Play Church

What is Play Church?

Edinburgh Diocese’s portable Play Church is the only one of its kind in the UK: you can read the full story of how it was made here. Play Church also features in this short film produced by Christian Education Association Scotland.

Introducing our Play Church Shepherd

Questions about Play Church? Talk to our new Play Church Shepherd, Izzy Holmes! (above, presenting Provincial Children’s Chapel with her daughter Bess). She is now the main point of contact for new and potential hosts. If you are wondering whether Play Church is for you, how to use it, or how to get the most out of Play Church in your church and community context, a conversation with Izzy will help! She draws on her experience of using Play Church with toddlers, school groups and uniformed organizations, both as a parent of a toddler herself, and as a Children’s Minister. You can contact her at families.hce@gmail.com.

Here is some feedback from when Izzy’s church, Holy Cross, Davidson’s Mains, hosted Play Church in 2022. “We’ve put Play Church in our children’s area, where children (and their grown ups!) can play with it during our Sunday services. Sometimes they want to wear the robes and use the Communion vessels to copy what the priest is doing. Other days it’s all about the candles. They’ve been carried round the church in various containers – we discovered that they fit perfectly into the Play Church chalices! – and made into ‘artworks’ by draping colourful scarves over them. At the end of January we celebrated Candlemas at our family service, so the Play Church altar moved to the nave where the children decorated it with candles they made during the service. We also have the local Brownie and Beaver groups coming in for an evening each to learn about the church year and the clothes they see the priest wearing, using the Play Church vestments.”

Where can I find Play Church?

Play Church is on a constant pilgrimage around the Diocese. It spends time with three host churches a year, sharing in their celebrations of the Church’s seasons, feasts and festivals. The three hosting periods are:

Lent, Easter, Eastertide and Pentecost (March-June)

Trinity and Ordinary Time, Creationtide and Harvest (July-October)

Advent, Christmas, Epiphany and Candlemas (November-February)

Play Church is currently at St Columba’s by the Castle. There is a waiting list, so if your church is interested in hosting, please get in touch with Fiona Reynolds or Izzy Holmes. Return visits will also be considered!