Collective worship in church

Olveston CE VC Primary School
Revd Philip Rowe
Olveston, Bristol West

Philip takes assembly every week in school but, outside special trips by classes to the church, there are around 8 whole-school assemblies there each year. The regularity grounds the school community in a Christian ethos and opens up the church to some parents who attend but wouldnt come on Sundays.

The school of 210 serves the small village of Olveston and through frequent trips to the church for school assemblies, children, staff and parents have been given access to the building. Alongside particular church assemblies for Harvest, Christmas, Easter and school leavers, the assembly welcoming new children to the school in Term 2 has seen good numbers of parents come along.

Church assemblies are put last thing in the day, just before pick-up time, so that parents who are free can attend more easily. The playground has also been a fruitful place for childrens and parents chatter to spread the word about the Sunday morning breakfast club which runs in the school hall (simultaneously with the traditional service in church). The church's having of a set of keys for the school cements a mutual trust.

Having normal assemblies in the church emphasises the schools Christian character and links the sacred space to pupils experience of key life-stages and the yearly cycle of festivals. It binds with the wider community too when church-going grandparents attend.