Thursday, September 07, 2006

Not Just Another School Service


I've spent a good deal of this week doing things with the local secondary school. Last term, the deputy head who deals with worship and I decided that to try and fit the whole school into the church for a service at the start of term wouldn't work. So we concocted a plan to do a service a house (about 200 students) at a time.

As the summer drew to an end, we found we had to create a service. So we did.

The theme was hope and along the way we also tried to use the church in a different and more interesting way. So at one stage we sent the students to four different parts of the church to do different things. In one place they watched a video. In another they wrote one of their hopes on a luggage tag and hung it from string. the effect was spectacular, the forest of hope grew over the course of the day. And the head of music wrote a new song especially for the service.



I did a session on praying using pictures. After doing the same meditation 20 times over the past two days I'm a bit tired, but it was great fun. And the response has been very encouraging. One teacher asked his tutor group to vote on old or new style of service. The new style won 23 to 3. He also said that it was the first time he could remember being in church and not having to discipline students, so he'd been able to enjoy the service himself.



The only thing now is having to follow it ...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

heya! i was at that service, my dad reads your blog thingy! yea i thought it was a gd service, all my friends thought it was pretty gd compared to the usual ones... the only complaint was that we missed the whole school coming together. cos thats lots of fun! anyways... ta for dooing it x

charity said...

wow, this looks fabulous! You are possibly the cleverest anglican i know.

Phil C said...

The luggage tags are great - reminds me a lot of forests of prayer flags which snake across Buddhist village squares in North India. Stunning.

Anonymous said...

headline" Alternative worship meets mainstream education, gaining popular acclaim", now to get the kids to greenbelt!

Tracey Wheeler said...

We had good reports of this service from our 12-year-old, who much preferred it to the stand-up-sit-down way of doing things. Her only criticism was not being able to visit the stations in her own time and in the order she chose - I gather there was some necessary 'shepherding' in order to process 200 kids at a time in a short time span. Still, she was far more positive about this service than the Greenbelt labyrinth, which she reckoned was too similar to the ladies loo Q we'd just done (you know...all file along, not talking; sit down for a minute when you get to the centre; then all file out again!) So alt worship for kids does work, you just have to taylor it carefully...(sorry!)