Left to right: Lay Reader Margaret Clarke, Head Teacher James Tibbles, Rev Estella Last and Julia Perfect (Collective Worship Leader)
The Benefice encourages links with the local Church of England Primary School which is situated in Bridge.
The pupils enjoy holding their termly services in St Peter’s, as the school has over 400 pupils two services are held during a morning. Workshops are held in church by individual year groups throughout the year to enhance the learning of the children such as when the reception staff get 'married' and year one hold a Baptism. The church is also used to celebrate key events during the school year such as Remembrance, Christmas and Easter.
Easter 2019 saw the entire school, over two services, recreate the timeline of Holy Week from Jesus' arrival on the donkey on Palm Sunday to the Resurrection alongside readings and prayers written by the children themselves and some very jubilant singing!
The Year 2 children produce an amazing and upbeat version of the Nativity at St Peter's every year as part of their Christmas celebrations and the full student body takes part in a Christingle service held in the school hall.
Our Vicar, Estella Last and Reader, Margaret Clarke, visit regularly to take Collective Worship and Key Stage Assemblies in the School. A number of parishioners volunteer on a regular basis on school trips, as reading helpers and with specialist teaching. Estella is also an Ex-officio governor on the school's governing body.
The school hall is also used as a venue for larger church meetings and Messy Church which is held once a month on a Saturday afternoon. The Church team have also joined up with the school PTA to put together a fete for the Village community.
This year instead of having a Christmas service in December the worship team at Bridge and Patrixbourne School decided to focus on Advent. It is often easy to over look Advent with such a focus on Christmas so the children and staff spent some time sharing presentations with the congregation about what they had learned about Advent in class. Years 6,5 and 4 shared presentations about the Patriarchs Abraham, Issac and Jacob and their stories of Hope.Year 3 shared what they had learned about the Prophet Isaiah and his message of Peace. Year 2 gave out hearts with messages of Love inspired by John the Baptist, Year 1 talked about the things that bring them Joy and Reception sang a beautiful song about waiting for baby Jesus. Between each presentation prayers were said and the Advent candles were lit. The children did a fantastic job with some very tricky content and really highlighted what Advent is all about.
On Wednesday 2nd October the children of Bridge and Patrixbourne CEP School attended St Peter's for their annual Harvest Festival. This year the children sang beautifully encouraging us all to "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle", taught us what materials can be recycled, showed us the devastating effects of litter on God's creation, shocked us all with some very upsetting facts about Deforestation and offered the congregation prayers and facts about how we can all do better to protect our planet. It was a lovely service and, as The Bridge Benefice aims to receive "Eco" status and Bridge and Patrixbourne School seeks to become an Eco School, the Harvest Festival definitely showed that as a Church and School we are united in our goals.
God's Creation before littering A small selection of the goods donated by the families of Bridge and Patrixbourne to The Canterbury Food Bank.
Tuesday 16th July 2019 saw the children of Bridge & Patrixbourne School visit St Peter's Bridge for the final time this academic year. Two services were held to accommodate the entire school with a class from each year group in each service. The service was complied by Mrs Perfect but the children had picked their favourite hymns and had written prayers from each year group. The children also shared reflections from the year, sharing their happiest memory, saddest memory, greatest learning moment and funniest memories ( which raised a few chuckles from the congregation). Parents and teachers joined in with some beautifully chosen hymns, accompanied by the multi-talented Mr Luck on the organ. Estella and Margaret where there to share prayers and blessings with the children and staff and the service ended, as is tradition, with the year 6 students leaving to a round of applause as they departed their final school service after 7 years at Bridge & Patrixbourne School. It was a very moving morning for all those involved.
Children from all year groups at Bridge and Patrixbourne C.E.P visited St Peter's during Lent 2019 to enhance their leaning of the Easter Story. They took part in 5 different activities representing different parts of Jesus' journey from Palm Sunday to The Resurrection.
The children made Palm leaves and placed them on the 'road' then wrote down their worries on flowers and spent some time reflecting quietly in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The children draped wool over The Cross and Crown of Thornes, made crosses and wrote prayers to hang on the tree next to Jesus' tomb
The children also remembered the Last Supper by washing their hands, sharing bread and juice and writing thank you in a large foot print .
The children made decorations and held a Christingle Service in the school hall.
In 2018 the children of Bridge and Patrixbourne COE Primary created wonderful displays of poppies as part of their learning and celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the end of WWI.
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