Church schools and the local parish church should work closely together in partnership: seeing themselves as an active association – as an extended community – together at the heart of the Church’s mission to the community.
In offering an invitation to children and young people from all backgrounds to participate in a Christian community, Church schools can provide a real experience of God’s love for all humanity. In a Church school, pupils not only learn about religion but they can also experience it as a living tradition and inheritance of faith. Church schools are therefore a unique gift from the Church to an increasingly secular culture. This is why foundation governors are such an important part of the school leadership as they represent the local church within the school and are part of this bridge building process.
The majority of our schools have local clergy on their governing boards, and clergy will also be a presence in school leading worship, for pastoral visits and supporting the pupils and staff in other ways. Many schools also have great 'Open the Book' teams from local churches leading collective worship.
The picture above is of a bridge made by children at a diocesan conference, they labelled each piece of the bridge with ways that their school and church were connected. How big could your bridge be?
The best church - school partnerships are where the bridge between the two communties is two way. Where the school is actively involved in the life of the church, and where the congregation see the school as part of their community and are involved in the life of the school too. Examples include Messy Churches run in the schools, prayer spaces run by the church for the school and volunteers from the church helping in school with clubs and listening to readers. The first step being to simply ask the school what support they would like.
The Education Team work closely with the diocesan mission and ministry teams, to explore and share ways to support churches and schools working together.
Bridge Building Network
Bridge Building Network - open meeting for any churches supporting schools in the region hosted by Mark Harrington from the DBE Education Team.
An opportunity to meet together, to pray, reflect and share ideas and resources to aid your churches in ministering to local schools.
Meetings are held on Zoom once a half term. Contact Mark Harrington - Education Development Officer for more information.
Find this year's network dates and booking links here.