The Importance of Worship in the Church School
The Christian foundation of the church school points to worship as a central focus for its ethos. The church school should be a place where pupils experience worship as a quality activity, important to the life of the school and to its religious character. It is one of the means whereby Christian values and principles may be reflected and affirmed, and God will be the focus of worship.
The church school is an important part of the work and mission of the parish. The school should have close connections with the local parish and worshipping community, and enjoy its support and encouragement. In the same way, the church school should contribute to the life of the local worshipping community.
Worship is, therefore, an area of church school life which presents special opportunities to promote spiritual and religious development. It also has the potential to contribute to faith nurture, providing a means by which all pupils - both those of the faith and those from other backgrounds - may understand more about the Christian faith, while experiencing and learning about worship and what it means to those who take part.
Church Schools: The Communities They Serve
It must be recognised that pupils in church schools come from a wide variety of backgrounds, reflecting the plural and secular nature of our society. The spectrum may include:
- those who have, or who come from families with, Christian commitment and belief
- parents who have chosen a church school (or who support its ethos) because they wish their children to experience something of the Christian faith
- members of other faith communities
- those who may not share in any particular religious belief.
The school community is a collection of people from different backgrounds and if school worship is to be meaningful, it must be sensitive to this.
Whilst the Christian context will be explicit in most church schools, the overall pattern should be collective rather than corporate, as shared beliefs and values cannot be assumed. The use of the term collective is important in that it recognises that pupils and staff will subscribe to a range of beliefs, and that there is a need for the church school to provide opportunities for all to share in worship in a way which make sense to them and is appropriate to their stage of development.
In reality, our schools are being challenged to develop a unique kind of experience. One which is analogous to faith group worship, but which still retains the openness and integrity of learning.
External Websites with Collective Worship Ideas
There is also the new National Society project Worship Workshop;
Below, you can download examples of creative collective workship in the Diocese.