hidden sweet.  Even the youngest ones learn quickly! 

A good action song followed –

Hallelu, hallelu, hallelu, halleluia, Praise ye the Lord!

Hallelu, hallelu, hallelu, halleluia, Praise ye the Lord!

Praise ye the Lord Halleluia! Praise ye the Lord Halleluia! Praise ye the Lord Halleluia!

Praise ye the Lord!


Then the lights went out, ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel….’ was playing, and we processed around the church led by Canon Nick with a cross, one of the children with a lantern light and everyone else swinging cardboard lanterns. Slowly we made our way around and around until we reached holy place, the stable lit up in the altar.  We gathered round in the darkness to listen to the story of Jesus' birth.  It was very atmospheric and moving. Edward had been to Bethlehem on his travels, but had missed the Christingle service and the setting up of our stable, and he asked that we should sing his favourite carol 'Away in a Manger', which everyone did.  It was a very special moment, and his friends knew all the words.


But no party is complete without food. So we made our way to the meeting room and enjoyed a party tea ending with birthday cake (and candles) to celebrate Edward Bear being 16.


But all good things come to an end and soon it was time to go home. We enjoyed a session of Hokey Cokey and then shared the Grace together.




My helpers are now planning something special for Palm Sunday, possibly with an Easter egg hunt, so I am now looking forward to that.

Pictures, taken on 3rd March 2015

Waiting for our drinks

Helping to set out our seats

Enjoying the toys


Our newest members

A rapt audience for the story


Dressed in our 'Frozen' costumes

Christmas Party - 13th December 2014

We had a splendid time, and Father Christmas came to bring us all a present.  He left his reindeers in Yewbarrow Woods!


Pictures taken 21st May 2013 2013.

Our newest member !

And on the 18th January 2015, EDWARD was 15!

He had a special service in church, when his friends helped him to blow out the candles on his cake, and all the congregation sang 'Happy Birthday' We had a double celebration, as Isabel Jane was baptised and welcomed into God's church

Edward Bear has his own wardrobe of clothes, all in the liturgical colours of the church's year, and a small leather suitcase to keep them in. 

Ringing the bell and being 'crafty'!

Summer picnic outside church

At the end-of-term meeting we had a party.  It was  a Teddy Bears' picnic in the church garden, and it was really hot and sunny.  It was a real picnic because we had a tablecloth on the floor and we all sat around and ate sandwiches, crisps, grapes and biscuits - yummy yummy!  It was really good because there were ten of my friends and some parents, grandparents, a big brother and the helpers with me.

We heard the story of Jesus feeding 5000 people from one little boy's picnic basket of five loaves and two small fishes. 

Love from Edward

On Advent Sunday two travelling cribs are blessed during the morning service, and are sent off on their journey round the homes of the young families in the parish.  Each crib is welcomed into the home, a candle is lit and the following prayer said:Christmas nativity set

Dear Father in Heaven,

As we welcome these crib figures into our home, help us to prepare ourselves to welcome your Son Jesus into our hearts.

Amongst all the busy-ness as we make ready for Christmas, help us to remember the real reason for the celebration.

Bless this house and all who live here.


The crib and its figures stay overnight and are then passed on to the next family.  They also go into the Nursery and Reception classes at the Primary School. The cribs are received back into Church on Christmas Eve at the special children's service at 6 pm.  The crib figures have been knitted by the older members of the parish, and the children are encouraged to play with them.

Contact - Helen Hill 33511, Christine Harrison 32013          Time: 1.30 pm on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month