To celebrate the feast of St Matthew on 21 September, members of the congregation of the church in Cainscross ran a whole day with their church school.
St Matthew’s CofE Primary, like all schools, has been through a pretty rough time over the past few years. One thing that has remained strong has been the commitment of volunteers from the church to the life of the school. Parishioners like David and Woody spend hours each week listening to readers, helping out with playtimes, and building relationships with children and teachers alike. These ongoing commitments build community and family between the congregation and the school.
“The church congregation and the school community both see the church building as a significant part of who they are,” explains Barrie Voyce, foundation governor. “What we wanted to do on St Matthew’s Day was bring those two groups a bit closer together, using the building as a connection point.”
The day started with a celebration service in the church, led by the Revd Kate Stacey, Stroud Team Rector. Year 6 pupils had learnt the readings for the service and delivered these with confidence, and all the children have spent the day before making bracelets which Kate used to illustrate the value of friendship and collaboration. Following some interactive intersessions and hearty singing, the children and church team went back to the school.
Throughout the rest of the day, children from years 1 to 6 were able to visit one of the prayer space activities, each manned by members of the congregation. These activities helped the children reflect on friendship, hope, and forgiveness. “There was a real buzz around the school, and everyone loved having activities to be a part of which helped them stop and think a bit deeper,” enthused Barrie.
Richard Lucas, executive head remarked, “It was so good to see so many people from the church in school for the day, seeing the school first hand and being a part of what we do.”
Kate added “Being a regular, loving presence in the lives of the children and staff is an essential part of the ministry of our church. Days like today are only a part of that ongoing relationship.”
To hear and share more experiences and ideas of how our simple presence in a school can be a transformative power in the whole community come along to the Engaging with School Life morning on Saturday, 6 November.
Be inspired, learn together and leave prepared to be a carrier of hope into the life of your school and its families. The morning is for anyone involved in school – teachers, governors, parents, volunteers, clergy, youth ministers, young people.