According to Universities UK, there are roughly 2.3 million students enrolled in institutions of higher education and approximately 10 million children in our schools. There is enormous potential for churches to work together to reveal the Christ-story in all sorts of ways across the nation.
One way in which churches are working together in education is in the area of chaplaincy. Whilst there are a wide variety of chaplaincies in many settings, from hospitals to workplaces, sports clubs to prisons, universities often have effective and truly ecumenical partnerships.
Working to support local schools is also a way of showing God’s love. Churches Together in Ledbury provided Easter Eggs from the Meaningful Chocolate Company for all children on free school meals as a way of blessing a local primary school. This was part of a wider local church unity initiative called LEAF (Locally Encouraging all to Flourish), which has become a separate CiO (Community interest Company).
The Centre for Chaplaincy in Education work in partnership with other organisations and denominations in the field of Chaplaincy in schools and colleges. They also encourage local and regional networks to develop as hubs for fellowship and formation; and identify and promote ways in which schools/colleges and/or local churches can evolve appropriate models of chaplaincy.
Education Sunday takes place each year on the second Sunday in September.
CTE, alongside the Free Churches Group, produces resources for churches and educational settings to use. These resources are free and designed to be used at the point in the year when students of all ages are returning to the classroom after the summer break.
Rev Dr Hugh Osgood writes:
“Education Sunday provides a great opportunity to give thanks to God for all who teach and all who study, for all who continually have to find the right words and deliver them with enthusiasm and graciousness, for all who have to build constructively on all that has been learnt before while constantly opening up new horizons.”
Share your story
Do you have a good news story about churches working together across denominations to bless their local schools? Contact CTE’s Principal Officer for Mission and Evangelism Ben Aldous with the details.