Home  |  Calendar  |  Safeguarding  |  News  |  Documents  |  Find a Church

Over 2500 pupils gather to reflect on their time in Primary education

School children waving coloured paper flags in a cathedral School boys wearing smiling as they engage in an activity Adult stood up smiling and engaging with school children sat on the floor in an outdoor space

Last week 2,847 year 6 children from church schools sang the words ‘And it’s from the old I travel to the new, keep me travelling along with you’ in Guildford Cathedral at the end of their Leavers’ Services.  It makes you wonder how many children have sung Sydney Carter’s song since it was written for the Leavers’ Service in Southwark Cathedral in 1971.

The move from primary school to secondary school can seem daunting to the children involved.  Children from Wonersh and Shamley Green Primary School expressed their worries in this prayer they read in the Cathedral. 

Dear God, please guide us through the changes that will challenge us through secondary school. Please help us make new friends that can help and support us in anything we might need. Guide us through the challenging subjects and unknown moments that we will face. 
The Leavers’ Services start with four reflective prayer activities - ‘wow’, ‘thank you’, ‘please’ and ‘regret’ - inside and outside the cathedral. The children then move to the main body of the cathedral for a very short service. 

Jane Whittington, the School Officer for Christian Distinctiveness, shared, “It is wonderful to be able to offer the time to think about moving schools in a spiritual way.”

One headteacher said, “The children thoroughly enjoyed the thoughtful, reflective activities. The service itself was beautiful and it was lovely to have all of the schools together to celebrate. The whole morning was a wonderful opportunity for the children to reflect, to be thankful for their time at Primary School and to start thinking about their journey ahead.”
The Diocese encourages parishes to consider offering their own version of a Leavers’ Service, or Leavers’ Prayer Space to the schools in your parish. There are a variety of resources on the diocesan website to help. You will find several suggestions for a short talk, possible orders of service and various reflective activities which are known to work well in church schools, community schools and independent schools.

School children stood and sat in a corridor in a cathedral engaging with an activity School children sat on the steps of Guildford Cathedral waving their hands in the air on a sunny day Hundred of school children and teachers stood worshipping in Guildford Cathedral

Powered by Church Edit