THE EASTER JOURNEY
This year St. Ippolyts Church and St. Mary’s Church, Little Wymondley will be hosting an exciting schools project called The Easter Journey. The resources and teaching for this project are given to us by a Stevenage-based Christian charity called Bridge Builders who I have worked closely with for a number of years and who have carefully built up a trusted reputation with local churches and schools.
Who are Bridge Builders?
Bridge Builders Christian Trust is a charity which goes into local schools and teaches RE lessons, takes assemblies and mentors children who need extra support. It is also a local church resource centre which has a wealth of props, costumes, equipment and lesson/assembly outlines which can be lent to any church that needs them free of charge. The charity relies solely on donations to fund the organisation.
What is the aim of The Easter Journey?
Working in partnership with the host churches, the aim of the Easter Journey 2018 is to provide the opportunity for 1500+ Year 6 children from local primary schools to hear an account of the events of Holy Week and Easter and to explore the relevance of this festival for Christians today.
How The Easter Journey project began.
From their experience of working with children, the Bridge Builders team knew that most young people connect best with things they can see, smell or touch so, in 2010, they devised an interactive story that would enable the children to share something of their own lives and relate it to a story in the Bible whilst being surrounded by exciting colours, smells and sounds which would help them to remember the experience later. Bridge Builders then approached local schools and asked them if they would like to bring their students into church to see this Easter Journey as part of their RE lessons. The response was huge and well over 1000 primary aged children poured into their local churches each year and came to understand Jesus a little better.
Part of the reason for this success was because, using their knowledge of schools and the curriculum, Bridge Builders actively related the stories and people of the Bible to the everyday lives of the children, cross-referencing this with what the children learn in their lessons.
How can you get involved?
Whilst Bridge Builders provides the resources and the training, this project can only happen if we get enough volunteers to help. It’s down to each host church to set up the resources, welcome the children, tell the stories and provide refreshments. Volunteers will be required to attend a short training session so they know how the project works and there will be on-going support from myself. It is expected that our churches will run 4 sessions of The Easter Journey, each lasting 90 minutes, over 3 or 4 days between the 12th and 15th March. Exact days to be confirmed but volunteers can commit to attend any number of sessions and the more volunteers we have, the easier it will be!!
Please email me if you think you would like to be involved in this exciting project. From experience, I know that the volunteers get as much out of The Easter Journey as the children do and keep coming back year after year! Age or infirmity is no barrier - there’s a place for everyone!!!