Revd Liz shares news of how we will be welcoming local schools to find out more about the Christmas Journey
One of the prayers you’ll hear in the run up to Christmas is for the hundreds of children who will come into our churches between now and the end of term. Who are they? And what are they coming for?
In our benefice we have 6 primary schools (plus Our Lady of Grace RC Primary), none of which are faith schools. As part of the national curriculum, though, they study Christianity and thanks to the fantastic work undertaken by Liz Buck and her teams who create resources, make the churches great learning environments and support class visits, those schools now look to St Thomas and St Luke’s to help them bring their study of Christianity to life. And increasingly, schools are also realizing that our churches, with their rich histories and links into the local community, are great places to learn about other things too.
The Schools Project shares faith experiences with staff, parents, carers, and children, encourages familiarity with church, and provides hospitality via an ‘open door’ offered to the local community. By serving our local schools made up of pupils and staff of all faiths and none, we demonstrate an engaged and outward-focussed faith.
We’ve found that increased familiarity with the churches will result in local people being more likely to ‘cross the threshold’ and attend occasional services at Christmas and Easter and to request Baptisms. The Schools Project is one of the ways we’re achieving CONNECTION – one of our Mission Action plan priorities.
May the schoolchildren who come into our churches experience kindness and a warm welcome, and feel the presence of God. Amen