From 30 October to 10 November, a Kensington Area Schools’ Mission ran across six Church of England secondaries in the Area – Bishop Wand, Chelsea Academy, Lady Margaret School, Fulham Boys School, and The Green Schools for Girls and Boys.
The Bishop of Kensington, Bishop Emma, visited each school during the fortnight; her input ranged from assemblies, RE lessons, Q&A sessions and meeting particular groups of students such as worship ambassadors and members of faith clubs. She was joined at Bishop Wand and the Green Schools by the Bishop of London, who was spending the day visiting the Kensington Area. Bishop Sarah took two RE lessons at Bishop Wand, met with the Senior Leadership Team of the Green Schools and took a whole school assembly at the Green School for Girls.
The theme chosen by Bishop Emma for the mission was ‘Who You’re Made to Be’ linking to Psalm 139:14.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
A logo was designed to use across the schools, and all schools were given bookmarks with the logo and a short prayer on to give out.
Each school ran a range of mission events, bringing in local churches as much as possible. These included prayer spaces RE lessons, a programme of assemblies, Q&A sessions with church leaders, and after school or lunchtime activities. The programme looked different in each school, with some focussed on particular year groups.
St Dionis, Parsons Green ran a drop in café for pupils from Lady Margaret after school on one afternoon, serving hot chocolate to over 100 pupils and providing a comfortable and warm space for pupils to chat and play games.
Chris Kettel and team from Hope Church Hounslow ran a ‘taster’ football session at the Green School for Boys, and invited them to their Kick academy which runs on Sundays.
St Saviour’s Sunbury hosted an area youth worship evening on Friday 10 November which tied in with the theme of the mission. Six churches brought groups of young people (over 50 in total) and some came through the mission input at Bishop Wand school.
Fulham Boys School and Lady Margaret School invited local church leaders to come and do Q&A sessions with certain year groups, taking a wide variety of questions.
Bishop Emma said:
“It has been such a joy to see the schools mission unfolding over the past weeks. I would like to say thank you so much to the staff and clergy of our schools and parishes for their engagement in the mission, and pray that it will bear much fruit in coming months and years.”
One school chaplain said:
“As I reflect on this week I have been so encouraged by the foundations that have been laid and what can spring forth out of this.”
“It was a genuine highlight of the year for us………. What was said was really accessible to all of the boys and I’m so glad they could hear it.”
One headteacher said:
“We really valued the time we were able to share with Bishop Emma and Bishop Sarah, both with the students and the leadership team. They made a really positive impact on staff and students.”
The Kensington Area Youth & Schools Chaplain, Jo Jones, who coordinated the mission fortnight with schools and local churches reflected:
“It has been wonderful to see schools and churches working together during the mission, building on existing strong relationships and developing new ones, to support the spiritual flourishing of both students and staff. A varied and creative range of events, many quite simple to run, has enabled students to encounter and engage with the love of God in Christ in different ways. A huge thank you to all involved.”
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