9 January 2024
Schools in our diocese have been chalking special symbols above their doors as they celebrate ... read more
5 January 2024
The bishop opened a new centre in Charter Academy that will offer students help with ... read more
28 November 2023
Our education team is working with churches, families and schools on a project designed to ... read more
Schools take part in Lights of Hope project
CHURCH schools across our diocese were involved with a project that aimed to focus on Christian hope.
The project was based on a ‘Light of Hope’ art installation, which was suspended above Winchester Cathedral’s nave between October and January. It inspired pupils across Hampshire to create their own miniature lights of hope.
The giant steel star-shaped sculpture, with neon changing lights, was created by artist Peter Walker. His ‘Light of Hope Star’ was designed to unify and represent hope.
Children in church schools across the diocese were invited to create their own lights of hope, as a way of thinking about hope as a Christian value, through their RE learning and collective worship. A range of resources were created by our diocesan education team to support schools, including reflections and art appreciation activities.
Schools and parishes embraced the project and created their own stars of light. Some were taken to the cathedral, others were placed in churches or formed beautiful displays in schools.
Children at Wickham C of E Primary School created their own star-shaped origami tea-light holders, decorated with messages of hope. Years 1 and 2 drew pictures of hopes for themselves, Years 3 and 4 drew, or wrote, about hopes for others and Years 5 and 6 added their hopes for the world.
Bishop Jonathan, who attended the patronal festival, was very pleased to receive a Light of Hope from the children. He took the time to say a special prayer and to bless the lights.
Teacher Nicky Portlock said: "It was lovely to be involved and the response from children and from members of the community has been really positive. The lights have truly brought a little extra joy and hope."
The worship council at Cornerstone C of E Primary School in Whiteley made light holders as part of the project. The children thought about the great power of light over darkness; how light can bring new colour, brings new life, and always bring hope. The children said that, as well as thinking about hope and light, the project had encouraged them to be the light, and to make light too!
And Oakfield C of E Primary School in Ryde held a Lights of Hope tealight-making workshop. Families arrived to make the light holders with the children.
To read more about this project, you can download the full Lights of Hope booklet here.