In this section:
Consider creating space where school can meet with members of the church to explore some of the big questions in their minds.Space to reflect on the challenges of life as well as celebrate the good can help begin to make sense of our faith journey.
Consider ways in which your church can build trust with its local schools for the schools to begin to experience the love of Christ from the whole church community.
Historically, it has been seen as the role of the vicar or employed worker to visit the school and lead Collective Worship or lead an RE lesson.However, this is changing as church members are being encouraged to connect with the schools in a variety of ways from Open the Book, to Pray.Bake.Read and leading after school clubs.
Schools can be difficult place to connect with as they are often very busy places with full timetables which can make it difficult for churches to know where they can support or serve them.Developing a relationship based on trust can often take many years and can remain fragile and easily broken or damaged.In spite of the challenges that face our churches when approaching their local school, our schools remain the places where children and young people are gathered (albeit some reluctantly!) Monday to Friday.Our schools are also a place where there is a natural gathering of people who care deeply about what happens within their community.So in our churches where we can sometimes find it difficult to attract large groups of people our local school can provide us with opportunities to meet with people within our communities.
Provide time and space for the pupils in schools to explore what their God-given talents are and to think about what they hope and dream for in their futures.
No school in your parish?
There are some parishes where there arent any schools within its boundaries, so connecting with a school isnt as straight forward as those churches that do have a school nearby.
However, perhaps in a less obvious way, there are still schools that will be represented within a congregation. Many congregation members will have family or friends who have relatives who attend a school.It may not be in a churchs immediate community but as part of a wider community.As Christians we believe that God is everywhere and cares about all His people regardless of geographic location.So it doesnt matter whether there is a school within the parish, there will be someone within the community who is connected to someone who is in a school or cares deeply about what happens in the school.Consider; including schools within the intercessions; praying for teaching staff, non-teaching staff and pupils, praying for those in government responsible for setting the education agenda.Prayer is powerful no matter where we are and where those who we pray for are.
If this is your situation God will be guiding you to explore different ways to connect with your children, young people and their families.Consider praying for your community, finding out what God is doing and joining in. (Rowan Williams)