Schools Visits

I’ve been completely blown away this week. A matter of months ago, I had no idea we even had a Methodist school, but now I’m completely blown away by the work they do.
This week I’ve visited four Methodist schools:

· Hippings, Oswaldtwistle
· Westleigh, Leigh
· St Andrew’s, Salford
· Rosehill, Ashton-under-Lyne

All four of these schools have a lot in common; they all have good or outstanding Ofsted reports, all have enthusiastic, well-behaved kids, all have a strong Christian ethos, and all are meeting a need in their community.

All of them are placed in the vicinity of deprived estates, therefore a lot of their kids come from these less advantaged backgrounds. The schools are a place of support and advice for the parents and all of the family, and in some cases are the first port of call whenever there is a problem.

I guess this is where we should be as a church. I spoke to one head, who saw her school as ‘the church’s mission’. What these schools are doing is what we should be doing as churches! These schools are going out to those who are in need, are meeting a need in their communities – what a lesson we, as a church, could learn from that.

I talked to a lot of kids and asked them what they thought of church – most answers were that church is dull and boring, they don’t know when to stand up or sit down, or they have no interest in it (there were some positive ones thrown in too!); then when I asked them what they thought of their morning worship in school, it was completely different! They were able to participate, they sang good songs, they were allowed to have a bit of a laugh...again, what a lesson we can learn as a church. How much of our worship is fun and engaging without being patronising to these kids who are actually very capable of a mature spirituality!

I’ve had my eyes widely opened this week, to what an asset we have in our Methodist schools.

Let’s pray for them, and the continuing part they have to play in our church.

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