Don’t just send a card, spend time with Dad this Fathers’ Day
The Church of England is celebrating 100 years of Fathers’ Day by encouraging children, of all ages, to spend time with their father, following new research* revealing that families are nearly twice as likely to mark the occasion by sending a card than spending quality time together.
When asked ‘do you or your family intend to celebrate Fathers’ Day in any of the following ways?’, 63 per cent of those who celebrate Fathers’ Day said they would ‘send a card’, whilst only 32 per cent selected ‘visit family or have family come to your home'.
Just 24 per cent said they would ‘go out together’, although 52 per cent said they would ‘give a present’.
The Bishop of Worcester, The Rt Revd John Inge, said: "Spending time together as a family is really important and often gets squeezed out. Not everyone, admittedly, is able to set time aside to be with Dad on Fathers’ Day – but I would encourage you to do so if you can. Many churches are running services or events to give families a chance to come together to thank God for dads and the crucial and demanding role they play."
Inspired by the research, and by feedback from churches around the country, the Church of England has built up a national website resource to help churches organise community family events on Fathers’ Day to celebrate fathers and all they do - at www.cofe.anglican.org/fathersday.
This includes a new prayer for children to use, either at home or at church in a time of prayer:
We thank you for the gift of good dads,
and everything that they do for us.
Help them to have
patience when we're difficult,
wisdom when we can't see the way,
strength when we need comforting,
and love at all times,
so that, though them,
we get a little glimpse of how you feel about us,
our heavenly Father
Examples of Fathers’ Day-themed events taking place this year include:
Norton juxta Twycross, Leicester Diocese
Fathers’ Day Service with a football theme - including a mass 'dribble' of footballs through the village and a five-a-side tournament after the service.
Great Glen, Leicester Diocese
All-age Fathers’ Day service every year featuring a contribution from a local dad regarding his work: in previous years a fireman, a Saab dealer and the Tigers’ head coach, while this year it’s a judge.
Pedmore, Worcester Diocese
Outdoor service on a cricket pitch with a ‘fathers’ theme, giving away Yorkie Bars to dads, and following up the service with various competitive family games and races.
Bedwardine, Worcester Diocese
Inviting the fathers of all children baptised in the last year to come along for a Fathers’ Day service, and inviting all those at the service to light a candle in memory of fathers who've passed on.
Dalston, London Diocese
Instead of a sermon, the service will have a discussion with fathers about their role within the home and community. After the service, all fathers present will be given a white rose.
Cinderhill, Southwell and Nottingham Diocese
Fathers' Day celebration in Church followed by a BBQ in the grounds and games for the children.
Houghton on the Hill, Norwich Diocese
Midsummer celebration and Fathers' Day service, with tea and homemade cakes afterwards.
Shelley, Ongar, Chelmsford Diocese
Fathers' Day service including input from dads on what being a father means to them.
Laxfield, near Framlington, St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese
Special evening interactive informal worship service where everyone is being invited in advance to bring something that reminds them of their Dad, which will be used during the service. Every man in the village has been invited.
*Online fieldwork among 2,018 respondents on 13-15 April 2010 conducted by ICM Omnibus on behalf of the Archbishops' Council.
Fathers’ Day was first marked in the USA on 19th June 1910.