Rev Tanya Lord approached us to see if we would work with the members of St Stephen’s Church in Southmead to help them increase contact with local schools and families. Tanya was keen to build on relationships which the church already had with one local school where they had been running Open the Book assemblies for a while.
In December 2016 Liz supported the church to host its second ‘Christmas Through the Keyhole’ trail. We were able to draft in members and resources from Redland Parish Church where who had previously hosted the trail. Four local primary schools attended – feedback from the schools was great and the church team had lots of fun too! The recent 2017 trail was booked up within hours of the invitations being sent and this event is now established on the schools’ calendars. In Spring 2017, BSC ran some Prayer Spaces in Schools training for the church and a small team hosted their first Prayer Space in the school where they had been running Open the Book assemblies. The school staff were amazed at the reactions of the children:
“It was good because it was relaxing and making me and other people calmer.”
“I spoke in my head to God.”
“I felt calm and spiritual.”
This Prayer Space is booked again for 2018 along with a Prayer Space in another school which caught wind of this amazing resource and wanted one too.
We have supported the Open the Book assemblies team at St Stephen’s over the last year and this is now presented every month in two schools. We helped the church to launch a Make Lunch Kitchen in Aug 2017. This provides hot meals to local children during school holidays. Some of the children coming to Make Lunch recognise the St Stephen’s team now that they have regular contact with local schools. During 2018, we continued to offer support and advice to the team at St.Stephen’s. We are excited to see how the connections with their local schools and the wider community will develop next.
The advice, training and mentoring provided by BSC has helped the church at St Stephen’s to build real relationship with their local schools and families, creating a sense of community and highlighting the ways in which the church can support and serve local children and young people.
– Rev Tanya Lord – St Stephen’s Church, Southmead