'Children are a heritage from the Lord' - Psalm 127:3
Serving and building relationships with your local schools and being able to share God’s love in a way that they will understand is a huge privilege. Work with schools is enjoyable, develops new skills, gives opportunity to explore interests, enables you to meet and work with a variety of people and is great for your wellbeing.
"The relationship between the church, school and diocese should be supportive and sustainable, enhancing the learning of both pupils and the congregation. This link should be widely valued and acknowledged by all members of the school community.’"
Collaborative work has the potential to:
- Raise aspirations;
- Deepen spirituality;
- Develop kindness, thoughfulness and consideration for others;
- Connect young people with their communities;
- Create opportunities for pupils to learn and practise human virtues;
- Develop values that challenge individuals beyond the material world;
- Allow children to be reflective about their own beliefs and perspective on life;
- Support pupils in recognising and valuing the things we share across communities.
Never underestimate the difference that an hour a week can make and the ripple effect that it has on the community. Supporting your local school affords opportunities to inspire the next generation and always puts a smile on your face as there is never a dull moment - no two visits are ever the same!
Sadly, not all church/school relationships are straightforward due to past hurt, misunderstanding or miscommunications. As a diocese, we can support your church build or rebuild mutually beneficial relationships with your school community which allow all to flourish. Here are some of the services we offer;
- Support defining what good parish engagement looks like with your school;
- Support matching school community needs with parish church skills and availability;
- Support getting joint projects / events/ fundraising opportunities off the ground.
- Support with building or repairing church/ school relationships;
- Support training and empowering volunteers from the church and/or community;
- Support developing regular communication channels.
Resources to help churches connect with their local schools:
- A good church-school relationship
- Volunteering in schools
- Questions to ask when volunteering in a school
- School acronyms
- Coping with Bereavement and Loss - Oxford Diocese Board of Education (ODBE) schools resource
- Ideas to strengthen your connections with pupils and school staff during these difficult times
- Hosting school visits in your church
- Leading collective worship in schools - a brief overview of ‘do’s and don’t’s ‘
- Prayer spaces in schools (Prayer Spaces In Schools) and top tips for running your own prayer space.
- Open the Book – Lay team worship resource Open the Book - Sharing Bible stories in primary schools. For more details of how to set up a team, read this.
- Muddy Church Community. There is also a helpsheet on how to set this up from scratch.
- Worship and lesson ideas from schoolsworkUk.
- Prayers and reflections for school worship.
If you have any queries or need support, send us an email.