As headteacher of our church school, I heed the words of Paul in Romans 12:6-8 and appreciate the spiritual responsibility incumbent upon me: "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a person’s gift is ... teaching, let her teach; if it is encouraging, let her encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let her give generously; if it is leadership, let her govern diligently.”
Christian worship is an honouring of God.
There are three main legal requirements for collective worship:
- • Collective worship in a Church of England School should be in accordance with the tenets and practices of the Church of England. In other words, the law on collective worship in a community school, that it should be wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character does not apply in a church school, where it should be clearly Christian.
- • The school must provide an act of collective worship for all children every day.
- • The act of collective worship can take place at any time of the school day and in any regular school grouping e.g. whole school, key stage or class unit.
Parents may withdraw their children from collective worship on religious grounds, however parents should understand that the Christian ethos runs through the very fibre of our school’s being and is not restricted to one act of worship a day. This is what makes us distinctive from community schools.
Worship is an attitude of the heart focused on God; in our school situation we seek to lead people to the threshold of worship by providing a setting where they may worship God if they so wish.
In collective worship children and adults will be responding to the worship on offer in different ways and at different levels; some will be passive observers, learning about worship but not participating in it; some will be "at the threshold", interested in the process and participating in it but not full believers; for others the act of collective worship may be a time of real worship of God.
It is the task of collective worship to provide a setting in which the integrity of those present is not compromised but in which everyone finds something positive for themselves.
Collective worship aims to:
- Provide an opportunity for the children to reflect upon and honour God;
- Through worship, highlight and nurture the spiritual dimension and foster feelings such as awe, wonder, thankfulness and joy;
- Provide children with the opportunity to celebrate major and some minor Christian festivals and in that celebration and all worship explore the use of silence, reflection, symbolism and imagery;
- Help children discover their place in the world by supporting the search for meaning and heightening awareness of the ultimate questions and realities of life;
- Enable children to appreciate their worth and value to God, and to the community, and to respect the integrity of each individual as a child of God;
- Celebrate gifts, talents and achievements;
- Establish, explore, and reinforce the common Christian values of the school community such as love, peace, kindness, compassion, forgiveness and reconciliation;
- Foster a feeling of community and belonging in the school whereby children are able to develop personal relationships through a sharing of experiences and feelings;
- Provide an opportunity to empathise with the needs of others and to bring these needs and our own personal needs before God in prayer;
- Encourage stewardship, respect and care for God's creation by a positive attitude to both local and global environmental issues;
- Share with participants some of the central teachings of the Christian faith at an appropriate level, and give them the encouragement to explore their own beliefs and understanding of God.
Within our school collective worship we have combined the Christian values (http://www.christianvalues4schools.org.uk/) of the National Society with the 7Rs and the Social and Emotional Aspect of Learning (SEAL).
Collective Worship at St. Andrew’s and St. Mark’s
|Click here for themes of Collective Worship|
Different people are involved in leading collective worship: head, deputy, Fr David from St. Andrew’s and St. Mark’s, teachers and pupils, visitors from the local community and the parish. We look at specific school projects like KCAH at Harvest, the people of Zimbabwe, the Bishop’s Lent Appeal as well as charities nominated by the school council. We hold collective worship in our two parish churches including Harvest, the Christmas Carol Service, the Easter Service and the Leavers’ Service.