Left to right: Lay Reader Margaret Clarke, Head Teacher James Tibbles, Rev Estella Last and Julia Perfect (Collective Worship Leader)
The Bridge Group Parish 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. Rev Estella is an Ex-officio governor on the school's governing body and a parents prayer group meets regularly at St Peter's in Bridge to pray for the school community.
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.
The children from Bridge School experienced a first for their Harvest service this year, they all attended church in their new house groups. The school have introduced 6 new houses named after local historically significant figures and Harvest 2023 was the first time they got to worship as a house. The Harvest service was based around a poem and children from each year group presented a different verse.
In life there is a need to eat
Which most of us all know,
But do we stop and wonder
What helped our food to grow?
This ripened fruit was growing once
High up on a tree.
These vegetables were planted,
These fish swam in the sea.
The flour for this our daily bread
Was crushed from golden grain.
This wheat grew tall in many a field
Through sunshine, wind and rain.
Who worked so hard by night and day
To grow the things we see?
Who picked and cleaned and packed this food
To bring to you and me?
Who drove the lorries? Sailed the ships
For very many hours?
Who stocked the supermarket shelves?
Who stacked them up in towers?
Who works each day to buy our food?
Who shops to bring it home?
Who cooks it just the way we like?
We really shouldn't moan.
So when you're feeling fussy
And food isn't to your taste
Be thankful that the food is there
DON'T LET IT GO TO WASTE!
It was wonderful to see the Easter prayer stations return to St Peter's Bridge for 2022. Children from all year groups at Bridge and Patrixbourne School were able to take part in the activities which included: writing what makes them happy onto a palm leaf; apologising to someone and putting their plaster on the cross; making garlands for the Garden of Gethsemane; writing prayers to hang on the Easter Tree and sampling some 'bread and wine'.
During the Corona Virus pandemic, Bridge and Patrixbourne CEP have had to reduce the number of pupils within the school following the government guidlines at the time. This has meant that collective worship at Bridge has had to change and so Rev Estella has been offering virtual Collective Worship for pupils to join in with at home. Below are a few links to the collective worship services that have been streamed on the Bridge Group Parish Youtube Channel
End of Year Message July 14th 2020 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrjmRPxk0hM
School Value - Trust- Calming the Storm - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0iWhg-sQGc
May 21st 2020 - Ascension Day - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bvnwwpS38Q
May 6th 2020 - V.E Day - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bvnwwpS38Q
March 26th 2020- Love thy Neighbour- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YwABzBs1So&t=11s
End of Term Message March 20th 2020- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqnVBuaWs5o
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.
safeguarding contacts: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/safeguarding/diocesan-safeguarding-contacts