We have strong links with our three church schools:
Malvern Wells Primary School (linked to All Saints)
The Wyche Primary School (linked to All Saints)
Malvern Parish Primary School (linked to St Andrew’s)
We support them in many different ways including leading assemblies, taking some lessons and hosting them for services at festival times. In addition over the
last couple of years we have supported the schools putting on iSingPOP concerts at both All Saints and St Andrew’s and have had the excellent 4Front Theatre company perform their production of a ‘Fisherman’s Tail’ in all three schools.
Malvern Wells School has a group called CREW (Christian Worship and RE) which consists of several Y3-6 pupils. They come and help lead services at All Saints roughly once every half term.
We also are developing strong links with our local Secondary School The Chase, and we hope that our new Youth Ministry Leader, Eddy, will be able to work with the school in different ways in the future to support young people in our communities.
Open the Book
Many from our congregations are involved with ‘Open the Book’ in different schools across Malvern. Open the Book is a scheme which is now part of Bible Society. It is for primary school children and involves presenting Bible stories using drama, costume, props and children. It uses the ‘Storyteller Bible’ and is carefully scripted to be acceptable in the school context, and to enable inexperienced presenters. Nearly every week of each school term, six ecumenical teams, including members from St Andrew’s and All Saints Churches, are doing this in assemblies in our local primary schools, and thereby forging good relationships between the churches and schools. Schools value this work, as shown in this comment from a senior teacher: “The children really enjoy the stories and we appreciate the support of the volunteers coming in, so I am keen to make sure that we keep up with the sessions as they add real value to the children.”
Seeds for Life & LifePath
Members of the church are also involved in ‘Seeds for Life’ (held in Holly Mount URC and Bible Garden) and ‘Lifepath’ (held in the Priory) during the Summer Term. Seeds for Life is a programme of activity workshops led by an ecumenical team, during the summer term, for 8/9-year-old children from local primary schools. The aim of the workshops is to support schools in the delivery of Christianity within the local religious education syllabus and foster the spiritual development of children in exciting and creative ways.
Lifepath (Scripture Union) is a week of activities for older primary school children, held in different towns and cities to draw on their local faith history. In the course of the week here, over 700 children from schools within a radius of 20 miles spend a school day in Great Malvern Priory, learning about the foundation of the Priory in 1085, why people became monks and nuns and how there is a continuity of Christian faith, worship and service from those times up to the present. Activities include bell ringing, brass rubbing, medieval medicine and science, and dressing up as novices. Through songs, drama and a Prayer Journey the children are invited to reflect on their own ‘Lifepath’. The team comprises Christians of all ages from many local churches and there is a variety of ways of getting involved.