We are often asked how a congregation can help its local schools. Here is one simple idea that any parish can use which cares for children and staff in spiritual, emotional and practical ways. It is very easy! Simply…
- Pray intentionally for your local school
- Bake a cake for the staff each half term
- Listen to a student read once a week
Download a flyer here.
Pray – how to get started
You might want to give one or more of the following a try:
- Pray for schools on one Sunday of the month at a particular service
- Ask home groups to adopt a school that they pray for. They may end baking and reading too!
- Start a monthly prayer meeting that specifically prays for local schools.
- Add prayers for your local schools to the list of prayers in your weekly news sheet.
- Put up a prayer board of information to pray about in your church that people can see.
- Hold the prayer meeting in the church or a home – it is not necessary to pray in the school at all.
Bake – recipes to inspire you
The internet is full of sites dedicated to baking. Here are few:
Read – how to work with your local school
Listening to children read is something that many schools value some help with. It is important that the offer of any assistance from church members is done on the schools terms. This means you will have to comply by the conditions they specify – this will include a safeguarding check. This role is not for everyone so please pray about if this is the right thing to and then who might be the right kind of person.
The whole point of Pray.Bake.Read is to build relationships with the school. There is no “payback” for the church as it is about sowing into the lives of the staff, pupils and parents. At no point is there any reason for demanding something in return. We do this because we care about the schools and are now, more than at any other time, under a great deal of pressure.
It may well be that by caring for the school community by praying and baking that an opportunity to help in some aspects of school life – like listening to readers, helping on school trips, etc. – may come about. This is not a certainty and will depend on how good we build a non-conditional relationship.
If you would like to find out more about volunteering in schools then please contact Richard Wharton who is one of our schools adviser and a former head teacher.