Children from Christ Church Juniors got to experience Church – but in a good way.
Two classes from Year 4, accompanied by their teachers, came to Christ Church at the end of May to take part in a new Experience journey fresh from the pen and imagination of Shahne Vickery and her team from Gloucester Diocese. Children around the world now go on Experience Journeys which bring to life aspects of the Christian faith to schools in a way that’s relevant, interactive and awe inspiring. The journeys also encourage churches and schools to work together in a creative and fruitful partnership. At Christ Church we have already experienced Easter, Harvest and Pentecost in this way.
Why Experience Church?
All children in Years 3 -6 learn about different faiths: what people believe and how they live. They are encouraged to visit places of worship to learn what goes on there and why. Here at Christ Church, we are blessed to have our local schools visiting often, but in many churches visits are rare and church folks are not always sure how best to bring alive the message about their community. In this Journey the children got to learn about the building: pulpit, lectern, font, altar, doors. Not because these things are beautifully carved and historic, although they are, but because they are places where we do things and think about things that really matter: about life and faith. We pray, celebrate, welcome, share, teach and serve, starting in the building at these special places, and then going out to do them in the world.
The children moved around the church learning about these different activities. The starting point was : What do we do here in church and why? What did Jesus do? Then how do Christians remember this? The children then got to make something which helped them to understand and remember what they were learning. A buzz of questions, chatter and thoughtful activity descended on the church as the groups moved around. It was more than the chatter of a busy classroom: the children seemed to be aware of being in a special place.The last activity was to write on a post- it note what they would like to tell someone about Jesus, if that person had no clue who Jesus was. The answers were breathtaking in their clarity and understanding of Jesus and who he is. I doubt we adults would have come up with anything as good.
It was a tiring day for the helpers, but well worth playing a small part in launching another Experience Journey.
You can find out more about Experience Journeys and contact Shahne at: