Swaffham Bulbeck

Church of England Primary School

The school has strong and varied links with the church. These are at a local level with our village church, St Mary’s, as well aswith the four other Benefice churches and their communities. At a diocesan level we have links to Ely cathedral and its personnel and at a national/international level,illustrated by our fundraising activities,to the villages (church and schools) of Karukekereand Kenokwein the diocese of Mara in Tanzania.

The Governing Board has three Foundation Governors who are responsible for ensuring that Christian values are sustained throughout the daily life of the school and its regular acts of worship. Our vicaroranother local ministerleads whole school Collective Worship every week and there is a weekly Worship Club which involves pupils in the planning of worship in the school. Other governors monitor acts of worship for the whole school and for individual classes, both in church and in school. Links are embedded when the school has its monthly Collective Worship in the churchand these arein addition to special occasion services such as Harvest, Christmas and Easter. Families and friends are invited to attendand the church is often full. Refreshments are provided by the PCC (Parochial Church Council) and this gives an opportunity to foster important links between church and school. At these services, we have a ‘Feedback Book’ in which the congregation is invited to share its thoughts and observations.

Recent comments in the Feedback Book from our 2019 Christmas service:

  • Great to see all the children having the opportunity to take part and shine brightly. Really enjoyed the Year 6 drama
  • A perfect start to Christmas. Thank you to all the stars at the school that shone brightly.
  • A wonderful service. The worship group’s performance was particularly moving and very spiritual.
  • The music and performance were excellent  Lovely, emotional service. Beautiful singing and reading
  • I loved the Christmas service this morning - the children’s singing being the highlight for me. It took me back to primary school experiences which I felt were so important.
  • I was impressed by Revd Sue’s ability to engage young children at their level

The Benefice congregations are informed about the ‘festival’ services in the ‘Forthcoming Events’ section of the weekly church notice sheet. Members of the church congregation are very supportive of the school in a practical sense, too. Joint ventures now in the church have included the wall banner, a Church Guide for children and seating cushions for the pews, as well as bell ringing sessions for some of the older pupils. The latest addition is a collection of ten ‘Worship bags’ for children’s use during Benefice church services (baptisms, weddings etc). These have been recently made by a group of Y3/4 pupils and a Foundation Governor. They are now available in the children’s area of the church.

Comments about the Activity bags from the church congregation:

  •  What a creative and meaningful contribution to Christian life linking church and school. May young people find it strengthens them.
  •  Superb idea for children’s education of our Saviour.  Beautiful bags, full of thoughtful, relevant and appropriate activities.
  •  These are a fantastic way to amuse and teach our younger congregation and visitors.
  •  A fantastic idea and all so beautifully and thoughtfully made. I’m sure the children will love doing these activities.
  •  Very attractive and inviting bags with interesting contents.
  •  What a lovely idea. Well done. I’m sure the children will have great fun with them.
  •  Nice to have fun with and helpful for learning (Ella, age 8)

For the school, there is a cloth for the Worship table and a hand-made cross to go on it – a smaller version of the one in church. The school also has an annual donation from the PCC and this recently funded the ‘Worship bags’, a subscription donation to GenR8 and South American hand painted crosses which are now in each classroom, the school hall and entrance area.

News of the school activities is given at each PCC meeting and there are annual joint church/school fundraising events such as the very successful Summer Fair (next one is on 27thJune 2020).

There are so many church/school links and, since 2010, most of them have been documented and illustrated, where appropriate. A copy of these shared activities is available in school.

For more details about St Mary’s Church go to: www.angleseygroupparishes.co.uk

For more details about The Diocese of Ely go to: www.ely.anglican.org