Here is an example of an interesting week, which gives a little flavour as to what CCiS is about.
Monday A visit to UTX (Under The Cross) Christian Group at Cox Green School where I had a brilliant time watching Emma lead this group and sharing about Jesus with these young people. Then on to ‘Just Looking’, a new group at Churchmead School, where I am similarly very encouraged by the young people (mainly 11 and 12 year olds) attending.
Tuesday Inter Schools Soccer Sevens boys’ event where eight schools provided the closest competition we’ve had in ten years. In the final round Burnham Park Academy won on penalties against Beechwood School. While there I had chance to share about Sports Plus which is run by Christians in Sport and was of particular interest to some really keen players.
Wednesday I started the day with an assembly at Beechwood where I enjoyed some good connections with the Soccer Sevens before talking with their Headteacher, staff and some pupils and the first chance to do ‘HBD’ (Holiday Brochures Distribution). Really encouraging. Then on to Upton Court Grammar for some more follow up with the players (they were semi-finalists) and to see a little of their school show ‘Grease’. While I was there I heard about a new staff prayer group which meets on Thursdays and enjoyed a chat with the Head of RE about visits to churches made by their 12 year olds. This proved to be a good time to mention a great new Scripture Union resource that is now available called ‘It’s Your Church’ - do check it out. http://www.scriptureunion.org.uk/YourChurch/ItsYourChurch/3597664.id After more classroom work there I was off to Burnham Grammar for some more ‘Hanging Around Ministry’ and specific football follow up and was very encouraged to find that some of the keen players seemed interested in Sports Plus. Just before I saw them I popped into the common room to hear: ‘Hello Wayne…I used to come here!’… from Lewis, who had left the school four years ago but had now graduated from University and was back sharing with the Sixth Form about opportunities for summer jobs. Then that evening a real highlight at Furze Platt Senior as they put on ‘Our House’. A brilliant, dramatic musical featuring music I had grown up with – I loved it! At periods before and after the show, as well as during the interval, I was able to chat with various people as my day drew to a close. _$-! Thursday Back at Beechwood for some ‘HAM’ with staff over tea and breakfast. Then Into assembly and an interesting chat and a chance to make connections with Olive who was there for a session with their Sixth Form. Then off to Lent Rise to see Open the Book which started 6 weeks ago: meeting the team serving on this developing initiative proved to be really encouraging praise God. As the 11 year olds came in I asked some of them what they thought of it since it started and the answers produced some very good vibes! One of the staff reminisced about her visits many years ago to church for ‘Christmas Unwrapped’ and ‘Easter Cracked’, which was great to hear. The school is now going every year to Cippenham Baptist for these events. I heard some sad news as well which was affecting the staff who have had a tough 12 months supporting the school community. Next on to Langley Grammar where the 15 year olds were holding their Charity Week. Along with some interesting chat with staff and pupils I had a chance once again to hear feedback from the Soccer Sevens tournament. I ended the day at the Magnet Leisure Centre watching Newlands’ brilliant Gym & Dance Show and had a great time with current and former pupils and staff. At the end all 450 participants performed together which proved to be a very moving experience as tearful thanks were given by some of the older students like Ellie & Tillie who were performing there for the last time. Two things went through my mind: firstly, what a great privilege it has been to share with all of them about Jesus; and secondly, the opportunities to come when we hope and pray that many of them will be in the exact same venue for the LZ7 Concert at the end of Christianity Awareness Week. Some of them were there five years ago for the first one! What a great evening!
Friday Final assembly of the week at Beechwood, this time with the 14 year olds, where I was asked to give out certificates to the girls who had won the Soccer Sevens the previous week. Some pupils keen on Scripture Union holidays asked for brochures, and I had an interesting chat with a new teacher who had picked up on ‘a verse from the Bible’ shown at the Sixth Form assembly the previous week. Then off to Furze Platt Senior where I received some great encouragement when I asked an 18 year old what her thoughts were with regard to the Christianity Awareness Week held five years ago. ‘Brilliant’ she said, and then ‘I’ll be there’ when she heard that LZ7 are due back in October. It seems from anecdotal evidence that this ministry five years ago connected then and still leaves an impression today. After playing a great game (new to me!) with some lads called ‘one bounce and one kick’. I made the final visit of the day (and week) to Newlands where the buzz from where the buzz from the Dance Show was still evident. Then a chance to STOP, pause, reflect and pray over what had happened throughout the week and to wonder what might grow out of it. I am very humbled by the chances given to me in our schools. Thank you Jesus.