School’s Bible service brings an impromptu audience

A SCHOOL is being held up as a shining example after organising their own service of worship and bible-giving ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral.

Many schools make Bibles a gift to pupils as they leave in Year Six, but St Nicholas Primary School in Maidenhead wanted to ensure that pupils had their own Bibles for RE lessons throughout the school.

Children from St Nicholas School are shown around Christ Church Cathedral.

So a Year Three visit to Christ Church was arranged and pupils were presented with their Bibles. Before their visit, the children prepared prayers and chose a hymn to sing that, when performed, drew an unexpected audience from other visitors to the cathedral.

Class teacher Ellen Guest said: “The trip was made even more special when we had time at the end to sing an a capella hymn we had prepared, share our own prayer and hand out Bibles provided to us by our school PTA.

“The sound of the children singing in such a special location was heart-warming and gave us all goose-bumps and even some tears were shed!”
More than 2,500 pupils visit Christ Church Cathedral every year, learning about its architecture and history, as well as the story of Oxford’s patron saint, St Frideswide. The cathedral’s education team also leaves the hallowed walls to visit about 50 schools per year.

Christ Church education officer Jackie Holderness said: “Each and every school visit is tailor-made to match the teachers’ topic focus and learning objectives and the size and age range of the group.

“We try to make educational visits as interactive as possible, with role play and other activities, designed to bring the learning to life.
“The education team volunteers and I felt very privileged to be part of this simple service and it was most moving to note that all the other visitors inside the cathedral fell quiet to listen to the children singing: ‘Here I am, Lord’.”

After the service the children said they loved their visit because they found the cathedral ‘special and rare’ and had ‘lots of fascinating facts hidden inside it’.