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Schools chalk their doors for Epiphany
BISHOP Jonathan joined schoolchildren to chalk doors as we celebrated Epiphany.
The bishop went to St John the Baptist C of E Primary School in Waltham Chase, where he wrote some special symbols above the doors to classrooms – a traditional thing to do at this time of the year. Other schools have also remembered the visit by the magi to the infant Jesus in special ways.
Christians chalk their doors at home and at Church with ‘20 † C † M † B † 24’ on a day during the Epiphany season. The numbers refer to the calendar year, and the crosses stand for Christ. The letters have a two-fold significance: C, M, and B are the initials for the traditional names of the magi (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar), but they are also an abbreviation of the Latin blessing Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which means, ‘May Christ bless this house/dwelling’.
Bishop Jonathan visited the school with the Rev Jill Phipps, who is curate in Wickham and Shedfield, and wrote these symbols in chalk above one of the classroom doors.
The feast of Epiphany relates to the visit of the magi, who brought gifts to the infant Jesus. Our education team put together some resources to help school to mark this time of year, helping pupils to understand that Jesus was a new kind of king. They had come from distant lands, perhaps thinking that they would be led to a new all-powerful king. When they discovered a baby lying in a manger, their moment of ‘epiphany’ helped them to realise what truly matters to God.
Children from St Matthew’s C of E Primary School in Blackmoor took part in a project at school and also visited St Matthew’s Church to mark Epiphany. Some pupils dressed up as the magi, Mary and Joseph as they re-enacted that part of the Nativity story. The children had also thought about what would be meaningful gifts, which they’d written on paper and linked in a paper chain. This chain was used as part of the prayers in church.
And children from Wickham C of E Primary School have also been marking the Epiphany season by ‘chalking doors’.
Young Governors from Year R to Year 6 joined members of the St Nicholas Church ministry team, Canon David Isaac and the Rev Jill Phipps, to chalk the front door of the school. Then during class worship times, all of the children chalked the door of their classroom and also chalked a blessing on paper to take home with them to ask for God’s blessings for their own home and family.