Church and Worship
Worship in school
Worship is at the heart of our school life. We worship as a whole school at 2.45pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We also start each day with reflection and a prayer so that we begin the day focusing on God and His word. On Tuesday and Thursday each teacher leads class worship.
A different member of the school community leads whole school worship: the Headteacher or deputy headteacher on Monday; Rev Julie or Revd David on Wednesday; Headteacher or deputy headteacher on Friday (Good News worship).
Class worship is also an important part of our school life. Class worship is planned by the teacher (with support from the worship leader, headteacher). Worship in the classroom is a great way to spend quality time with the children in our class. It allows our children to enter worship in a more intimate way, where many children feel more comfortable to interact and join in. It is also a fantastic opportunity for the children to lead some or most of the worship as they often feel safer in front of a small audience. Our teachers know their class very well, so when planning worship in the classroom, they always ensure it is suitable and relevant for the age and needs of the children. Each class has a worship area. There is a table with a cloth, a candle, a cross and a bible; our most recent bible is the Rhyming Bible by Bob Hartman. The candle is lit at the beginning of each act of worship, as we do in the hall. In Class worship the teachers use a variety of approaches but the joy of class worship is that it can be more 'hands-on' and practical. On occasions, the children enjoy watching the videos produced by Blackburn Diocese (worship across the Diocese) in addition to using the resources from 'Picture News'.
Our children worship God through their singing. Worship songs can either be sung to backing tracks and videos, or are accompanied by the headteacher playing the piano. FOSTS (Friends of St Thomas') fund-raising resulted in the purchase a beautiful new piano which was purchased two years ago.
Our week ends with a Good News Worship on Friday, to which parents, carers, grandparents and other members of the church/ school family are invited. As a whole school community, we then celebrate the achievements of the children that week, both inside and outside school. Good News award winners from each year group are selected to link with our learning powers. These Friday worships are normally very well attended and often have standing room only although. During COVID, this act of worship took place by Zoom. Thankfully, we have re-introduced Good News Worship for parents from September 2021. We are continuing to provide a live link to the Good News Worship via Zoom, so that parents and grandparents are able to attend our worship from home. We are so grateful for the excellent relationships between parents, school and church. We end with a song and prayer.
Once per half term, members of the church organise tea and toast for the school parents and grandparents in the Narthex, following special Friday Worships, such as our Superstars. This is well attended and provides a time for relaxation and refreshment in church.
During each lockdown, worship continued through Zoom and this was such a comfort to us all.
autumn 2021 worship
In our worship this half term, we thought about 'Giants of Faith' using the Roald Dahl story of the 'BFG' as a basis. Through this we thought about the themes of trust, friendship and loyalty, hope and courage. We introduced this series on Roald Dahl Day itself. Through these acts of worship we learnt more about the Giants of Faith, Abraham, Joseph, Ruth and Elijah.
We also continued to use Blackburn Diocese 'Worship across the Diocese' and 'Picture News' in our class worship. Revd Julie and Revd David lead our worship with the whole school on Wednesday and this half term, we focused on our wonderful world and climate change.
spring 2022 worship
This term’s theme created an opportunity for all our pupils to think about the most famous of all Christian prayers – the Lord’s Prayer – which is prayed in Christian communities all over the world. It was accessible for all children, regardless of their faith or belief and explored the meaning of the words for Christians. We reflected together on concepts common to all: on school and family life, being part of a community, forgiveness, gratitude and making good choices.
In our classes we were all provided with a prayer toolkit. We want to find creative and practical ways to help our children connect with God through prayer.
Revd Julie and Revd David lead our worship with the whole school on Wednesday and this half term, we focused on courageous advocates. In each class, we focused on someone who has been a courageous advocate, i.e. Marcus Rashford and Malala Yousafzai. Each class selected a charity to support and the children are deciding how to raise money. Class 4 raised over £700 with a sponsored silence. The children in Class 4 then decided that they wanted to split the money between their chosen charity, the Rainforest Trust and UNICEF due to the tragic and worsening situation in Ukraine.
The school council have started a project focusing on what is good and not good about their local area. All classes have been involved and next term the children themselves will decide on how they can help the people of Barrowford.
summer 2022 worship
St Thomas' Worship Group
Our worship group was put on hold during the pandemic, due to the need to keep our class bubbles separated from each other, but the worship group started again in the autumn term 2021. The children help to plan and organise our collective worship sessions. They will also help to develop our outdoor prayer space.
This year, the children have met with our Diocesan adviser and governor, Daphne Jordan and sometimes Rev Julie and Rev David to discuss ideas.
When we hold services in church our worship group help to organise these and lead the services, working alongside out vicar, Revd Julie. For our Easter Service, our worship group wrote the prayers and they were beautiful.
They are very important leaders in our school, not just for the collective worship sessions but also in being role models for our school Christian values.
Moving forward, the worship group will be fully involved in our development of prayer across the school.
Our Worship Group plan and lead our Epiphany Worship 2020
Our Worship group have lead their first act of worship in school, having planned an Epiphany Service which included music, drama, readings and prayers. They did a wonderful job in front of the whole school and parents.
Worship in church
Our school is blessed to have strong links with our church, St Thomas' which is a short walk away from school. Throughout the year, the whole school will take part in worship in St Thomas' church. Such services include:
- Harvest Festival
- Our evening Carol Service
- Education Sunday
- Ash Wednesday
- Our Easter celebration worship
- Leavers' service
At the Easter Service, Bibles are given to our Reception and Year 3 children.
In addition, various events are organised as a church/school collaboration including the Christmas Fair.
We also perform our Infant Nativity in church which is very special indeed.
These services are always led by Rev Julie and/or Revd David and the children.